Schooling at Home During the Time of Coronavirus!!!! Schooling at home sucks. It is not ideal, and it makes me rage at the inequity in Seattle Schools. Neighboring school districts have been sending kids home with devices and/or booklets and are definitely ahead of the curve. Meanwhile, our district was understaffed and underfunded before Coronavirus showed up.
The economic divide between Bellevue and Bainbridge School Districts and Seattle is immense. And at the end of this, our kids will be impacted unless the City and the State step up the effort to support our district and its 52,000 Washington state citizens with the tiniest of resources.
What Seattle Schools Needs Right Now for Parents Schooling at Home During the Time of Coronavirus:
The Seattle School district needs support from the Government and Private sector. The back office at SPS has been decimated. Employees are sick or caring for sick family members. The staff is reduced to less than ten people to get communications and materials out to 52,000 students.
Government Support: The Mayor and the Governor need to provide additional resources ASAP to the district to assist students and the school District. Please call both the Mayor and the Governor.
Large Tech Companies: Students need devices and access to WiFi. And not every student has this service in Seattle. They do in other locations in our state but not in Seattle.
It would cost $13M to buy a Chrome book for every student in our district.
There has got to be a way to do a bulk buy of devices and get them to kids. Do we want to be the big tech city that doesn’t care that individual students cannot access their teachers or services because students do not have resources at home?
Meanwhile, Schooling at Home During the Time of Coronavirus
Working from home, managing the Coronavirus Chaos, AND managing your kids’ schooling is tough. In general, we are a city of Alpha personalities in our careers. But very few of us have Graduate degrees to teach kids. We are in the second week of schools being closed no surprise: Emotions are high. My friend Alex gave me the best advice and said. Just give your kid and yourself some grace.
Social distancing and spending lots of quality time with the kids is going to be the ultimate challenge in the coming months.
So What Can You Do With Your Kids in Seattle During the Coronavirus Chaos?
Homeschooling isn’t easy, but we are doing it. I believe in public education and public educators for lots of reasons. They are doing god’s work for very little pay, and they keep the kiddo focused and help her grow to her best self. As a parent, we are here to guide, be inspirational, and help them navigate the world with a moral compass. Adding education to that pile is a lot.
Gamification of Homeschooling Your Kids in Seattle During the Coronavirus “Break”
In the first week, we created a chart with hourly activities and a curriculum around things the kiddo wanted to learn. The schedule is exactly what she has at school, including wake-up time and time to work. She gets a star for every activity completed. Well, that was a disaster. So we have modified it a bit and gotten her input more on how and what she wants to learn. For instance, we are publishing a family blog as a way for her to do a “Writing Assignment.” And we are doing the best we can do during this time.
Speaking of games…
For kids who crave gamified learning, Freerice.com is a great, do-gooder site with multiple categories. You can choose math, English grammar, English vocabulary, geography, art, the Periodic Table, human anatomy, and more. Every correct answer brings a donation of 10 rice grains to relief programs through the World Food Program. Learn as you support people in need.
Of course, there’s a lot more to learn than that. Here is our curriculum thus far, with the day laid out in order: Spanish, History, Science, Break, Math, Reading, Writing. For each subject, we include links to sites with resources for those of you raising your kids in Seattle during Coronavirus quarantine.
Chez Diva School At Home Activities
Spanish Class (AKA second languages)
The kiddo’s school gives access to everyone to study at home. Duolingo is a great tool for learning many languages, and we have heard great things about Babbel, too. (The free version of that one is limited, tho.)
We’re watching documentaries about history for those who do not make it into the history books that often. Think Marsha B. Johnson.
- Have a Library Card or two at home? Seattle Public Library members get free watch credits to the streaming service, Kanopy, which has loads of documentaries and lessons. Sign up online.
- This Day in History on Brittanica.com is a rabbit hole that can lead to lots of interesting lessons.
I went to Magic Mouse and bought science kits. We also have a friend who works at a Zoo and she agreed to do a couple of presentations. For now, it is ok but not great. Here are some online resources with worksheets, diagrams and more.
- The US Forestry Service site has lots of materials for the younger kids out there.
- The sweet and scrappy Handbook of Nature Study site has a bunch of outdoor activities for every season that can be used for life science lessons…and incorporated into physical activities, too.
- The Fish and Wildlife Service page has info about endangered species that can inspire lessons and projects (think writing or art projects, if your kid is passionate about this).
Thankfully the kiddo’s teacher sent over the Kahn Academy. So far we’re okay, but for a lot of parents with rusty math skills, this can be daunting. Fortunately, the internet is FULL of math education resources for all ages.
- MathDrills.com and All Kids Network for worksheets
- More advanced videos from Patrick: Just math Tutorials
- Paid skills and lessons from IXL (They also offer language arts and science lessons at some grade levels)
- More lessons and puzzles from the National Library of Visual Manipulatives
The kiddo has a collection of books at home that we will be working through. We trust you do too. And if not, some smaller bookstores are still open. Check out our favorite bookstores around town.
We are doing travel essays for the kiddo. Together we have traveled to Paris, London, Hawaii, Mexico, New York City, Philadelphia, and Vancouver, B.C. One of our family goals is to do an Adventures at Chez Diva website. This will be our first step at making this goal a reality.
Get to know what your kid is passionate about and have them write on that, and do some research, too. Writing can link together so many disciplines, including history, science, and the arts, of course.
Here Are Some Awesome Resources to Assist While We School at Home
- KiWi Co Has a Blog with really awesome ideas of activities you can do at home. You can also order kits.
- For especially little ones, check out Star Fall.
- CK-12 is a paid program, but it is fairly comprehensive, and they are hosting free webinars to get parents started
- For individual worksheets and lessons, check out Teachers Pay Teachers. Free and inexpensive options abound.
- For even more gamified learning, check out Arcademics, which works like Freemium apps. (With in-app purchases.)
Encourage Online Time with Friends
We all crave social interaction. We are social beings…especially kids. And the kids in Seattle during Coronavirus quarantine are at the very edge of what is turning into a turning point in this country and the world. They are not ignorant of this, and they know how important it is to be connected with others now.
Have your kids schedule a time to play Roblox online while chatting with friends. Xbox is a great way to interact with people online. Kids are so used to texting and interacting on TikTok. FaceTime, and talking on the phone feel old fashion. But what is old is new again.
Get Outside and Enjoy the Pacific Northwest
We live in one of the most beautiful areas in the world. And so far the weather has been decent. We have been taking daily walks to Pritchard Beach and around the neighborhood. Take one day off each week and take a day hike. Do something to get outside. And for god sake practice social distancing.
Employ Kids To Disinfect the House
Right now we are doing a daily disinfect in the house of common surfaces. We employed the kiddo to wipe down every knob, handle, kitchen pull, etc… The house smells like bleach. But any virus that might have snuck into the house has been cleared. Who knows who we might interact with outside in the rest of the world?
Put Them To Work in Your Work
Obviously working in Real Estate there are a ton of things people touch all of the time like lockboxes. We paid the kiddo to clean every lockbox, flyer holder, and other items that people touch while touring a home. Earlier this month, I took the kiddo along to a newly listed house in Wallingford and had her help me put up the marketing. You might be seeing some editing or ghostwriting on the blogs by the kiddo.
Plant a Garden Together
We are all home TOGETHER. Get the supplies you need to plan and plant a garden together. Watch that garden grow. And it makes the world a better place. And who knows if people keep hoarding food we might need those veggies in a hot second.
Advice From the Actual Kid in Seattle During the Coronavirus Break
Honestly, it isn’t that bad, except they make me get up and get dressed like it’s actual school. Which it isn’t. I think homeschooling would be much more fun if they let me study in my pajamas. So I recommend letting your child work in their pajamas. Trust me, they’ll be happier. Also, my day is the same length as a school day and I don’t like school as it is, so this makes it worse.
Overall I’d give homeschooling a 4/10.
I work better with my friends and homeschooling doesn’t offer that, but I don’t think friends are really a priority right now considering we are in a pandemic right now. Overall I’d give homeschooling a 4/10.
I hope these ideas for sheltering at home with your kids in Seattle during the Coronavirus Break were helpful. We would love to know your tips and tricks. Cause gurrrrllll, we are in this. We are doing this. We can work. We can save lives by not going out. And we can school our effing kiddos at home.