How Remote Learning Can Be a Productive Tool for the Whole Family
Like many of us, when I sat down to plan my 2020, I didn’t imagine that a global pandemic would strike. Fortunately, my family has remained healthy. And double fortunately, I run a Certified B Corporation web agency, where I’m lucky enough to have work that can be done remotely.
This isn’t the first time I’ve needed to work from home while also taking care of my two homebound sons. Back in 2018, schools across North Carolina were canceled because of Hurricane Florence. I was working from home with my young kids while my husband was away working on our state’s emergency response to the hurricane. If you need a laugh, consider listening to the first episode of the Arc Benders podcast where I share how one thing after another was going wrong — while I was on the phone with a prospect! I tripped and fell, my dog discovered multiple dead squirrels, and then she ran away. Everything worked out in the end, but definitely give it a listen for the full story!
This time around, I’m lucky to be socially isolated with my amazing spouse (who is a surprisingly good office mate). He is slammed working on the state’s response to this crisis too, and business has not let up on my side either (so far — thankfully). In many ways, our work lives are busier than ever. Yet, in spite of us regularly putting in 10-plus hours of work per day, we are now also tasked with cooking, homeschooling, more cooking, staying on top of extra dishes, more homeschooling, and doing our best to carve out time for each other whenever we can. It’s exhausting, but at least we’ve found some great resources to help our kids grow into well-rounded adults in this challenging time.
Here are my 9 favorite remote learning resources (that help us get a bit of work done in the meantime):
1. Cosmic Kids
Exercise is so important for everyone, especially kids! This yoga channel has fun story-driven yoga routines that are perfect for kids to get their wiggles out (our favorites: Bear Hunt, Star Wars, and Minecraft Yoga). We start our day with Cosmic Kids to get our brains ready to learn.
2. Hour of Code
As a web developer, I’m always thrilled to have my kids learn a bit about my world. This resource does a great job making coding fun for kids of all ages!
This is a gamified curriculum-aligned math program for first- through eighth-graders that adapts to the individual learner. It’s more like a role-playing video game that includes math challenges. Players can explore the world, get badges for completing quests, and collect animal buddies along the way. A great thing about Prodigy is the parents’ dashboard that shows your children’s progress. Prodigy is always free!
“I like that you can turn into animals! It’s kind of like Pokemon because you can get buddies and they level up to get stronger.” — My 7-year-old
This is a gamified PreK-8 math program that also adapts to the individual learner. It’s a little more simple than Prodigy. They have a 90-day free trial if parents sign up by April 30.
“There’s like mini-games, and they’re solving games, not fighting games. That’s why I like it.” — My 7-year-old
This is a daily literacy resource for pre-K to ninth-grade students just for the COVID-19 crisis. It includes projects and reading activities. My kids love the lessons with science and social studies themes. We love that our 4- and 7-year-old kids can do the lessons together.
My friend Venus Liles wrote this children’s book to help parents talk with their kids about social distancing and the coronavirus in a way that’s both hopeful and honest.
This website has really good children’s books read by many of my favorite celebrities including Sarah Silverman, Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Betty White, and Lily Tomlin! Maybe I appreciate this one more than the kids.
This is a digital library for kids 12 and under with favorites like Splat the Cat and National Geographic Kids. It even has audiobooks and books in Spanish! You can get a free trial for 30 days.
Making art is our 4-year-old’s favorite activity. We’ve been trying multiple art projects in our house over the last month, and these daily art lessons with Mo are a favorite.
It can be more than a little hectic navigating parenting, working from home, and — if we’re being completely honest — trying to stay positive. Work doesn’t stop, parenting doesn’t stop, life doesn’t stop. But for parents of school-age kids, there are resources out there to help you succeed … at least in one area (see image above, re: housekeeping). I hope you’ll find these resources helpful in your great balancing act!
We’re all in this together (separately), but at least we have the internet to keep us connected. Do you or your kids have any favorite online resources to share?
B the Change gathers and shares the voices from within the movement of people using business as a force for good and the community of Certified B Corporations. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the nonprofit B Lab.
One B Corp CEO’s 9 Favorite Educational Resources for Stuck-at-Home Kids was originally published in B The Change on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.