Visual Schedules/Task Analysis
- ChoiceWorks App: ($9.99) Upload your own pictures or use the ones in their library to make visual schedules or a task analysis (steps to complete one task). Here is an example of a sample morning schedule. The play button reads the schedule to the child, or they can tap each picture to hear what it is.
- Wait For It ($1.99) : Visual Timer with picture supports. It’s from the company that makes PECS.
- TaskAnalysis (free): A free app that allows you to break down a task into manageable steps to encourage independence in completing tasks. You can add text, picture or even video to help model and prompt along the way.
- Children’s countdown (free): A fun visual timer you can pull up on your phone or iPad to help your child transition between tasks.
- A Day in Our Shoes lists 10 Free Visual Timers.
This is a scary thing for many parents, so in addition to any math packets sent home, consider math card games or real-life math practice (recipes use fractions, budgeting for shopping items, etc.) or accessing a good math website:
Standards may fall by the wayside for a while, and that’s okay. Any form of reading is good! Search for articles on subjects your children are interested in and ask them to read and tell you about what they learned, or read with your child and ask them questions. Audiobooks are also great.
Many companies have made their resources available for free for parents and teachers:
- The Barbara Bush Foundation for Literacy Educational Toolkit for At-Home Learning offers free online resources that can help children continue to build critical literacy skills while schools are closed.
- Khan Academy Kids (geared towards ages 2-7)
- Letterland / Phonics Online
- Lexia online programs to use at home
- Nessy programs are designed to help students of all abilities learn to read, write, spell and type, especially those who learn differently. Free trial available.
- Raz-kids.com (free through the end of the school year)
- Reading Rockets offers a wealth of research-based reading strategies, lessons, and activities
- ReadWriteThink: “our mission is to provide educators, parents, and afterschool professionals with access to the highest quality practices in reading and language arts instruction by offering the very best in free materials.”
- Reach Out and Read: “Reach Out and Read is committed to helping families understand the benefits of reading with children from infancy—and providing the support they need to make reading a habit.”
- Scholastic Creates Free, Open-Access Digital Hub to Help Keep Students Learning While Schools are Disrupted by Coronavirus (courses providing approximately three hours of learning per day, including writing and research projects, virtual field trips, and geography challenges; accessible on any device; no sign up is required; will remain free and open indefinitely)
- U.S. Department of Education’s Talk, Read, and Sing Together Every Day! Tip Sheets for Families, Caregivers and Early Learning Educators provide families, caregivers and early educators with research-based tips for talking, reading, and singing with young children every day beginning from birth.
- Supporting Students During COVID-19 Closures
Audiobook/ Animated book resources:
Have your child send an email, write a story, animate a story, write letters to people in nursing homes or kids in hospitals, using whatever means possible. Check out the Daily Writing Prompts, Inspired by The New York Times.
Practice typing skills online
English Language Learners
Bring science into the mix more naturally. Plant seeds, take nature walks, cook, find a topic of interest etc. Or, as always, go online:
Social Studies / History
You can watch and debrief the news with your child. There are also so many “virtual world” options opening up online, many of them for free.
- Crash Course – World History, US History, Economics (Youtube – Crash Course)
- iCivics Games
- HippoCampus – Homework and Study Help – Free help with your algebra, biology, environmental science, American government, US history, physics and religion homework
- Coronavirus Resources: Teaching, Learning and Thinking Critically is a regularly updated site with “ideas for working, at school or at home, with content from The Times and other reliable sources about this global pandemic.”
Provide daily (or even hourly) opportunities for your child to move and be active. Use a web based fitness app, a YouTube exercise video, or have your child walk the dog or do jumping jacks (or vacuum the house?)
Online free art lessons:
Museums / Art → Look at, respond to, and discuss visual art together!
Free performances to watch online
Social and emotional learning