Think Smart: Top Hacks to Prepare Your Kids for Going Back to School

Elana Kutscher‏
Think Smart: Top Hacks to Prepare Your Kids for Going Back to School

As a result of lockdown restrictions millions of school-aged children and teens are no longer able to learn in the traditional classroom environment. While schools are doing their best to provide remote learning via Zoom or other video platforms, the fact is that the current normal doesn’t offer the same level of learning as the previous one.

Fortunately, there are many apps and services that provide engaging, educational content so kids can keep up with their learning despite not being in the classroom.

Benefits of Learning at Home

While learning through apps and games might not be the kind that parents and children are used to, there are several potential benefits. First, flexibility. With online classes, children can learn at their own pace, at times that are best for them.

Second, with so many online learning services available, children have the option of choosing areas of study that interest them. Imagine that! They can spend time focusing and delving into subjects they love without having to worry about the pressure or grades or being in competition with other students. 

Their choices can prove fruitful or not — perhaps they will discover a love of learning they never knew they had, or perhaps they’ll realize that a certain subject isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. As parents, you can encourage them to make independent choices and learn from their decisions. In this way, they will get both a scholastic and real-life education. 

Top Online Services for Kids Learning

If you’d like to find ways to keep your children engaged in educational activities while they are on hiatus from school, check out these 5 online services that will keep kids enthralled and entertained (so much so, they might not even realize they are learning!).  

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1. Educational Apps and Games for Kids

Apps and games are a great way to keep kids engrossed in learning activities, and the good news is that there are apps and games designed for all ages. From as young as age 2 all the way through age 18, parents can choose from a high-quality selection of apps. Most apps focus on one area, like math, geography, science, reading, music, foreign languages, even life skills. Parents and kids can decide together which area to focus on, and then continue in that one area or explore new ones. 

2. Reading Apps for Kids

Reading is important for children in so many ways. It builds their vocabulary, expands their imagination, and can even help them make sense of the world around them. With so many benefits of reading, it’s no wonder that parents choose to encourage it among their children. 

During a time when kids are at home, whether it’s due to the impromptu coronavirus vacation or a standard summer vacation, encouraging your kids to read can have long-lasting benefits. Perhaps that’s why there are a plethora of reading apps for kids available. The worthwhile ones will focus on a specific age group and offer inspiration as well as engaging reading materials. Homer, Reading Raven, and Endless Alphabet are just some examples of apps that your kids won’t be able to live without. 

3. Online Summer Schools/Virtual Camps

In the age of COVID-19, the summer plans of millions of families have fallen through. Many camps are not opening, and even those that have somehow managed to put together a safe, sterile environment are all hinging on the fact that none of the attendees contract the virus. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the number of online summer schools and virtual camps has shot up. 

With online schools and camps, parents don’t need to put their children at risk, but at the same time, they don’t have to surrender to a summer of boredom. ID Tech, Brain Chase, Outschool and others offer engaging classes and sessions for summertime and year-round. There is even a hefty number of free virtual camps. 

Free sessions are a good place to let your children exercise their decision--making skills and choose which camp/class appeals to them. Based on their decision, you then make further decisions regarding the educational direction to go in.

4. Tools to Teach Kids Coding

Just because your children aren’t in school doesn’t mean they need to fall behind. In fact, by learning coding, they can stay ahead of the game. Coding is an incredibly valuable tool that goes beyond school — it can help kids get ahead in life. Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey and so many more got their starts in coding, so it’s no wonder that parents want to encourage it among children who are so inclined. There are plenty of coding tools available for kids as young as 4 years old, including several free options.

5. Tools to Keep Kids Safe Online

Kids are online more than ever these days, which is why it’s more important than ever to have proper parental controls in place. The internet is infinite and incredible, but as everyone knows, there is plenty of content that is not appropriate for children. If parents want to give their children as many educational tools as possible, they should do so with the assurance of knowing they are staying on safe grounds. There is a large assortment of tools to keep kids safe online, it comes down to what parents feel most comfortable with.

At the same time that you choose the level of filtering for your children, it can be a good time to have an open discussion and guide your kids toward making the right choices regarding internet use. 

Preparing for the New Normal

At this point in time, no one is quite sure when we will get to the post-corona stage. One thing that is clear is that whenever things do “get back to normal,” it will not likely be the normal of before. 

As we are realizing just how adept we have become at using online apps and services for educational learning, it is likely that these things will remain prevalent even as corona wanes. The entire world is now all-too-well-aware of how fast a pandemic can spread around the world, and this awareness will stick with us for a long time. The results may just be limiting our person-to-person contact and minimizing interaction with one another. Without being able to predict exactly how this will affect the education system, gaining proficiency in online learning is the best gift you can give to your children during these times of uncertainty. 

Fortunately, it is during times of uncertainty that people are coming up with ingenious, sophisticated, engaging ways to help children learn. It may not be the traditional schooling system that we’re used to, but who knows if it may be even better? If children are given the choice as to what area of study they want to focus on and when they want to learn, who knows how brightly they can shine? Now is the time to give them that chance.

Elana Kutscher‏
Elana is a creature of the digital age, and has been working in social media marketing and content for the better part of the past decade. She has experience with software and online platforms from multiple projects with high tech firms.