As a parent, have you ever dreamt of your child asking you a question and just responding, in that whiny voice “I don’t know!” or “I don’t wanna!” While we can’t fully embrace a role reversal (can we?), we can implement a topsy-turvy day. Switch roles with your kids and let them be the Unexpected Parent-Teacher.
How to Start: Talk about what topsy-turvy means (Dictionary.com: adjective turned upside down; inverted; reversed, or noun a state of confusion or disorder.) Explain to your child/children that they will be the teacher today and you will be the student. Then set up some ground rules. The idea here is to still be learning during the day, just a little differently. What do you think is a must, such as 2 hours of instruction time, specific topics being addressed, lunch time, nap time (couldn’t hurt to try, right?) etc. What do they think is a must?
What to do next: Give you child/children some time to prepare for the day. They will need to brainstorm the schedule and activities. If they are younger you can, of course, help them. But as I’ve stated before, let your children be in charge. You should only provide the help they ask for. This is supposed to be a fun activity that gives them the opportunity to be in charge and you the opportunity to, maybe, get a little even (just kidding… maybe).
Expand it: How can you bring in other content areas?
Since you and your child/children are designing the day, you can bring in any content areas you would like. I’m going to take this opportunity to share with you some topics I find interesting, just because I can.
- Science: Geology in your state. Can you find fossils? Minerals? Fault zones?
- Technology: Make binary code secret messages.
- Engineering: Build a Rube Goldberg machine
- Arts: Learn about nature through art. You can take pictures, draw pictures, make pictures with nature items. Then research what you found/used.
- Math: What patterns can you see in your home, in nature? How is this math?
STEAM Resources: I’ve narrowed down (yes, this is narrowed down) some of my favorite free resources at different levels.
- Earth and Sky: https://earthsky.org/
- NASA: https://www.nasa.gov/specials/nasaathome/index.html
- USGS: https://www.usgs.gov/science-support/osqi/yes/resources-teachers/learning-home#
- World Wildlife: https://www.worldwildlife.org/pages/wild-classroom-daily-activity-plans
- Exploratorium: https://www.exploratorium.edu/education/teaching-resources
- National Geographic: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/education/classroom-resources/learn-at-home/
- Girls Who Code: https://girlswhocode.com/code-at-home/
- Code.org: https://code.org/athome
- Rube Goldberg: https://www.rubegoldberg.com/
- Children’s Museum: https://pittsburghkids.org/museumathome
- NAEA: https://www.arteducators.org/learn-tools/remote-learning-toolkit
- PowWow’s.com: https://www.powwows.com/main/craft-tutorials/
- Math Playground: https://www.mathplayground.com/
- Nasco: https://www.enasco.com/knowledgehook-remote
- Khan Academy: https://www.khanacademy.org/