Online activities and games abound on the ABC Mouse app, which offers curriculum for children ranging from preschool to 8th grade. ABC Mouse is also offering a special free 30-day trial due to the current virus outbreak. Subjects for younger students on ABC Mouse include reading, math, science and art/colors, and the Adventure Academy option for students 3rd grade and older also provides skills in STEM, social studies, language arts and more.
Online nonprofit Khan Academy is completely free year-round, and offers lessons in math, science/engineering, computing, arts, economics and even SAT and other standardized test prep. Khan Academy already partners with many school districts across the country, and a recent study found that their students were over twice as likely to meet grade-level standards. They are also providing daily schedules for students aged 4-18 due to current school closures.
A number of celebrities have been hosting “storytime” on their social media channels to help entertain and educate younger children. These include Josh Gad (AKA Olaf from Frozen), and Jennifer Garner and Amy Adams have launched the “Save with Stories” initiative to read stories while also raising funds for No Kid Hungry during this especially trying time for the food insecure. You can also listen to stories and watch drawing tutorials from children’s authors like Mac Barnett, Molly Idle and Mo Willems.
If you have an older student in need of more educational content than Snapchat or TikTok, you can try some TED Talks or TED-Ed Student Talks. TED offers a huge variety of videos on education, business, science, and tech from experts around the globe. You could start with a few of the most popular talks of all time, or seek out a topic that is especially interesting to them.
Many cultural and entertainment venues are offering live streams and virtual tours for children and adults alike. You can also provide your children with a variety of unique learning opportunities through Indy With Kids’ Virtual PLAYdates, airing on Facebook every weekday at 10 a.m. Topics include cooking class, at-home art and (maybe most importantly) getting the wiggles out with gymnastics, ninja school and “swimming” lessons.
If you and your family are in need of meal assistance during your school closure, Indy With Kids has also put together a list of local schools and food pantries providing access to food, free of charge. Here in Hancock County, free lunches will be available after our planning spring break, starting March 23 until further notice. Bring your child to pick up a lunch at South Hancock Elementary or Hancock North Central Elementary, between 11 a.m.-noon.
Continue to do what you can to help your kids get an education at home, but don’t judge yourself too harshly if they are getting a lot of extra screen time right now. These are extraordinary circumstances, and we know you are doing your best to get through it!