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Home schooling survival ideas during Covid-19 school shut down

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    Home schooling survival ideas during Covid-19 school shut down

    Would any parents on here find it helpful to share ideas on how to survive the school shutdown? It'll obviously vary massively by age. My kids are 6 & 4. Current plans include:
    - take the kids on a walk round the park each morning to simulate the school run
    - get them to help me weed the back garden
    - lots of baking
    - send postcards to their cousins
    - attempt to have a 'no screen time during the school day' policy, but still watch films and play Nintendo switch in the evenings

    #2
    My son is 6 so having similar thoughts - we are going to stick to a set routine 9-3 every schoolday - he'll put on a school polo shirt or t shirt, we'll walk to the playground and back. Then it's a mixture of activities - his school is going to put "homework" on their website which will help with writing practice and maths. Hopefully with some settled weather we can be outside a good amount

    I'm going to buy a journal to try and encourage him to keep a diary & can print some photos as well for him. Mainly though just get a nice, secure routine he understands. He knows what is happening in the world but the challenge I think is after a couple of weeks when I suspect he will start to miss school very badly..

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      #3
      Mo Willems is doing a daily doodle lesson for the characters from his books (Don't let the Pigeon drive the Bus, Elephant & Piggy etc)

      https://offspring.lifehacker.com/doo...-wi-1842376859

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        #4
        (I'm not a parent, but...) a friend of mine who is a primary school teacher has 4 of his own all under 6 - what he is doing is pretending that they are on a long boat journey: social distancing has a lot of similar features including long boring stretches where you can't get off the boat. And then each day (or few days) they "dock" in a different country, so he teaches them all a little bit of language, a little bit of culture, and so on. It seems to be a way of creating a longer term structure that might work.

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          #5
          The biggest issue I'm going to have is that I've done my back so I can't walk for more than about 10 minutes without pain.
          (Anyone who knows me will know that I'm accustomed to walking 5 - 10 Miles a day.) This has left me massively out of shape, making running about almost impossible.
          So not only am I feeling intimidated at being his teacher, I'm wracked with guilt about not being able to do many outdoorsy things with him.
          It's a ballache.

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            #6
            Our teachers sent home packets for the kids to go. It isn't a whole lot of work, so Mrs. Inca had the idea of having our little ones use one of the online science apps we have access to through the school and watch videos about how plants and trees live and their different parts, and sent them into the backyard to look at our plants and draw and label their different parts. Also trying to come up with ways of getting them involved in activities that we have to do anyway--going to go to our Japanese market later and get some sheets of seaweed and a sushi mat (hopefully!) so they can try making sushi rolls for their lunch.

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              #7
              I can't remember the exact details and it's on my work laptop but a guy at work used to be a teacher and sent round an emailing recommending (what I think is called) Play Phonics, which has gone free to use.

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                #8
                Expanding on weeding the garden, it's a great time of year to be sowing seeds. Sunflowers are always a winner with kids - start with seeds in pots on windowsills, then plant out. They're quick growing, need minimal care once they get going, look good and attract bees. You can even eat the seeds come the autumn. A good longish term project with lots of educational value.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by caja-dglh View Post
                  Mo Willems is doing a daily doodle lesson for the characters from his books (Don't let the Pigeon drive the Bus, Elephant & Piggy etc)

                  https://offspring.lifehacker.com/doo...-wi-1842376859
                  That's awesome

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                    #10
                    There are some good TV shows that have a lot of educational content. Octonauts is pretty good. I think Sesame Steet is putting stuff online. I'd factor in some screen time to watch an episode of something educational during the day just so you get a break. Perhaps even set it at a particular time.

                    Also free play is valuable - are they able to build a Lego thing for example and tell a story about it. Could you create stop motion videos? Those are time consuming and require concentration. You could do a bit all day and then share it at the end of the week. Post it on YouTube and share the link here - the OTF community will all comment I'm sure. I know a lot of kids like having comments on their stuff from grown ups.

                    Also how about a "facetime storytime" where grandma reads them a story over Skype or something?

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by Patrick Thistle View Post
                      There are some good TV shows that have a lot of educational content. Octonauts is pretty good. I think Sesame Steet is putting stuff online. I'd factor in some screen time to watch an episode of something educational during the day just so you get a break. Perhaps even set it at a particular time.

                      Yes, the BBC is doing its bit:


                      Educational programming for school children will be increased across iPlayer and the red button, with a daily educational programme for different key stages or year groups. BBC Bitesize will also be expanded

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                        #12
                        I have been eavesdropping on the missus as I prep my own work to shift on-line: kids in the 4-6 age range could identify shapes in the world and differentiate between 2 dimensional and 3-dimensional shapes, have them identify plants and birds, have them tell imaginary stories, practice spelling, write (the best they can) those stories they told, practice math by playing board games and doing tally marks, work with a number line, work on chunking words with your kids at, cat; ame, name, flame; it, sit, spit; etc. Work on art projects. If they are studying any language, find something that can help with the language (maybe screen time will be needed for that).

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                          #13
                          YouTube has some great videos to teach drawing, Circle Line Art School is one I've used.

                          I can let anyone have our school's username and password for linguscope for language learning, PM me if you'd like them.

                          The Khan Academy is free, a US centric curriculum, and excellent for maths.

                          Duolingo isn't bad either.

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                            #14
                            Kids and adults here are finding things even more difficult as parks are all closed and visits to family and friends prohibited (though there will be those circumnavigating the restrictions).
                            Last edited by Sporting; 19-03-2020, 07:18.

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                              #15
                              Distance learning for my kids officially starts today.
                              My 11 year old son's school has been sending stuff by email, it appears that the individual teachers are doing their own thing, rather than having any sort of concerted program. This has been highly variable - one of his teachers has sent several very long, convoluted emails that are really not clear on what she actually wants him to do. Another one sent out an email last night complaining that none of the students had been in touch with him (possibly as they were rather expecting the opposite), a couple have sent nothing at all. The most straightforward was the one who just sent one email with a clear list of what to do on which day, though this one does appear to be avoiding any actual interaction with his students.
                              My 9-year old daughter's school had us pick up a package of instructions on Tuesday, which I promptly quarantined in the garage and have yet to look at. I suppose I'd better get onto that pronto. Her teacher has also set her up on a reading website that they've used at school (Epic!).
                              Outside stuff has consisted so far of walking the dog, accompanied by much wailing and whining from my daughter - he's an elderly dachshund and can go about 12 blocks, FFS.

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                                #16
                                This madness starts for us on Sunday, which also requires home-schooling a four-year-old (currently at nursery, due to start school in September). Juggling that while working from home will be fun.

                                Our eight-year-old's school has sent lots of links to homework resources, but enforcing discipline in those won't be easy.

                                Echoing the lego suggestion, and Balders' writing one - not least because grandparents are self-isolating one - and someone on a WhatsApp group suggested round-the-house observation tasks like measuring room lengths and widths. Someone can help me with the fucking lawn while they're at it.

                                But it's gonna be well stressful, and in particular I don't think the nation's employers have grasped just how demanding it will be

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                                  #17
                                  Here are a couple of decent and fun academic websites. My students go to these when they are done early w/ their assignments.

                                  FREERICE https://freerice.com/categories - the math is weak for older students, but the nice thing is that every answer donates rice to the World Food Program. I assume it is all legit.

                                  When I taught keyboarding the district did not give me any software so I used TYPING CLUB https://www.typingclub.com and that kept them busy and challenged. It has definitely gotten more advanced from years ago.

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                                    #18
                                    NIce thread. I'm sure there'll be lots of insta-articles along the lines of "we start at 7am with a zumba session for the whole family, before moving on to our phonics circle time and then a breakfast of activated almonds." So this will be a nice antidote.

                                    I loved this random story idea generator: "Invent and describe a new animal.", that sort of thing. We've found that really fun.

                                    I was trying to find some coding thing my eight year old could use online, and have been really impressed by Code Monkey, a game-based programming thing, so far.

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                                      #19
                                      Mid-afternoon at the aureus household, and so far I have this to say:
                                      My daughter took about an hour to finish her day's assigned tasks, which has left me trying to find ways to get her to do something vaguely academic while also trying to get some work done myself. Not trivial.
                                      My son is currently involved in an (extremely loud) on-line meeting with some of his school friends (google hangouts, I believe), but does seem to have had a reasonably appropriate amount of work assigned to him today. We did have to spend almost an hour this morning tracking it all down, though I think we're now set to proceed relatively smoothly until Spring Break (April 3rd).

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                                        #20
                                        Oops, that story generator link: https://danieldevine.github.io/ditto/

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                                          #21
                                          Audible have put all kid stories open access

                                          https://twitter.com/Sally_Adee/status/1240764074247499783?s=20

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                                            #22
                                            Originally posted by diggedy derek View Post
                                            .

                                            I was trying to find some coding thing my eight year old could use online, and have been really impressed by Code Monkey, a game-based programming thing, so far.
                                            Yes. Teach them to code if you can. Or even if you can't. That's the future.

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                                              #23
                                              There is a good coding tool that goes with Minecraft called Code builder (https://education.minecraft.net/blog...ation-edition/)

                                              However, 'as a teacher', my main wish and message to parents is, firstly, get outdoors with your children or, even better, let them play out independently. My fear over this time is that children will spend their whole time alternating between games consoles and online learning. The main thing is, of course, that parents need to do whatever is best for the peace of mind of them and their children.

                                              I have just had a depressing email from a parent saying that she needs more work as her son has whizzed through the quite substantial amount of work we sent home with the kids yesterday. My depressed feeling is as much because her son is a very active child that loves football and climbing.

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                                                #24
                                                Ooh. Somebody should send their kid all their old WSCs and tell him to do a massive research project on it

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                                                  #25
                                                  Some excellent ideas on here, which I shall be passing onto my wife. My 13 and 9 year old think they're set for a long summer holiday and she's already made it clear that this won't be the case.

                                                  How much they can concentrate with our 2 year old twins running around them though is a completely different matter.

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