Coronavirus and School Closings: Unexpected Homeschooling

Everyone is a little unsettled and unsure right now. Your child’s school may be closed or going online for a few weeks and everyone’s routine is disrupted.

Know that you’re not alone and as a community, we’ll get through it.

Specifically, Granite State Home Educators wants to help our traditional-school neighbors feel comfortable continuing their children’s education during this interval.

We’ve got you!

You do not need to declare as homeschoolers if you intend to keep your child enrolled at their current school and return once the school resumes normal operations. However, if you do intend to become full-time homeschoolers, either now or at a later time, then check out our website, particularly the FAQ and Where to Begin pages. No matter your decision, please be welcome to join our Facebook group where we have over 2,000 members who are happy to share our homeschool experiences to support you during this difficult time.


UPDATE 3/19/2020:  We created a group specifically for those families whose children are displaced from their usual school due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is intended to be a supportive place where we can encourage each other and come together to support our children's learning during this uncertain time. If you are in search of temporary support during the health crisis, please take this an an invitation to join GSHE Unexpectedly Homeschooling.


If this is a temporary situation for your family, try to keep some sense of normalcy as it will be a big help to both you and the kids during this time of uncertainty. Establish a flexible routine about what happens when, and what they are responsible to do. Stick to normal bedtimes and activities as much as possible. It will help keep everyone on track and allow you to do the things you need to do, especially if you work remotely.

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood. ~ Fred Rogers

Try to use this break as an opportunity to let your child explore something of interest that is not included in their usual educational setting. What does your child like? What gets him or her excited? Does your child love dinosaurs or insects? Watch a bunch of nature shows, check out books from the library, and explore online resources.  It does not matter what the subject is -- it can be anything that sparks their interest such as an art activity, computer programming, woodworking or sewing projects, nature journaling and studies, garden planning, home/life skills, or anything that they want to study. Listen to audio books, watch history or science programs, learn how things are made, try something new! Does your child want to develop a hobby but doesn’t usually have the time to pursue it? This is an opportunity for your child to explore whatever lights them up! It will capture their imagination, keep them productively occupied, and encourage independent learning.

Older children can absolutely help around the house! Laundry, meal planning and preparation, house cleaning, yard work, pet care, and more are all great experiences and life-skills.

Even young children can benefit from this alternative learning experience. Keep the littles engaged with puzzles, board games, reading time, craft projects, building materials, toys that encourage imaginary play, and age-appropriate household responsibilities.

Your local library is a treasure-trove of resources for all ages! They often provide access to e-books and other online materials, movies, and almost anything is available through Inter Library Loan.

The day doesn’t have to be all work! It’s important to give kids a chance to relax, unwind, and have quiet time. Remember, this is a stressful time for them, too.

If possible, do something fun together as a family, something you wouldn’t ordinarily have an opportunity to do. Maybe have a movie and popcorn night. Bake a cake from scratch together. Play a board game. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do it together.

If you’re looking for more specific suggestions and resources, our GSHE community of homeschoolers has numerous recommendations that we compiled for you. We will update this list periodically as we find more useful resources, so check back periodically for something new to explore.

Massive list of resources available free during this temporary school closure

Big History Project – examines our past, explains our present, and imagines our future

Coursea – courses, certificates, and degrees online from world-class universities and companies

CuriosityStream – thousands of documentaries, award-winning exclusives and originals

Khan Academy – free online courses, lessons and practice

Kids Discover – free online access through June 2020

LinkedIn Learning – software development, design, business, web development, and photography courses

McHarper Manor -- free art projects

Outschool – live online classes for ages 3 to 18

SkillShare – find what fascinates you

YouTube – millions of educational videos on any topic you can imagine

 

We also compiled interesting articles about school closures and homeschooling.

5 Tips for Learning at Home When Coronavirus Closes Schools by the Homeschool Compass

School Canceled Because of Coronavirus? A Homeschooler Offers Some Tips by Reason

Suddenly Homeschooling: A Message from a Veteran Homeschool Parent by Loving, Learning, Living, and Parenting with Light and Happiness

 

At GSHE, we’re here for you during your child’s school closure. Let us know how we can help by sending us an email at info@GraniteStateHomeEducators or finding us on Facebook and sending us a PM.

 

By Michelle Levell, co-founder

 

More resources added 3/18/2020

Berliner Philharmoniker – free digital concert hall

Billboard – live streams and virtual concerts

Cincinatti Zoo & Botanical Garden – daily live lessons

Comcast – free and discounted internet services

Dairy Diary – virtual farm tours

Diply – virtual tour of National Parks

DIY Photography – NASA media library publicly accessible and copyright free

Homeschool Hideout – 150+ educational shows on Netflix

How to Homeschool for Free – list of virtual field trips

Institute for Excellence in Writing – free language arts lessons

Kids Activities – list of several resources

Laughing Squid – live video streams from the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Louvre Museum – online tours

Mystery Science – free, easy science for remote learning

New England Aquarium – virtual visits

Open Culture – free online courses, audio books, ebooks, movies, coloring books, and more

Open Culture – virtual tour of Russia’s Heritage Museum

Paris Museum – thousands of works available online

PBS – Storytelling with Words and Pictures, grades 3 to 6

Romper -- Walt Disney World and Disneyland virtual rides

Scary Mommy – watch astronauts reading stories from space

Scholastic Learn at Home – free resources

Storynory – free audio stories

TDS – free internet to low-income families and college students

Teaching Textbooks – free trial

What Do We Do All Day – list of indoor activities

 

Home (speech, occupational, etc) therapy options and resources

Speech Buddy -- online speech therapy resources

Understood – various articles and resources

 

Articles

Free, Online Learning Resources When Coronavirus Closes Schools by Cato Institute

Homeschooling 101: Teaching Multiple Grades by Confessions of a Homeschooler

How to Prepare for Extended School Closings (and Not Lose Your Mind) by A Mothership Down

I Homeschool My Kids. Here Are 6 Ideas for Parents While Schools Are Closed by Kerry McDonald

So You’re Homeschooling Now! Some Resources, Tips and Tricks by EdChoice

 

 

More resources added 3/25/2020

Ancestry -- National Archives records

Audible, an Amazon company -- free stories

Body Coach -- PE with Joe

Brickapalooza – video Lego lessons

BroadwayHD -- theater performances, free 7-day trial

Josh “Olaf the snowman” Gad -- evening stories read, #GadBookClub

GoPeer – free K-12 tutoring service from Harvard, MIT, and UC Berkley students

Harptoons Publishing -- live drawing classes at 2pm EST

Macaroni Kid  -- virtual field trip list by Macaroni Kid

Mensa Kids -- multiple learning resources

Metropolitan Opera -- free stream of operas performances

NASA -- STEM activities for grades K-4

National Museum of Natural History -- virtual tour

National Wildlife Federation -- Ranger Rick and other digital magazines

Oceans Initiative -- virtual marine biology camp

Rosetta Stone -- world language resources, free access for three months

Simon Brooks -- free stories

 

 

Home therapy options and resources

Apps for various learning differences by Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

Coronavirus Closed My Child’s School: Is the School Required to Make Up Missed Services? By Wrights Law

Extensive list of OT, PT and Special ed resources by A Day in Our Shoes

Resources and advice by Wrights Law