Homeschooling Tips and Resources for Parents

March 20, 2020
Homeschooling Tips and Resources for Parents

New York City's schools, along with many schools across the country have or are moving to online learning for the rest of the school year, and possibly longer. This massive disruption has challenged all of us to think outside of the box with regards to our home life, our kids education, and our health. Below are some tips for helping to manage the current crisis at home as well as a list of resources for parents and children adjusting to the new normal.

Tip #1 - Don’t Panic

You got this, we got this, and by we, I mean us, your community, friends, neighbors, family members. We’re all in this together, so anytime you start feeling overwhelmed, or nervous, or scared, step away from the computer and call someone whether or be a friend, a relative, or a neighbor. We may be social-distancing physically, but a friendly voice on the phone can do a lot to ease a troubled mind. Also, talk to your kids about the issues you are dealing with as a family unit. Remember kids get stressed out too, they just have a tendency to show it differently.

Tip #2 - Embrace New Routines

Routines are how we simple humans create structure and predictability in our life, and right now we are in short supply of both. By creating new routines for you and your kids quickly and effectively, the easier it will be to cope with the outside pressures of work, the news, and homework that's still due. Check out this article from HuffPost on mastering transitions and give yourself a pat on the back for just getting out of bed today, you deserve it! 

Tip #3 - Create Personal Space

Much easier said than done when you live in 500 Sq. foot apartment, but with self-quarantining, lockdowns and an uncertainty looming over us all, it’s important to find a place to call your own with no distractions whether it be for enjoying your morning cup of coffee or, a few minutes to relax with your new Pandemic Journal. Find a comfortable, quiet spot preferably a corner, nook or, if the weather’s nice a balcony or fire escape works well too. Also, try to make it a family thing, and have the kids set up their own private spaces as well, whether it be pillow forts, blanket forts or my personal favorite, box forts so when you need some private time in your space, tell them that they have permission to do the same.

Tip #4 - Make a Plan

This one is the hard one, the one we don’t want to think about, but unfortunately have to. The better prepared you are in the long run, the easier it will be to keep your spirits up and deal with whatever comes our way in the coming months. For starters make sure that your Will and Health Care Proxy are up-to-date. Next, have a plan for your kids (and / or pets) in case of an emergency, establish a family member, neighbor, or friend who can help out with baby/pet sitting, grocery shopping or errand running.  Lastly, have an emergency evacuation plan, not saying that you’ll need it, but it’s just one less thing to worry about in these uncertain times.

Tip # 5 - Get Outside    

No, seriously, sunshine is going to help you, and we all need to blow off steam in the fresh air to stay healthy, Spring is coming and no one wants to be stuck inside. Whether to your local park, a walk around the neighborhood or a stroll along the beach, just remember to practice safe social-distancing and if anyone in your family is exhibiting any symptoms of illness, err on the side of caution and try to avoid groups of people at all cost. Instead open the windows, maybe enjoy a fire escape or balcony picnic, or wait until a time of day when there are fewer people around.

Homeschooling Resources for Parents

Split-shifting and other hacks for working from home while parenting: creative ways which parents are utlizing to make sure that someone is home at all times for their children.

Parent Toolkit: a one-stop resource developed with parents in mind. It’s produced by NBC News Learn and supported by Pearson and includes information about almost every aspect of your child’s development, because they're all connected.

@TheMomProject: an online community and resource for working moms (parents), as well as a list of work from home careers. 

Learning Resources

Continuity of Learning: Website from NYSED featuring remote and e-learning resources for districts and teachers, with options to facilitate continuity of learning.

All nine public television stations in New York are providing "Learn-at-Home" enrichment for students through their broadcast stations and increased online educational resources.
Pre-K and young learners can still watch familiar shows like Sesame Street. Elementary student broadcast schedules include trusted programs like Wild Kratts, Peg + Cat, and Cyberchase. Middle school and high school programming include shows like Nova, History Detectives, and Shakespeare Uncovered. As always, many additional programs are also available to stream on the free PBS Video and PBS KIDS Video apps.

For more information, please visit your local station:

Sesame Workshop - Caring For Each Other: Rich array of Sesame Street content, including newly produced Sesame Street Muppet moments designed to entertain, educate, and comfort parents, caregivers, and children 

ABC Mouse: Early learning resource currently providing free access with the code -; enter code: Aoflunicef

KiwiCo: At home learning resources for kids 

Cincinnati Zoo: Home Safari Facebook Live every day at 3 pm

Scholastic Magazine: Daily projects for kids

Virtual Museum Tours: 12 Famous Museums Offer Virtual Tours You Can Take From Your Couch

Go Noodle: dance along songs

STEM Activities: Launch rockets, build robots, explore your world and beyond with NASA! 

Science Lessons: To help educators during this time of coronavirus, Mystery Science has pulled their most popular science lessons and are offering them for anyone to use for free. 

Art Lessons: Skill share art lessons designed just for kids 
Jerry’s Artarama: Free video art lessons for kids