Educational Ideas at Home

Hey friends!  How’s everyone holding up?  The world has gone a bit crazy right now, and I just want to send everyone a giant internet hug!  I normally don’t post things that aren’t book related, but I’ve had several friends reach out for help as school closures begin to impact so many, so I thought it might be helpful for someone else as well. 

As you may or may not know, I am a former public school teacher and current homeschool mom. Our homeschool adventure started unexpectedly and abruptly, so believe me when I say, I see you.  I feel your concerns, and I know we are going to be okay.

Take a deep breath.  This is something you were not preparing for.  No one expects you to suddenly gain a masters in education in your sleep. Be kind to yourself over the next few weeks!  If your school has a plan in place, great! Follow that. If you are attempting to organize your own learning at home, let me remind you that kids don’t need 7+ hours of worksheets.  Save your sanity.  

Below, I have compiled two lists.  The first is a short list of easy activities you might consider doing.  This is not a complete list, but hopefully it will give you a few ideas.  If you want more, I can make another list next week. 🙂 Below that, I have included a list of resources companies are offering for free or at a discount right now.  I have been amazed by how many companies and organizations have stepped up during this time of need!

Fun Learning Activities:

Reading

  1. This is probably the easiest.  Cuddle up on the couch with a book and read together.  
  2. You read to them.
  3. They read to you.
  4. They read silently. (Maybe you read silently alongside them? Set an example while you tend to your TBR list!)
  5. Talk about the story.
    • Talk about the characters.
    • Discuss similarities to your lives.
    • This isn’t a question/ answer session.  Have a conversation. 
  6.  Color a picture or write a letter to someone about the book.
  7. Read to a pet or favorite toy.  My little guy loves to read to our dog or his favorite snuggler!  It gives him a new audience and is great practice!
  8. Listen to an audiobook during a relaxation period.  Then, talk about it.
  9. For young learners: Play go fish with alphabet cards (capital and lowercase matches).  Say the sounds as well as the letter name. Cards can be made index cards or cardstock if you have them, but paper will work as well.  Kids can even illustrate them with an animal or object that begins with that letter.

Many local libraries are offering home delivery or curb pick-up.  I also encourage you to check out their digital resources. We love Libby and Hoopla, and they are both free to use with our library cards!  They have both ebooks and audiobooks.

Math

  1. Play store. (This is a huge favorite at my house.)
    • Grab a stack of toys and all of your loose change.  Have younger kiddos practice using the correct coins to purchase the toys.  
    • Can you do it with only pennies?  Only dimes? Fewest coins used?
  2. Have older students practice making change.
  3. Teach older students how to balance a checking account.
  4. Practice fractions with cooking or measuring cups and water.
  5. Pick up sticks/toys/Legos and count.  Who can pick up the most?
  6. Sort toys/Legos, pasta by color, shape, and/or size.
  7. Use Legos or building blocks to make shapes.  Younger kids 2D / Older kids 3D

Science / Social Studies

  • This is a great time to explore some of the virtual tours online.  However, instead of rushing through each activity, try to read books on the same topics, develop a list of questions on the topic then research for answers.

PE

  • Exercise Bingo
    • We created a bingo card with easy exercises (lunges, jumping jacks, bunny hops, etc.).  We roll a die to see how many of that activity we need to do. (You’d be surprised by the energy that can be burned through this!)
  • Yoga
    • So many videos can be found on YouTube or Amazon Prime for free!  This is a great way to calm down or start your day!
  • Play active games
    • Tag
    • Races
    • Obstacle Courses
    • Play in the yard

Art

  • Painting / Drawing / mixing colors
  • This is a great opportunity to introduce your kiddos to a new hobby!  Break out that sewing machine, that bin of yarn for knitting or crocheting, or those scrapbooking supplies!  

These are just a few ideas of easy, fun things that can be done at home to have fun and learn. 

Resources

Again, mix and match what works for you!  These companies are offering services for free or at a reduced rate.

Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems!

https://www.facebook.com/events/2544781839094130/

A huge list of educational companies and the resources they are offering

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1t3r618pd8MAi6V87dG2D66PtiKoHdHusBpjPKXgm36w/htmlview?fbclid=IwAR06ZRA6Dd4rAgQPI-HMXLfvzmwcvNj7s-uKLGE2d1r4erR48KsAgqktbl0&sle=true#gid=0

Scholastic Learn at Home 

https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html

ABCmouse, Adventure Academy, and ReadingIQ

https://www.ageoflearning.com/schools

Virtual Tours

Variety of Museums and Galleries

https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/museums-galleries/museums-with-virtual-tours

Discovery Education

These are just a few of the many, many resources available at this time.  Again, take a deep breath. Do the best you can. Take it day by day. Listen to the experts.  That is all any of us can do right now. We are all in this together!

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