AUSTIN, Texas — In many areas, only essential businesses are allowed to remain open, and that has forced many parents to work from home and become teachers overnight.
We've put together some resources for you to help you keep your kids preoccupied and learning at home.
You can check out some fun apps and websites that offer free subscriptions and services to parents. Here are some examples:
- Scholastic offers lessons from Pre-K through ninth grade. They include all kinds of lessons, even some virtual museum tours. It is chock full of great information for kids of any age.
- PBS Kids offers a new weekday newsletter that has activities and tips you can use to help kids play and learn at home.
- Club Sci Kidz is a great site to teach kids about science and technology. The best part of this site is the experiments – everything from creating a contraption to dropping an egg safely from a balcony to growing crystals.
- Mystery Science provides all kinds of science lessons for kids complete with experiments. Find great lessons for kindergarten through fifth graders.
- Beanstalk offers interactive classes for younger kids. These include lessons about how bubbles work to life on a farm.
- Scratch is another great resource created by MIT. If you want to teach your kid to code, you should check out this site, which is also an app that you can use on your phone. It allows children to program and share interactive media including stories, games and animation with people from all over the world. There is a junior version for kids between the ages of 5 to 7, as well.
- Khan Academy is offering free live stream lessons during the pandemic at 2 p.m. CDT every day. This site offers free lessons in math, science and humanities from kindergarten through the early years of college. Students can use exercises, quizzes and instructional videos to learn and master skills. They will get immediate feedback and encouragement.
- Duolingo is a site and app that teaches different languages.
- Math Games is another always-free site that offers all kinds of fun free math skills tests for kids between first and eighth grade.
- Prodigy is another free site that turns math into video game fun and even allows kids to challenge and compete against their friends. You can get updates on your child’s progress.
- Circletime hosts lessons for kids up to the age of six. These are interactive, creative and fun and incorporate everything from fitness to food.
- Bamboo works with Alexa and offers all kinds of interactive lessons in math, listening and comprehension and social studies. You can even track your child’s progress.
- HippoCampus offers 7,000 free videos for middle school through college students on all kinds of educational topics.
- TedEd is geared toward students and offers great material that you expect from the adult version only in lesson form. You can even customize lessons for your kids.
- Read Together Be Together is bringing celebrities together to read some of the most popular Penguin Random House books. They host a real-time storytime every day live at 1 p.m. CDT with celebrities such as Jennifer Garner.
Although many museums are closed, Google has partnered with several of the most famous museums to offer virtual tours. Some of these museums include the Guggenheim, the British Museum in London and even the National Air and Space Museum where you can take a virtual tour inside the space shuttle discovery.
You can take virtual tours of some of the most famous works of art. The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC even has an exhibit featuring early American fashion.
Zoos and aquariums all across the country are also closed to the public, but many of them are still offering a fun way to learn from home with live webcams. Here are some examples:
KVUE talked to some parents about how they juggle the new tasks and what tips they have for you.
Sara Koprowski is the director of curriculum and instruction for Keller Independent School District. She's also a mom.
She has four tips and tricks on how to manage working from home, teaching, and parenting.
Be realistic: Don’t focus on “re-creating” school or schedules. It will look different at home. This may be one to two hours broken up over the course of one day for an elementary-age student. Meanwhile, a high school student may be able to maintain five to six hours of work.
Read, read, read: Give your child exposure to books, conversation and new vocabulary. This could be a walk around the yard naming things that you see or going on a house hunt for things that begin with a certain letter.
Be ready: Prepare the evening before for your children's learning. Get supplies out that they may need. Help them set up their work environment.
Remember grace: Reach out to your child’s teacher when you need assistance or feel overwhelmed. Remember they are still working and are here for you.
Other parents have also suggested creating schedules for you and your kids and to carve out breaks for some fun during the day.
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