Many of the parents I’ve spoken with recently have talked about getting into a rhythm with their work and their kiddo’s school. We’ve all settled into our routines, but I have heard an overwhelming concern that kids just aren’t getting enough. Most families are only able to do the bare minimum. So, how can we do more?
How to Start: First, remember that everyone is in the same situation. All students are doing less. Second, focus on ensuring your kiddos have the academic and emotional support from you that they need. It is a matter of quality, not quantity. When it is time to be with your kiddos, focus on them. Third, if you think your kiddos are lacking in any area, and you don’t have the time or the experience to help, find someone who does!
What to do next: Get help! No parent can do it all, so look for outside resources. I’m not talking about worksheets or busy work, find experts that teach. The number and type of virtual classes is exploding, and you are no longer restricted by driving radius. There are multiple benefits here, your kiddos will have a more diverse experience and you will get a break. Some of these experiences do cost, but there are many that are free.
Expand it: How can you bring in other content areas?
- Science: What are your kiddos learning about? In what are your kiddos interested?
- Technology: Once you look at all the other STEAM areas, come back to this one. Then look into what technology is required to address the other areas.
- Engineering: Have your kiddos research different engineering fields and see what sparks an interest.
- Arts: Is there an area of art that your kiddos show interest? Or do you want to expose them to something new?
- Math: Same as Science. What are your kiddos learning about? In what are your kiddos interested?
- Take Lessons offers free weekly intro classes for children, teenagers and adults. Who says you can’t do something for yourself also? https://takelessons.com/live
- Varsity Tutors is providing free virtual classes (https://www.varsitytutors.com/virtual-school-calendar) and free summer camps (https://www.varsitytutors.com/virtual-summer-camps).
- Scholastic is offering free “Learn at Home” resources, including books and activities that kiddos can do independently. You just need to provide your email: https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html
- Zoos, Museums, Libraries and Science Centers: Holy moly are there a lot out there! You can go on a virtual field trip, watch animals, participate in activities and experiments! There are pre-recorded options and live interactions. Look locally or nationally. And… lots of them are offering virtual school and summer camps.
- National Parks Service offers a diverse set of activities kiddos can do on their own, or you can enjoy with them: https://www.nationalparks.org/connect/blog/park-activities-you-can-do-comfort-your-home
- Audible is offering free access during Covid closures: https://stories.audible.com/start-listen
- Kahn Academy is a highly respected resource that kids can use independently, you just have to sign up: https://www.khanacademy.org/signup
- Enroll in free yoga and mindfulness classes: https://academy.yogaed.com/p/yoga-ed-for-free-online-yoga-mindfulness-classes-for-all-ages