As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic stretches on, many families are trying to juggle working from home while helping kids with distance learning. Educators and employers are feeling stressed too.
We scoured the web for news stories and free resources that can help kids and adults who learn and think differently stay calm and be more productive.
This roundup includes free tools to help struggling readers, plus a fun way to celebrate small successes—like changing out of your pj’s before noon.
- A Simple Guide to Working/Learning From Home: In this new video, How to ADHD’s Jessica McCabe teams up with graphic artist (and ADHD web comic) Dani Donovan to explain time blocking and other helpful strategies.
- Coronavirus Sanity Guide: Ten Percent Happier’s free guided meditations include a daily livestream and audio clips on topics like how to use handwashing time to help re-center yourself.
- That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief: Harvard Business Review gives a name to what many of us are feeling—and expert tips on how to manage these feelings.
- 17 Apps to Help Kids Stay Focused: Common Sense Media’s list makes it easy to find apps tailored for your child’s age.
- Using Screen Time to Connect Isolated Kids With Friends, Family: USA Today shows how the American Academy of Pediatrics changed its screen time guidelines for the pandemic.
- How to Help Kids Manage Anxiety During a Pandemic: From UCLA’s Child Anxiety Resilience Education and Support Center.
- GoNoodle’s “Flow” Channel has fun three-minute videos to help kids relax and recharge when taking a break from schoolwork.
- Learning Keeps Going: This new site includes free tools, tips, and best practices for distance learning. Understood is proud to be part of this coalition effort brought together by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).
- Supporting Accessibility in Distance Education: Free webinars at the AEM Center at CAST will show you how to do things like activate text-to-speech and make math notation accessible.
- 5 Tips for Supporting Students Socially and Emotionally During Distance Learning: New resource from Understood.
- How Teachers Can Navigate Difficult Emotions During School Closures: A three-minute de-stressor for teachers and other tools from UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center to help you stay calm and centered during the coronavirus crisis.
- Building Developmental Relationships During the COVID-19 Crisis: 20 key actions from the Search Institute.
- Managing Coronavirus Anxiety: 4 Easy Tools and Tips to Share With Your Team: From Understood’s Workplace Initiative.
- 5 Ways to Strengthen Communication and Team Cohesion in the COVID-19 World: Tips for remote working from Forbes.
- Workplace Mental Health Resources During COVID-19: Mind Share Partners has a free toolkit plus a March 31 webinar on how to support employee mental health during the pandemic.
Help for Struggling Readers
Students who have trouble with reading may have an especially tough time adjusting to new tools and platforms for distance learning. These reading resources are free while schools are closed:
- Bookshare: Have dyslexia? Students with a qualifying reading barrier can get free access to over 800,000 e-books in easy-to-read formats like audio and “karaoke-style” text highlighting.
- Scholastic Learn at Home: This free resource hub includes daily projects for kids and access to Scholastic’s ScienceFlix and TrueFlix libraries, which have read-aloud features.
- BeeLine Reader: Use this color gradient on web pages and Google Docs to guide your eyes from one line of text to the next. Educators can sign up students for free access through September 1. Families can sign up kids for free access through May 1.
Celebrate Small Successes
It’s not easy learning how to do things like stick to a new schedule or log on to a new tool. Make an “accomplishment box” to help kids and adults see these accomplishments—and watch them grow.
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About the author
About the author
Julie Rawe is the special projects editor at Understood.