Oh MG News

Kids At Home? We have got some resources for you!

Homeschooling in covid19

Hi Everyone,

We hope you are all doing well and staying safe. In light of the current COVID-19 social distancing requirements, I bet more than a few of you are at home with your families.  It can be difficult to find ways to keep everyone occupied, especially for kids of all ages. 🙂

Thankfully, TONS of organizations– including the kidlit community– have stepped up and are offering online FUN resources. We have compiled some of them here. Note, this is not a full list of everything that’s out there. If you have more suggestions, please add them to the comments so everyone can see them.

 

Here is a list that we have compiled so far:  (click on the highlighted words in each listing for the link)

 

Connecting with Children’s Authors

SCBWI Connect – the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators  has compiled a huge list of links to connect with authors for resources, activities, and book read alouds

Mom’s Choice Awards Authors

Spooky Middle Grade website teacher guides 

Kate Messner’s Read, Wonder, and Learn— a FABULOUS resource!!

Loree Griffin Burns 

Melissa Stewart 

Stimola Live — has lots of great readings and live streams by children’s authors

 

Connect with some of our own Mixed-Up Files Authors

Shari Larsen

Dorian Cirrone

Jennifer Swanson 

Melissa Roske 

Samantha Clark

 Julie Rubini 

 

Connect with Children’s Illustrators — many of whom are offering free coloring pages and more!

Jarrett Lerner

Joe Cepada 

Rafael Lopez

Steve Musgrave

 

 

Children’s Publishers

Many publishers are setting up a resource page where their authors can post videos

Charlesbridge Publishing (check out their resource tab)  https://www.charlesbridge.com/pages/remote-author-content

Peachtree Publishing  https://peachtree-online.com/resources/

Macmillan Kids https://us.macmillan.com/mackids/

Scholastic https://www.scholastic.com/home/

National Geographic Kids https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/explore/publishing/

 

Science Activities

STEM Tuesday from our very own website. It has two years worth of activities, project ideas, and literacy and STEM connections for kids of all ages https://fromthemixedupfiles.com/stem-tuesday/

Skype a Scientist Live! Follow on Twitter @SkypeScientist for live talks given by real scientists.

National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) Learning Center https://learningcenter.nsta.org/science60/science60-learning-together.aspx

Follow @ScienceStory on Twitter for great #STEM activities

STEAMTeam2020 website packed with videos and STEM activities  http://www.steamteambooks.com/

 

 

Museums

Shedd Aquarium https://www.youtube.com/user/sheddaquariumchicago/videos

Smithsonian Museum Online learning https://www.si.edu/educators

The Field Museum https://www.fieldmuseum.org/educators/learning-resources

The USS Intrepid Museum 

 

Writers

Highlights Foundations  #HFGathers 

 

There is so much to do!  And these are not everything. So many authors, publishers, teachers,  and professionals are coming together to help each other out in this time. It’s wonderful to see. Take advantage of it if you can.

To find more resources online,  take a look at the following hashtags that are being used to promote resources

On Twitter look for #kidlitquarantine  #covid-19  #kidsathome #parentingathome #operationstorytime #homeschool #quarantineactivities

But also, take the time you need. Here is a great post that gives you tips for how to cope during this time

10-suggestions-1-for-suddenly-homeschooling-your-kids

Whatever you do, please be safe.  And hang in there!

 

From the Mixed-Up Files crew

 

10 Suggestions (+ 1) For Suddenly Homeschooling Your Kid(s)

Homeschooling in covid19

Hi Mixed-Up Filers. We’re working on filling our blog with resources and lesson plans to assist you as you navigate homeschooling amid Covid-19. Before I became an author, I was a teacher, and I spent the last years of my career creating and facilitating a program that worked with homeschooling parents. So, I figured I’d brush off some that experience and share some simple strategies to help those of you who have suddenly found yourself not only trying to work at home but trying to homeschool your kids as well. I hope some of these suggestions prove helpful to you in the weeks (and months) to come.

10 SUGGESTIONS (+ 1) FOR SUDDENLY HOMESCHOOLING YOUR KID(S)

1. Breathe. This is a strange and stressful time for everyone. It’s okay to not be sure how to navigate all the things being thrown at you. Take time to decompress, get extra sleep, and go easy – on yourself, first. Then you can go easy on the rest of the family.

2. Take a break from the academic pressures – theirs and yours. Focus on creating a calm home environment. Take some time to find your family’s rhythm in all of this. Help your kids adjust to being home and help them understand your needs, too.

3. Set up some soothing and fun family-time activities. Play games. Work on a puzzle. Watch a movie. Do some reading aloud. Anything that brings you together in a non stressful, non productive way.

4. Figure out a reasonable chore structure. Give every family member a job that helps keep the family healthy and organized. A sense of control is important for people of all ages. Help everyone feel they are doing their part and that they are assisting in maintaining the well being of your family.

5. Do a good thing for someone else. Maybe someone at home with you. Maybe a neighbor or family member who lives elsewhere. Set up a video chat, a phone call, drop a note or picture into email or text, help someone order grocery delivery. Send someone who is isolated a fun gift from an online store if you can afford it.

6. Do the parts of school your kids like. Read. Draw. Play trivia games. Solve fun and silly math problems. Do a science experiment. Build something. Plan the family meals. Cook. Play an instrument if you have one. Make an instrument if you don’t. Learn a new language. Explore a topic your child has a deep interest in. (Now is the time to do that deep dive into dinosaurs or movie making or the physics of flight). Take pictures. Read a whole book series or everything by a particular author. Create a home art gallery. Write and perform a play. Start a blog/vlog/YouTube channel. Write a story. Write a book. (Camp Nanowrimo starts April 1). Make some art. Learn to knit or crochet or whatever other craft sounds like fun. Grow something: Flowers, vegetables, sprouts, it doesn’t matter. Just grow something you all can care for and watch thrive.

7. Move your bodies. Incorporate dance breaks, room run-arounds, scavenger hunts, and exercise of any kind into your day. Try to get some sun and fresh air if you can do it safely.

8. Once you’ve sorted out the family’s rhythms, gradually set up a schedule for your day. Be prepared to be flexible. News, stress, etc. is going to take a toll. There’s no use forcing anyone to study if they’re not going to retain any of it. Sometimes the best thing at the moment is to watch a movie; sometimes the best thing is to take a nap; and, yes, sometimes the best thing is for everyone is to stare at their screens and zone out. It’s okay.

Just be sure to break up your schedule with fun and rest and movement, and set up some rewards for completing your task/job. Even small rewards can make a big difference.

9. If your kid’s school sent work home, you’ll need to figure out how your child works best. Some kids adjust readily to moving from traditional school to online. They simply work through the subjects with breaks in between just like a normal (but often shorter) school day. Other kids struggle. Again, flexibility is key. See what works for your kids and start moving them in that direction incrementally if at all. You don’t have to do it all in one day (or one week).

Another option is to treat work sent home like you do homework at first. Your family probably already has a system in place for that. Just break up the work and time the way you do with regular homework (especially weekend homework). If you’re overwhelmed by all of it, setting it aside is okay, too. This is new to everyone. Teachers will understand. If you’re overwhelmed by all of it but really want some structure, try to stick with the reading and the math. Math tends to be the place kids fall behind, so if you can keep up the math facts/problem solving skills you’ll be ahead of the game.

10. Don’t try to fill the teacher role. Be the parent. That’s more than enough work for anyone. Trust me. The last thing you need is to add a teacher/student struggle to your relationship right now.

+1. Finally, hang in there. There will be bumps and tears along the way as everyone tries to sort this out, but there will also be a whole lot of connection and a whole lot of love. Embrace those parts. In the long run, those moments are what truly matter – not the lesson plans.

 

As always, feel free to comment below with questions or with ideas and resources that have been working for you. We’re all in this together, so let’s share what we can. <3

 

Kidlit Rallies With Digital Book Festival

As always when someone tells us “no,” the kidlit community claps back with a “watch me.”

In the face of cancelled school visits, book promotion tours, publishing and educator conferences, and beloved book festivals, kidlit authors Ellen Oh and Christina Sootornvat created the Everywhere Book Fest.

The digital book fest, billed as a “virtual celebration of authors, books, and readers,” intends to transform the book festival experience into a digital gathering for all book lovers, featuring live and pre-recorded sessions with picture book,  middle grade, and young adult authors.

Planners are still working out details, but starting today you can click here to submit panel ideas.

The Panel Proposal Form will be open until Tuesday, March 24, 9pm ET.