School's Out: The New Normal

You didn’t expect your kids to be home 24/7. And you certainly didn’t expect their return to school to be more of an if, than a when. In fact, the CDC now says the shutdown, which many districts initially set at two weeks, will likely last the rest of the school year. For sure, there are more questions than answers swirling about, but this much is certain: any sense of routine is, for the foreseeable future, a thing of the past.


So here we are, trying to navigate a new normal without a road map. Many of us are working from home, or perhaps not working at all because school was part of our daycare. Our kids are underfoot and just as out-of-sorts as we are. Our fabulous and dedicated teachers are reinventing lesson plans for remote learning but they, too, may have children at home and are scrambling like the rest of us. We all have a houseful of energy, and virtually no outlet. We can’t run your kids around the block for you, or make sure their math is done, but KidNuz is here to do our part.


Coronavirus or not, we’ll be producing and delivering our daily news podcasts every weekday morning. Your kids can continue to start their day with a fun, fresh, age-appropriate dose of current events and, like always, you can feel good about what they’re hearing.


But we’re not the only ones offering to help in this time of uncertainty. The generosity from all corners of the globe is inspiring. Below, please find some tools to add to your “keep-‘em-busy” toolbox in the days and weeks ahead:


Virtual Field Trips. A Night at the Museum, A Trip into Space. A Visit to the Zoo. Pretend you and your curious kids are anywhere but home. No boredom allowed!


Free tutors! GoPeer (GoPeer.org) has approved college students to give 10,000 free hours of tutoring to K-12 students. Instruction will be live 1-on-1 sessions with vetted college students in an online classroom using tools like real-time face-to-face video conferencing, photo/document sharing, and a virtual whiteboard/notepad to collaborate or edit essays. Two free hours per family.


Cisco Webex. Free video conferencing for teachers and schools; resources to keep classrooms connected.


Free Zoom. CEO Erik Yuan is doing what he can to keep kids learning. His video-chat service is now free — with unlimited minutes - for K-12 schools in the US and affected countries around the world. Students or teachers just need to fill out an online form using their school email addresses. For a time, Mr. Yuan was adding schools, manually, himself. You can read more about the program here.


Resources and Lessons. PBS has a learning platform with videos, games and activities that you can tailor to your kids and students, all aligned to state and national standards.