With your children set to start online classrooms before phasing in days at school, we hope these free resources complement classes and are useful for your family even after restrictions are lifted.
- ? A summary of NSW’s return to school plan
- ? Scholastic Learn at Home projects
- ? MAPPEN lesson plans for Years 3–6
- ? Wild Life Sydney Virtual Zoo
- ? Sea Life Sydney Virtual Aquarium
- ? Creative learning and project ideas from around the web and socials
Scholastic Learn at Home
“Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking and growing”
The Editors of Scholastic Classroom Magazine have a great website to guide you with home schooling lessons for:
- PreK and Kindergarten
- Grades 1 and 2
- Grades 3-5
- Grades 6+
MAPPEN Home Learning
MAPPEN, an online curriculum solution with lesson plans from prep to grade 6, will be offering adapted lessons for free to all primary schools and their students across Australia to support continued learning in the home.
“As a response to the increasing likelihood of widespread school closures, we are in the process of modifying our learning sequences to be used as home learning for students in Years 3 to 6.”
Wild Life Sydney Virtual Zoo
“Bringing Wild Life Sydney Zoo to your home”
Follow their live streams with colouring in pages and activity sheets.
Sea Life Sydney Virtual Aquarium
“Bringing SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium to you with 24/7 live streams of our most beautiful sea creatures.” Check out SEA LIFE’s YouTube Channel for their library of past live streams.
By @msrachelyoung on Twitter
As discussed on Breakfast with Sam & Duncan
We’re gearing up keep our kids (ages 2 and 5) at home when the schools close. We work full time and honestly don’t know what’s next. I put together a list of projects that don’t rely on screens for learning. In no particular order.?
— Rachel Young (@msrachelyoung) March 13, 2020
- DISCLAIMER My partner and I have spent our careers in education. I got advice from colleagues in Shanghai. Even with all this background, I’m panicked. This list is aspirational, meant for us to turn to when we’ve lost our bearings. I hope it’s helpful!
- LIFE SKILLS Teach hard skills you know and love. Paint with watercolors, operate a power drill, bake bread, change a tire, dance, throw a football. Personal lessons are more memorable than worksheets.
- PERSONAL HISTORY Make a family tree, self-portrait, or short memoir. Have kids interview older relatives over the phone. Go through old photo albums and tell stories. Share food, songs, and stories from your culture.
- MATH Double recipes, divide objects into groups, determine the square footage of a room, set up a pretend store and give kids pretend money to spend. Prompt them to guess the mass of objects and then weigh them, or how many gallons the tub holds.
By @LovingEarthParenting on Facebook
Here are some sanity-saving tips and some connection- and joy-building tricks to give your ‘lock-in’ a chance of being a fun-in:
- Fill-my-bucket list: get together with your kids and draw up a (fill my) ‘bucket list’ of things they want to do during quarantine. You can just write it as a long list that you tick off, or you can chart it in other creative ways, including different points allocated for different activities and trying, for example, to reach 100 Happy Points, over your time together. The key here is that you are engaging with them and getting not just their buy-in but really taking into account their feelings, their needs and their wishes.
- Rhythm: consciously create a rhythm to your days. Schools do this (Steiner schools are, famously, built around this, for example… but all schools rely on predictability, like this). For us – in our homeschooling – we build in little touchstone moments, segments the kids love, come to expect and look forward to, sprinkled through the day. We are not super rigid with it, we are flexible and bend. But we have favourite rituals and activities we come back to most days (at *roughly* the same time). Examples for us include: a family board game in the morning (seriously, my youngest will literally bring a game to me while I am still in bed sometimes. Win-win. He gets connection. I get a lie-in. Home educating has its perks); ‘magical reading hour’ (more about that, in a moment) – which we literally ring in with a bell, each time; daily green smoothie; piano practice and Special Time (again, more about that in a mo). All of these segments come at an expected point in our routine. There is a flow to our days and that makes everything easier, IME.
What ideas would you add? What are your go-to fun family games, activities or ways to keep the kids and the whole family happy for long stretches at home?
Disclaimer: it won’t always be easy with rainbows and unicorns. Be kind and forgiving of yourself along the way…!
By Little Bins for Little Hands
For other science and slime ideas, visit littlebinsforlittlehands.com