Roughly 350 million children around the world are out of school due to the coronavirus. Schools will be scrambling to move teaching and learning online and parents will be trying to figure out how to support their children’s academic work while keeping everyone in the household sane.
In addition to sharing space with their parents, kids are battling isolation from their friends and frustration with being cooped up. Parents will all be worried about their kids spending too much time online and not being able to set clear boundaries between learning at home and learning in the classroom.
Ellen Mahoney, the head of Sea Change Mentoring has this advice: “As educators, we know the importance of establishing a routine for children. Routines provide structure and a sense of safety, which helps our students to be ready to learn and take intellectual risks.” Her advice would be to create a family schedule. Simple things like getting dressed in regular school clothes instead of lounging around in pyjamas can help to normalize a non-normal situation. Working in pyjamas is never really a great idea). This helps kids understand that if they will be working online for long periods of time, they need breaks to move, to be offline and to talk to friends.
With this in mind, there are plenty of fantastic online educational sites to keep your children busy while the schools work on getting all their content up and running online.
- Scholastic Learn at home is full of Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing. There are projects suitable for kids. https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html
- Learning A-Z is an education technology company dedicated to expanding literacy through thoughtfully designed resources. https://www.learninga-z.com/
- Brainpop is an animated educational site for kids – the subjects include: Science, Social Studies, English, Math, Arts & Music, Health, and Technology. https://www.brainpop.com/
- National Geographic for Kids has amazing facts about animals, science, history and geography, along with fun competitions, games and more. https://www.natgeokids.com/za/
- FunBrain is an educational browser game website for children and adults. https://www.funbrain.com/
- Udemy courses are created by professional trainers and have been taught to over 5 million students. Some of these courses can be accessed for no cost at all. They have coding for kids courses available. https://www.udemy.com/topic/coding-for-kids/
Most kids will remember how their family dealt with the coronavirus panic. Kids will be watching their parents and learning how to respond to stress and uncertainty. This is a time where you can wire your kids for resilience, not panic. So, enjoy the time with your family and make this experience as positive as possible for all of you to grow together!
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