How are you holding up? It sure is a crazy time we are living in - so much has changed in such a short time, even for us homeschoolers! Activities & extracurriculars have been cancelled, jobs might look different for many parents, and we are trying to hold the pieces together for our kiddos, who might be having a hard time processing all of the uncertainties.
One thing that has been amazing is to see communities come together and help each other out. I am in awe of all of the educational content being shared and free resources being offered...for our family, even though we do follow a curriculum during the year, we have found many of these to be welcome additions to our routine! Let's face it - we're spending way more time at home now, which means we probably need a few more fun ideas to try, and even better if they are educational.
Here are 6 new-to-us resources that we have tried this week that have been well-received by my kids, ages 8, 6, 6 and 1 (well, the 1-year-old really goes along with anything we are up for, but I'm sure he'd agree!)
One of the benefits to having ALL of our activities cancelled is more time to cook as a family! We typically have something going on EVERY evening, so I'm usually throwing dinner together and trying to get everything coordinated before we have to jet off.
We are studying the 50 states this year, and I had purchased this cookbook with the intent of cooking with my kids as we studied each state...well, needless to say, with our busy schedules, that has not happened!!
However, now that we have more time on our hands, we are loving trying out some new recipes and cooking together! I highly recommend this book. Our favorites have been MO and IL so far (but we do have plenty more to go!). Each state has a main course, a side, and a dessert, and comes with a bunch of interesting food-related facts about that state as well.
Raddish Kids has also offered a free kit to try during this uncertain time. I have always wanted to try it and can't wait for mine to arrive!
I saw someone post about a free resource Khan Academy was offering called Engineering in a Box. I was a little uncertain as to whether my kids would like it, but I was wrong - they have really gotte into it! They may be just a *little* on the young side for this course, but they are still loving learning about what goes into creating a theme park, and of course, designing their own lands.
From the website: "Imagineering in a Box is designed to pull back the curtain to show you how artists, designers and engineers work together to create theme parks. Go behind the scenes with Disney Imagineers and complete project-based exercises to design a theme park of your very own."
If you haven't tried using Khan Academy yet, it's worth browsing around and possibly checking out this course! They have so many other great resources as well.
Lunchtime Doodles with Mo Willems has been offered by The Kennedy Center, and it has been wonderful! I first started reading Mo Willems Piggy & Elephant books with my oldest son maybe a little over a year ago...we would each pick a character and read/act out the story together as he was learning to read. So much fun!! Anyway, during the lunchtime doodles, Mo does just that...doodles, and does other activities with the kids. He also gives special little tours around his studio and behind the scenes looks at what goes into writing a children's book. My kids have been inspired and my daughter even wrote and illustrated a whole book about the Pigeon character after doodling it with Mo.
(If you're tuning in after this has all blown over, you can look up the videos on YouTube).
There are so many places that are putting on live videos to show us a behind-the-scenes look at zoo-life! I think that maybe the Cincinnati Zoo was the first to announce they were doing this, and we have loved tuning in everyday. The first day was a little rough trying to hook into the live connection, so we just wait until it's over and then watch. So far we have learned about Porcupines, Ocelots, Lions, Sloths, and Hippos (we are excited to watch about Penguins next - my favorite!).
You can find the uploaded videos on their YouTube channel here.
We've gotten out to do some bike riding, but when it's been rainy or we need to get some energy out, we've really enjoyed Cosmic Kids! I saw the recommendation online and again was unsure whether it would be a hit, but it's wonderful! I love how they re-create popular kids movie and character storylines with the yoga sequences. My girls probably love this a little bit more than my son, but my 1-year old definitely loves this one too!
One other resource I love is Les Mills OnDemand - this one is not new to us as I'm a Les Mills instructor, but it's great for mom AND kids! They have a great fitness class for kids called Born To Move that we all enjoy. It's sure to be a hit with your family!
Finally, something that we have truly enjoyed is writing letters during this past week. Good old fashioned letters we can send in the mail! We have sent letters to our penpals we have through American Heritage Girls, and we have also just sent letters to friends we haven't been able to see the past week or two. It's so much fun to get mail! And it's a great way to work on handwriting, letter composition and maybe even some more artwork.
Let's hear it - have you tried any of the above? Which has been your favorite, or have you tried another activity during "social distancing" that you have really loved?
Finally, if you haven't taken a peek at our homeschool apparel, you'll want to head over to Homeschool Style Co. and check out what we have to offer! Use the coupon code "BLOG15" to take 15% off your entire purchase. Here's one of our kids shirts that feels appropriate for the moment:
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