Loves going out and about, drinking coffee, eating chocolate, and writing about her adventures!
Published March 26th 2020
How to keep your children learning during the pandemic
In an ordinary school year, this would be the time when many schools across the Canberra region would be approaching the end of the first term, with students and teachers working hard in classrooms, and many families eagerly anticipating and preparing for the two-week long term break ahead.
But 2020 is no ordinary year.
Thanks to COVID-19 or Coronavirus, schools across Canberra have now closed for Term 1, and thousands of children in our region are now being homeschooled.
For many parents and carers, the idea of homeschooling is a very daunting one. Especially if parents and carers are also juggling with working from home which many workplaces are now requiring their staff to do. Also, many parents and carers feel that they don't have the skills to homeschool their children.
If you're a parent/carer and you're finding this whole homeschooling thing a little too overwhelming, the first thing to do is to not lose your nerve. You've got this! Remember, you are your children's first teacher. And whether you realise it or not, you have been teaching them every single day of their lives.
The second thing for you to do is to check with your children's teachers that your children have all the home learning resources they need. Many schools would have sent their students home with class-based learning materials or learning packs that they would be expected to work on during these pupil-free days. And make sure that you keep up to date with your emails. Your children's school and teachers will be communicating regularly with you and keeping you informed of all the latest developments. Our schools are really doing everything they can and working hard to make sure that your children continue with their education.
Finally, if you are stuck for ideas or just want some more, then here are ten to keep you going until the end of Term 1!
1. Reading Eggs and Mathseeds online programs. Reading Eggs is an excellent online reading program that helps children learn to read. Your children may already have a subscription to this program via their school. If they do, make sure they go on it every day! If they don't, you can register your children for the program for a no-obligation 30-day free trial. Subscriptions then start at $12.99 per month, with 50% off for your second child.
Mathseeds is another excellent online learning program for children which teaches them core maths and problem-solving skills. You can also trial it for free for 30 days.
2. Scholastic Learn At Home projects. Scholastic Learn At Home offers plenty of projects to keep your kids thinking, learning, reading, and growing during these pupil free days! Projects are grouped according to grade level and include a wide range of topics and different ways of learning about the topic such as reading online books, watching videos about the topic, and ideas for follow-up craft and writing activities.
This is a fantastic online resource and I absolutely recommend it.
3. Free audiobooks from Audible.
You and your children can listen to dozens of free audiobooks via Audible , Amazon's audio platform. It is accessible from all devices and has audiobooks available in six languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian, German and Japanese.
4. ACT Libraries online resources. Our libraries may be closed during this time but there are plenty of great online resources available for free for library cardholders on the ACT Libraries website including kids' movies and shows, a colourful and easy to use interactive online version of the Encyclopędia Britannica, and fun online learning games for young children. All you need to access these free resources is your library card!
5. Nature Play CBR. Nature Play CBR is an initiative by the ACT Government established to increase the time children spend in unstructured play outdoors and in nature. This is their amazing Indoor Adventures Survival Guide. And because we're now in autumn, why not give Things to Do in Autumn activities a go?
6. We're going on a bear hunt...
Residents around Canberra have been placing teddy bears in their windows for local kids to spot on a bear hunt. It was inspired by the classic children's book, We're Going On A Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. Why not join in the fun and go bear hunting in your neighbourhood? (Tip: hide bears in your garden and home too before you head out, just in case you don't see any in your suburb). Then when you return home, have a teddy bears' picnic!
7. Fun with Blocks.
If you have younger children, then I'm guessing they have a bucket or box full of wooden blocks. So why not use these blocks in their learning? Find out how you can here.
8. DIY Science projects at KiwiCo Kids at Home. KiwiCo offers heaps of exciting DIY science projects that you and your children can do at home, with age-appropriate projects, daily DIY challenges and downloadable worksheets and resources. Go here to begin your projects!
9. Smart games by Orchard Games and Thinkfun. Orchard Games and Thinkfun create fun, educational, smart games for children. You can order them online via Amazon , Parent Direct or Discount Toy Co.