Yikes! I know I wasn’t expecting these circumstances, were you? I did take the news seriously, but it’s all happening much quicker than I anticipated.
There’s no need to go into what’s happening with COVID-19, as I’m sure you see enough of that on the news. Suffice it to say, it’s caught a lot of us off guard and wondering what to do to help our kids continue to learn at home.
There is so much information out there, that it can be overwhelming, so I decided to share my favorites in this blog post, organized by the following categories:
- Free educational websites (with a summary of each)
- Educational kid’s shows
- My free resources that may help
- Ideas for your own StoryTime online
Further down, you’ll also find:
- Suggestions for making a schedule for your kids
- Sample schedule (mine)
- Free resource to make your own, including activity ideas for kids, organized by category
FREE EDUCATIONAL WEBSITES
Many websites are offering free access to teachers and parents during this time. There is a comprehensive list here, but it’s overwhelming (100+ sites), so I selected some of my favorites to post here. If you have any to add, be sure to link it in the comments!
- “Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems” Your kids likely know the Elephant and Piggy book series or the Pigeon ones. The author, Mo Willems, is doing a live video daily to doodle with kids and talk about his writing! He’s one of my favorite authors and we loooved his first episode!
- BrainPop– One of my favorite sites for kids. It really has a goldmine of videos across all subjects, as well as printable materials. If your school is closed, you can sign up for free access to their videos and resources!
- Mystery Science – simple science videos for kids. They’ve made their top videos free during this time.
- Scholastic Bookflix- Free access to tons of online books and lessons
- ABCYa.com also has video lessons and games. This page gives information on how to best use the site at home.
- PBS.org – You can input your child’s age, subject needed, and even show theme to get free games to play!
- Studies Weekly– social studies lessons for kids of different ages
- Learning A to Z (only educators can sign up and give access to parents) Free 90 days to lots of great reading resources
- Vooks– animated storybooks to watch (educators get 1 free year, parents get a 30-day free trial)
Educational Kid’s Shows
There are so many, including classics like Sesame Street. These are our home favorites! You can find them on PBS, Netflix, and even YouTube.
- Sid the Science Kid
- Bill Nye, the Science Guy
- The Magic School Bus
- Wild Kratts
- Coyote Peterson
Free Resources from me
I must say I’ve seen the educational community really step up to help each other out- parents and teachers! So proud to be part of this community and I’m trying to do my part to help in some way.
I posted the freebie below in my Teachers pay Teachers store. It has letters with tips for parents to help their children with reading and writing. It also includes letters that explain some of my resources. I know many of you use my resources, but it’s not always easy to just send things home without a little explanation. The letters include picture samples and I included at least 1 of each activity in the freebie. Grab it here: FREE Take-Home Pack
You’ll also find an Activity bingo, motivating goal sheet for tracking activities, a book hunt, and an ABC chart.
In addition to the freebie above, I have lots of freebies in my resource library, as well as my TpT store.
Teachers pay Teachers Freebies
Tejeda’s Tots Free Resource Library (you’ll get the password when you sign up for my weekly tips)
I’ve also set my Find the Gold math game to free temporarily for some holiday fun.
If you are looking for more of my resources, I have put my store on sale at 20% off as well, today and tomorrow: Brenda Tejeda’s TpT Shop
Free Daily Schedule
If there is one thing I know, it’s that kids can get a little antsy without structure, can I get an amen? One way to provide that structure is to set up a daily calendar of activities. This may be something you’ll want to share with your parents.
Before I go into that further, let me preface it by saying that it’s perfectly fine to take this time to relax and enjoy each other’s company; playing, building, watching movies, and all that good stuff. We are doing that, too.
If you need a bit more structure and guidance for your kids, then you may decide to try a schedule. In our home, we are following a schedule Mon, Wed, Fri and just relaxing with no agenda on the other days. This may change as the weeks go by, too, and we’ll adapt to our needs.
Calendar Freebie– I’ve made a freebie that includes suggestions for making a calendar, as well as activity ideas for reading, writing, math, and more.
You may be wondering how you can help your students through this time, so I wanted to share something that my co-teacher and I started last year with our students.
We were inspired by a principal who read stories online to the students in her building and we started our own Storytime Club. This was a private FaceBook group where my co-teacher and I took turns weekly to read to our students via FaceBook live.
Since we taught a dual language classroom, we were able to alternate English and Spanish books!
Our Storytime Club was a great way to share our love of reading with our kids, practice reading strategies, and model book discussions for parents!
PLUS, your kids will just love seeing you “on TV!” Here is a peek at some of my storytimes (here with my little dinosaur sidekick).
If this is an idea you are interested in trying, feel free to email me for how to set it up!
Before I go, I wanted to give you all a big THANK YOU for all you do- for each other and for your kids.
I hope you all are, and continue to be, healthy. Please feel free to email me at email@example.com with any questions or suggestions of how else I can help!
I would like to know how to set up my own StoryTime Club. Thanks for the offer!
It’s really easy to do it via a FaceBook group. You can follow directions on Facebook to set up a private group and ask your students’ parents for their FB email address. You will have to invite them via these emails and when they join, they will be able to see anything you post. Just hit the ‘Go live’ button to make a video from your phone or laptop. I recommend practicing in a secret FB group first! You can make another group and set it to secret. Just add your spouse or 1 other person that can give you feedback on sound and video. Hope this helps! 🙂