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So your off-spring is home from school

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PALESTINIAN-HEALTH-VIRUS-EDUCATION Photo by MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images

Teachers are supposed to be prepping work for students, but I don’t know how that will look or how long this will go on. Here are some simple, free things you can do at home. Please note that places like the library might be closed in your city (they are in Winnipeg), so they are not an available resourse.

  1. Read a lot. Read as a family, listen to your kids read, just read. If you have a favourite series from your childhood, read it with them and re-discover the series all over again. If you need to take books out from the library, you can download the Libby app and take out electronic or audio books for free if your local libraries have been shut down.
  2. Have them write a little bit. It could be a journal entry, it could be about the book they are reading or a short story (younger kids love to write stories). They can even write comics. Writing is a good exercise for them.
  3. Play board games. I’ve actually played games like Snakes and Ladders in the classroom because they are good for number tracking and counting. Games like Monopoly and life are good for math. Yahtzee is a good strategy game. Nothing wrong with playing some board games to pass the time.
  4. Card games as well. A game like War can become a math game if you play addition war or multiplication war. You can also teach your child other card games that require both strategy and adding. Just because it is a game, does not mean it is not math.
  5. Do puzzles. Again, strategy is the name of the game here and they are excellent time consumers. Plus, the whole family can work on one. Really fun activity as long as all the pieces are present.
  6. Bake. Yes, bake. Baking is science. This is a neat little blog about the science of baking by a father and son, but you can search “science of baking” and learn a lot. Have fun with it and make some new recipes. The results will probably be delicious as well.
  7. Build things with Lego or Knex. Building things are great. Kids are infinitely creative. I used these two toys as an example, but build out of anything and be amazed at how great they are at it.
  8. Do some arts and crafts. Anything will do. Build something with popsicle sticks, paint a picture, learn how crochet or knit, draw something fun, do some paper mache, make a mask, the possibilities are endless. It can be soothing and fun for the whole family.
  9. If you really want to use technology try sites like ABCYA, Storyline Online, and ask your child’s teacher if they do math online sometimes. Some schools have subscriptions to sites like Prodigy Math or Mathletics and kids have accounts there. There are also a ton of people who are offering free online resources including Scholastic Canada, so you can go there and look.

The biggest thing to remember is learning does not have to be a pen and paper. It can be fun and involve the whole family. Instead of making the need to stay home a bad thing, see it as a time to work together as a family to try some new things. You can even search things like “virtual field trips” and “go places” while still at home.

This will suck. We are social creatures and we are being told to stay home for the betterment of everyone. We are not alone and we can do still interact with our families in meaningful ways. Do your best to have some fun and make your spawn work at the same time.