Schools across New York State are closed through April 1, and districts are setting up virtual ways for students and parents to continue learning. Here are some different ways to keep kids engaged while keeping everyone at home.
Local school districts have set up a variety of resources for students to do work at home during the shutdown. Patchogue-Medford, South Country and William Floyd each have packets for grade levels and individual schools that students can take home, all accessible online. William Floyd is also rolling out this week an online platform named Canvas for high school students.
“Our plan is designed to keep our students connected and engaged in learning while school is out,” said South Country superintendent Joseph Giani in a letter to parents. “Moving forward, we will continue to refine, modify and enhance this plan, our webpage and the resources available.”
In addition to school-provided resources, there are several online learning websites promoted by schools. The Patchogue-Medford website links to sites like FunBrain, PBS Lab, Lunch Doodle, GoNoodle and Storyline Online for elementary students. There are also resources for middle and high school students. South Country has links for CommonLit, Scholastic and more.
Learning without technology
Though there is a plethora of information online, parents may want to limit the time kids spend on screens while home all day. The New York State Education Department recommends several ways to help kids learn without technology. For young students, try learning games that incorporate animals, colors, shapes and numbers. The games can even be elevated for older students by incorporating math, governmental and science topics. And don’t let school’s closure prevent your child from learning reading skills. Helping them with phonics and sounds will continue their growth when it comes to reading and writing. For writing, have them trace letters, use connect-the-dots or even bring some Play-doh into the mix and shape out letters. And for older students, give them different types of writing assignments to improve their skills. One of the most fun options might be to try at-home simple science experiments. Check out Science Bob online to find some easy and fun experiments.