Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Online Resources (other than Yoga) for Kids UPDATED

We are on day 10 of being holed up inside, social distancing due to the recent health concerns, as well as having been ill ourselves. Public schools have been cancelled for the next 2.5 weeks, my teaching gigs are postponed for the same, and hubby has to work from home as well. March has proven to be unusually rainy, so we are definitely house-bound.

So, in lieu of having to be the center my son's entertainment and learning 24/7, the schools have sent a list of resources for home use. They also sent printable worksheets for ELA (language arts) and math, but with these (in picture) it's nice to know that we can harness internet technology for their betterment, not just turning them into Roblox/Minecrafting/Fornite zombies. (ask teachers for invitations) (teachers/parents can get free premium accounts)

Eli enjoyed playing with Prodigy in particular. He willingly jumps online to this, and asked me to buy the $5/month package so he can achieve higher goals. As a bonus I receive e-mails tracking his progress.

We've tapped into PBSKids in the past: Peep and Big Wide World, Nature Cat, and the Wild Kratts are three shows that taught not just Eli but spouse and I lessons about our natural world. There's a wealth of info-tainment here to be sure.

Eli used Epic quite a bit last year, like a mobile device library. It used to be accessible only by students during school hours, but they have a new offer: you can get free remote access through your teacher by asking the instructor to go to the Epic website and sign up. This is a great alternative to paying late fees on library books. To that end, you can also rent online book from the library in the event your local library physically closes.

If you have experience with any of the other apps, leave a comment below! Other activities we've found fun: 
  • 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles
  • family karaoke
  • cooking lessons
  • olympic-level sock matching
  • cleaning out of the drawers and closets to donate to charity things we don't wear or use
Stay healthy, wash your hands, and take lots of sanity breaks.

Update 6/22/20

A company called Varsity Tutors just reached emailed me with some interesting options for summer. Check them out:
Varsity Tutors is the largest live learning platform in the United States and we have numerous free resources to help students and parents cope with school and summer camp closures. We’ve had 250,000 registrations for our free, live online classes alone in the last 2 months.

Virtual School Day: Nearly 200 free, live K-12 classes available all day long intended to help parents fill their children’s day with enriched learning. Some popular classes are "Intro to Spanish for Kids", “Coolest Women in History”, “Java Programming Basics”, and “The Story of Your Favorite Fairy Tales”. We have received exceptional ratings from thousands of parents and students.

Virtual Summer Camps: Free half-day summer camps are a week long, with enrichment-based classes in subjects like foreign languages, chess, theater, coding, Minecraft, how to be a detective, photography and more. These live, interactive camps will be taught by expert instructors vetted through Varsity Tutors' platform. We already have 300+ camps scheduled for the summer and 2,000 families per day signing up.

Adaptive Diagnostic Assessments: Measure a student’s proficiency and identify strengths and weaknesses in hundreds of subjects. Get an effective learning plan along with free tools to improve.

Varsity Learning Tools: More than 250,000 free practice problems in over 200 subjects. Also available as mobile applications.

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