Keeping Kids Active and Learning while School’s Out
In these challenging and uncertain times, our Coaches are stepping up and helping families adapt and make the most of the situation. That includes something a lot of parents are anxious about: how do I make sure my kid continues learning and doesn’t fall behind?
You can hear more about it in the video our wonderful Coach Ana prepared for you, and you can also find her lengthy list of activities and resources below!
As always, we encourage you to try out our service by scheduling a free first consultation with Ana or one of our other Coaches!
This resource list is here not as a quarantine prescription, but as an inspiration. Don’t forget: learning is not just a way for your children to grow, but also a chance for you to bond.
The best way to find what works for you is to share this list with them and start with those activities they find interesting.
The list is separated into different categories so you can more easily choose your first activity!
All About Art
Visit world-famous museums and galleries together!
Google Arts and Culture partnered with museums and galleries from around the world to allow you to explore and learn from the comfort of your home. Visit the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) in New York, the Museum of Art History (Kunsthistorishes Museum) in Vienna, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the Natural History Museum in London, and many, many others.
After each “visit”, you can further explore what you’ve seen by watching a documentary, reading about it, through a discussion, or by writing a short essay on the museum highlights.
Stimulate the Mind with Origami!
Origami is a great activity to both calm and engage the mind. This can also be a great family activity. You can start with simpler forms, and when you get enough practice, you can advance to Mathematical Origami.
Science & the Digital World
Science lessons with NASA!
NASA Glenn Research Center offers virtual tours of its facilities. There are 10 unique tours for your student to explore. Depending on the age of the student, you can continue learning with some tour-inspired projects. For example, a student can make a model/diorama of NASA’s facilities, dig into NASA research, learn about the people who shaped NASA history, etc.
Learn College Level Programming
The University of Pennsylvania, through Coursera learning platform, offers a Robotics specialization . This is a chance for all students who are interested in a career in Robotics. The courses require seven hours of learning per week. Students can learn on their own and communicate with other students on moderated Coursera forums, and can also get their friends to join with them and learn together.
Improve Practical Knowledge of Basic Digital Tools
Knowing how to use programs like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as Google Docs, Spreadsheet, and Forms is not only super useful but will save a lot of time later on in their education and career. If these tools are already familiar, they can upgrade their knowledge or expand it by learning how to use other tools such as Adobe Reader or Photoshop. These are the basics of today’s digital literacy, and the more of these they can use, the better they’ll be prepared for the future!
Learn How to Edit Videos!
It’s both fun and useful to know how to make professional videos. There are many affordable or free resources online, so feel free to research on your own. We’ve found this one – a video-editing workshop in Sony Vegas 8 on Udemy for beginners.
Education & Inspiration
Listen to and discuss the TED Talks
The voices we hear on TED Talks shape our world. These are scholars, influencers, entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts from all around the world with powerful messages to impart. Browse through more than 3,300 talks and engage your child in finding the ones they’re interested in listening to. You can choose a few to watch and discuss together. You can also choose a topic that interests them and find TED Talks based on that!
Discover Educational YouTube Channels
YouTube can be a great educational resource if we use it smartly. For example, the channel AsapSCIENCE addresses important, fun, and relevant questions tweens and teens may have through science. If they like their learning in a more “serious” form, they may want to check out Smithsonian Channel or Khan Academy. There’s so much out there! Have them do the research and create a list of top #10 educational YouTube channels you can then watch together and discuss what you’ve both learned.
Embrace the Opportunity to Learn from the Best in the World
You have surely heard of the MasterClass Online Classes. It is likely that many of your tweens’ and teens’ role models are leading these classes. Make sure to check them out!
Everyday Life & Skills
Introduce Self-Reflection to a Daily “Routine”
Self-reflection builds self-awareness. One of the ways to practice self-reflection is to journal. Have your children make their own Quarantine Journal. In fact, you can all make your own journals together, as a family. The idea is to create an outlet for expressing thoughts and feelings. It’s important to commit to not reading their journal unless they choose to share it with you (yes, no matter how curious you are!).
To prompt self-reflection, you can come up with a list of questions that may look like these:
- How are you today?
- What are you grateful for today?
- What was the most challenging part of your day?
- What have you learned about yourself today?
- What’s on your mind?
If your children prefer apps to pen and paper, here are some that they can use:
- Reflect – Journal, Daily guided self reflection
- MoodSpace – Stress, anxiety, & low mood self-help
Learn and Practice Life Skills
This is a great time for your child to learn new life skills that you may have been doing instead of them, or that they simply didn’t have the time for yet. Here’s a list of some of them:
- Writing a formal email
- Creating a resume
- Basic first aid: how to deal with a minor burn, fever, or cold.
- Numbers to call in an emergency
- Writing a motivational letter
- Cooking basic meals.
- Using a microwave, stove, and the oven
- Making a weekly budget.
- Knowing the reasonable price of groceries
- Reorganize a closet.
- Organize their material.
- Do laundry.
- Iron and fold clothes.
- Pack a suitcase
- Dusting and vacuuming
- Fixing a broken circuit
- Locating water, furnace
- Addressing basic plumbing issues.
- Hang a picture on the wall
- Sewing a button
You can have your tween/teen assess the importance of these skills and rank them from the most to the least important. This can also be a fun discussion to have that can help you better understand their point of view.
I hope this list helps you and your family during these strange times. Let me know which of these you found the most useful!
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