Parenting, teaching, and working from home? Here are a few things that might help
Monday, May 04, 2020
This article originally appeared on easyDITA by Jorsek.
Welcome To Your New Normal
Working from home (WFH) can be challenging in and of itself. WFH with kids calls for Herculean levels of mental — and, at times, physical — fortitude. We totally get it.
Family comes first. This, however, doesn’t erase the fact that we still need to get stuff done. The way we go about balancing all of it becomes a decidedly intricate task. Fortunately, we have the world at our fingertips and the well of resources to draw from is vast.
So, we’ve done the work, hoping we could help others in the same boat have a quiver full of ideas ready at a moment’s notice. This list of resources is available to the public for free, and you’ll find a wide variety of materials suitable for kids of all ages. Yeah, we know there’s always video games, Netflix, Disney+, and the like, but these pieces of edutainment are aimed at parents who are looking for something beyond a 300th “Frozen 2” rewatch to occupy curious young minds.
We hope you find these as beneficial as we have.
Online Education That Kids Love
With an online curriculum of Math, Science, Art, and Reading focused on kids ages 2-8, this platform offers engaging learning content for our littlest learners. Try 30 days free.
For the STEM fascinated young students, ExploreLearning hosts mathematics and science simulations targeting grades 3-12. Try 60 days free.
With the mission of providing a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere, Khan Academy has something, quite literally, for everyone.
Targeting grades K-3, BrainPOP Jr. has resources in mathematics, social studies, health, arts, science, technology, and more.
Reading and Story Time
If your kids are tired of you reading them stories, try this out. Astronauts floating around the International Space Station live stream bedtime stories.
Get lost in fairy tales, classic literature, ancient mythology, folklore, and more, targeted toward kids ages 7-11, and suitable for kids of all ages.
Among the largest audiobook collections in the world, Audible has made all of their K-12 books free to stream in support of families throughout the crisis.
If you’re looking for a totally free e-book children’s library, look no further, the Oxford Owl has you covered.
A children’s read-along podcast featuring tons of celebrity voice appearances. Subscribe on your voice assistant or wherever you get your podcasts.
When you’re small, it’s the best place to start for someplace as big as space. Who am I kidding, I learn a lot here, too.
One question: Who doesn’t want to visit Mars in virtual reality? Trick question. Everyone does.
Penguins and Parrots and Pythons, Oh My!
From their Facebook, Cincinnati Zoo is doing a live stream featuring a different animal every day. Check out their Facebook here.
Only one of the coolest kid’s clubs to be a part of. With an extensive library of animal stories, facts, videos, and more, you’ll find it extremely difficult to run out of material on the natural world.
Kansas City Zoo is doing an uninterrupted, underwater live feed of their penguin exhibit. Need I say more?
Google Arts & Culture presents narrated video tours through National Parks across the United States from the perspective of park rangers.
Exercise and Health
Designed for kids, The Adventures of Super Stretch is an app for teaching good meditation, stretching, and wellness habits at an early age.
Take a break! These hilarious songs and dances are made to get kids and parents dancing, laughing, and moving together. #justdance
For our little dancers, this resource is provided by the Louisville Ballet. Packed with videos, guides, and activities, it covers the fundamentals and history of dance.
Music and Art
Experimenting with music through play and experimentation is much more fun than a music theory lecture. This is the place to explore sound however you’d like.
Any burgeoning young percussionists in the family? Perfect. Groove Pizza is another terrific way to encourage them to march to the beat of their own drum kit.
Take a virtual tour of the most famed art museum on earth? Absolutely.
A daily video with artist Mo Willems where everyone does a doodle together at lunchtime. He encourages new ways to draw, write, and create, all during a quick lunch break.
The Fun Keeps On Going
The famed creative game has a hefty educational curriculum. If your kids are into Minecraft, you should definitely explore some of these options to build off their interest.
Safe, fun videos for just about any area of interest.
For the ones with a deeper interest in tech, this is a great way to get them more familiar with basic coding principles. They can create their own stories and bring them to life using systematic thinking.
We’re All In This Together
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, to encourage social distancing while aiding parents, teachers, and organizations alike, lots of online platforms that usually have usage fees are waiving them. When you visit these, or any other, online resources, be sure to check any statements regarding the pandemic and changes in access, subscription structures, and resource availability. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how many are being freely given to help families navigate the recent changes.
Entertainment and education are all around you. Sure, getting used to remote working and schooling while social distancing is a little different from what we’re accustomed to. With technology, we’ve never been so well-connected to each other and to a vast amount of free information.
Use these resources as a starting point and do some exploring of your own, too. Remember, you have a network of people in the same circumstances, so help each other out! Make recommendations, ask for help, share things that work, and reach out to people. You might feel alone right now, but we’re all in this together.
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