Week 2: A Weekly Schedule for Joyful and Authentic Learning During School Closures

Are you running out of ideas to keep your children learning and entertained at home yet? Not to worry — our education team has got you covered with new ideas every week.

It’s been one week since many of us experienced school closures in Southern California. Are you running out of ideas to keep your children learning and entertained at home yet? Not to worry — the education team at PBS SoCal | KCET has got you covered with new ideas and resources to help you create authentic and joyful learning experiences at home. Every week, we will provide you with a weekly schedule that can help you add structure to your children’s learning routine. The schedule includes:

  • Curated educational content suggestions for all grade levels
  • Ideas for fun activities you can do at home
  • Guidelines on how to balance educational screen time with other types of playful learning.
A mother practices co-reading with her child. | Mae Koo

Here’s this week’s schedule:

Pre-K – 3rd grade

4th – 8th grade

9th-12th grade

As you plan your young child’s at-home learning routine, keep in mind the following tips:

  • Carve out time for your children to write and reflect. Have kids think about how learning at home is different than learning at school. What is the best part? Have young learners draw pictures of a time they felt super smart. Ask advanced writers to write a story about a daring adventure that ends in a surprise plot twist that no one could predict. Encourage your children to submit their stories to PBS SoCal’s Writer’s Contest.  
  • While watching TV or playing with apps, practice co-viewing and co-playing with your children by asking questions and helping them connect what they see on the screens in front of them with the world around them.
  • Make time to play! Research shows that creative and physical play is a crucial part of children’s cognitive and social-emotional development. Playtime can incorporate a wide range of activities, including building a pillow fort in the living room, playing hide and seek, and make-believing a restaurant or grocery store with mom and dad as the customers. Try the Fetch! Science Activity: Stack ‘Em Up where you build a towering stack of paper cups.

For parents of older children, here are some tips and resources to help kids stay busy during school closures and process what they are hearing in the news:

  • Teens and tweens may be seeing and hearing the same news you are — and that might leave them confused and overwhelmed. Set aside time to check-in. Do your kids have questions or concerns? How are they feeling? Making sure your children have accurate information is important. This PBS NewsHour Special on COVID-19 will help dispel misinformation and provide context.
  • PBS Digital Studios has multiple engaging series that are educational and thought-provoking — and designed to catch young peoples’ attention. One of our favorites? Physics Girl, which explores the physical sciences with experiments, demonstrations and cool, new discoveries. It even has DIY experiments, like this one on How to Make a Hurricane on a Bubble.
  • Want to spend some time away from screens? Check out these 10 Must-Listen Podcasts for Teens and Tweens.
  • Adjusting to At-Home Learning may be difficult for your older children. Many of the things that help adults cope in stressful times will also help your tweens and teens. Exercise, journaling and finding ways to digitally connect with their friends (e.g. on social media, texting or phone and video calls) can really help older children maintain their mental health.

More Tips and Resources

  • Tune in to PBS KIDS programming on your local PBS SoCal channel for curated educational content for children in PreK through 3rd grade. Tune in to KLCS for content targeted toward 4th-8th graders and KCET for content geared for 9th-12th graders. 
  • Visit PBS LearningMedia for free PBS KIDS standards-aligned videos, lesson plans, and other resources about Math, English Language Arts, Social Studies, Science and Social-Emotional learning.
  • Don’t forget to relax! Learning all day can be a lot of fun, but don’t forget to build in break times. Get outside and take a long walk, kick a ball around or do an arts and crafts activity in the backyard.

We’ll update the schedule every Friday afternoon so that you can prepare the materials and resources you will need for the following week.