Tag archives: Home Schooling

Schooling at Home: Educational Resources for Parents

by Meg Kilgannon

April 3, 2020

With much of the nation under “shelter in place” or “stay at home” advisories, most school buildings have closed, some for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. There is a wide disparity among school districts in terms of how individual schools will help parents facilitate learning. American parents find themselves in an unprecedented situation: working from home (if they are so fortunate) while simultaneously serving as school teacher, administrator, and child wrangler.

Like many of you, many of us here at FRC are working from home during this crisis. Like you, we are managing family needs and school while working to protect and promote family values in our nation’s capital and across the country.

Some of our staff has always homeschooled. These families are challenged by canceled co-ops, classes, therapies, sports, and playgroups—just like traditional school families. Others on staff have children in Christian schools or public schools. And with all schools closed, these parents are navigating a variety of situations. Some schools have moved seamlessly to online studies; others are still figuring things out. But all of us are struggling with the same less-than-ideal situation and are challenged to make the best of it for ourselves, our families, and our country.

In this post, we will share some resources we have found useful, and would love to hear from you about what you are doing to manage your children’s education during this time. This is a very real way we can support each other and do our part to help keep America safe and healthy.

The U.S. Department of Education’s coronavirus page is jam packed with information for both schools and parents. Scroll down for the “At Home Activities” section which includes links to federal agencies with worksheets and virtual tours that can keep children both entertained and informed about our beautiful country’s natural resources, wildlife, space programs, geography, and the arts. There are also reminders and links about staying healthy and preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

Some of our favorite general advice has come from parents who are also leaders or educational advocates.

The videos on this website are fun, informative, and reassuring. Just a few minutes on this website will convince you that you really can do it—you really can work and school your children at home during this crisis (and maybe even anytime). The enthusiasm of these Texas moms is contagious and just what we need.

If your school district is on hold or you are taking the rest of the year off from school, these activities will keep children and teens busy while parents are working from home. As FRC is unable to vet each item on every website, we encourage you to trust your judgement in finding materials that are appropriate for your family and reflect your values.

Resources for Parents Who Find Themselves Schooling at Home, by Subject

In Virginia, for example, parents in some districts are still waiting for resources and lessons from schools. Other districts and states have moved nimbly to online learning. In case you’re waiting for school resources, want to supplement lessons provided, or just need additional help, we offer the following list of resources. FRC believes in the primacy of parental rights, and works to protect parents’ role as the primary educators of their children. We expect that parents will maintain vigilance in reviewing materials for use by children who are schooling at home.

For Math:

These websites have everything from math fact worksheets to projects and lectures that support higher level mathematics.

For Language Arts:

Take this time to read. Perhaps have a read aloud book for the whole family. Encourage each family member to keep a journal during this time. It will be a record of an important period in American and world history—the Pandemic of 2019-2020. Write letters to friends and loved ones who may feel isolated during this time.

If your school, library, or any organization recommends a reading list, carefully monitor those recommendations. As our friends at Parent and Child Loudoun can attest, there is problematic and even pornographic content lurking in children’s and young adult literature these days.

For Autistic/Sensory Integration Issue Children:

This resource from the UK is interesting and helpful for autism and sensory issues.

The University of Virginia has helps for parents of children on the autism spectrum, including webinars, zoom conferences, and scheduling ideas, just to name a few. Their most recent newsletter has helps and links.

Science and Nature:

Easy science projects can involve cooking and baking. What makes bread rise? What happens when you prepare a recipe but leave out an ingredient? Spring is a great time to start a small herb garden or take on a bigger project. Victory Gardens are back in style, which link American history to natural science and conservation. Take pictures of plants and trees on your walks and identify them from books or online resources. Teach children practical skills, like figuring out ordinal directions through clues from nature.

From the founders of ABCmouse is Adventure Academy, a resource suitable for 8 to 12-year-olds. While not free, it offers animated and interactive games, projects, and lessons geared toward elementary-aged students.

As with all subjects, science topics can be overly politicized or include concepts like Darwinism and “mindfulness.” Math word problems can include scenarios which subtly undermine Christian teaching on marriage, such as a same-sex couple planning a wedding, or reference to a student’s two dads or two moms. We remind you to be on guard for these types of messages in your children’s assignments.

Physical Education:

Getting fresh air and sunshine is important for everyone’s physical and mental health. Please maintain social distancing while on walks or runs. Jumping rope (sanitized ropes only please), skipping races, and scavenger hunts are all options for getting your heart rate up and burning off some energy. Here are a few links we liked:

Art Therapy:

How about coloring pages and connect-the-dots using characters from the Bible?

History:

Suitable for high school students and more advanced middle school students, WallBuilders—an organization dedicated to the accurate teaching and representation of American history—offers helpful links and resources on everything from Creationism, to Black History, to the Founding Fathers. While this site is recommended for older students, it does include links to YouTube, so parental supervision is recommended.

Virtual Tours – These websites host their own tours, making it a little safer than YouTube tours which also can come with objectionable advertising, suggested content you might not prefer, or an automatic continuation to a site you don’t approve. You can find tours of museums in Washington, D.C., Buckingham Palace, Musee D’Orsay in Paris, churches from around the world, and many more. But we remind parents to monitor children’s activities anytime they are online.

More Resources

Finally, with the disclaimer that we have not reviewed each and every item here, these links include resources for every school subject with multiple links for each. This is for parents to review themselves and decide if individual links are helpful to your family. For example, PBS has some problematic content, but that doesn’t mean everything on the website is dangerous. It’s important for parents to select materials from this list and direct children to your approved resources, not just let kids log on and click around.

Share Your Resources and Ideas With Us!

Please share your resources and ideas with us by going to the Contact FRC page and entering “Schooling at Home Resources” in the subject line, and we will post a follow-up blog with what everybody shared. We’d love to hear from you! We are all in this together, working, praying, and staying healthy. Americans will do what we must to defeat this virus and keep our families strong, safe, and free for generations to come.

Meg Kilgannon is an Education Research Associate at Family Research Council.

Daily Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

August 27, 2009

Here’s some news buzz to keep you informed on all of the happenings both here in D.C. and around the country.

  • Group that opposes gay marriage now targeting Iowa,” Michael J. Crumb, Associated Press (August 27, 2009)
  • The National Organization for Marriage has launched the Reclaim Iowa Project, targeting legislative races in the state in an effort to elect candidates who support putting the issue of gay marriage before voters.

    Iowa is important because the Supreme Court decision was so against the will of the people of Iowa and the Legislature and Gov. (Chet) Culver showed absolutely no backbone in giving the people the right to have their voices heard,” said Brian Brown, the organization’s executive director.”

  • NJ Catholic bishops campaign against gay marriage,” Associated Press (August 26, 2009)
  • Roman Catholic bishops in New Jersey have begun a new campaign opposing same-sex marriage.

    The push comes in anticipation of a possible vote on the issue by state lawmakers after the November election.”

  • Kansas abortion fight spills into Nebraska,” Associated Press (August 26, 2009)
  • Debate continues over Utah sex ed changes,” Lisa Schencker, The Salt Lake Tribune (August 26, 2009)
  • ” Educators, students and parents continued to debate Wednesday whether youth should learn more about contraception in school, at the latest meeting exploring a proposed change to Utah’s sex education law.

    Rep. Lynn Hemingway, D-Salt Lake City, presented a draft of his bill, which would require school districts to offer two tracks of sex education: one that would teach abstinence only and another where teachers would still promote abstinence but also include information on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and contraceptives. Parental permission would be required for students to take the second track.”

  • Condom Olympics at Miss Universe Pageant Blasted by Womens Groups,” Adam Brickley, CNSNews.com (August 27, 2009)
  • The Miss Universe pageant and an AIDS prevention group are under fire for staging a Condom Olympics for contestants just three days prior to last Sundays competition in the Bahamas.”

  • Christian Doctors Raise Flags Over New Pro-Suicide Bias in U.S. Law, Policy,” Aaron J. Leichman, The Christian Post (August 27, 2009)
  • As physicians, we recognize the value of advance planning and counseling and appointing a personal healthcare proxy, commented Dr. Gene Rudd, senior vice president of the 16,000-member CMA. The VA manual goes a step further, however, subtly raising with vulnerable patients the possibility that physical impairments might make their lives, in the words of the manual, not worth living.

    The 52-page manual, entitled, “Your Life, Your Choices: Planning for Future Medical Decisions,” lists scenarios such as being in a wheelchair, needing kidney dialysis, or requiring a feeding tube and then asks the patient to consider whether those situations might make his or her life “not worth living.”

  • Human Trial of Embryonic Stem Cell Research Stopped Due to Animal Problems,” Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com (August 27, 2009)
  • When used in animal research, injections of embryonic stem cells formed tumors afterwards and also prompted the immune system of the intended recipients to reject the cells.

    The FDA delayed the trials to review studies of the therapy, called GRNOPC1, in its use with animals.

    Now, new reports indicate problems associated with the animals in Geron’s studies prompted the FDA to halt the human trials. Specifically, the animals developed cysts at the injury sites after the injections.”

  • New Hampshire Court orders Christian homeschooled girl to attend public school,” Pete Chagnon, OneNewsNow (August 26, 2009)
  • A Christian homeschool girl in New Hampshire has been ordered into government-run public school for having “sincerely held” religious beliefs — and the Alliance Defense Fund is troubled by the ruling.”

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