In times of uncertainty, children can be very resilient. They tend to use their imaginations to retreat into a world within themselves. The creativity they possess can be expressed in many ways. Oftentimes, mishaps during simple tasks are camouflaged as learning opportunities.
As they are observed completing tasks, essentially during playtime, their inquisitiveness and passions begin to surface. Unknown skills become more familiar and tested. They start to connect their experiences and understanding. They embrace their abilities and limitations within their environments. Through adventure and discovery, is how they begin to interpret, understand, and eventually shape the world to leave their lasting imprint, someday.
As we plan forward, to ensure our children and parents have access to educational resources during this time of remote learning, Plans of Action Houston has compiled:
- 8 Quick Tips to Prepare Parents to Teach
- 5 Engaging Activities for Children and Parents
- 20 Educational/Resourceful websites
8 Quick Tips to Prepare Parents to Teach
Shelter In Place/Stay-at-Home
While teaching children from home, they should be taught the benefits of social distancing and communal connecting. Converse with them honestly, on their level, about what is going on in our world today. Prepare for the worse but pray for the best. Take accountability for having a transition plan just in case a parent or child requires quartining. Communication is key and helps to eliminate the false narrative from others.
With supervision, guidelines and healthy tech boundaries, children can learn how to reconnect with teachers, mentors, coaches and friends via zoom or other technological platforms. Socialization is pivotal to a child’s overall development. Through creativity and research, parents can provide remote opportunities to help kids stay connected with friends and teachers.
Each child is unique. Their learning abilities and skills vary. Each subject for children begins at their level of understanding. While there is so much material to choose from, ensure lessons are scaffolded. Slowly but surely introduce them to new material and help them to reach the next level.
Learning is Fun
When children are inundated with too much information they may become confused, frustrated or even withdrawn. Ensure some of the lessons that you choose are in the form of games, puzzles, and hands on activities. Manipulatives are always great for kids. Learning can be very enjoyable with the right tools and reinforcements.
Ensure your child has learning stations equipped with materials and equipment that are complementary. Some children require a quiet space and are not as mobile as their siblings or friends. Others require more physical activity. With creativity and general tools, your child can rotate to different stations/nuks as outlined in his/her schedule.
Pre-Covid19, many children were scheduled for activities outside of the home such as vacations and more during spring-break. Now that we are somewhat clear about our responsibilities to create a “new normal”, a structured schedule will be pivotal to children’s learning and parents time for self-care. Plan forward, be creative, and form a consistent schedule for your children throughout the day. The schedule should list routines in as much detail that children need to successfully complete tasks. For disabled children, please ensure plenty of visuals are incorporated into their schedules. Accommodations and modifications are essential to their learning.
While at home, some children may become more inclined to snack constantly throughout the day. To ensure overeating is not optional, snacks may be organized in baskets, plastic zip-lock bags or containers. This will help children to manage their eating habits and understand clear expectations. Once their snacks for the day are gone, that is all. If parents would like to use healthy miniature snacks as an incentive to acknowledge and encourage good behavior, this is encouraged as well.
Incentives vary per family. In some households, books, TV, favorite toys or even practicing yoga during a break may be utilized as an incentive. Learn what encourages your child and incorporate that incentive to acquire desired results.
As parents embrace their new roles as remote teachers, navigating through such territory will be intimidating for many. Assessing children’s learning styles may save a lot of time and frustration in the long-run since they learn in a variety of ways. Parents should attempt to identify one or two familiar learning styles noted below to support this new transition: Auditory Learners – enjoy listening as they learn
*Visual Learners – tend to enjoy visuals and observe
*Verbal Learners – may be loquacious and ask questions
*Kinesthetic Learners – are hands on and learn with their hands
*Social Learners – enjoy learning in a social settings and with friends
*Solitary Learners – prefer to be left to themselves in a nuk with supplies
*Know Your Child’s Rights
- Texas Student Privacy Alliance – https://sdpc.a4l.org/view_alliance.php?state=TX
- Special Education Rules and Regulations – https://tea.texas.gov
- Best Practices – Check with your child’s school to ensure they are completing required work and to utilize readily available resources.
5 Engaging Activities for Children & Parents
- Virtual Museums
Many museums are offering virtual tours. This activity can be fun and engaging for both parents and children.
- Card Games
Cards can be used in a variety of ways. If you do not have cards at home you can create card games with your children using index cards. You can also use construction paper. Some of the games played can be; Go Fish, War, Old Maid, and Uno just to name a few.
I enjoy cooking with my daughter, Calena. She is my little helper. During this time of remote learning, the kitchen can be transformed into a classroom. While many of us meal prep, it is truly a blessing to get back to cooking a meal daily without feeling rushed and having fun!.
There are many benefits for kiddos as well. With your guidance, your child’s Learning Tool Box expands and the many benefits include but are not limited to;
- Healthy Eating Daily
- Life Skills Techniques
- Critical Thinking Skills
- Increased Math Abilities
- Language Development
- Increased Reading Levels
- Enhanced Fine Motor Skills
- Independence and Teamwork
- Increased Focus and Attention
- Implementation of Scientific concepts and more D
- Delegation Equation
In this climate, families are bonding more daily. It is essential for parents to delegate task. To ensure children are non-resistant and supportive, include the following equation into their communication toolbox: Parents + Children = Mission Complete. Remember, “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like”. Author David N. Aspy . The more you delegate, the more the children become independent and learn.
- Family Emergency Action Plan
Now is the time to implement and restructure your family’s emergency action plan. Some of the suggestive information to include may be; escape routes in the event of a fire, safety rules for fire-arms and other protective mechanisms. You can show and tell where to locate the fire extinguishers and more.
20 Educational Websites
Note: The following excerpts below are quoted directly from each website or a reputable search engine.
- ABCMouse.com – ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy is a subscription-based digital education program for children ages 2–8, created by Age of Learning, Inc. Subscribers can access learning activities on the ABCmouse.com website or mobile app. Subjects covered include reading and language arts, math, science, health, social studies, music, and art.
- Commonsensemedia.org – Free resources for parents such as apps, games, and more.
- Dreambox.com – “With solid classroom instruction and access to DreamBox as additional support, students made huge gains in mathematical understanding. That’s when I realized the power of quality instruction with quality digital tools can enhance and expand instructional opportunities.” – Denise, Mathematics Program Coordinator.
- www.Edheads.org – Edheads is a non-profit organization, which creates unique, educational web experiences for teachers, students and parents. We have over 12 million people a year using the site to learn about science, technology, engineering, math, and careers. We are a membership based site, but also rely on donations to offer free games and keep membership fees low. Please make a donation to help us meet our mission.
- Funbrain.com – FunBrain is an educational browser game website for children and adults. It was on this site that Diary of a Wimpy Kid was first published before being turned into a successful book series and movie franchise.
- Funology.com – Funology is the ultimate parenting toolbox! We offer ideas you can use to inspire and entertain your kids offline. Simply put, we offer the cure to boredom!
- Historyforkids.net – Welcome to History for Kids the free online history network. You will find cool games, videos, worksheets on many historical events that will help you understand those that have gone before us.
- How to Use Subtitles for Presentations www.businessinsider.com/how-to-turn-on-subtitles-on-youtube
- Imaginelearning.com – Imagine Learning is an adaptive literacy program for Pre K through sixth grade students. Through playing games and completing short lessons, students improve foundational skills, and teachers and administrators receive reports on student progress.contact your child’s teacher to access this site. You should be provided a long-on and code.
- IXL.com – Offers personalized learning in Math, Language Arts, Social Studies and Science. Over 60 Billion Question and Answers. Over 8 million students use IXL. Analytics,recommendations, Real Time Diagnostics and Awards.
- Khanacademy.org – We’re a nonprofit with the mission to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. 6th -8th Grade
- Kids.nationalgeographic.com – About National Geographic Kids: Nat Geo Kids makes it fun to explore your world with weird, wild, and wacky videos! Videos featuring awesome animals, cool science, funny pets, and more, are made just for curious kids like you.
- Marcolearning.com – Marco Learning is committed to providing the best, most complete resources for AP® students, their parents, and teachers. Experienced in the classroom, at the kitchen table, and within the test preparation industry, our teachers bring decades of AP® expertise to you, no matter where you are.
- Mysteryscience.com – Mystery Science provides ready-made science mysteries for elementary school students. Each lesson contains a central mystery, discussion questions, supplemental reading, and a hands-on activity.
- Nasa.gov/kidsclub.com – NASA Kids’ Club. NASA Kids Club – NASA provides a safe place for children to play as they learn about NASA and its missions. On this site, you will find games of various skill levels for children pre-K through grade 4. This is an excellent site for “kids” of all ages and provides an abundance of information, images, and interesting things to do on astronomy and the space sciences.
- Pbskids.org – PBS KIDS content helps preschool and school aged children in each of the four key areas of childhood development – cognitive, social, emotional and physical. Funded by a Ready To Learn grant from the United States Department of Education,the Ready To Learn initiative is developing engaging PBS KIDS Raising Readers television programs, exciting games, playful Websites, and easy-to-use learning resources for kids, parents, caregivers, and teachers—all with the goal of helping children ages 2 to 8 get ready to read.
- Ready Rosie – Providing families with meaningful content is just one of the ways ReadyRosie supports family/ school partnerships. Learn more about ReadyRosie here or by joining one of our live webinars with the creators of ReadyRosie. A FREE toolkit for families during COVID-19. Now more than ever is a time to help families stay safe, healthy, and connected with each other. In collaboration with pediatricians, mental health experts, and early childhood educators, ReadyRosie has developed a FREE toolkit to provide tips through MODELED MOMENT videos on health, emotional well-being, and learning at home.
- Scholastic – Scholastic Learn at Home Scholastic Learn at Home provides 20 days’ worth of active learning journeys designed to reinforce and sustain educational opportunities for those students who are unable to attend school.
- Starfall.com – A children’s website that teaches basic English reading and writing skills. The main demographic is preschoolers, and kindergarteners. It teaches children how to read by using games and phonics.
- 20 Best Online Creation Tools for Students www.codemom.ai/best-online-presentation-tools-for-students
Please be advised, the websites listed are resources provided by Certified Teachers in the state of Texas, Administrators, Community leaders, and parents. Plans of Action Houston relinquishes any responsibility for the validity of product and services listed.
In short, we are not responsible for the misrepresentation thereof, should there be any. Some websites are free while others may require a fee after a trial period has ended. Please complete your due diligence to check and verify each resource. We are in no way endorsers of specific products or services. Instead, we serve as an educational vehicle, providing the information to the global community at-large to help empower families during this time of social distancing and communal connection.