- Scholastic Learning at Home Resources: Organized by grade level, there are a number of resources for ages PreK - 9th grade.
- Wide Open School: Is from the good folks at Common Sense Media and has their resources organized based on whether you are an educator or family and includes material ranging from PreK - 12th grade.
- KQED: At home learning resources
- Paper Pinecone: a nearly comprehensive list of online learning resources offered free during the Coronavirus pandemic
Social Emotional Well Being
The folks at CASEL, international leaders in social emotional learning, offer these valuable points and resources:
- Pay close attention to your own feelings of stress or anxiety.Practice continued self-care strategies, including eating healthy, getting enough sleep, exercising, and finding time to take breaks. If you find yourself overwhelmed by negative thoughts, find ways to reframe your thinking. Seek out needed mental health support for yourself or loved ones.
- Acknowledge and support children in processing their full range of emotions and concerns, while offering calm and reassurance. Consider how children will react at different ages and identify appropriate ways to respond. Find ways for children to express their feelings through conversation, music, art, dance, writing, or other activities. Tune into how they’re feeling throughout the day, and offer quiet time or breaks as needed.
- Provide age-appropriate information and accurate answers about the news while limiting excessive television or social media. Help children assess facts from misinformation and stereotyping related to the disease.
- Share with children what you’re doing to keep them safe. Help children learn about and practice proactive strategies, such as frequent handwashing, to stay healthy. In addition to promoting healthy practices, this can help them feel a greater sense of control.
- Whenever possible, provide consistency in daily routines including meals and bedtimes. While school closures or changes in schedules may be inevitable, consistent routines can help foster a sense of safety.
- Practice patience when routines are necessarily disrupted, which can lead to potential behavior issues or meltdowns. Try to comfort children while setting boundaries. This is also an opportunity to create new schedules and routines that promote family time and healthy practices, such as taking a morning walk together, creating a “coping kit”, or adding favorite family songs to handwashing routines.
- Help children and adolescents think of creative ways to maintain their friendships and social connections. This may include writing emails or letters to friends, or scheduling time to use the phone or age-appropriate technology to communicate with peers. Remember that your own social connections are important as well, and make time to reach out by phone or virtually to family and friends.
- Come up with fun alternatives to show signs of affection while minimizing the spread of germs. For example, elbow bumps or footshakes.
- Proactively reach out to schools and community organizations to support you in meeting any additional needs your family may have, such as access to meals or support services.
Writing & Spelling
- Education.com Writing Activities (All grades): Free writing activities that you can sort by grade or skill.
- Fabled Kids (All grades): Gives kids the chance to tell their stories online. Create a free account and start writing!
- Storybird (All grades): With a unique collection of 10,000+ images, Storybird allows students to choose art that inspires them to write. They can then publish their stories online and view stories submitted from other kids around the world.
- OT Mom Fine Motor Activities (All grades): Continue to strengthen your child’s hand and finger muscles and improve dexterity to improve handwriting.
- Reading Adventure Packs (Grades K-3): Categorized by themes, these Reading Adventure packs provide fun and simple hands-on activities for parents to do at home. These activities can be used for any book that suits the themes!
- Unite for Literacy (Grades PreK-1): A collection of audio and picture books with a read-aloud option.
- Audible (All grades): Free access to children and young adult audio books for as long as schools are closed.
- Story Time from Space (All grades): Astronauts reading books in space! Whoa.
- KidLit Read Out Loud and Storyline Online (All grades): Read alouds with published authors. href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbqmj1hzxuAXsjk08k-KP6w">Storytime at Awnie's House: She reads a range of children's book on youtube.
Math & Science
- Math at Home Toolkit (Ages 5 or below): Practical ideas for providing everyday math experiences to young learners.
- Card Games (Ages 6+): A compilation of 16 card games to build math skills!
- Dreambox (All grades): Math learning program with strong conceptual content and visual modeling. The program learns along with your child and challenges them at their level and pace.
- Math for Love (All grades): A rich resource of games and activities to engage your inner mathematician. Some are free and some aren’t.
- Zeno Math Games (All grades): Games and activities designed for families. Just print the PDFs and/or grab a few household materials and you’re ready to go!
- Exploratorium Science Snacks (All grades): Hands-on, teacher-tested, and simple at-home activities. Explore the website to delve deeper into science!
- Virtual Field Trips (All grades): Take a virtual field trip to see the sights!
- Science Experiments for Kids (All grades): Simple, fun science experiments. Adult supervision recommended.
- BrainPop and BrainPopJr. (All grades): Educational videos, games, activities and quizzes about hundred’s of topics. Please email your child’s teacher for login information.
- Scientific American's Bring Science Home: Lots of fun experiments and activities for a broad range of ages, many using simple materials you already have around the house.
- Hour of Code: Some really great activities for a wide range of learners at every stage of their computer programming development.
Music & Art
- KidLit Ready Set Draw! (All grades): Join illustrators as they teach you how to draw!
- In the Art Room (All grades): A collection of video art lessons created by an elementary art teacher.
- Music Games for Kids (All grades): A compilation of music games that combine listening and physical movement.
- Chrome Music Lab (All grades): Explore different features of sound or create your own music.
- SFS Kids (Grades 2-5): Interactive and educational online modules that allow kids to explore music and the history of music.
Social Emotional Wellbeing Advice from CASEL
- Acknowledge that both children and adults may feel worried or stressed as they’re going through the school and work day. Provide opportunities for them to share and process their emotions, as well as structures that allow them to take individual time to reflect and gather their thoughts. Use existing SEL programs to help provide these opportunities and promote empathy for one another and those most impacted by the virus.
- Engaging students in developmentally appropriate conversations and lessons to discuss the news around COVID-19. This can include assessing facts from misinformation, as well as opportunities for students to develop and suggest strategies for their school or community to prevent the spread of disease. (This resource from the New York Times may help.)
- Whenever possible, provide consistency in daily school routines. While school closures or changes in schedules may be inevitable, consistent routines and procedures in the meantime help reduce stress and facilitate learning for all students.
- Provide families with consistent communication, as well as guidance and support in talking with their children about coronavirus. (This page includes several resources for learners of all ages, including daily tips for parents and educators via email, webinars, and resources for talking to students about the virus.)
- Consider the different needs of students and families when making response plans, and connect them to necessary resources. (This includes ensuring that response plans will fully meet the needs of students and families who are homeless or in transitional living situations, may not have easy access to computers or internet, receive free or reduced price meals through school, or rely on support services at their schools. This site has a wealth of resources, including some for multilingual homes.)
Movement and Physical Development
- Go Noodle (All grades): Get active with some live videos! Free family access.
- Cosmic Kids Yoga (All grades): Yoga videos geared towards kids to reduce stress and regulate emotions. Fun themes and simple instructions.
- Active for Life (All grades): A range of activities for kids with clear instructions and simple visuals.
- Kids Workouts (All grades): High quality videos of workouts led by superheroes!
- PE E-Learn (All grades): A set of fun games that requires no internet connection and little equipment.
- Video Sets (All grades): A compilation of videos similar to “Minute to Win It” ideas. Most ideas require equipment.
Talking with Children About the Coronavirus
- Fred Rogers Center - Talking to Young Children about the Coronavirus(link is external)
- CDC - Talking to young children about coronavirus(link is external)
- NASP(link is external) - Talking to children about COVID-19
- National Association of School Psychologists: Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
- New York Times: How to Talk to Kids about Coronavirus
- Child Mind Institute: Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus
- Open Circle: How to Talk to Kids about Coronavirus
- PBS Parents: How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus
- New York School Talk: Educator Shares Tips for Talking to Kids About Coronavirus Fears
- NPR: What To Say To Kids When The News Is Scary
- NPR: Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus
- Livescience: The Ultimate Kids’ Guide to the New Coronavirus
Social Studies and History
- Annenberg Learner/Social Studies & History A collection of lesson plans related to teaching a variety of social studies topics.
- Big History Project
- This is a free, online social studies course that emphasizes skill development as students draw mind-blowing connections between past, present and future. BHP delivers a big picture look at the world, and helps students develop a framework to organize what they’re learning both in and out of school.
- Bringing History Home Instructional units sequentially develop student skills and knowledge in history across the K-5 grade levels.
- C3 Teachers/Student Inquiries - C3 Teachers is pleased to publish these inquiries collected at different grade levels in a vary to content topics from around the country. Check out C3’s COVID-19 Compelling Questions Catharsis. Questions are organized into disciplines that make up Dimension 2 of the C3 Framework.
- Digital History Reader (U.S. History) This online learning experience is designed to enable students to develop the analytical skills employed by historians.
- Digital History Reader (European History) This online learning experience is designed to enable students to develop the analytical skills employed by historians.
- Docs Teach from the National Archives This online tool for teaching with documents has a collection of activities and lesson plans crafted by educators using documents from the National Archives
- Facing History's Support for Teachers During the COVID-19 Outbreak Facing History's current resources to support educators during COVID-19.
- History for Kids This is a free online history network that provides games, videos, worksheets on many historical events.
- Historical Thinking Matters Each student investigations include a short movie, historical sources, guiding questions, and an essay prompt that can be emailed to the teacher.
- Smithsonian's History Explorer - Our Story Designed to help children and adults enjoy exploring history together through children's literature, everyday objects, and hands-on activities.
- PBS Learning Media U.S. History interactive lessons, videos, documents, etc.
- The World History Digital Education Foundation provide teaching module on C OVID-19 In partnership with the National Council for the Social Studies, the World History Digital Education Foundation offers below a set of free resources for Social Studies teachers to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. The Learning Module is composed of 3 days:
- Day 1: historical comparison to the Influenza Pandemic of 1918
- Day 2: geographic analysis of diffusion and population pyramid analyses of several countries
- Day 3: examining globalization and government responses to the crisis
- Pandemic This history professor suggests keeping a diary during the pandemic.
- A Quick Start Guide to Distance Learning Many ideas to use for distance learning.
- Understanding Our World An open-source literacy-based K - 5 grade social studies curriculum.
Neurodiversity in the Time of COVID-19
For Fun -- Museums, Galleries, and Zoos
- Museums and Galleries
- Akron Art Museum – View some of the museum’s 5,000 pieces of artwork.
- The British Museum – A virtual tour featuring some of the museum’s famous artifacts.
- The Cleveland Museum of Art – Learn about current, past, and upcoming exhibitions featured at this museum.
- Canton Museum of Art – View virtual tours of the museum’s past exhibits.
- Children’s Museum Cleveland – The museum is sharing stories, crafts and activities students can do at home while schools are closed.
- Cincinnati Art Museum – Explore the museum’s collections containing more than 67,000 works of art.
- Google Art Project – Online exhibits from some of the most famous museums around the world such as the Van Gogh Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Art Institute of Chicago, and more.
- Ohio History Connection – Learn about Ohio’s rich history from the Ohio History Connection.
- #metkids – The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website made for, with, and by kids! Take a time machine to explore works from my than 5,000 years of art years.
- Musee d’Orsay – View works of art from Monet, Cezanne, Gaugin, and other French artists at this museum in Paris.
- Musee du Louvre – View some of the world’s most famous masterpieces on display in Paris, France.
- National Gallery of Art – Online exhibitions, video, and audio from the Middle Ages to the present.
- National Museum of Nation History – Tour the Hall of Mammals, Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals, Hall of Fossils, and more.
- National Museum of the United States Air Force – Explore the history of military aviation including aerospace vehicles and missiles.
- National Women’s History Museum – Learn about women who have made history in the U.S. in these online exhibits.
- Zoos and Aquariums
- Akron Zoo – Find fun facts about each of the animals living at the Akron Zoo.
- Columbus Zoo and Aquarium – From A to Z, learn about more animals from this Columbus Zoo Animal Guide.
- Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden – Keep learning while the zoo is closed with a Home Safari video highlighting an animal each day along with an accompanying activity.
- Cleveland Metroparks Zoo – This resource library features information on the animals living at this zoo.
- Greater Cleveland Aquarium – Watch the sharks, moray eels, stingrays, angelfish, and a giant barracuda in a 230,000-gallon shark exhibit.
- Houston Zoo – This zoo is home to rhinos, chimps, elephants, and even ants, and you can see them live online.
- Maryland Zoo – Live views of penguins, giraffes, flamingos and goats, including during feeding times.
- Monterey Bay Aquarium – Watch sea otters, sharks, jellyfish and more.
- Reid Park Zoo – Zoo cams featuring giraffes, lemurs, grizzly bears and lions.
- San Diego Zoo – Activities, videos and games help you learn about all the animals living at the San Diego Zoo.
- Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute – View the zoo’s elephants, pandas, naked mole-rats and lions in their habitats at the zoo.
- Toledo Zoo & Aquarium – Learn about the zoo’s conservation efforts of many endangered species.
- Zoo Atlanta – Check out the zoo’s live PandaCam.
Parent Tools and Strategies for At-Home Learning
Alena Troutman, CLC Support Services Coordinator
Here is a list of strategies I have found to be helpful and some links for you to check out:
- Frequent breaks. – These can be set by a time limit or as needed. It really depends on each child and what they need. Often the set structure of work for 20 minutes and you have a 5 minute break to do A or B keeps in line with the much needed structure and routine that students who struggle to maintain focus and attention benefit from.
- Chunking. – With the flood of info we are receiving in our current learning environment, breaking information down into smaller and more manageable parts is often helpful for everyone. It is especially helpful if focus and attention are difficult. Being presented with smaller bits of information at a time is less stimulating and overwhelming. For example, do the first five math problems then check in rather than the whole page. Or read one paragraph and answer a couple questions before moving on. (I often recommend students read all the questions they will be asked prior to reading the text, so if they find the answer in text, they can go ahead and answer rather than try to hold it all in their brain.)
- Hold the space. – So many big thoughts and feelings are happening right now. Hold the space for children to work through them. Social and emotional support is important. I don’t want to say more important than academics, but I also do. They have to learn to function in the new environment we’re in, and sometimes that means we hold the space for them to do so. Academics will happen in due time. Social emotional care and skill building sets them up for lifetime success in many areas.
- You are not expected to be a teacher! – For some parents this may be their background, but not for most. Even if you have an educational background, teaching your own child is a vastly different situation. We are not expecting you to instantly learn to become a teacher. It’s ok that you may not know a math concept or remember the specifics of writing a five paragraph essay. It’s also ok if you email your child’s teacher and say we just can’t do this assignment. Which leads to the last point.
- It’s ok if you don’t get every single thing done. – Go ahead and take this expectation off your plate. Yes, effort is important and teaching perseverance is a great skill we all need. However, the stress should not overwhelm you and your family’s emotional well-being. Family time is just as important, if not more so. Connection will get us through this, not a tally of how many assignments you’ve turned in. Connection is the best! Also if academics is something you value and have the capacity in your family to do it all, that works too! You know your child, yourself, and your family. We encourage parents to find the best balance you can, do what is manageable while still caring for your family’s overall well-being.
- Suport for Kids with ADHD Article: https://childmind.org/article/giving-kids-with-adhd-support-and-structure-during-the-coronavirus-crisis/
- From the International Rescue Committee and geared more generally, but the education tips and reminders are solid in helping us remember to care for ourselves as caregivers: https://www.rescue.org/article/education-tips-parents-during-coronavirus-crisis
- Edutopia Article with many links to further resources for Social and Emotional Learning: https://www.edutopia.org/social-emotional-learning-parent-resources
- Reassuring Children: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/parenting-new-generation/202003/reassuring-children-during-the-covid-19-pandemic
- GoZen videos on Helping to Manage Anxiety around COVID-19. This blog has many great articles for families. It mainly focuses on anxiety however, it also has other helpful strategies: https://gozen.com/coronavirus-anxiety/
- How to care for your Mental Health article. Self-care is important too: https://afsp.org/taking-care-of-your-mental-health-in-the-face-of-uncertainty/?fbclid=IwAR27J7l0FHmdxRgrwggDzr67rRLmuSI6tbBdqQg07CVyhSf0zed3B-sIeIg
- Montreal Museum is offering art therapy online every Friday. I know it’s another online activity, often prompts can help when you feel stuck and need a creative outlet. As a trained art therapist, the benefit I have found in the creative process is amazing! Ask Ms. Alena about a time art therapy was found during times of trauma, so fascinating how cultures have used it!: https://www.mtlblog.com/things-to-do/canada/qc/montreal/montreals-museum-of-fine-arts-has-free-online-art-therapy-that-you-can-do-from-your-couch
Ask me more specific questions any time. I will do my best to answer them and if I don’t know, I’ll find the answer!