As a digital media company, Lead Dog Digital in Tyler, Texas, understands how quickly education has shifted to online platforms during quarantine. Most students across Texas, and the nation, will be finishing out the school year online at home.
Parents are faced with the necessity of home-schooling their children and finding ways to make online education fun and engaging.
There’s lots of material out there for learning online, and many digital platforms for online learning, but making home-school into fun education can be challenging. Additionally, it can be challenging to sort through and choose what’s best for the needs of your child.
Lead Dog Digital, along with a few teacher friends, has created a list of resources, websites, and ideas for making online learning fun and engaging.
These sites and ideas aren’t just for digital learning and home-schooling. They’re also fun for the whole family year-round!
Digital Learning Ideas:
Online Reading/Writing Resources:
A wonderful online learning resource connecting digital learning with reading. Scholastic.com is an online teaching resource that parents can easily use too. It has interactive reading, writing, and computer lessons and activities. The focus is to help connect young readers to stories, and use that as a jumping-off point for fun learning.
This wonderful website focuses on game-based activities and learning. If your kids enjoy games, this is a great learning resource the whole family can enjoy together. It includes helpful tools for teachers and parents.
***Helpful tip for Parents: Just because it says “Teachers” doesn’t mean the lessons won’t be useful and helpful for you too! Explore all the options.
Pbskids.org is geared toward a broad audience and includes multi-grade and multi-subject activities (Pre-K—High School).
It also includes current events and helpful links and resources to other online learning platforms and sites.
Sesame Street Online: Sesamestreet.org
This site has terrific learning and family-based resources for parents and kids. It also deals with current events, particularly helping children cope with the changes in their lives during quarantine.
Other Fun Digital Learning Ideas:
Since the popularity of plays such as “Hamilton” and the “Percy Jackson” book and movie series, young people are finding a new interest in history and mythology. Using Google as a jumping-off point, as a family, research a story, myth, historical figure, or time period.
From Robin Hood to Eleanor Roosevelt; Hercules to Harriet Tubman; Cinderella to The Brother’s Grimm, the options are broad.
- Take turns “telling the story” of your subject to your family. Include pictures.
- Re-enact the story or myth as a play or puppet show.
- Dress up like the characters.
- A fun way to utilize online search platforms, and make history/myths come to life with the whole family.
Explore the World Together:
This wonderful website has a vast range of enjoyable activities for the whole family. It’s fun and very interactive, with lots of vibrant photos and history, as well as current events. It includes games and videos that are both interesting and engaging.
Search YouTube for Author Read-Alouds:
Many children and young adult book authors are recording themselves reading their books aloud. Search out your favorite authors and listen and watch them bring their stories to life.
If you or your children enjoy poetry, there are many wonderful online poetry resources where you can watch poetry readings by your favorite authors and find some new ones.
If being read to is something you and your family enjoy, there are many online options, but one of the best is Audible. They have been offering deals during quarantine, and have a wide range of choices for children’s stories.
Online Cooking Classes:
Another thing families are doing a lot more of during quarantine, is cooking. YouTube is full of online cooking demonstrations and classes. You can watch and support at-home cooks all over the world, or search out your favorite celebrity chefs. Watch the demonstrations and then try cooking the recipe!
Virtual Classes and Story-times:
Artists during quarantine are going digital. There are fun options for the whole family:
- Drawing lessons
- Music classes, Art & film classes, and more.
Virtual tours have become a fun educational tool for the whole family. There are so many options, and here’s a list of just a few:
- The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
- American National Parks
- The Louvre
- Boston Children’s Museum
- The Great Wall of China
Online Music Session:
If you and your family are into music, there are so many digital resources. Now more than ever. Quarantine has pushed the music community online in a way the world hasn’t previously seen. Everyone from small-time artists to big-name stars is posting concerts online.
If you’re missing watching your favorite musician live, check out Facebook, YouTube, or their website to see if they’re posting online concerts. These performances are much more intimate than a large concert venue, and you can watch from the comfort of your house!
Tiny Desk Concerts on NPR:
In the same vein, National Public Radio’s “Tiny Desk Concerts” are performed by everyone from up-and-coming musicians to the biggest names in the business. The performances take place in an intimate “office” setting, and it’s a chance to watch a unique performance with a wide range of musicians. Choosing concerts as a family is a great way to introduce each other to different music genres.
Recent events and quarantine have changed both how families interact and education. Digital platforms have become necessary for everything from family time to home-schooling. Lead Dog Digital hopes these resources are a help to families in Texas and beyond. We hope that digital platforms can bring us closer together as families, and as a world.