With COVID 19 being the main focus of the world right now, schools have closed in an effort to slow the spread. This will give medical professionals a fighting chance to treat the growing number of patients coming in for testing and treatment. While this is a beautiful picture of our nation’s ability to work together to help support our immune-compromised communities, it comes with added stress for parents and teachers. Many parents are suddenly needing to figure out the world of homeschooling, all while potentially working from home. The challenge then becomes keeping kids busy, happy, and learning while schools are closed.
We have found that families that are already homeschooling have been more than ready to jump in and provide support. Thanks to their extensive help (extra special thanks to my sister Bethany) we were able to create a list of educational resources to occupy and keep your kids on track while you work from, home starting with the best overall programs and options and then filtering down to subject-specific options.
Best Overall Educational Resources: There is a large number of educational companies stepping in to offer solutions during this time, this blog provides an extensive list including links. There is also a website called amazingeducationalresources.com that has a comprehensive list of options available for those who have time to review it.
Scholastic Learn At Home: Scholastic has worked hard to keep kids busy and learning while school closures keep them home. They have courses designed for all age groups and a week full of educational content already available, with more coming.
Beanstalk: For parents with kids between 1.5 years old up to 6, Beanstalk is providing free memberships for the duration of the COVID 19 threat.
TurtleDiary: This website had easy to access games on a range of topics that will help your kids learn and have fun all at once.
Khan Academy- Math lessons and practice starting from preschool on up. Along with other subjects available both online and with an easy to use app. This came highly recommended by teachers and is often used in schools.
Prodigy.com- Let your kids play games and collect prizes while they do math. We have it on good authority that a lot of kids consider these video games, but it may be better suited to kids over 2nd grade due to the complexities of the games, depending on your student.
Science and Geography:
Mystery Science: K-5 science curriculum with mini-lessons that can be used throughout the week. There are free options, and subscriptions available.
National Geographic Kids: Explore a lot of fun topics with NatGeoKids.
YouTube: There are a lot of options on this platform. Some supervision may be recommended to ensure your kids are staying on the right channels instead of exploring YouTube as a whole. We recommend checking out Sci-show, or Sci-show kids, along with crash course and crash-course kids. These four channels were created with the specific intent of making learning fun and have extensive video libraries available immediately. FreeSchool is also a popular channel for homeschooling.
Hoopla: If you are feeling the loss of your local library closing down, try downloading Hoopla and get access to free audiobooks, and e-books using your library card.
FunBrain for Kids: This website covers many topics, but also has a lot of books that kids can read for free.
YouTube- Find “how-to” videos for drawing almost anything. Lunch Doodles with Mo Williams is a popular new choice for younger kids. Older kids may prefer to search for something specific they want to learn how to draw or paint. You can also find plenty of free printable coloring pages.
GoNoodle.com- this has interactive videos to get the kids moving. I also have it on good authority from my own kids that this website is great.
Time for a Field Trip:
Ok, you might not be able to go on an actual field trip right now, but you may be surprised what you can explore through the internet and virtual field trips.
While this is not an exhaustive list of your options, it may narrow things down and help you along as you teach and work from home. For our foster and adoptive parents, we strongly recommend scheduling your day in a simple way to help your kids adjust to this new norm. It would not be surprising for them to face higher levels of stress than children without a trauma background. Let's face it, we're a little stressed right now! Most importantly, have some grace on yourself during this time and on the teachers who are trying to figure out how to teach from home too. We will figure this out together, day by day.
written by Deb Uber