Schools around the world are closing early or stopping classes for an extended period of time due to the Covid-19 mitigation efforts. Many school children and their parents are used to having breaks during the summer. A few trips to the pool, some video games, a vacation, and the time is up. This time we’re looking down the barrel of a five month stretch depending on the source. That’s a lot of time to fill and a lot of lessons left uncompleted or forgotten. Read on to lean about some of the on-line resources available to keep your kids engaged.
BrainPOP is an extremely well produced educational platform based on short-form videos. The videos follow Tim and his robot friend Moby as they explore every subject under the sun. From basic grade school lessons to engineering, you will be amazed at the depth exhibited in this easy to use and free system.
Shmoop is complete on-line curriculum for every level of student. From Kindergarten through SAT/ACT prep, the system is designed to replace traditional school entirely. Both video and interactive lessons are featured in a, “School On-line” method of teaching. While the entire Shmoop solution is not free, the company is offering several of its resources for no cost during the crisis.
Schoolastic is offering daily projects to keep kids engaged with learning throughout the extended break. Lessons for K-9 are free and new exercises are being added weekly.
Time4Learning was developed as an online program for homeschool families. The system features built-in lesson plans and automatic grading. Core subjects from kindergarten through twelth grade are covered. The lessons flow from one to another in a logical order and student achievements are automatically recorded. The system isn’t free, but there are plenty of demonstrations to help you decide if it is a good fit for your family.
If you’re lucky enough to own an Oculus Quest or Rift, you can find virtual trips to famous destinations all over the world in the Oculus TV App. Take a tour of the Pyramids or Cairo museum , visit the International Space Station, Dive the Great Barrier Reef, and more.
There are thousands of Podcasts from experts and Ivy league colleges that cover every subject under the sun. Some are broadcasts of actual classes. Others are discussions between multiple experts in any given field. Just browse the Educational section of your favorite Podcast app. Don’t forget, both Spotify and iTunes have Podcast support built-in.
Maybe you don’t need to take over teaching entirely? Lots of teachers are assigning plenty of homework for the duration of the crisis. What happens when your child needs help factoring polynomial prime numbers? Do you even remember what a prime number is? Lucky for you, you don’t need to there are plenty of homework helpers on-line these days. WolframAlpha, Microsoft Math Solver, and Virtual Nerd are just some of of the fantastic resources available.
People make the mistake of thinking that children (and adults) are happiest when they are free to do nothing. For most of us, that just isn’t the case, we lack the self-motivation to use our time creatively and end up spending all of it consuming other people’s work. Binge watching Netflix, YouTube, TV, pointlessly scrolling Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok are acts of consumption. If we don’t balance consumption with productivity we end up, well, unbalanced. Keep your children’s minds engaged by actively learning and producing, they’ll be much happier for it.