Parents and kids during pandemic times:
Covid Childcare Co-op Calendar - For people who have to organize the care of children, this new tool might help. It's for small groups to use, indicating when each is available to provide care. It might be useful in other caregiving too... elder care in a family or neighborhood? Or how about for taking turns providing supervision for outdoor play for older kids - with social distancing? Running games.... kickball? What games can be played without close contact?
Hand-in-Hand Parenting This wonderful organization offers lots of resources, many of them free.
Teacher Tom - on having young kids home during the pandemic.
Social and emotional skills and lessons kids are learning through this pandemic - an article by Amy Webb, PhD.
Stress and the brain - Dr. Bruce Perry's series of short videos on the impact of COVID-19, stress, human brains. A great learning opportunity for adults and children (ages 10 +). You can discuss and personalize with examples from your family, people living through tough times, coping, feeling effects of stress, etc.
The Pandemic Toolkit Parents Need - drawing on Dr. Bruce Perry's advice, Veronika Tait, PhD, presents an 8-step toolkit about proven stress-reducing and regulating practices. This succinct article offers guidance and inspiration especially for parents.
Education resources and alternatives to school:
John Holt GWS (Growing Without Schooling) - "Founded in 1977 by John Holt, Growing Without Schooling (GWS) was the first magazine published about homeschooling, unschooling, and learning outside of school." Archives of the magazine are online, as well as a wealth of other resources. See Holt's books "How Children Learn" and "Teach Your Own."
Brave Writer - After homeschooling her five children, Julie Bogart has created a wealth of resources (including many free articles) and a community focused on writing and homeschooling. She writes, "Kids are tremendously interesting people, even the ones who write poorly. My goal is to help you do your job to draw out the fascinating mind life of your children so that you can capture those precious thoughts in writing. What's on paper ought to be a fair and insightful representation of all that goes on in your kids' busy heads. When it is, you and your young writers will love the results. That, in a nutshell, is why Brave Writer exists." Julie's book The Brave Learner is a great way to understand her philosophy.
Secular, Eclectic, Academic (SEA) Homeschoolers - founder Blair Lee, M.S. writes, "SEA Homeschoolers at its core is a support community for people who are seeking guidance as they negotiate their child’s journey through learning. We are a homeschool community for secular academic homeschoolers. We do not define the terms homeschool, homeschooling, or homeschoolers in this group. We leave that up to you to define for your family. If you identify as a homeschooler and feel that you are homeschooling your children, that works for us. Whether your plan is to homeschool for 2 months, until there is a vaccine, or all the way through, we are here for you. If you are not sure if you are going to homeschool and you are here to ask questions and learn more, that is okay too. Please ask your questions, share your thoughts, and always remember – this group is loving, this group is supportive, this group never wants you to feel isolated."
Alliance for Self-Directed Education - "a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to informing people about the benefits of, and methods for, allowing children and adolescents to direct their own education."
Galileo - "Our mission is to enhance each of our student's self-directed learning journey. We combine self-directed learning, project based learning, a community of global classmates and lots of guidance and inspiration from our encouraging teachers to create the best kind of education out there."
Trello for Home Educators - In this Facebook group, there are discussions and links to examples of how parents are using Trello to plan. Trello is an online bulletin board tool. There are also lots of examples and explanations on YouTube, including this from Therese Purdue: How I Use Trello for Homeschool Planning. It's easy to feel overwhelmed, take care and remember, as Julie Bogart says: there are no education emergencies. You could start by playing with Trello and use it to "plan from behind" - make a record of books read, games played, interesting questions or things your kids said.
Some more Facebook Groups where parents share info:
Gameschooling (Teaching with Games)
American Chemical Society - free resources for kids of all ages.
Ideas for activities
Artful Parent - they aim "to inspire and educate parents and teachers to foster children’s creativity through art, play, experimenting, and a creative home environment."
National Gallery of Art - for people of all ages!
EcoAttachment Dance - 28 days of prompts to help you pause to connect with nature, takes just minutes per day.
Community Playthings - their resources include articles and videos about young children.
Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls - Sarah Dees is an educator who started a blog about simple activities for kids when she had a few boys... and it's grown along with her family. She's also written a couple of books about activities using LEGOS - and there is a lot of free info on her site. For kids of all ages - if you have little ones don't miss this great list: 75+ of the BEST Simple Ideas for Preschoolers.
Stories read by actors: Storyline
Don't miss our resource page on PLAY!