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Helping Public School Parents amid COVID-19 closures

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So I have friends around the country that are getting impacted in different ways by COVID-19. Some of their schools are transitioning to to online learning. Some are closing and calling it an extended spring break. At least one friend is pulling her kid out, even though the school isn't closing, to homeschool the rest of the year.

I've had more than one parent contact me (as the only homeschooler they know) and ask what to do to educate their kids (in the situations where the schools aren't doing online learning). I've been telling them to have their kids read everyday and do math. But if they're in a district that doesn't have math books, what do you suggest to a parent that will be picking up math 2/3 of the way through the school year?

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I was coming to post a similar question; I've also had some folks asking me how to homeschool for the rest of the year, which is through the middle of June in my area. 

Any ideas for temporary high school (besides Khan Academy and K-12 flexbooks? ) 

I wish something like Spectrum workbooks existed for high school.  Not expensive, and a kid and parent could easily review/tread water for a short time using it. 

 

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6 minutes ago, Zoo Keeper said:

I was coming to post a similar question; I've also had some folks asking me how to homeschool for the rest of the year, which is through the middle of June in my area. 

Any ideas for temporary high school (besides Khan Academy and K-12 flexbooks? ) 

I wish something like Spectrum workbooks existed for high school.  Not expensive, and a kid and parent could easily review/tread water for a short time using it. 

 

For high school I might suggest Great Courses Plus.  It is $49 a month, but they would really only need two months to finish out the year, and it has courses that would reasonably substitute for just about any class offered at most high schools.

Lectures are ~30 minutes, and almost all the courses come with an online guide book that includes discussion questions for every lecture (and many math courses include short problem sets and solutions for each lecture).  So, watch a 30 minute biology lecture (I wouldn't even really care if a student decided to veer outside the standard biology box and watched The Modern Science of Evolution, An Introduction to Infectious Diseases, etc...there are dozens of "biology" choices) and then spend 15 minutes responding to the discussion questions in a notebook. 

Repeat for math, literature, foreign language, history, art, economics, cooking, music, psychology, etc.  It they are ambitious, have the student write a couple pages on a subtopic of their choosing for each class at the end of the year.

It is not an education I would be comfortable with long term, but in my opinion it would be perfectly sufficient for a couple months.

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39 minutes ago, silver said:

So I have friends around the country that are getting impacted in different ways by COVID-19. Some of their schools are transitioning to to online learning. Some are closing and calling it an extended spring break. At least one friend is pulling her kid out, even though the school isn't closing, to homeschool the rest of the year.

I've had more than one parent contact me (as the only homeschooler they know) and ask what to do to educate their kids (in the situations where the schools aren't doing online learning). I've been telling them to have their kids read everyday and do math. But if they're in a district that doesn't have math books, what do you suggest to a parent that will be picking up math 2/3 of the way through the school year?

For math, if they do not use textbooks, you should be able to email the school or teacher and ask for a list of what skills or topics need to be covered in what timeframe. Then just Google, YouTube, or hunt down curriculum that covers what's needed. Depending on the grade, you may not even need anything to teach the skills at home and just make up or print from online resources additional problems to practice.

I've had more than a couple friends ask me to teach them how to homeschool if the need should arise but I've told them not to panic. I'm sure the school districts will find a way to compensate or catch the students up when they return to school, even if it means extending the school year.

Edited by Servant4Christ
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You can find printable worksheets at kutasoftware.com for pre-algebra and up. Thinkwell is also a great resource but it's not free.

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Your advice to read is great!  I would say all they really need to do is read, do board games, and practice math facts if they need more review. They can also order a workbook on Amazon from BrainQuest or the like to play around with. Older students may have ongoing projects to work on from home. Our school got cancelled next week, and I’m excited for more time to just do fun things!  On deck:  pepparkakor, pancakes and making long stockings since we just finished Pippi. Stuff like that would be excellent. We are also going to complete the monthly homework chart—it’s not time intensive but why not finish?  If they are missing work or working remotely next week, then the parents can’t really do any intensive work. I’m very sure we will either be sent work from the teacher or just pick up where we left off when they go back. 

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2 hours ago, wendyroo said:

For high school I might suggest Great Courses Plus.  It is $49 a month, but they would really only need two months to finish out the year, and it has courses that would reasonably substitute for just about any class offered at most high schools.

Lectures are ~30 minutes, and almost all the courses come with an online guide book that includes discussion questions for every lecture (and many math courses include short problem sets and solutions for each lecture).  So, watch a 30 minute biology lecture (I wouldn't even really care if a student decided to veer outside the standard biology box and watched The Modern Science of Evolution, An Introduction to Infectious Diseases, etc...there are dozens of "biology" choices) and then spend 15 minutes responding to the discussion questions in a notebook. 

Repeat for math, literature, foreign language, history, art, economics, cooking, music, psychology, etc.  It they are ambitious, have the student write a couple pages on a subtopic of their choosing for each class at the end of the year.

It is not an education I would be comfortable with long term, but in my opinion it would be perfectly sufficient for a couple months.

Many libraries have great courses plus subscriptions.

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20 hours ago, Zoo Keeper said:

I was coming to post a similar question; I've also had some folks asking me how to homeschool for the rest of the year, which is through the middle of June in my area. 

Any ideas for temporary high school (besides Khan Academy and K-12 flexbooks? ) 

I wish something like Spectrum workbooks existed for high school.  Not expensive, and a kid and parent could easily review/tread water for a short time using it. 

 

 

jmap.org is a very good repository of high school math problem sets, indexed in several ways, including by objective. 

Other than that, math workbooks do exist for high school. Some have been scanned in, for ex: https://spanewman.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/homework-workbook.pdf  .  Personally I would go to the website of the publisher the high school prefers and see what resources are available. 

ETA: for elementary school math  https://www.eduplace.com/math/mw/ is very helpful.  There are all sorts of worksheets under the leveled practice tab for each grade level.  One needs to print out what one's student needs from the six unit resource choices.  We did grade 5, was very good.  Homework resource choice summarizes the lesson, reteach gives the lesson.  Tedious to print out though in comparison to buying something..but does have enough practice to work to mastery.

Edited by HeighHo
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For highschool math, I might do some ACT or SAT test prep.  Work problems together and get dialectic about math, talking about how to solve it, etc.  It might be review, it might reveal weaknesses.  Whatever.  It can't hurt.  

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GED Prep book for high school would cover what they need for a little while.

Time4Learning, though not free or robust, could work as a fill-in. Covers Prek- 12th.

College of the Redwoods has a free pre-algebra book.

Math for littles is relatively easy to do without curriculum. Loads of free options there. Prodigy math game has a free version.

I agree with lots of reading but finding material could be a challenge if libraries shut down. 

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6 hours ago, maize said:

Many libraries have great courses plus subscriptions.

All the libraries in my county closed today with very short notice. Not everyone has a library card, some haven’t renewed theirs, and some forgot their PIN for their library card. 

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9 hours ago, Zoo Keeper said:

Any ideas for temporary high school (besides Khan Academy and K-12 flexbooks? ) 


I am helping a friend with a 9th grader plan. She says she will bring her child’s curriculum for me to look see and advise. In her case, her husband can tutor their child in math. It’s languages where they might have to hire a online tutor. 
High school is less generic as each student has their individualized selection of classes. For example, I know her kid takes algebra 2 and Spanish 1, but I don’t know what other subjects her kid is taking. 

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9 hours ago, Arcadia said:

All the libraries in my county closed today with very short notice. Not everyone has a library card, some haven’t renewed theirs, and some forgot their PIN for their library card. 

Our libraries are closing end of day today, but they are going to have librarians answering questions by phone with access to the computers, so anyone who has to renew our has forgotten a pin should call in for help. Maybe your libraries have the same? Our libraries are also suspending due dates, which I hope they don't have to do manually.

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18 minutes ago, xahm said:

Our libraries are closing end of day today, but they are going to have librarians answering questions by phone with access to the computers, so anyone who has to renew our has forgotten a pin should call in for help. Maybe your libraries have the same? Our libraries are also suspending due dates, which I hope they don't have to do manually.

Not for mine but some libraries do have a librarian taking phone calls to help with account issues. 

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Other libraries, like ours, is setting up a system where.you can still get books on hold. They'll collect them, bag them, and you can pick them up at the door

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A lady from my Church shared this schedule a friend of hers created for her kids.

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I am using the free CK12 Kindle book for maths with ds10 (I am using grade 6 vol 1 but there are grades 7 and 8).  It is an easy to follow textbooky text with a story line over each unit.  Eg unit one is about kids working at the zoo for the summer, unit 2 is about gardening etc.  It would be easy to work out which chapters to do and skip others.

 

My only complaint is the formatting in the problem sets which means I have to rewrite some.

Edited by kiwik

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On 3/14/2020 at 6:46 AM, Sarah0000 said:

For elementary math I recommended Beast Academy Online. Expensive, but easy to step into.

They are offering $15 off for new subscriptions b/c of the virus, and the Beast Academy puzzle packs at Teachers Pay Teachers are free.  Also: there is a 14-day cancellation period on AoPS subscriptions and, I believe, e-books; this has helped me be willing to try their stuff.   

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Our host, Well-Trained Mind, is offering 20% off almost everything in the store, and free audios of Susan Wise Bauer discussing homeschooling tips and helps.  Coupon code: stuckathome.

Audiobooks, history stories, elementary arithmetic supplements (keep the skills fresh)...all good stuff.  Also, the FB pages is linking to things that help parents who are "suddenly homeschooling."  It's worth a "follow" at least for the duration.  

 

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In addition to the basics of just reading and playing with your kids, I suggest the following because they are insanely simple and can be valuable even if you only go a few weeks before school comes back in session. 

For KG - ProgressivePhonics.com has these short printable readers you read with your kids (color coded so you read some and they read some) and very short, easy phonics lessons you just read to your kids. 

Starfall.com  is good for when you just need a break...cause they can do it independantly online.

They Might Be Giants has good videos on ABC, 123 and science topics (though one of their science videos, "Science is Real" I hate because it subtly suggests religion isn't.  Love their other videos though.


For Elementary -

The Math Facts that Stick series sold here on Well Trained Mind (I suggest the printable version).   Whatever math facts your kids were already working on in school (Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division), you can just continue with it.   It has really short, scripted lessons, followed by a week of game play for practice after each lesson, which is a fun way to learn.   

For Elementary Through High School
Unit Studies on something your kids are interested in is a good idea too, since they are short so you can plan for even a few weeks, and they can usually be done with kids of various ages (so you can teach your kids all together).   There are lots online but it's easy make your own.   Not as insanely simple as above, but not bad. 

Go to your library, if it's open (or Amazon or Thriftbooks if its not), and pick out a non-fiction book on a topic your kids love.   Look for a book that has nice sections with headers (For example, if you were studying the Vikings, the sections might be "Viking Boats, Viking Government, Viking Warfare.")     For each section, go to Pinterest and see if you can find one or two activities (craft, experiment, project, worksheet, coloring page, game, etc.) you can do with it, and/or a video on youtube that goes with it.  Each day, read the section, ask your kids some questions about it (not to write about, just to see if they understand, or to explore the topic more), and do an activity/watch a video.  SIMPLE.

Kahn Academy for math if you're just out a few weeks.

Suggested YouTube Series
The following are a great way to learn a lot of history while they're home...

Crash Course World and American History
This is better for Junior High through High School.  Gives a nice overview of history quickly.  Some of them could be used with younger kids, ut occassionally, not every video, it has a joke that is a little...not elementary friendly (most of the videos are fine though).       

Extra Credits History
This is great from about age 7 or 8 up (I started this when my kids were 8, and my high schooler still enjoys these).  This doesn't give an overview but has deeper dives on various topics in history, and it's animated and funny but also respectful and informative.  I LOVE IT.  I'd search youtube for "Extra Credits History Chronological" to find a good playlist of their videos (they've done so many they split the list in two.

TedEd - For educational topics in science, history, technology, and culture.  







 

Edited by goldenecho

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On 3/13/2020 at 3:13 PM, Servant4Christ said:

I've had more than a couple friends ask me to teach them how to homeschool if the need should arise but I've told them not to panic. I'm sure the school districts will find a way to compensate or catch the students up when they return to school, even if it means extending the school year.

A friend with children in our local public school contacted me today and I found out the schools here are projected to be closed at least until the end of April. The students still have schoolwork assignments and online assignments to complete in the meantime. Sounds like a crash course in modern homeschooling to me, just with less flexibility.

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