As you know, I am predominantly a DIY blogger but one portion of my blog pertains to parenting. Like many of you, we are navigating our new normal as homeschool parents who work from home and self quarantine to safe guard our families against getting sick with covid-19.
While we have mine and the girls’ school work to occupy a lot of time, and we can go outside to occupy a bit more time, sometimes we still find ourselves a little bored and lonely. Thankfully, there are plenty of fun and useful ways to bond as a family , and to teach your kiddos a little something in the process.
Everyone needs to eat, and once you’re tired of all the takeout options, you might as well cook at home. I’m kidding, sort of. In all seriousness, cooking is hands on, a cross curricular activity and something your kids will need to know as adults. You don’t have to make a full meal, you could even make something as simple as a tray of cookies. My child hates math but she loves cooking. She doesn’t realize we are practicing math skills when we cook. She just thinks it’s grown up to help mom with dinner.
2. Take a nature walk
Recess at school serves the same purpose as recess when you’re schooling at home. Fresh air and activity give the brain a refresh. You can make a science lesson out of it and go on a nature walk. You can go on a nature scavenger hunt and find rocks, acorns or flowers. Or, you can go outside and simply enjoy the great outdoors.
3. Roast some marshmallows
This one requires lots and lots of supervision. Reward your kiddos for their hard work by allowing them to make a few s’mores. Even if you only make one s’more, they will love it!
4. Paint a picture or make a craft
We made a bird painting from a little paint and our kids’ feet and they turned out so cute. You can also just hand your kiddos some paper and colored pencils and let them take the reigns- creativity at its finest!
What sort of “sanity saving learning activities are you all using?
I am sure this is true for all of you- but all of our usual activities are canceled. No school, no church, and no dance classes. No church and no fitness classes. We have been struggling to find ways to fill our time and make sure we stick to a reasonable routine.
This schedule has been widely circulated on Facebook, and while it is a good model, we have been using the schedule below. I am a teacher and during the summer, we “light homeschool” our kids. We can’t truly call it homeschool because we don’t meet the hourly requirements for actual homeschool, but we do still sit down and do school for about three and a half to four hours a day. We use this schedule:
Following a more extensive schedule would be hard for us, and heaven knows a combination third grade, pre-k class throws up its own challenges. We chose a schedule that doesn’t look like much but works for us.
In addition to creating a schedule, there are some “distance education” resources for teaching your kids, worshipping and working out.
There are so many websites you can choose from to learn at home! If you want worksheets or written practice, check out K12 Learner or Super Teacher Worksheets.
But for more engaging, interactive learning, we like to use these sites:
No Red Ink– This website has kids fill in their own personal likes and interests, and then it creates sentences for them to correct, and it makes those sentences about the things they’re interested in. I use this at school in my classroom, too. Best of all, it’s free.
ReadWorks– This is a great website for test prep. You can assign passages by grade level, or you can assign them by topic. You can complete them online, or you can print them off. You can do a passage a day, or however you choose. You can also enable the “read-aloud” feature and the kids can listen and follow along while they read. It’s also free.
NatGeoKids– You can read and watch videos about animals, natural disasters, etc. You can take quizzes and play games.
PBS Kids– You can play games or watch videos. There are also clips from PBS kids shows that you can watch.
Storyline Online– Award-winning actors read children’s books aloud on this YouTube channel. The videos are entertaining and they’re animated, too.
Quizlet– This is great for studying words and definitions, math facts and spelling words. You can choose from flash cards, and two different games. There is both a free and a paid version.
Splash Math– This website is subscription based, but it isn’t expensive. Just select your kids’ grade, and they can practice math skills that are taught in their grade using games. It’s a lot of fun and my kid loves it. You can also set weekly goals, and the website will email you a report on what your kid completes each week.
ACT Academy– ACT Academy has games, lessons, videos, assessments, and more for all grade levels and all subject areas. There is a premium version where you have access to everything. I highly recommend getting the premium version, as we use this one a lot.
Of course, worship is best when you’re among your church family, but if your congregation includes elderly people, immunocompromised people, or young children, then you know this isn’t feasible right now. What you can do is start a new Bible study you can do with your church friends through Facetime or Facebook live. You an also find a plethora of churches offering online services. Here are some of the resources we are currently using:
YouTube– While I direct linked Lifeway Christian Resources, there are a number of great worship resources on YouTube. You can directly search for sermons by a pastor you love. I have enjoyed watching Charles Stanley and Josh McDowell while at home. You can also find Cedarrock Kids, Veggie Tales, and LifeTree Kids.
Children’s Sermons for Kids– These are short, scripture based and include a lot of activities that go right along with the sermon. They’re perfect for Sunday School lessons when we are back at church, too.
Fitness Blender has free, full length workouts that are for all levels. There are a number of them available. There are workouts that use equipment, and workouts that don’t use equipment. Did I mention they are free?
You can also go outside and take a walk, if you get tired of being in the house.
Please comment below and share your favorite resources. I am always looking for new ideas.