As the coronavirus alters our reality for the foreseeable future, we at Inter-State Studio are adapting right along with you. Life is not normal, but some things never change. 87 years of helping families make lasting memories create habits that you can’t break, so we’ve put together this resource guide. It includes educational resources for your kids (K-12), some helpful tips on extra steps you can take, and fun activities to do as a family. Even though social distancing is critical, that doesn’t mean you can’t bond as a family! Have ideas? We would love to hear about them! Email us at info [at] inter-state [dot] com. Maybe we’ll add them to this post or put them in another post at a later time.
- Your Local School District – Your local district has likely supplied you with plenty of resources to keep your kids well on the path to success this spring, no matter how long school is out. Our corporate office is in Sedalia, Missouri and the local school district is providing “Flexible Learning Activities” for students in grades K-8 while school is out of session. High school students have Chromebooks and are logging into their classes, but check with your local district to see what resources are available.
- Teachers Pay Teachers – Ever wonder how your child’s teacher comes up with all those creative lesson plans? There’s a good chance they came from this wonderful online warehouse. Teachers upload everything from lesson plans to fun fonts. Some of it is free, some of it you’ll need to pay to download. However, given what we’ve seen on social media in the last week these posts confirm what we already knew. Teachers are heroes!
- Khan Academy – Khan Academy is a free online educational resource that offers materials for all grade levels. You can login and see what your child needs to have at their disposal to succeed during this time of quarantine. You might even find some materials to help supplement their learning once they head back to class!
- NASA STEM Resources – STEM has become the bedrock of education in our country, and we can’t think of a better organization to look to for science education than NASA. With a wide range of activities and materials for every grade level, you’ll have plenty to keep the kids interested in subjects that may have not held your attention in school. It’s ok. We’re all friends here.
- The Arts: Museums, Zoos, National Parks and Music – STEM is important, but we can’t forget the arts. The arts bring creativity, a sense of where we’ve been and where we’re going and so much more to life. If STEM is the canvas of life, the arts are the paint!
- If you’ve always wanted to visit The Louvre, The Vatican Museum, or the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, you can do that virtually. If that’s not enough to keep you clicking, search around your other museums and what they’ve put online for virtual tours.
- Zoos have long been doing livestreams of their day-to-day activities. For example, the Kansas City Zoo is livestreaming the feeding of their penguins every day on their YouTube page. Check out what your local zoo is doing!
- There are many national parks that are offering virtual tours of their grounds, which might help you plan for a future vacation when this is all over.
- Google Earth has listed 31 parks here in the United States you can tour virtually using its services.
- The St. Louis Orchestra is launching the Instrument Playground Online in an effort to teach kids how to play their instruments at home. It’s a very cool resource to have at the click of a button! If the sound of your child practicing leaves you wanting more, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra has more than 600 shows available for 30 days if you use the code BERLINPHIL by March 31st. The Sydney Symphony Orchestra has been playing live at 7 p.m. their time (3 a.m. CDT), but don’t worry- you can catch their performances on their YouTube channel.
- Broadway is shut down at the moment, but you can travel there virtually. Check out these 15 productions you can stream from home. There are many national parks that are offering virtual tours of their grounds, which might help you plan for a future vacation when this is all over.
- Social distancing doesn’t mean you have to be sedentary. This is a great opportunity to check out what your local yoga studio is offering. Here in Sedalia, The Breathing Room has begun streaming their classes online. Another option is Cosmic Kids Yoga. They offer kid-friendly yoga classes that stream on YouTube. You can get two weeks free to see if it’s something you and your kids would enjoy!
- We’re missing basketball as much as everyone else, so what better way to fill that hole in your heart than to get outside in the driveway and shoot some hoops with your family? Challenge mom or dad to a game of HORSE and see who comes out on top!
Take a 20 minute walk around your neighborhood and make sure you get your heart rate up. Remember, this is physical education, so no lollygagging about.
- Anyone else miss Home Ec class from when we were kids? Teach your kids a valuable life skill and show them around the kitchen! Budget food blogger Erin Chase is streaming classes live on her YouTube page each day at noon, and then they’re available anytime after that to view.
- Structure Your Day – Treating every day like it is Saturday or Sunday during this time at home may not be the greatest plan.. Structure your day! Schedule out your entire day from the time your normal morning routine ends until they would typically get home from school. Wondering how that looks? There are millions of families that homeschool and have plenty of resources available to help you figure out a schedule. You can also contact your child’s teacher(s) and develop your schedule based on what your kids are used to already. Remember: most of us are creatures of habit at school and work!
- Cool Things To Watch – All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Now, we’re not suggesting that you turn on the TV and veg out all day, but have you heard about Netflix Party? It’s an extension for your Chrome browser that essentially adds a chat function to anything you’re watching on Netflix. Just start watching the latest movie or show and share your link with your family and friends and have a movie night while practicing social distancing! Open Culture is a website that has links to more than 1,100 free (legal) movies; many of them indie films or classics that you may want to introduce your kids to.
- Great Books To Listen To – Audible has made many of its books free to listen to while schools are closed. You don’t even need to have an Amazon account to get started. Just click here to get started and check out all the available titles. There are even classic literary titles for adults. So, if you’ve ever vowed to read Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”, you’re finally out of excuses.
- Fun Games To Play – Get out the board games! Yes, we think Uno qualifies as a board game if you need a tiebreaker. Teach your kids some card games like go fish, hearts, spades or gin rummy.
What are you doing with your kids to help them stay engaged with their classroom work during this trying time?