It’s 6:30 AM on a Monday. Your alarm blares. All you want to do is sleep in. As much as you want to fight the noise, it barrels into your subconscious, kicking you awake. You know you have to get up and get the kids ready for a new week of school.
You snatch your phone off the nightstand and put an end to that loathsome sound. But before you can slide out of bed, throw a couple eggs on the pan and extract the iPad from their hands (which they still haven’t washed), a notification on your phone states that all schools have been closed… indefinitely. You rub your eyes, hoping it’s simply a sleep-deprivation induced hallucination. But it’s true – and escalates from there.
Stores have shut their doors, border are closed and entire countries are in lock-down.
How am I supposed to go to work?
What about the kids?
How are they going to learn?
Toilet paper is completely out of stock?
Every possible worst case scenario flashes through your head, your normal state of ‘pretty chill’ sucked away. What remains is verging on sheer panic.
Your children’s education is now up in the air.
The opening sequence to some post-apocalyptic, B-grade zombie flick? Sadly, no – this exact thing has probably happened to you already.
Our world is currently changing at a pace never before seen. And fear is raising its ugly head in places we don’t normally see it.
While many are panicking over the possibility that toilet paper may be the next form of currency, the thing that seems to have parents worried the most is the uncertainty caused by schools closing and your children’s social and learning networks severed.
Many children are probably less than keen on the “learning” aspect of school (with a few exceptions), the same can’t be said for parents. You want the best for your child: the best education, the best learning resources and the best teachers.
But how are they supposed to get access when they can’t even go to school?
My favorite solution.
As a sixteen year old home learner, I’ve come across all sorts of sources the last five years that attempt to pull together both the social and academic components of a brick-and-mortar school – with varying levels of success.
Out of all the tools I’ve worked with, one stands out.
Outschool is an online learning platform that beautifully brings together the social interaction and deep learning, and blends them into a single, cohesive package. Almost any topic you can think of is covered on this amazing platform. Chemistry, film theory, forensic science, and everything in between! Each class is hosted by experts, many who are certified teachers, who have passion for their subjects, as well as the teaching skills to keep students engaged in their learning.
This is where the social aspect comes in.
If you decide to give it a try, your child won’t be studying alone. Outschool’s courses allow 8 to 10 learners to participate in any given class, at various age levels (from K-12) so your child can learn and discuss topics with other like-minded students, all while being supported by a knowledgeable and friendly specialist/teacher.
Homeschooling has proven to be the most rewarding educational experience I’ve had, and Outschool has made that experience all the more enriching.
But I’m not here to tell you to start homeschooling your children. I only hope that you take advantage of incredible opportunities that will enhance your child’s schooling, particularly in such unsure times as we currently find ourselves.
So, while you’re self-isolating at home, and pondering what your kids could do for the day (if their school hasn’t been able to switch to online classes), why not hop on over to Outschool? I can’t guarantee your child’s social needs will be completely fulfilled, but I can guarantee that they’ll quite likely never have access to many of these classes in a regular school environment. (TIP: If you use our link to sign up for updates, you’ll get a $20 credit to put towards your child’s first course!)
Now it’s your turn!
We know that everyone has different preferences with regard to schooling resources – the ones we’ve worked with might not be suitable for your family and maybe you’ve come across some valuable resources that you’ve worked with and love! If so, we’d love to hear in the comments below. It just might help a family just like yours make the transition that much less stressful.
Here are some other resources we’ve found extremely valuable the last five years*.
- Khan Academy – From pre-calculus, to chemistry, to even neural networks, Khan Academy provides an unprecedented variety of subjects to choose from, all for free! I use Khan Academy as my primary math and science practice tool, and I have yet to find a platform that comes close to matching it. Feel free to slip them a donation – they’ve really stepped up to fill the void in this latest situation.
- SelfDesign – If you’re considering the home learning direction for you child, SelfDesign is by far the most supportive and rewarding choice. As with Outschool, you are never alone in your learning process, as each weekly class consists of an entire group of students, who are all looking to better the experience of their fellow classmates. Taking the principles of the public school system and completely reworking them, Selfdesign beautifully blends standard methods of learning with much more organic concepts, creating a learning experience you’re child will never forget. SelfDesign is a fully accredited online school based in British Columbia, Canada, and provides instruction via the BC Ministry of Education curriculum. While it’s a Canadian school, it does have a number of students from the United States registered.
- Udemy – Udemy’s unparalleled level of topics make it one of the most comprehensive and vast learning platforms out there. The number of subjects to choose from aren’t limited to elementary or high school academic skills either. Both you and your child can get value out of this platform. Learn the basics of 3d animation. Discover the fundamentals of creating stunning pieces of art in Photoshop. Get comfortable with your artistic skills, or see if computer programming is more your thing. The options are (almost) endless, and during the sale times, quite affordable.
- Polyhistoria – Like Outschool, this brilliant platform takes the idea of “learning from home” to new heights for students age 12-18. With in-depth and analytical classes on topics you won’t find probably anywhere else, your child will have the opportunity to explore concepts they perhaps never thought they’d be interested in. If you’re looking for more specific or niche topics on world and US history from a fresh perspective, it’s worth having a look.
* Note: Some of the links above are affiliate links. If you sign up for a class from one of these links, we may receive a small percentage at no cost to you. Be assured that we only recommend products, services and school links that are in alignment with our values, and that we use ourselves and feel would be of the greatest benefit to you, our site visitor. But most are not affiliate links – our primary goal is to provide you with the most valuable information and resources.