Tech & Media
Struggling With At-Home Learning? You’re Not Alone — Here Are Some Helpful Resources
By Kevin Naulls, CBC Parents staff
Jan 6, 2022
When I hear the word “Omicron” I think of Omicron Persei 8, the home of Earth-invading aliens from Futurama.
It feels appropriate.
While the variant Omicron is small in stature, its reach is … huge.
Heck, many kids are back home, with parents like you trying to pivot to being the butchers, bakers and candlestick makers of their households.
And then there are the teachers, who probably thought virtual learning was mostly a thing of the past.
The phrase “here we go again” comes to mind.
In an attempt to offer a little bit of grace, I thought I’d share some resources, from interesting articles and series to timewasters, earworms and everything in between. For parents and teachers who are probably just walking around with three question marks over their heads, wondering how they are going to make it all work. Again.
Some days it can feel like the news cycle exists to stoke fear in people.
Numbers, variants, deaths, wins, losses, bad politicians, bad actors — the gang is really all there.
CBC Kids News is a resource for tweens, teens and teachers that distills some news of the week in a kid-friendly way, and probes the stories kids are curious about.
If you're looking for informative content for younger ones, CBC Kids is home to some great explainers, best suited for school-aged kids.
Keeping it current, there’s some information about what vaccines are all about and 30 things to do when you're stuck inside. But there is plenty more to unpack, so explore the site to find pieces about world holidays, food, games and more — and see how well the kids (and you) do at some of the challenging quizzes!
I would personally never call myself a gamer.
I just have Scattegories on my phone, and I’m pretty good at it.
But the thought of investing in a chair for me to game in seems like more effort than I am personally willing to put in.
However, I know kids love games.
Truly, people are always — and this is not an exaggeration — playing Connect 4 at almost every minute of the day.
Not into sequences and series? That’s OK. Another cult favourite is Baby Cat Adventure, which is a side scroller-type game with a very cute cat. When you jump, the cat’s tongue sticks out!
And if you miss slightly toxic-smelling, off-gas air pumping through tiny holes, that experience could be yours with this air hockey game.
Frankly, there are too many to mention. Check all the games out here.
Everyone I know has a fond childhood memory of a supply teacher coming into class, armed with no instruction other than … watch a movie.
For me, that meant a teacher wheeling in a boxy TV/VCR mounted on a cart. And we’d watch Dead Poets Society.
When you’re home, you’ll have more control over what kids can watch. A good place to start is CBC Gem, with more than 400 hours of ad-free, family-friendly shows to choose from.
Molly of Denali
Molly of Denali is a Peabody Award-winning series that explores the life of Molly Mabray, a 10-year-old Indigenous girl in Alaska. For a bit of scholarship, the episode Grandpa’s Drum/Have Canoe, Will Paddle offers a kid-friendly approach to learning about residential schools and their lasting impact on Indigenous communities. (For parents, this piece by David Robertson can offer some follow-up reading.)
Our friends at Studio K are very well-versed in that at-home life, and they’ve created videos to keep kids moving, grooving and staying cool, calm and collected.
Gary has been up to a lot. Including staying home and staying healthy.
Makeup Monster has also gotten into the stay-at-home groove — check out Makeup Monster Makes for some guided art projects!
If you want your little ones to learn French, or they have already begun and could use a bit of tutelage, Zoomizoom is a great option.
The show is simultaneously in English and French, so it’s a great way to learn the basics.
I personally love that there is an entire episode devoted to carrots. (Pardon, les carottes.)
And if your kids love music, dancing and maybe a joke or two, Ukulele U is a variety show hosted by Melanie Doane and a group of talented kid co-hosts.
For budding artists and packed virtual art classes, the CBC Kids series Draw Along is a perfect companion.
Each episode features a talented artist imparting some wisdom from their storied careers. And at the end of the video, your kid will have a drawing they can be proud of!
The Story Store
Lastly, if your little ones love to listen and not watch, The Story Store podcast for kids is packed full of episodes with Gary the Unicorn, Mr. Orlando and many special guests.
And the best part is that kids submitted the story ideas! Available wherever you listen to podcasts.
These times are challenging to say the least.
There are so many expectations for parents and teachers, that even designing a schedule or curriculum can feel very daunting.
Perhaps some of these resources will grant you a little breathing room to make your day a little less stressful.
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