Home Educating During the Coronavirus
We are living in such an unusual time. A scary time for many. A word that most had never even heard of (unless they spent time reading the back of a Lysol can) has been a game changer in lives all over the entire world. Coronavirus. Who knew one word can put so much fear and make so many changes to what we know of as “everyday life”. It seems as every day, there are new protocols and new restrictions. One thing that has seemed to remain is the fact that many parents are now learning how to homeschool their children. Sure, teachers may be sending online support but parents are still having to find ways to make home educating work (and entertain) outside what the public schools offer.
I have a few suggestions that I would like to share with you about some products available to be purchased online and shipped directly to your home to help in home educating. These products will help school aged children and even some preschool aged children who are currently out of daycare or preschool.
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A few favorite FREE websites are:
- https://www.rosettastone/freeforstudents/ (for three months free)
Going to the library is no longer an option. Before long, your kids will need new books to occupy their time and get their daily reading in. Bookroo finds the best of the best books to send as a subscription service. Not just any subscription service but one that finds hidden gems that you may have never heard of.
Bookroo uses a platform that combines in-depth reviews, ratings, and feedback from parents, kids, educators, and experts with decades of experience to finalize each month’s book selections. Children will be excited every time their shipment comes in. Books are individually wrapped to add to the excitement! Choose between Board Books directed at age 0-3, picture books for children in the 2-6 year age range, and Chapter books for ages 7-10.
For the Preschool Aged Kids
The buckle theme plush characters keep kids learning and entertained anywhere. Buckle Toys come in a variety of colorful characters. It will reduce screen time and help busy toddlers develop their fine motor skills, hand/eye coordination and color recognition. Buckle Toys are great for home educating children ages 1-4.
Board games are perfect to allow children a chance to learn while having FUN! Not only will your child learn counting, matching, and teamwork but it will also give you a chance to make some great memories with your little one. Join Huckle Cat and Lowly Worm as they search for hidden objects on a fun-filled race around Busytown! Drive through city streets, an activity-filled farm, an action-packed airport, and a bustling harbor full of silly boats. There’s so much to discover along the way!
Creativity is often lost in our rush rush world. We now have time to slow down and be home more. Take full advantage of this time to be able to encourage your children to use their creativity for the good. Chalk the Town is a great option for children to have be creative AND share happiness. Each day, they can create a new happy saying on their shirt or a fun drawing for all the world to see (on social media).
For children who are learning their shapes and colors, this is the game for them. It is a game of matching which combines shapes and colored pieces for “little students” to touch and feel the shapes as they place them in their spots. Colorama can be played without having to read or write. With four different variations of the game, players can mix up the style game each time they play.
Are you familiar with Color Wonder–mess free coloring where the Color Wonder Markers only work on Color Wonder paper? Color Wonder does not show up on hands, walls, furniture, etc. Check out the fun new titles (Trolls 2, Frozen 2, Baby Shark, etc.) in the regular size foldalope (packaging envelope that serves as storage for the coloring pages and markers) and the smaller Activity Pads that come with markers too with stick and seal storage.
Playing a game that involves matching will help engage the mind. Especially when the matching is done where you have to look at a card and remember what cards you have as you continue to play the game. Get ready for some fairy tale search-and-find fun! Roll the dice and round the board, sneaking a peek at treasures hidden in the Enchanted Forest along the way. Be the first player to find the treasures the king seeks and the kingdom is yours!
Having games on hand that can be played with only one player can be a lifesaver while mom is working with one child and needs the other child working on their own. ThinkFun’s My First Rush Hour is a maze challenge game for ages 3 and up. Children place the pieces on the spots where the interchangeable game board has them laid out. After setting up the game board, players have to find the way for the red vehicle to get out of the maze and down the ramp.
I still remember playing a game very similar to this when I was a kid. It brings back great memories. Rivers, Roads & Rails is a transportation-themed card matching game that puts kids in the driver’s seat. Players build an ever-changing transportation network that includes rivers, roads and railroad tracks on which ships, cars and trains can move freely. Each card must connect perfectly to the next, providing the proper pathway for the vehicles to travel.
Tickle Plenty audiobooks will help children age 6 to 10 escape from the fear this virus has caused and have a good laugh. The author, George Robert Minkoff, charms audiences with his children’s audiobook trilogy filled with humor, wit and revelations that children and adults will find rewarding. The series features Tickle Plenty, a little girl living in a chocolate chip cookie house in the Rainbow Forest. Tickle’s never-ending curiosity, exceptional resourcefulness, and talent for word games and poetry contests carries her through a series of magical adventures. Tickle’s group of friends includes an energetic talking bird, an always hungry bear, a competitive best friend, a wise young giant and a talking magic wand with bad manners. The series is read by award-winning narrator, Alison Larkin, and is available on Amazon.com and Audible.com.
In preschool, kindergarten, and even first grade, patterns are a big part of your child’s curriculum. With the Patter Play:Bright Colors, your child can master their pattern skills all while entertaining themselves. Use these brightly-colored blocks in varying shapes and the pattern cards to introduce significant math concepts like sorting, matching, symmetry, congruence and fractions. Pattern cards are numbered in order of difficulty, ranging from beginner to expert. MindWare also offers free lesson plans for ideas on how to use Pattern Play in non-traditional ways for home educating: https://www.mindware.orientaltrading.com/s3-lesson-plans.fltr
Combine hands on learning, logical thinking, and open ended play together with the BRIO Builder Motor Set. Kids can play for hours, creating a true moveable creation. The kit comes with a real battery-powered motor that brings movement to creations made with the BRIO Builder Motor Set. You can give your child a specific task or let them have free play!
Help bring the creativity of your little one to life with Brio Record and Play Set. This robot set has 67 wooden and plastic pieces as well as a voice box to bring even more realism to your child’s creation! Children play and learn using imagination and problem-solving skills to find construction solutions. All components in this set are compatible with all other sets in the BRIO Builder System. `
Challenge your child’s brain with a pocket sized brain teaser. These are great to add in an Easter basket! It is educational yet entertaining. We are still trying to figure out how to do The Fifth Chair Brainteaser! They look like they would be so simple but they are NOT! These brainteasers will keep your children occupied for quite a while!
Teaching your child how to become an entrepreneur can be something that goes a long long way as your child gets older. Fortune Cookie offers a box that contains all the “extras” you need for making cookies and provides a kid-friendly business model kit to help teach your child how to become their own boss, how to work for their money, and how to invest in their own future. They may only be selling to mom, dad, and siblings right now but it is a great way to learn even if using fake money until the quarentine time is over.
My Starry Chart is a 3-in-1 interactive chore chart, kids calendars and educational skill-building game using eco-friendly reusable stickers. There are so many uses for My Starry Chart during social distancing including helping establish daily healthy habits like washing hands, setting expectations with daily routines and empowers kids to help out around the house.
The Adora Pretend Play Musical Cleaning Set is an Amazon exclusive which includes 7 pieces. The pieces include a music component stand, a broom, a sweeper, a dust pan, a brush set, and a duster. What a great time to teach your children the basics in life. Educate them on cooking and cleaning. Children can use this set to make it fun while putting into action real life cleaning!
In today’s tech savvy world, there are many great tech tools available to moms and dads for teaching their little ones. With the Kaleidoscope app, kids are invited to use one of 7 different games to involve your little one in fun filled learning and creativity. Available at Amazon App Store and Apple App Store, this is a must have for parents with young children. Home educating can be so much fun with Osmo!
Teach My kits support learning at home. Kindergarten can seem like such a daunting grade to try to teach. How do you teach a child spelling? What about getting them to understand basic counting skills that the rest of their education has to build off of? There are so many basics being learned that first year that are the foundations of everything else they will ever learn. TEACHING it isn’t as easy as it seems. With the Teach My Kindergartener Learning Kit, those tasks become much easier. Just 20 minutes a day of educational play with the Teach My kit and your kindergartener will have all those basics covered for an extremely reasonable price!
Kodable is an app already being used in more than half the elementary schools in the US and in almost 200 countries worldwide that beautifully combines drag and drop programming, the ability to create fun characters, the option of building your own levels, and easy transition into real code for children – ages PreK through 5th grade. More than 22 million teachers, parents and kids have used Kodable (www.kodable.com) – a Parent’s Choice Award-winning app – to date. Parents can sign up for the home version of Kodable by visiting www.kodable.com A 7-day-free trial is available and then can be continued with either a 6-month,12-month or lifetime membership at – and lifetime memberships are 20% off now! Kodable is also providing free videos to help your child learn each coding concept. Give your child engaging, entertaining education with Kodable.
With this contraption, there are six multicolored moon-shaped pieces that are placed in a way that can be shifted as long as you have the moon shapes in a circular pattern. See how many colorful patterns can be made!
Kids are so much more tech savvy than adults. I would never have dreamed of coding apps and such when I was even a teenager but technology has come a long way. The future will rely more and more on those who have educated themselves in the tech field. The kids these days CAN do what we think looks “too hard” technology wise. Coding is a big thing these days. Bitsbox will send your child a box every month to train him or her how to learn to code apps! How awesome is that?! Subscribe now and make this part of your child’s “computer class” each day!
Young thinkers can build unbelievable ball track structures with this simple stacking plank set. Create ramps, funnels, chutes and crazy contraptions like the “Black Hole” and “Bounce Plate.” Then find out if the ball rolls as expected. No glue, no connectors: just loads of constructive fun! MindWare also offers free lesson plans for ideas on how to use KEVA planks in non-traditional ways at: https://www.mindware.orientaltrading.com/s3-lesson-plans.fltr
Strategy games for older children keeps the mind in tip top shape! Players must find all of their objects and characters while moving carefully through the constantly changing maze, and be the first to make it back to the starting square to win.
As kids spend more time at home and remote learning leads them to watch and listen to school-related content on a device, a durable pair of headphones will help limit exterior noise for parents so they can focus on their own work-from-home responsibilities.
The BuddyPhones line of volume-limiting headphones contains kid-safe noise levels recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), which also grant parents peace of mind knowing their child’s sensitive ears are protected from the increased use of electronics.
No matter if they are playing educational games or engaging with friends while away from the classroom, BuddyPhones Galaxy (MSRP: $29.99) is the only pair of headphones designed exclusively to keep young gamers safe from potential hearing conditions – even during long listening sessions. Parents, on the other hand, can leverage the quiet time to finally get some work done!
Sometimes a quick 15 minute game is just what is needed between seat work. The Bugs in the Kitchen by Ravensburger is just the game for you! Let the HEXBUG nano loose and roll the die! If the die shows a knife, fork or spoon, quickly turn one corresponding utensil on the board. If the die shows a question mark, quickly choose any one utensil to turn. Trap the bug! By turning utensils you can direct the bugs’ path and lure it into your trap. As soon as it falls into a trap the player who owns that trap receives a bug token. First player to collect five bug tokens wins the game.
Don’t forget about art class! The Grown Up’s Guide to Making Art with Kids will give you a chance to be the art teacher. You can even use the techniques you learn in the book to make cards to send to rest homes to encourage those who may not see visitors for quite some time.
This book includes drawing and painting projects featuring popular, kid-friendly, and on-trend subjects—like dinosaurs, pets, flowers, and robots—that adults and kids can create together. Guided practice pages invite interactivity and allow children and adults to draw and paint the same subjects, side by side, for a fun-filled joint activity. The book’s artwork is colorful, approachable, and done using ordinary, easily available art tools, including markers, crayons, colored pencils, and acrylic paint.
You may not be traveling right now but maybe you want to play a game of cards out on the back porch for some family time while soaking up some Vitamin D? Rack up points by playing cards to the stackable watch out! You can’t repeat a color or number. It is up to you to choose when to stop and score the best stack or push your luck and go for more!
There are some things in the world that just make dynamic combinations. For a parent there is no greater combination that when education is teamed up with fun. Gravitrax does exactly that! This marble run and Stem toy is sure to give hours of educational fun!
Stretch your memory by playing Q-bitz. Players will be given a board with blocks that hold a variety of different patterns painted on them. Draw a card and start the clock. You will have a set amount of time to recreate the photo on the card using your blocks. Each round gets a little harder. By round three, you get a quick glance at the pattern card before turning the card over and recreating the pattern by memory in just 10 seconds! MindWare also offers free lesson plans for ideas on how to use Q-bitz in non-traditional ways at: https://www.mindware.orientaltrading.com/s3-lesson-plans.fltr
In the past, Minecraft has just been a virtual game played on gaming devices. Now, bring Minecraft to real life. Between facing dangerous mobs, mine resources to build the perfect structure all while exploring the Overworld, brings the videogame to life. It is an easy to learn strategy game for the biggest Minecraft fans around! Each turn, players take two of five possible actions: explore the Overworld, mine resources from a block of resource cubes, build structures, collect weapons, or fight mobs like Endermen and Creepers. Build carefully and fight bravely to win!
With Ravensburger’s Las Vegas Royale, you can teach your child math. What are your chances, how much can you risk before losing it all, and how much do you have left if you risk x amount. This game can be fun but also played to include some more advanced math skills. Roll for luck in the famous glitzy world of Las Vegas. Visit casinos, roll your dice, and win some cash. . . Or risk it and go home empty-handed. “Las Vegas Royale” Includes the classic game with new and exciting game options to keep you playing! Easy-to-learn with varying ways to play, this engaging dice game is highly replayable and approachable for all levels of game experience.
Rather because of a quarantine or a rainy day, sometimes finding something to do indoors can be a challenge. With a wide variety of difficulty levels and many different themes and pictures to choose from, Ravensburger Puzzles is a sure fire way to keep your little ones (and even the adults) in your house entertained and involved for hours!