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Battle Rainy-Day Blahs with Online Activities
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Your kids likely spend many hours on their electronic devices - most of it entirely unproductive and lacking in educational value. This is typical, and although there are many negatives about our collective dependence on near-constant electronic stimulation, technology isn’t all bad. In fact, next time there is a rainy day and your kids are stuck inside, instead of bemoaning the fact that they are staring at screens in a near-zombie-like state, tell them to move over and make room for the whole family. On rainy days, you can get your entire crew moving and learning all while letting them hold on dearly to their beloved screens.
Sneak in some education
Right off the bat, you can steer your kids to educational sites that provide fun activities for the whole family. Ask your kids which ones are their favorites, as they likely are already familiar with online learning resources from school. Several schools issue Chromebooks or iPads, but restrict content to educational sites while at school. Some especially popular sites include Quizlet Live and Factile, where you can create your own game-show style interactive games. Any person with a smartphone can use it like a buzzer or prompter for the game. There are pre-made game boards on many topics, so you are sure to find one that will teach and entertain your children.
Education doesn’t have to be a reflection of school work. Kids can learn something they never would be exposed to in their school, such as cooking a unique ethnic cuisine or learning about some behind-the-scenes movie-making magic. YouTube is full of educational and informational videos on all sorts of subjects.
If your children are interested in learning about business and finance, real estate is a good subject. Redfin provides a collection of educational resources on the topic, explaining, “Real estate is a complex field that requires skills in math, science, English, social studies and home economics. By incorporating real estate-based lessons into your curriculum, you can help students gain valuable skills in practical math application, presentation giving, forming a persuasive argument, earth science and so much more.”
Music and art come alive at home
Kids may feel more relaxed at home. They may be more comfortable with expressing themselves artistically. Let them shine in your family room and hold dance-offs based on popular moves. Challenge the whole family to copy the latest dance video - and if you are concerned about mature content, simply search for family-friendly videos or enable parental controls on YouTube.
Music can also be the basis for getting your kids active, even when they are cooped up inside. Many exercise videos are keyed to dance moves. Even if your children aren’t the dancing type, they may connect with other types of online exercise, such as yoga. Yoga and rainy days combine well for a serene day of mindfulness at any age. YouTube has many fun (and funny) family yoga challenge videos that can shake the boredom out of any day. You might even like to challenge yourself by testing out these 13 yoga poses with your kids!
Art lessons are also all over the place on YouTube and online. If your children are less likely to bounce around the house, maybe they will benefit from some quiet time drawing or learning how to paint. The internet is also full of DIY craft ideas and fun science tutorials that blend art with learning about our natural world around us.
From art, music, exercise, business and science learning, technology can connect families with education anytime and anywhere. Technology can also numb you into smashing virtual candy all day, so choose active and engaged learning next time bad weather keeps your family indoors.
Jenny Wise homeschools her four awesome children. As any homeschooling parent knows, every day is an adventure, and Jenny has begun chronicling her experiences at SpecialHomeEducator.com. She hopes to use the site to connect with other homeschoolers and to provide helpful advice to parents who may be considering a home education for their kids.
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