Stuck at home and trying to juggle working while playing chef, nurse, guidance counselor, teacher, referee, housekeeper…all the things?! I feel ya! Let’s face it, some parents are MADE. FOR. THIS. They are great at staying motivated, come up with allll of the pinterest projects and happen to be the best e-learning teachers out there. Others (guilty!), not so much. It all feels a little overwhelming trying to be the best at all of the things during these uncertain times. Hopefully the list below will ease some of that stress in managing the overwhelming amount of things we’re dealing with in today’s world.
One of my top favorites I have come across so far is Scholastic Learn at Home for Grades PreK-9. They offer day-by-day projects and learning activities such as a virtual field trip, an article and another activity that all relate to one another. Think of it as a mini virtual lesson plan! You can find out more info here: https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html?caching
I’ve read that ABCmouse is offering FREE access to students during this time. Your specific school must contact ABCmouse to gain access and then should send out the link to families. If your school hasn’t requested access yet, they can do so here: https://www.ageoflearning.com/schools.html. Additionally, they do offer a 30 day free trial that you could take advantage of in the meantime! https://www.abcmouse.com/abt/homepage
My kids LOVE to do arts/crafts and I’m sure yours do too! It’s a great way for them to release their energy in a creative way. I find myself leaning towards “NO!” when they ask to do a project, but mainly because I’m a neat freak and can’t stand all of the mess after (bad mommy!). I’ve learned that if I create a safe place for them to create and be sure they’re aware of their clean-up responsibilities once their projects are done, I don’t lose my cool as much. I’ve found that rolls of kraft paper are GREAT for covering up large surfaces – cover the entire dining room table, tape them to the floor or drive way, etc. Amazon has some great options that you could get delivered: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=rolls+of+kraft+paper&ref=nb_sb_noss_1
When in doubt, use the back of an old roll of wrapping paper! Works like a charm.
There are also some great children’s authors that are hosting live art sessions. I’ve found the Mo Willems (author of Knuffle Bunny, Pigeon Books, Elephone & Piggie Book) and Jarrett Krosoczka (author of Hey Kiddo and Lunch Lady)sessions to be interactive and fun!
Mo Willems: https://www.kennedy-center.org/education/mo-willems/, New episodes are posted each weekday at 1pm ET and remain online for streaming afterwards!
Jarrett Krosoczka: http://thejjkblog.blogspot.com/2020/03/draw-every-day-with-jjk.html, Jarrett goes LIVE every weekday at 2pm ET and these are archived there for later use!
There are also two great art studios that offer LIVE sessions. Best part?! They each offer a list of supplies in advance that are needed for their sessions.
Art & Craft Tutorials with McHarper Manor offers projects that range from sewing to painting to clay creations. These really are so fun, but definitely for those with a little more time and skill in crafting. They go LIVE daily at 1pm EST and are available for replay after!
Brightly Art Studio also offers free LIVE classes on Mondays and Fridays at 10am. These are more abstract, get messy, use your imagination type of classes. You can check those out here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/brightlyartstudio/photos/?ref=page_internal
They also have a super fun subscription you could join that delivers art kits to your doorstep weekly. These boxes include art supplies that can be used for a variety of projects. I’m dying to try these for my daughter who is obsessed with all things arts and crafts! https://www.brightlyartstudio.com/classes/brightly-box-at-the-beach
FREE VIRTUAL FIELD TRIPS
Always wanted to travel the world?! Same. But, that doesn’t sound quite as exciting with younger kids. The mere thought of packing all of that luggage and taking long flights with 3 kids gives me some major anxiety. So for now, I’ll stick with virtual tours until they’re a little older and can carry my luggage! Check out these amazing virtual tours of some of the world’s top tourist attractions all from the comfort of home!
- Buckingham Palace – https://www.royal.uk/virtual-tours-buckingham-palace
- The Louvre – https://www.louvre.fr/en/visites-en-ligne
- Monterey Bay Aquarium – https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/live-cams
- The International Space Station – https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/suni_iss_tour.html
- Smithsonian Museum of Natural History – https://naturalhistory.si.edu/visit/virtual-tour
Need more ideas? Check out Freedom Homeschooling’s blog post with more great options here: https://freedomhomeschooling.com/virtual-field-trips/
Have a smart TV? You can download the Go Noodle app and give your kiddos a chance to blow off some steam! I like to give them a few brain breaks throughout the day to get their wiggles out and help them refocus. They’re actually super fun for me to join in on too!
Download the app on your device or smartTV or visit this link: https://www.gonoodle.com/
PE with Joe is another great resource to replace Gym class! You can download YouTube from your device or smartTV. Joe goes LIVE at 9am Mon-Fri! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAxW1XT0iEJo0TYlRfn6rYQ
Reading is fundamental, ya’ll! Did you know I also work for the Indianapolis Public Library?! Yep! And we have TONS of resources available for parents and kiddos alike. If you live in Marion County and have a library card, you have FREE access to e-books, music, movies, audiobooks, online courses and more! There are several links below with helpful resources.
Also, I wouldn’t be a good advocate if I didn’t give a shout out to the Indianapolis Public Library Foundation. They work tirelessly to generate funding through donations to put on all of the amazing programs that we offer. Once we get out of these dark times (and we WILL!), I encourage you to attend one of the many amazing programs that are offered at your local library! You can view programs and events here: https://attend.indypl.org/events?r=thismonth If you would like to make a donation to the Indianapolis Public Library Foundation, you can do so here: https://indyplfoundation.org/give
Another great resource I’ve found is TIME for Kids – Free Digital Library. They have some great options for kids that are K-6. They break down their offerings into age groups so you can quickly get age appropriate items. https://time.com/tfk-free/
Storyline Online streams videos of actors reading children’s books: https://www.storylineonline.net/
Audible is offering FREE audiobooks while school is out! https://www.audible.com/ep/kids-audiobooks “While school is on pause, kids can listen free”
MATH & SCIENCE
Kahn Academy https://www.khanacademy.org/ offers free lessons in math, science and humanities for students of all ages. In addition, they offer daily live streams at 3pm EST on Facebook and YouTube for students, parents, and teachers navigating school closures. They also offer a great schedule breakdown for each age group to keep your family on track.
I hope you found this list helpful and ran across something that you haven’t seen yet. More importantly, I hope you and your family stay healthy (and sane!) during these wild times our Country is facing. “No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life goes on, and it will be better tomorrow.” – Maya Angelou
Do you have other great resources that you have found on this journey? Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . I’d love to share those!