Stuck at Home?
to Keep the Kids
in Your House
March 17, 2020
So, you’re stuck at home. You’re not alone. Due to the COVID-19, it is estimated that millions worldwide are in the same position. And that number is growing daily. We live in southern California and in just a seven-day window, we’ve gone from life as normal - to life as anything but normal. We are practicing social distancing and our family of five is waiting it out like everyone else.
Typically we share our educational travel ideas for families at OurEDventures, but today we're sharing some educational ideas for staying home. As a mom of teens, as well as a credentialed teacher and longtime homeschooler, I’d like to share some tips for making the most of this unprecedented time we find ourselves in. I know it's an especially difficult time for our older kids who are missing sports events, musical productions, and just simply time with their friends. We can all do our part to keep the climate positive and encouraging for our families. We will get through this!
1 - Visit a Museum... Virtually!
You may not be able to fly or drive to one of these remarkable museums or galleries, but 2500 of them are now available from your very own couch. Never been to the British Museum in London, but always wanted to go? No problem. What about the Uffizi Gallery in Florence or the J. Paul Getty in Los Angeles? Download the Google Arts & Culture App and then let your imagination lead you on a journey to explore as many museums across the globe as you’d like.
2 - Watch a Documentary
I’m always amazed at the world that documentaries open us up to. It can be huge like the incredible cinematography of National Geographic and it can be small, like the captivating story of The Biggest Little Farm. It can also be life-changing like Living on One Dollar or Kindness is Contagious. Check out this list of great documentaries from Common Sense Media that are appropriate for everyone in the family.
3 - Plan a Trip (for the future)
Travel bans may keep us at home for the foreseeable future, but if you’ve got a map, books, and a computer, you can still research a place that you’d like to visit someday and plan a trip. I'm not suggesting you actually book it at this time, but do all the research and planning. Imagine putting together a whole itinerary for where you’ll go. Pick where you’ll stay, local restaurants to try, and museums and points of interest to visit. Research the local culture, language and history.
4 - Sketch Something in Nature
Gather up your art supplies and head outdoors. We did this a lot when our kids were young and we have such fond memories of those experiences. We’d take colored pencils and watercolors and go find a unique object in nature to draw or paint. Right in your own yard you probably have some plants, flowers or trees that are worth your attention. Look carefully at patterns. That snail making its way across the sidewalk is probably far more interesting than you've given him credit for. Observe and create. Slow down and enjoy.
5- Get Science-y with a Daily Podcast
We like NPR’s “But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids?” where we have learned things like why lions roar and how we taste food. The sky is the limit here! Do a Google search on other interesting podcasts that the whole family will enjoy.
6 - Brush on Your Math Skills
From number sense, to formulas to logic – this is an excellent time for brushing up on math skills. Even just 10 minutes a day over the next month can give the learners in your house a boost when they return to school. Check out this list of best math apps for kids of all ages and levels.
7 - Learn a Foreign Language
Whether you’ve got kids in the house that are currently taking a foreign language in school or you’re an adult and have thought about expanding your mind, now is an excellent time to download the Duolingo app and get started! They say that just 10 minutes a day over a 365-day span is equivalent to a college language class. So what are you waiting for?
8 - Read, Read, Read!
This is for sure one of those things we always say we wish we had more time for. Resist the temptation to glue yourself to the television or video game console, and instead pick up a book. You know that big stack of books on your nightstand? Now’s the time! And for young readers in your house, enjoy a story hour every day or enjoy a book with Audible. Check out our book recommendations on ourEDventures, organized by geographical location and historical importance.
9 - Work on a Digital Photo Book
I’ll bet you’ve got some digital photos you’ve been meaning to do something with but haven’t had the time. Now you do. I’ve had great success with Snapfish and Shutterfly over the years for showcasing our family’s travels and special milestones.
10 - Take Your Pen to Paper
Ok, so maybe keeping a journal isn’t your thing. Everyone in your house probably doesn’t love writing. But consider that we are experiencing an unprecedented time in history. Even just taking a couple of minutes every day to record how you, your family, and your community are feeling, responding and surviving just might be something you will appreciate being able to look back on when this is all over. Writing down thoughts and feelings can be a therapeutic way to get through a tough time.
So there you have it. Ten ideas to keep your mind engaged and time well-spent while stuck at home. How are you and your family managing the extra time you have now? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Stay safe everyone! We'll get through this!
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