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Early Learning During COVID-19

April 7th, 2020

A mother helps her daughter with homeworkWith social-distancing policy in place, we are all experiencing a time of uncertainty and worry. Non-essential businesses and public institutions must close to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. But where does that leave us as parents?

With schools closing across the country, some for the rest of the school year, there is a real fear of children’s education being left behind.

However, there is hope. The best news of all is that children have the lowest mortality risk from infection. Secondly, many parents across the country are in the same position as you, and have crowd-sourced solutions to continue your child’s education.

Protecting your Family’s Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 has mainly affected adults, but children are not completely immune from infection. Children with COVID-19 typically have mild cold-like symptoms that include fever, cough, and runny nose.

The CDC offers these tips for keeping your children healthy:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid people who are sick and are coughing and sneezing
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily. This includes tables, chairs, doorknobs, and light switches.
  • Launder items in the warmest possible setting. This includes bedding, clothes, and toys that are washable. Dirty laundry from someone who is sick can be washed with other laundry.

The CDC also recommends that children only wear a mask if symptomatic to prevent the spread to others.

Socializing at a Distance

Your child doesn’t have to give up socializing which is equally important in their development, health, and mental well-being. Time with friends can also help manage stress.

Here are some ways to stay connected while social-distancing:

  • Use technology such as video chatting to maintain relationships.
  • Connect with other families at a safe distance with outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, or even an outdoor dance party. Just be sure to set specific boundaries and keep an eye on younger children who may have trouble keeping their distance.

Making “Stuck-at-Home-School” Easier

Some parents may find themselves having to work from home while home-schooling their children for the first time. “Stuck-at-home school” doesn’t have to stink. Sticking to a routine can help make things easier.

  • Start the day at the same time Monday through Friday.
  • Keep bedtimes consistent.
  • Schedule lunch, snacks, and physical activity everyday.
  • Be flexible when the need arises.

Many schools have provided packets or lesson plans for parents to download. However, if you have younger children, you’re probably struggling to find activities to occupy their time. The resources below offer some great ways to keep them busy!

Resources for Toddlers and K-5

Hello Wonderful – Easy Indoor Activities For Kids

Kiddie Science – Online Learning

Busy Toddler

Go Noodle

Khan Academy – Free Curriculums

Project Gutenberg – Free Epubs of Classic Literature

TedEd – Animated Ted Talks for Kids

NPR Podcast Story Pirates

Kera Learn! – At Home Teaching Toolkit

Crowd-sourced Resources

Google Sheet List of Educational Websites

GoogleDoc of Kindergarten Curriculum

There are many resources online, but don’t overlook local offerings from public libraries or museums. Some institutions offer live streams of exhibits or educational films. Most importantly—don’t sweat it, you’ve got this!