We have posted many blog articles detailing steps remote workers can take to ensure productivity and connectivity. But there is an elephant in the room. Actually, there are 3 in my house… they are small but mighty, mostly cute, time-vampires.
I am, of course, referring to children. With the stay-at-home mandates being pushed out and forced closures of many schools, working parents are confronted with a challenging situation.
The 2 primary concerns:
- “How can I focus on work, when I have a young child who has 50 million questions to ask every hour?”
- “How can I help ensure my child/children stay focused and engaged in learning?”
Tools for telecommuting parents
Here I will share some resources to help keep you sane while you're working from home. These ideas can also help prevent your children from backsliding on their educational progress.
Some schools and districts have implemented distance learning and remote schooling curriculum to help students in higher grade levels but many districts have not.
Whether you use the resources below as a supplement or a starting point, they can be a helpful way to increase your productivity and simultaneously help your children continue their own independent learning.
- Kahn Academy offers structured schedules with outlines and links that contain learning materials for that particular subject.
- JumpStart Games offers a wide array of learning-based content for students of various age groups.
- ABCya.com is a site dedicated to creating educational games that keep learning fun.
- Children age 5 and up can learn to code on Tynker. The site is offering all premium content for free while schools are closed.
- Lynda.com offers online learning for teens and adults. Get a free month when you sign up. Many libraries offer free access.
- Udemy launched the Udemy Free Resource Center — a curated collection of more than 150 free Udemy courses to help students adapt to working from home, search for a job, maintain balance, and more.
- Learn to play guitar online. Fender will let you take 3 months of free lessons.
- Learn a foreign language on Duolingo for free.
- Many Ivy League classes are now available for free.
- Dictionary.com is using TikTok to teach kids words.
In addition to its TikTok presence, they launched a learning activity center on Dictionary.com and created the Facebook group Learning at Home with Dictionary.com.
An occupied mind is a healthy mind. So here's a list of free entertainment options to keep your mind engaged.
- While you have to pay for Netflix and Disney Plus, many streaming sites are free. CNET has a list of all the ways to watch TV shows and movies at no cost.
- The Detroit Symphony Orchestra can come to you with free access to DSO Replay – their archive of past performances.
- Broadway shows are available online for free during a 7-day trial at BroadwayHD.com.
- Audible has put together a website for children to stream free audiobooks. For as long as schools are closed, kids everywhere can instantly stream free stories that will help them continue dreaming and learning.
- The Metropolitan Opera is streaming different performances every night.
- NASA at Home shows the agency's discoveries, research and exploration from around the world and across the universe.
- Using Google Earth, you can visit any national park online from the comfort of your couch. Death Valley National Park, Glacier National Park, Grand Canyon National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are among the sites you can tour.
- The Detroit Zoo and many others, including the San Diego Zoo, are showing animal live feeds. So is the Monterrey Bay Aquarium.
- Most sports are postponed during the pandemic but you can watch many classic games for free. The NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB have all opened up their libraries.
- Visit the Detroit Institute of Arts with DIA At Home.
- Take an online virtual tour of the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel and the Pio Clementino Museum.
- Google’s Arts and Culture website offers tours of museums throughout the world, including the Tokyo National Museum and Guggenheim Museum. Virtual tours of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History are also available.
- This ultimate quarantine playlist from Emily VanDerWerff, critic at large for Vox, includes 215 songs and lasts 16 hours.
- Take any of 8 virtual tours of gardens around the world, from Monet’s Garden in Giverny to Keukenhof in Amsterdam to botanical gardens in Chicago and Hawaii.
As always, if you have any specific topics you would like addressed in future segments, please let us know. Stay safe.