Homeschooling Resources For Parents On Lockdown
By Leah Freeman-Haskin
This is a difficult time for many of us. With social distancing in place, school closures across the country, and self-isolation a requirement in some areas, many parents are scrambling to keep their children busy at home and in some cases, homeschool their children for the first time. The days are long and the appreciation for our teachers grows by the second. If you’ve already run out of ideas to pass the time and continue education at home, here are some online resources put into place in light of this unprecedented situation.
Virtual Museum Tours
Show your kids the world through art. Thanks to the good people at Google Arts & Culture, over 2,500 museums and galleries are providing virtual tours and online exhibits of some of the most famous museums around the world. View masterpieces from the comfort of your couch, while also educating your children on art history. From the Tate in London to the Hong Kong Museum of Art, there is something for everyone on this platform.
Scholastic is offering free online courses for children in light of all of the recent school closures. The company’s digital learning hub is accessible on all devices, including smartphones, and requires no sign-up, the company announced Friday. The Scholastic Learn At Home program allows open access to daily learning journeys divided into four grade spans—Pre-K–K, Grades 1–2, Grades 3–5, and Grades 6–9+, covering ELA, STEM, Science, Social Studies, and Social-Emotional Learning. Scholastic Learn At Home provides approximately three hours of learning opportunities per day, for up to four weeks of instruction, including writing and research projects based on nonfiction articles and stories, virtual field trips, reading and geography challenges, access to their new digital community for kids Scholastic Home Base, and more.
Some of your favorite children’s book authors like Oliver Jeffers (Stuck) and Mac Barnett (Circle) are currently hosting daily virtual story times via Instagram Live. Each day, these authors among others read one of their picture books while offering some comedic commentary that children will love. You can check out their Instagram profiles for times of each reading.
GoNoodle® engages 14 million kids every month with movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts. This may not be a platform designed specifically for the current self-isolation situation, but it does offer hours of fun for children of all ages. In an attempt to make screen time a healthier habit, GoNoodle® gets kids up and moving to fun, engaging content and games. Every dance party, yoga session, mindfulness activity, and the game session is an opportunity for kids to “wake up their bodies, engage their minds, and be their best.”
NASA For Students
The NASA website’s For Students section includes a great free catalog of articles, activities, videos, and games for students in grades K–12 on topics related to STEM, aeronautics, and space exploration. You can download and print coloring books and workbook exercises, do science experiments, and more with their huge catalog of information and activities.