In the first part of this series, I offered some foundational thoughts on homeschooling and crisis management during quarantine. Part two covered meeting essential needs, and part three offered suggestions regarding routine.
In this final installment, I’d like to share some specific resources that I’ve found helpful. My wise friend Simone said that, rather than going down that rabbit hole and ending up as busy as we were before the quarantine, it’s better to realize that we can’t do everything and focus on one or two free resources a day. There are so many resources available that it can be overwhelming. Just choose a few that work for your kids, and reject any self-imposed pressure to feel like you have to maximize each minute bouncing from one activity to the next.
This list, from a homeschooling mother of nine children, has some wonderful, simple ideas.
- Dr. Dan Siegel and Dr. Tina Bryson offer incredible resources for parents of kids of all ages. In addition to this series of interviews, their books The Whole Brain Child, The Yes Brain, No-Drama Discipline, and The Power of Showing Up render attachment theory and pediatric neuroscience accessible to parents in the trenches.
- Read-Aloud Revival provides wonderful, well-vetted lists of classic and contemporary children’s books arranged by subject, thematic content, and age level.
- Memoria Press posts lists of read-aloud favorites according to age group, and even allows parents to purchase the various packages.
- Illustrator Maite Roche has a number of books available through Ignatius Press that depict the stories of Christianity in a beautiful and appealing way for young readers
- Indoor Works for Children Ages 3–6
- Ideas for Outdoor Activities
- Incorporating Montessori into the Kitchen:
- Learning from Home: A Handbook for Parents
This is a helpful overview of Montessori and specific age-appropriate in-home activities during social distancing
- Light of Sunday (Instagram)
Geena Harrington provides inspiration on incorporating Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (a Montessori-based method of teaching the Catholic faith to children) in the home.
- Card games like Uno, Spot It, Sleeping Queens, and Hiss, as well as classics like Go Fish, Crazy 8s, War, Gin Rummy, Speed, and even Solitaire are great options.
- Board games like the collaborative offerings from Peaceable Kingdom (Hoot Owl Hoot, Race to the Treasure, and Gnomes at Night) are creative and engaging, and actually do promote sibling peace! Perennial favorites like checkers, chess, Chutes & Ladders, etc. never go out of style, and Twister gets everyone moving on rainy days.
- Jigsaw puzzles are also a great activity for kids of all ages (and grown-ups too!): they’re good for spatial relations and visualization, and encourage collaboration if children work on them together. Try setting up a card table in a quiet area for “puzzling,” so the kids can take breaks without leaving pieces all over the floor or dining table.
- Art of all kinds: watercolor, sketches, acrylics, clay, leaf rubbings, etc can be collected and displayed in a corner of the house as an “art gallery,” with each work given a title and credit to the artist, and zoom tours of the kids’ “museum” are a great way to share their creativity with friends and extended family.
Finally, here are some enriching options for screen time, all available on various streaming services: Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, Brother Francis, Magic School Bus, Charlie and Lola, and The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends.
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