Kia ora tatou 

As we adapt to the first day of the national lockdown it is timely to acknowledge the members of our community who are facing job loss and other hardship and those who are at the front line in health or other essential services. These are difficult times. 

In this update, I share our home learning guidelines and some links you might find helpful. 

I hope that you and your family, the people in your bubble, are keeping well and looking positively at the weeks ahead. 

This update at a glance: 

  1. Challenge for parents and recommended approach 
  2. Parents Guidelines for Home Learning 
  3. A wealth of educational websites

My challenge to parents in these extraordinary times

  • When we return to normal what will your children say about this period of lockdown?
  • When you talk to them in 6 weeks, 8 weeks or 10 weeks time what will they say?
  • Will they remember this as a special family time when family relationships were strengthened?

Family comes first. The emotional wellbeing of our kids is paramount. This next 4 weeks is a unique opportunity.

I suggest that what children will remember is not how much time they spend on their device or how much online learning was provided by the school. The lasting memories they have will be about how they felt during this time.

The challenge for parents: Make the next 4 weeks the best family time you can.

Recommended approach

You may have seen this piece which I have copied from a Facebook post. I hope it speaks to you as it does me. 

A letter from an anonymous school principal and teacher – worthy of a read!

Dear parents with school-aged children

You might be inclined to create a minute by minute schedule for your kids. You have high hopes of hours of learning, including online activities, science experiments, and book reports. You’ll limit technology until everything is done! But here’s the thing…

Our kids are just as scared as we are right now. Our kids not only can hear everything that is going on around them, but they feel our constant tension and anxiety. They have never experienced anything like this before. Although the idea of being off of school for weeks sounds awesome, they are probably picturing a fun time, not the reality of being trapped at home and not seeing their friends.

Over the coming weeks, you will see an increase in behavior issues with your kids. Whether it’s anxiety, or anger, or protest that they can’t do things normally – it will happen. You’ll see more meltdowns, tantrums, and oppositional behavior in the coming weeks. This is normal and expected under these circumstances.

What kids need right now is to feel comforted and loved. To feel like it’s all going to be ok. And that might mean that you tear up your perfect schedule and love on your kids a bit more. Play outside and go on walks. Bake cookies and paint pictures. Play board games and watch movies. Do a science experiment together or find virtual field trips of the zoo. Start a book and read together as a family. Snuggle under warm blankets and do nothing.

Don’t worry about them regressing in school. Every single kid is in this boat and they all will be ok. When we are back in the classroom, we will all course correct and meet them where they are. Teachers are experts at this! Don’t pick fights with your kids because they don’t want to do math. Don’t scream at your kids for not following the schedule. Don’t mandate 2 hours of learning time if they are resisting it.

If I can leave you with one thing, it’s this: at the end of all of this, your kids’ mental health will be more important than their academic skills. And how they felt during this time will stay with them long after the memory of what they did during those weeks is long gone. So keep that in mind, every single day…


Parents’ Guidelines for Home Learning

Here are our school’s guidelines. Remember that we will not get it right all the time as this is new for all of us. We plan this week to trial what we have set up, take a break for the holidays and come back to online learning for the new term starting 15 April. 


A wealth of educational websites

I am aware that some of you have had the kids at home for some time and that our school’s decision not to wait until after the holidays to start home learning programmes is appreciated. Look first to what your child’s teacher is sharing. 

You may also be looking for more activities for the kids during the holiday fortnight, the next two weeks.

I share with you the following Facebook post from a generous educator. Please note there are many sites listed here and they have not all been checked so I caution against just passing them on to your child. Better to take a look first and explore together one or two of interest. There is something for everyone!

Holly G Jury’s Facebook post:

A few things to remember, this is a PERFECT time to make memories with your children and learn things beyond “normal” maths and reading.

This is a great time to really help your child dig in and spend hours doing or learning something that they love or are passionate about.

Don’t forget that there are TONS of documentaries on the streaming services that they might enjoy and learn a lot from.

Here are links that I have gathered to TONS of free fun learning options for all ages from toddlers to students to adults.  Some are always free and some are only free during this current situation👇

I am making this post public, so feel free to share it far and wide.😍  

✅The San Diego Zoo has a website just for kids with amazing videos, activities, and games. Enjoy the tour! https://kids.sandiegozoo.org/

✅Tour Yellowstone National Park! https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/photosmultimedia/virtualtours.htm

✅Explore the surface of Mars on the Curiosity Rover.  https://accessmars.withgoogle.com/

✅This Canadian site FarmFood 360 offers 11 Virtual Tours of farms from minks, pigs, and cows, to apples and eggs.  https://www.farmfood360.ca/

✅Indoor Activities for busy toddlers  https://busytoddler.com/2020/03/indoor-activities/?fbclid=IwAR3tYXAqw7tJRAzLExpPcJo4rApLsKtgL0AwghzxgnhwOajc4auX6o12_xw

✅Play games and learn all about animals https://switchzoo.com/

✅Play with fave show characters and learn too https://pbskids.org/

✅Travel to Paris, France to see amazing works of art at The Louvre with this virtual field trip.  

https://www.louvre.fr/en/visites-en-ligne

✅This Virtual Tour of the Great Wall of China is beautiful and makes history come to life.

https://www.thechinaguide.com/destination/great-wall-of-china

✅Math and Reading games  https://www.funbrain.com/

✅Phonics skills https://www.starfall.com/h/

✅This iconic museum located in the heart of London allows virtual visitors to tour the Great Court and discover the ancient Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies.  https://britishmuseum.withgoogle.com/

✅ Read, play games, and hang out with Dr. Seuss https://www.seussville.com/

✅300,000+ FREE printable worksheets from toddlers to teens https://www.123homeschool4me.com/home-school-free-printables/

✅Geography and animals https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/

✅Math practice from counting to algebra and geometry http://www.mathscore.com/

✅Fave kids books read by famous people https://www.storylineonline.net/

✅Crafts, activities, mazes, dot to dot, etc, https://www.allkidsnetwork.com/

✅High school chemistry topics https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/resources/highschool/chemmatters/articles-by-topic.html

✅Math and reading games https://www.abcya.com/

✅Math and language games https://www.arcademics.com/

✅Hands on Elem science videos https://www.backpacksciences.com/science-simplified

✅Voice based learning… learn through Alexa https://bamboolearning.com/resources

✅Fun games, recipes, crafts, activities  https://www.highlightskids.com/

✅ClickSchooling brings you daily recommendations by email for entertaining websites that help your kids learn. https://clickschooling.com/

✅Math as a fun part of your daily family routine http://bedtimemath.org/

✅Games to get “into the book” https://reading.ecb.org/

✅Online history classes for all ages preteen through adults  https://school.bighistoryproject.com/bhplive

✅Biology  https://www.biologysimulations.com/

✅ Elem Math through 6th grade  https://boddlelearning.com/

✅Educational games K-12  https://www.breakoutedu.com/funathome

✅Digital archive of history  https://www.bunkhistory.org/

✅Test Prep for SAT, ACT, etc.  https://www.bwseducationconsulting.com/handouts.php

✅Geometry https://www.canfigureit.com/

✅Resources for Spanish practice https://www.difusion.com/campus/

✅Chinese learning activities  https://chalkacademy.com/

✅Music is for everyone https://musiclab.chromeexperiments.com/Experiments

✅Science, Math, Social Studies https://www.ck12.org/student/

✅Grammar practice for middle grades  https://www.classroomcereal.com/

✅Daily free science or cooking experiment to do at home.http://www.clubscikidzmd.com/blog/

✅Chemistry  https://www.playmadagames.com/

✅Reading passages for grades 3-12, with reading comprehension and discussion questions. https://www.commonlit.org/

✅Vocabulary, grammar, listening activities and games in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Korean, and Latin.   https://conjuguemos.com/

✅35,000 pages of online content on the cultures and countries of the world. https://www.countryreports.org/

✅K-5th Science lessons  https://mysteryscience.com/

✅Tons of free classes from leading universities and companies  https://www.coursera.org/

✅Free printable K-8 Reading and Math activity packs (available in English and Spanish) https://www.curriculumassociates.com/supporting-students-away-from-school

✅Digital learning content for preschool through high school https://www.curriki.org/

✅A wide range of math content from middle school through AP Calculus.  https://deltamath.com/overview

✅Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing.  https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html

✅3 Free Weeks of Maker Stations to keep your children creating at home! Each challenge includes simple instructions using materials around the house, QR code video resources, and a student recording sheet. bit.ly/freemakerstations

✅Classes for older teens or adults https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/lp/t1/freemo?source_id=FREEMO&utm_source=Social_Media&utm_medium=Facebook&utm_campaign=1000614&fbclid=IwAR1vaJx-3_aCdyE75S0fTJg4JZ_jI6KJvsJb4CnXY03tnfTm3FdgflaNpYs

✅Online homeschool platform & curriculum for Pre-K to 12th grade.  All main subjects are covered, plus extra curriculum courses. http://discoveryk12.com/dk12/

✅Printable board games, activities and more for phonics and reading all using evidence-based methods. Can be customized to any student’s needs including creating flashcards for other subjects. https://dogonalogbooks.com/printables/

✅K-8 online math program that looks at how a student is solving problems to adjust accordingly and build a unique learning path for them. https://www.dreambox.com/at-home

✅Engaging reading game for grades 2-8 that combines strategy, engagement, and imaginative reading passages to create a fun, curriculum-aligned literacy game. https://www.squigglepark.com/dreamscape/

✅Higher level math series… online video series with detailed solutions to more than a thousand publicly-released College Board SAT Math, Subject Test Math Level 1, and Subject Test Math Level 2 problems.https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbQoCpvYRYRkRRvsObOPHaA?reload=9

✅Foreign languages  https://www.duolingo.com/

✅Interactive video earth science based curriculum supplement. https://www.everyday-earth.com/

✅A safe research site for elementary-level readers. They are offering — free 24/7 access USERNAME: read (case sensitive) PASSWORD: read (case sensitive) https://www.facts4me.com/

✅Resources for AP students including live reviews, live trivia, and study guides! https://app.fiveable.me/

✅Educational brain breaks to help students review essential literacy and math skills, while getting in some exercise. Find over 900 videos to help your child keep learning at home and burn off some extra energy. Our site is best used for ages 4-8. https://fluencyandfitness.com/register/school-closures/

✅Movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts.  https://www.gonoodle.com/

✅7,000 free videos in 13 subject areas  https://hippocampus.org/

✅Carmen Sandiego videos, stories, and lessons for all subject areas  https://www.carmensandiego.com/resources/

✅Math Videos with lessons, real life uses of math, famous actors https://www.hmhco.com/math-at-work

✅Entertaining & educational videos for all levels and subjects  https://www.izzit.org/index.php

✅Online education program for toddler through high school…  https://www.khanacademy.org/

✅Free Printables for PreK-2nd Grade https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Literacy-With-The-Littles/Price-Range/Free

✅Free printables library with activities for children 0-6  https://www.littlesparkcompany.com/printables-library

✅Free at-home kids yoga lesson plans   https://littletwistersyoga.com/online-store/

✅Magic Spell is a carefully crafted spelling adventure.  https://brainbox.games/

✅Resources for AP students https://marcolearning.com/

✅Enter your math problem or search term, press the button, and they show you the step-by-step work and answer instantly.  2nd grade through college. https://www.mathcelebrity.com/online-math-tutor.php

✅Elem Math games, logic puzzles and educational resources https://www.mathplayground.com/

✅Poetry and music  https://www.thewell.world/mindful-music/mindful-poetry-moments

✅3D printing projects and Coding projects, involving math and other K-12 subjects  https://www.instructables.com/member/EdgertonCenter/instructables/

✅Introductory and intermediate music theory lessons, exercises, ear trainers, and calculators.  https://www.musictheory.net/

✅Scads of free resources, games, learning resources, and lesson plans for teaching personal finance  https://www.ngpf.org/

✅Improve your typing skills while competing in fast-paced races with up to 5 typers from around the world. https://www.nitrotype.com/

✅Illustrated recipes designed to help kids age 2-12 cook with their grown-ups. Recipes encourage culinary skills, literacy, math, and science.  https://www.nomsterchef.com/nomster-recipe-library

✅Online curriculum that builds better writers.  https://www.noredink.com/

✅80+ do at home science activities https://elementalscience.com/blogs/news/80-free-science-activities

✅Daily lessons and educational activities that kids can do on their own  https://www.superchargedschool.com/

✅Adaptive curriculum in Math and ELA for Grades K-8 https://www.scootpad.com/

✅Novel Effect makes storytime a little more fun for kids (and grown-ups too!) As you read out loud from print books (or ebooks!) music, sound effects, and character voices play at just the right moment, adjusting and responding to your voice.  https://noveleffect.com/

✅Quick & easy at home projects curated for kids 2 and up https://www.kiwico.com/kids-at-home

✅Teaches students how to write a paragraph through interactive online tutorial  http://www.paragraphpunch.com/

✅PreK-12 digital media service with more than 30,000 learning materials https://www.pbslearningmedia.org/

✅Science and math labs and simulations  https://phet.colorado.edu/

✅An online physics problem and video bank designed for conceptual, standard, honors or AP1 physics.  https://www.positivephysics.org/home

✅Prodigies is a colorful music curriculum for kids 1-12 that will teach your kids how to play their first instrument, how to sing in tune & how to understand the language of music! 21 for free  https://prodigiesmusic.com/

✅Free videos from around the world from grade 3-12 https://www.projectexplorer.org/

✅QuaverMusic is offering free access to general music activities to all impacted schools, including free student access at-home https://www.quavermusic.com/info/at-home-resources/

✅For students to practice and master whatever they are learning. https://quizlet.com/

✅ReadWorks is an online resource of reading passages and lesson plans for students of all levels K-12.   https://www.readworks.org/

✅Critical Thinking resources for K-6 students https://marketplace.mythinkscape.com/store/redtkids

✅Music Based Spanish Learning  https://rockalingua.com/

✅Science simulations, scientist profiles, and other digital resources for middle school science and high school biologyhttps://sepuplhs.org/

✅The Shurley English program for grades K-8 provides a clear, logical, and concrete approach to language arts.  https://www.shurley.com/

✅Sight reading and sight singing practice exercises. https://www.sightreadingfactory.com/

✅Music practice transformed  https://www.smartmusic.com/

✅Spellingcity is free right now with code VSCFree90  https://www.spellingcity.com/

✅Kid-friendly workouts — choose from Strength for Kids, Agility for Kids, Flexibility and Balance for Kids, Warm-Up for Kids, Cooldown for Kids, Stand Up and Move for Kids, OR create your own custom kid workout.  https://app.sworkit.com/collections/kids-workouts

✅A collection of hundreds of free K-12 STEM resources, from standalone models and simulations to short activities and week long sequences of curriculum materials.  https://learn.concord.org/

✅Course sets (Levels 1–5) that combine and thoroughly cover phonics, reading, writing, spelling, literature, grammar, punctuation, art, and geography—all in one easy-to-use, beautiful course.  https://www.goodandbeautiful.com/

✅At home OT, PT, and ST resources designed to build skills in children through movement and play. https://www.theottoolbox.com/

✅Science projects that can be completed with or without Internet access  https://sciencespot.net/Pages/classhome.html

✅Keyboarding practice    https://www.typingclub.com/   or https://www.typing.com/

✅Next Generation Science video game focused on middle school where students directly engage in science phenomena as they solve problems.  https://www.tytoonline.com/

✅Short videos and readings that answer various burning questions for students. There are vocabulary challenges and comprehension questions. http://wonderopolis.org/

✅Math practice  https://xtramath.org/#/home/index

✅K-5 curriculum that builds deep understanding and a love of learning math for all students  https://www.zearn.org/

✅A quick start resource to help families pull together a plan for surviving the next 1-2 months at home with their kids, but it can also be a time of slowing down and enjoying kids as they learn. Preschool through 8th grade   https://abetterwaytohomeschool.com/learning-at-home-everything-you-need-in-one-place.html?fbclid=IwAR0Lo2FZ5cWLMt-6nto19auqTtI5kztqLqwi3japOPl1rcR_rLaNuCUcaYw

✅450 Ivy League courses that you can take https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/ivy-league-free-online-courses-a0d7ae675869/?fbclid=IwAR0tbYeSJTzmrzgs1z1Brpoh-Lg8zoqnThQAUTFqR-bBX9O6AEh2_lnLhTs

✅Spelling 1-4 grade https://www.spellingtraining.com/

✅2,500+ online courses from top institutions  https://www.edx.org/

✅22 languages to learn  https://www.memrise.com/

✅Learn to code https://www.codecademy.com/

✅Miscellaneous games for all subjects k-8  https://www.funbrain.com/

✅Phonics and learning to read https://readingeggs.com/

✅PreK – 5 games for all subjects  https://www.turtlediary.com/

✅Online digital coloring pages  https://www.thecolor.com/

✅Every course you could possibly want to homeschool preschool – 8   https://allinonehomeschool.com/

✅Every course you could possibly want to homeschool for high school https://allinonehighschool.com/

✅Phonics worksheets for kids  https://www.funfonix.com/

✅Free stories online ages 3-12  https://www.freechildrenstories.com/

✅National Geographic Young Explorers is a magazine designed specifically for kindergarten and first grade students.  Children can listen to the magazine being read to them as they follow along with the highlighted text. https://ngexplorer.cengage.com/ngyoungexplorer/index.html

✅Learn all about earthquakes https://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/kids/

✅Learn all about the periodic table  https://www.chemicool.com/

✅Farmer’s almanac for kids…  Date, weather, moon phase, etc.  https://www.almanac.com/kids

✅Guide to gardening for kids  https://web.extension.illinois.edu/firstgarden/

✅Website allows students to play basic games to reinforce math skills and compete against the computer or others  https://www.mangahigh.com/en-us/

✅Space science for kiddos  https://www.nasa.gov/kidsclub/index.html

✅Math Games, Logic Puzzles and Brain Builders https://www.mathplayground.com/

✅Games, quizzes and fact sheets take kids on a journey through time.  https://www.bbc.co.uk/history/forkids/

✅NGAkids interactives offer an entertaining and informative introduction to art and art history. https://www.nga.gov/education/kids.html

✅News and more for kids  https://www.youngzine.org/

✅Randomly generates 356,300,262,144 story starters  https://thestorystarter.com/

✅Immerse yourself in cryptography  https://www.cryptoclub.org/

✅Math games galore  https://gridclub.com/

✅Tons of science experiments that you can do at home  https://www.stevespanglerscience.com/lab/experiments/

✅An interactive way to learn history   https://www.mission-us.org/

✅Just explore, have fun, and learn some science along the way.  https://thehappyscientist.com/

✅Interactive games based on the book series  https://www.magictreehouse.com/

✅Work on the 8 parts of speech  https://www.grammaropolis.com/

✅Learn all about cells  https://www.cellsalive.com/

✅All sorts of learning here if you dig in https://www.google.com/earth/

✅Scratch draws students of all types into coding and lays a foundation for future learning.  https://scratch.mit.edu/

✅A wonderful, endlessly detailed way to get kids engaged in the world of art.  https://www.metmuseum.org/art/online-features/metkids/

✅Tests kids’ geography skills. Using images from Google’s Street View, it plops players down in the middle of the street and asks them to figure out where they are.  https://www.geoguessr.com/

✅Allows students to type in any city, state, or country to view an archive of historical photographs and other documents. It’s a unique way to help them learn about history.   http://www.whatwasthere.com//

✅Short videos about numbers that help kids explore complex math topics and make math more fun.  https://www.numberphile.com/

✅A human visualization platform that allows students to explore the human body in really cool ways. https://human.biodigital.com/login?returnUrl=/dashboard

✅Helps kids learn to appreciate the arts by providing them with the opportunity to play games, conduct investigations, and explore different forms of art.  https://artsology.com/

✅Lets kids play instruments online. Instruments include the guitar, piano, pan flute, drums, and bongos. https://www.virtualmusicalinstruments.com/

✅Crafts, activities, bulletin board designs, and finger plays for early education teachers and parents to use with kids. http://www.preschoolexpress.com/

✅A large selection of fun songs to help teach preschool and kindergarten students https://www.songsforteaching.com/preschoolkindergarten.htm

✅Resource section includes free flashcards, coloring pages, worksheets, and other resources for children, teachers, and parents.  https://supersimple.com/

✅Life skills curriculum for students in grades K-12. Their resources include strategies for teaching social and emotional skills.  https://www.overcomingobstacles.org/

✅Coding for ages 4-10  https://www.kodable.com/

✅No need to travel to one of the Smithsonian’s zoos or museums — this website brings your child everything from live video of the National Zoo to the Smithsonian Learning Lab right to their screen https://www.si.edu/kids

✅Cool Kid Facts gives your child access to educational videos, pictures, quizzes, downloadable worksheets, and infographics. They can use these to learn about geography, history, science, animals, and even the human body.  https://www.coolkidfacts.com/

✅This interactive website, hosted by the U.S. Government Publishing Office, allows your child to see the ins and outs of the U.S. government by taking a series of learning adventures with none other than Benjamin Franklin. https://bensguide.gpo.gov/

✅This NASA initiative covers a wide range of topics including weather, climate, atmosphere, water, energy, plants, and animals.  https://climatekids.nasa.gov/

✅Ask Dr. Universe is a science-education project from Washington State University. Kids can send Dr. Universe any question they may have about history, geography, plants, animals, technology, engineering, math, culture, and more.  https://askdruniverse.wsu.edu/

✅Your child can play games, learn fun facts, and find out how to turn coin collecting into a hobby.  https://www.usmint.gov/learn/kids

✅From rainbows to tornadoes and winter storms to tsunamis, meteorologist Crystal Wicker breaks down the fascinating world of weather.  http://www.weatherwizkids.com/

✅Kids Think Design explores careers in fashion design, graphic design, interior design, book design, product design, film and theatre, architecture, animation, and environmental design. http://www.kidsthinkdesign.org/

✅This educational website hosted by the Smithsonian Museum takes a deep dive into ocean life. https://ocean.si.edu/

✅Brainscape offers over a million flashcard decks for every subject, entrance exam, and certification imaginable.  https://www.brainscape.com/

✅The Theta Music Trainer offers a series of online courses and games for ear training and music theory.  https://trainer.thetamusic.com/en

✅Banzai exposes students to real-world financial dilemmas to teach them the importance of smart money management. https://www.teachbanzai.com/

✅Innerbody explores the 11 bodily systems in depth. With interactive models and detailed explanations, this website will help them learn more about the internal mechanics of the amazing human body.https://www.innerbody.com/htm/body.html

✅Alcumus is specifically designed to provide high-performing students with a challenging curriculum appropriate to their abilities   https://artofproblemsolving.com/alcumus

✅Find and fix learning gaps  https://www.mobymax.com/

✅Algebra games for kids  https://www.dragonboxapp.com/

✅Fractions practice http://www.mathchimp.com/freddysfractions.php

✅Education for kids all topics https://www.ducksters.com

✅Math and logic problems for ages 5 and up to adult  https://www.aplusclick.org/

✅Science podcasts to listen to with your kids https://medium.com/kidslisten/19-great-science-podcasts-you-can-listen-to-with-kids-6fe46ac506b8#.rb23iuaw6

✅Alaskan Wildlife cams http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=viewing.webcams

✅Coding with Star Wars  https://code.org/starwars

✅Tons and tons and tons of games some learning some just fun     https://www.crazygames.com/

✅Crafts, projects, science, recipes for young children https://www.funology.com/

 ✅Amphibian unit studies  https://premeditatedleftovers.com/naturally-frugal-mom/amphibians-unit-study-resources/

✅Engineering challenges with things you have at home https://thehomeschoolscientist.com/paper-structures-engineering-challenge/

✅Online photograph jigsaw puzzles  You can set the pieces from 6-1000+  https://www.jigsawexplorer.com/

✅Toddler and preschool age ideas  https://preschoolinspirations.com/

 

Kia hora te marino, Kia whakapapa pounamu te moana, kia tere te Kārohirohi I mua I tōu huarahi.

May the calm be widespread, May the ocean glisten as greenstone, May the shimmer of light ever dance across your pathway

Stay home, save lives

 

Keep well!

Bruce Warren. Principal