Expert Tips on Home Learning
We’ve combed through many resources on home learning to provide you with the following tips to help you support your children while they are out of school.
- Create routines. All of us know the importance of routine- and this is even more important for children. We should all try to go to bed, get up, start work, eat lunch, and do all of our other daily activities at the usual time- even if we are working or learning from home. Consider creating a learning schedule for each day. Older kids and teens should be involved in creating their own schedules.
- Limit screen time. Too much screen time can keep us from engaging in other healthier activities. We know some of you are busy with working from home. To help keep kids independently engaged, some parents have gathered almost 300 ideas of activities for kids. They are ranked as low, medium, and high parent involvement. A few tips for teens can be found on this great blog. If you do need to give the kids some screen time, consider letting kids use educational resources instead of the usual YouTube and Fortnite.
- Practice mindfulness with your kids. Another amazing 4-H resource that can support your sanity and that of your kids is A Kid’s Guide to Mindfulness. This site features activities that helps youngsters learn how to pay more attention to their emotional and mental well-being. The Mayo Clinic has some tips on meditation for teens.
- Read! Read! Read! Durham Public Schools students can access Durham County Library’s ebooks, e-audiobooks, and more using their Durham Public School student ID numbers. Other Durham County residents can use their mobile phone number to sign up for a temporary card that will let you get ebooks and e-audiobooks through OverDrive / Libby.
- Refer to standards from the Department of Public Instruction. The North Carolina Standard Course of Study traces the learning goals for each grade and subject. If you want to get more ambitious with our at-home learning, download the standards for your child’s grade and see if you can use some of the online resources we’ve shared today and will continue sharing to build on these standards.
- Inspire your kids to do. Our friends at 4-H (another great N.C. Cooperative Extension of Durham County program) have an initiative called Inspire Your Kids to Do. They share tips for activities that turn your home into a learning oasis! Your kids can learn essential life skills like giving back, health and wellness, cooking, and leadership. For older kids and teens, this is a chance to practice some of their ‘adult skills’ like cooking.
- Create your own learning lab. Again, a tip from our 4-H colleagues who have a free 4-H STEM Lab online that uses basic science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts and learning to bring you fun activities for kids of all ages. You can sort activities by grade and topic, as well as see items needed for each experiment.
- Play outside. We can maintain healthy social distances from others but still enjoy the great outdoors. Our friends at North Carolina State University College of Agriculture and Life Science have provided a few ideas for outdoor fun.