I have compiled these ideas and am presenting them for your edification and enjoyment below. These span across all K-12 ages and I would venture to say they will work for us adults, since we are kids at heart.
You have your home office all setup. Ready to answer calls, write emails and work on all the things you are responsible for. Your cup of coffee is there on the desk and while dressed for work, you have your favorite slippers on.
You are about to start your day when there is a knock on your door. “Mom?”, “Dad?” You think to yourself, shouldn’t these kids be in school? Oh yea, we are at school – in the home.
So what is a parent to do? Many schools are struggling to come up with programs to address distance learning. Budget issues, technology challenges and logistical conundrums are hampering school districts across the nation to help keep our kids engaged and learning.
The teachers desperately want to connect with their students and help them to grow. However, in the meantime, what can we do as parents to bridge that gap until these programs are established and operating?
My kids attend a small school that has less than 1500 students. We are in a tight-knit community and I posed this question to parents in our area.
The topic was: Keeping Our Kids Active and Learning During the Extended Break.
Originally this was a question for a Spring Break that had been extended an extra week. Times have changed now. The kids are still at home during the day and SO. AM. I.
Along with responses from that inquiry, I asked my fellow JMARKians for their ideas. As a result of all this, I thought to myself, this is some good stuff to share with more people. Parents, grandparents, guardians and others who are struggling with this same quandary.
It is part of our mission here at JMARK to be the light in this time period and to emphasize the People First part of our motto – People First, Technology Second.
With that in mind, I have compiled these ideas and am presenting them for your edification and enjoyment below. These span across all K-12 ages and I would venture to say they will work for us adults, since we are kids at heart.
The way I see it, age is a state of mind, not necessarily a state of being. We should always be learning and the tools below will assist with that; and best of all, they are all FREE.
Virtual Field Trips
Would you like to visit the world famous San Diego Zoo virtually? Maybe a trip to Yellowstone? Perhaps a tour of the Martian landscape is more appealing. Check these out and more here.
Some of their most popular science lessons. This is for kindergarten through 5th grade. I might need to have a refresher course so I can compete on the “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?” show.
Here is one that applies to all ages. Learn how to type and get away from the hunting and pecking. Increase your skills in this vital area in the technology age. One day we will speak to our devices more. For now, typing is still king.
Reading is Fun with Audible
I loved the Lord of the Rings movies directed by Peter Jackson but the books written by J.R.R. Tolkien can be some tough reading. However, here is some good news! The folks at audible.com have opened up their titles for free.
This includes a wide genre and age ranges for kids. Foreign languages are also included. Parlez vous-Francais?
If not, here is an opportunity to get started. Plus, maybe in this format you can get your kids to listen to that classic literature they need to study in high school English. “To be, or not to be: this is the question.”
Here are some resources to help find activities and help with learning and homework from a well-known organization dedicated to learning. There are lessons in math, science and humanities from kindergarten through the early years of college. They also have an app for mobile. Check out Khan Academy Kids.
Getting some fresh air is great. However, maybe it is a rainy day though and you need something different for fun. Now you can enjoy the Disney World rides virtually. Here are some of them available on YouTube.
- Space Mountain in Tomorrowland at Disney’s Magic Kingdom
- Slinky Dog Dash at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- It’s A Small World in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom
- Frozen Ever After at Epcot
- Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin at Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom
- The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure at California Adventure, Disneyland
- Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland
- Peter Pan’s Flight in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot
During this time, it would be great for kids to learn skills beyond the three R’s of reading, writing and arithmetic. I have seen comments on teaching kids how to change a tire, check the car’s oil, sew a button, wash clothes, basic cooking skills, setting up a budget, etc.
Many of these tasks used to be more challenging when working from home. The great thing is that now a lot of these videos are available online. The below link is for a site called WatchKnowLearn that also has thousands of videos beyond this subject.
Peace of Mind
The list could go on and on but I hope this provided you with some ideas to help you through this time. Perhaps you can add some of these activities for the summertime and then when school is back in session. We are living in an age where we have so much access to information.
I wish you much success in your child’s continuing education and that you will have the peace of mind knowing they don’t need to stop learning and you can be productive working from home.
NOTE: The websites listed in this blog are meant as a helpful guide and are not necessarily an endorsement for the products or services that are offered at each site.