Right now, our society is facing something we have never experienced. Families are being challenged with new uncertainties, teachers are stressed and trying to figure out how they will provide the proper learning without a classroom setting, seniors and those who have vulnerable health issues are struggling with basic survival needs. We all need to be patient, understanding, and not panic. If we act like we are losing control, we will be unable to solve problems and not be there for our families. As schools are closing, teachers and families need to work together more than ever. I have quickly collected some great resources, or easy ideas for families to use that are free or use a free membership.
Learning To Work Together
Please remember when you are spending full days with your kids to take breaks, enjoy each other, get rest, and get fresh air. Go outside and spend time together on beautiful days. When kids were at school, they could have been getting about 45 minutes outside each day, so that is something to consider when trying to trap yourselves indoors. If you don’t have space in your yard, go over to a local park that might not be busy. I don’t recommend using play structures or go to a park that might be too busy. Take a ball of some sort over, go for a walk, or play games as a family outside. If you stay indoors, do some fun mini stretching and work out activities. Stay physical and keep your bodies working to stay healthy and alert. Along with that, give your child daily/weekly chores to do. In many classrooms, the kids would have specific responsibilities, it would be valuable for them to have obligations at home.
When you are self-isolating with your family, think about ways to incorporate their learning into the things you do around the house. While reading books, watching videos, chores, daily discussions, or learning through audios, please think of questions or conversation starters you can have with your child. Creating meaningful conversations will only enhance their thinking and make them more engaged in their learning. If you have not already signed up for a Pinterest account, do so! There are so many amazing ideas there. You type in the topic of interest, and it will give you many options to choose from. If you want to check out my Pinterest account, I have most subject areas easily sectioned out, search Mrs. Wellington, and you will be able to connect to my page. There are many interactive and non-technology-based ideas you can use that I have pinned in the different subject areas. The Teachers Pay Teachers webpage does have some free resources but also has many resources that you can purchase if you are interested.
Here are some resources for the main different subject areas:
There is a large number of authors who are doing children’s read-aloud. This link will connect you to that list, and you can go onto each author and see their read-a loud. shorturl.at/EFQ49
The following website allows you to choose the reading strategy that you would like to focus on with your child. Once you have entered your name, write it down, so the next time you log on, you can use the same name and continue your reading. https://reading.ecb.org/
This webpage also has great advice and information on how to teach reading, https://www.readandspell.com/homeschool-reading
Scholastic is a company I’ve loved since I was a child, and they are providing free resources for home learning during this time. So happy to see companies offer this for families, https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html
Story Line also provides free story reading: https://www.storylineonline.net/
Vooks is an excellent resource for reading. It is free for the first month and then approximately $5.00 per month after the free trial.
Writing is also very valuable to maintain during this time, and it can be done in many ways, such as responding to these examples:
- And other forms of texts they have read or seen.
- To an activity, or place you have visited (I know this might be limited right now, but maybe that will change in the near future)
- To situations that might happen in the family during this time.
Sharing feelings and thoughts through writing is a great way for them to express it, and will start to develop creative writing. You can also have them research topics of interest and have them write about things that they are passionate about. Again, check out Pinterest and look up fun activities that you can do that are engaging for writing or reading.
Using a basic card deck or money can create simple math games; you can skip count, use place value, add, subtract, multiply and even divide using the cards to create small or big numbers to work with. Have a “Number of the Day” is a good daily math activity you can do with your child. Google “number of the day,” and you will find lots of great ways to incorporate a number each day using math strategies that suite your child’s age group. There are lots of YouTube videos that provide great teaching lessons. One of my favourites is “MathAntics,” he provides creative visuals and mini-lessons! Talking and asking math questions while hanging out in the house can be really fun, or using everyday items you might have. For example, using Lego to add, subtract, multiply, and even graph can be fun!
This math link will connect you to many other math resources. There are lots of options, so you may need to do some searching through them to see which best fits your child’s learning. http://tiny.cc/kn3slz
Prodigy is probably one of my favourite math resources. You will just have to set up an account for your child. Kids love this one! It makes math learning fun and interactive! https://play.prodigygame.com/
Cool Math Games is one your child may already know about, but if they don’t, check this out: https://www.coolmathgames.com/
Science and Social Studies:
National Geographic Kids has so many great articles and information about the whole world and is kid-friendly!
Create a current events book. Research a couple interesting news events that will interest your child. If they are younger, maybe use animal issue topics to engage them. Have them respond to the news piece by journaling and have some questions for them to answer that you created. Here a couple online resources that could be a good starting point, www.teachingkidsnews.com and https://www.cbc.ca/kidsnews/ . Other good options are searching up news channels, activist groups, animal websites (like WWF) to find other choices.
A great video resource is Bill Nye, the Science Guy. You can find his videos on YouTube and type in the topic you are wanting, and there might be a video for it! Kids are entertained by him, and he usually has an experiment for each video.
A new one I’ve recently discovered for Canadian Social Studies and Current Events is www.canadianteachermagazine.com
Check out www.explore.org to watch great educational videos about nature from all over the world. Viewing these with your kids will create conversations, and while watching, think of questions, you can ask them about after the video to help them generate deeper thinking.
There are Indigenous educators are offering free mini-lessons, this link will connect you to the Facebook group:
This science resource is linked to many Canadian grades: https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/013.nsf/eng/00002.html There are many topics to choose from, which then link you to a new website.
Health and Physical Education
As I mentioned above, taking advantage of those empty school grounds is a great place to get fresh air. With activity centers, libraries, and gyms closing, there are not many options.
Here’s a local company that is all about creating a positive space and developing skills for young children. Once you get to this webpage, go to the resource page, and there are lots of activities and games you can do as parents or even go under the teacher resources and see if you can adapt them for your family. Check out Growing Young Movers: http://growingyoungmovers.com/
Kids Health. Org is a great health resource. An important lesson to teach kids about right now is staying healthy and away from germs. This lesson is a fun way to teach all about germs,
https://classroom.kidshealth.org/classroom/prekto2/personal/hygiene/germs.pdf There is also teen health.org for the older kids.
Eating healthy is also important right now, and a great resource for that is: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/kids-healthy-eating-plate/ A fun way to incorporate this in their day is cooking and baking as a family. Use healthy substitutes in the food you are cooking. Being at home, eating at home, and being able to spend more time on figuring out your meals gives you a great opportunity to do it as a family! There are a few Instagram kid nutritionists that you should check out: @kids.eat.in.color and @eattherainbow_kids are great for ideas!
PINTEREST, PINTEREST, PINTEREST has sooo many ideas for crafts and other artistic ideas. However, if you are wanting other resources, here are some other webpages to check out:
If you are looking for drama or music art forms, search topics like readers theatre, making music with kids, improv, dancing techniques and you can learn some new ideas along with them!
Other Educational Resources
I’m also including other useful resources that can be applied to a bunch of different subject areas or are just fun activities to do with your kids to keep their minds going.
If you need some support in your journey of teaching your child, check out www.greatschools.org and go to the top right corner, select “parenting,” then “academics,” and there are some guides for different subject areas to help talk and teach your child.
New York Times has a created an article for a list of Kids Podcasts to check out:
Canadian Virtual Tours:
For those interesting in coding and video games try this website:
Here’s a bunch of activities that you can do with your child at home, many are science-based.
Virtual museums and zoo tours are a fun interactive way to learn and have great conversations!
Please feel free to email me if you have any questions! Stay safe and healthy, everyone!