We know that missing school and staying at home for long periods of time to prevent the spread of COVID-19 can be daunting for both kids and parents, so we’ve prepared some useful tips and resources to help your family during this transition. Our hope is that these resources and ideas for fun and educational activities to do with your kids at home will help alleviate, even in the slightest way, any anxiety or stress you may be feeling right now as a parent trying to navigate this uncertain situation with your kids.
Create a Schedule with your Kids
While it may be our parental instinct to first try and find as many educational tools and resources for our kids, the first thing we actually want to do before we look for resources is to sit down as a family and create a realistic plan or schedule for everyone.
Kids learn best when they feel safe and are a part of a structured environment. Creating a realistic schedule at home that’s similar to a schedule that they follow while at school will help them maintain and further develop their academic curiosity at home.
Here’s an example schedule for your kids:
If you haven’t made a schedule for your kids yet, check out homeschooling blogs and materials from learning centers about how to create the best schedules for your kids.
Academic Supplements at Home
Once you’ve created a schedule for your kids, you’ll now want to spend some time researching and selecting the best educational resources for your kids. Many schools have designed online curriculums for their students during this time. If your child’s school has provided you with some resources or tools, you should first start getting familiar with these tools and incorporating this curriculum to your child’s schedule. If you are not provided with an online curriculum or you want to supplement your child’s curriculum with other materials, here are some additional tools and websites we recommend you take a look at.
Scholastic, an educational publishing company based in New York, is providing free resources for kids who have to stay at home during COVID-19. According to the child’s grade, Scholastic offers four separate learning experiences for 20 days. This free resource will provide your kids with articles, stories, videos, and fun learning challenges.
This website provides free worksheets for pre-kindergarten to high school students covering an array of subjects taught at school for that grade level. If you have a subject or topic that you want to provide your child with supplement materials for, this is an easy website where you can print worksheets for extra practice.
Fun Virtual Activities at Home
Google Arts & Culture teamed up with over 500 museums and galleries around the world to bring everyone virtual tours and online exhibits of some of the most famous museums around the world.
This award-winning series of six short videos invites viewers around the world to virtually visit The Met's art and architecture in a fresh, immersive way. These videos are created using spherical 360° technology allowing viewers to explore some of the Museum's iconic spaces like never before.
Visit the museum's exhibition rooms and galleries, contemplate the façades of the Louvre...Come along on a virtual tour and enjoy the view.
Staying Healthy at Home
These websites specifically catered for kids provide guidance on how to keep you and your family healthy and active while staying at home.
Talking to your Kids about COVID-19
While you and your family are staying at home and watching the news your kids might start to ask questions about COVID-19. Here are some resources on how to talk about all these changes and what’s happening right now with your kids.
Public health emergencies are not easy for anyone to understand or accept. Understandably, many kids may feel frightened and confused. As parents and caring adults, we can help soothe some of this anxiety by listening to their concerns and responding in a supportive manner. If explaining COVID-19 to your kids makes you feel like you're standing in the middle of an intricate maze, here are some materials that we think will be useful in helping you have a meaningful conversation about this issue with your kids.
As public conversations around coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) increase, children may worry about themselves, their family, and friends getting ill with COVID-19. Parents can play an important role in helping children make sense of what they hear in a way that is honest, accurate, and minimizes anxiety or fear. The CDC has created clear guidance to help adults have conversations with children about COVID-19 and ways they can avoid getting and spreading the disease.
Here are the most important points:
- Remain calm and reassuring.
- Make yourself available to listen and to talk.
- Pay attention to what children see or hear on television, radio, or online.
- Provide information that is honest and accurate.
- Teach children everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs.
Jessica Grose, a writer for the New York Times suggested several important points when talking to you kids about COVID-19:
- Assess what your child knows
- Process your own anxiety first
- Don’t dismiss your child’s fears
- Talk at an age-appropriate level
- Emphasize good hygiene
- Frame school closures as a positive
Jacqueline Sperling, PhD suggests starting your conversation with your child about COVID-19 by asking whether they have any questions about what’s going on. These questions will help you understand what your child knows so far and find out what they are most concerned about. Below are four common questions your child might ask.
- What is the coronavirus?
- How do you catch the coronavirus?
- Why are some people wearing masks? Should I wear a mask?
- Can you die from coronavirus?
For the suggested responses, please check this article.