The past few months have been very stressful for both parents and children since the COVID-19 closures in March 2020. Trying to make sure that children could access their school materials and continue to learn has been hit and miss. The digital divide made it hard for students who didn’t have access to the internet or even computers. When the schools were finally able to get laptops for the students, they still faced the problem of an internet connection. The Charles County Public Library (CCPL) system was able to supply some of that need by checking out hotspots to families. Unfortunately, we found that we did not have enough to supply every student and adult that needed access to one. 

CCPL rose to the challenge and quickly bought as many as we could afford from our budget. Then we sent out a call to our community for donations that would allow us to buy even more to meet the needs of our community. The community rose to the occasion and helped us to buy more hotspots! There is still a need, so please consider donating to our drive. You can go to Support CCPL to learn more about how you can support your community and your library!

Below are links to websites that give tips to help with virtual learning. 

The Nora Project: “Provides a checklist for creating a home learning plan for your child. They provide free online strategies for Adapting Home Learning Activities. STEM. Supporting Education. Preschool – High School. Courses Inclusion academy, Why Storytelling, Defining Empathy.”

Boys & Girls Club: Virtual Learning Results: also gives Tips for Virtual Learning. “School will look different this year for families as schools work to navigate COVID-19. Review these tips to help K-12 students thrive doing school work at home. Hope for Kids in Need. Safety, Skills & Support.” On their Web site I found links to the following articles with tips.

Online educational resources for parents during COVID-19:

  • Common Sense Media – Media, distance learning and stress reduction resources for parents and caregivers.
  • Wide Open School – Free collection of online learning experiences for kids curated by the editors at Common Sense.
  • Online Educational Resources – Education companies offering free subscriptions during school closings.
  • Khan Academy – Library of lessons that cover math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics and more.
  • Phet Simulations – Free collection of interactive science labs.
  • Solar System Scope – Interactive model of the solar system that has everything you’d want to know about the planets, moons, comets, and more.
  • Prodigy Game – Free online curriculum-aligned math learning platform that has fun games to help students practice their math.
  • Music Impact Network – ‘Stay @ Home, Play @ Home’ resource now available! Virtual music programming, activities and tips for facilitation.
  • Reading Adventure Packets by Reading Rockets – Reading adventure packs with a caregiver information sheet, two books, a creativity activity, an imagination activity, and a real activity.
  • Scholastic Learn at Home – Resources to help youth across grade levels learn remotely and they have a video on their website called “Tips for Parents Supporting Remote Learning.”

Last but not least, talking to parents in the community I got a few good tips that help with keeping your child focused with learning from home:

  • Help your child establish and stick to a routine. Make sure they get up at the same time every day and have breakfast. This helps them focus.

  • Check in with your child’s advisor or teachers. 

  • Encourage physical activity and exercise. Take a walk with them. Small children love the exercise. You can ask them questions about their day. Ask them to identify things along the way using the alphabet or colors.

  • Resist the urge to sit in on classes with your child. You can ask questions later about how their class went.

  • Take care of you. If you are stressed your child will pick up on this.

  • Reduce distractions.

  • Brain breaks for online learning.

  • Provide positive feedback. 

  • Talk to other parents. Make a time for the children to share what they are doing during the COVID lockdown. This gives the children a time to share, socialize and get ideas of things to do (parents too).

  • Help kids stay in touch with their friends. Set up a time for a Zoom or Google Meet video time for the kids with their classmates. This helps them keep in touch and prevents them from feeling isolated. You can also set up an online homework discussion time for them with classmates.

  • Reach out to your child’s teacher. 

  • Make sure your child has a routine and get plenty of rest.

Other articles with tips and information on how to do remote. Included are the websites that are mostly educational or non profit.

Get them involved in a reading program at their local library. Check out CCPL’s Beanstack page here!