Supporting Learning This School Year
August 31, 2020
Most years, we would be celebrating “back to school” and everything that represents right now. As a student and parent, I have always looked forward to a more routine schedule, the joy of reconnecting with friends and teachers, and the comforting smell of a fresh box of Crayola crayons--even when they were no longer on the official school supply list. Equally important was the excitement about learning something every day, which is not unique to the September to June period, but which always amplified as the first day back approached. I realize this is not everyone’s experience, and there are many factors that influence how people feel about this time of year. Especially now.
To me, no matter where learning is taking place, it doesn’t feel like we are going “back.” From my perspective, this year’s comfort will not come from the familiar or the smell of a box of new crayons, but from understanding that as a community we are moving forward and doing our best to remain excited about learning.
It’s hard to predict anything with certainty right now, and whether your kids are in the classroom all the time, part of the time, doing remote learning, or homeschooling, the library is here to support all of our kids (and their hardworking parents) throughout the school year.
With that in mind, here are some of my favorite online resources. They’ll help families in any learning situation. Find them, and many more, on our kids resources page.
This site has a bunch of fun activities that are also educational. You can search by keyword, grade, subject, theme, and more. Try “fun flaps” or “seek-and-find” for a couple of my favorites. Pages are designed for printing, but you can also view them on screen and use a piece of paper to write or draw your responses.
Animated and narrated books help kids learn and enjoy basic math concepts, and this collection is just a click away. Search by topic, browse the covers, or use an index. You can also store your favorites to find them quickly next time. I really enjoy the Math is CATegorical series.
Live Homework Help from Tutor.com
This service safely connects students with a live tutor for about 20 minutes per online session and up to 5 times a week. Stuck on a math problem? The tutor will walk you through the steps. Science have you stumped? Ask for help to find a solution. They can also help with social studies and language arts, and are available from 10 am to midnight every day.
In addition to my favorite online resources, remember that our staff is happiest when connecting kids to great books! If you'd like some ideas, try one of these, then reserve your choices and use curbside pickup at one of 12 locations in Skokie to get your chosen books.
Bookmatch for Kids
Our youth team developed this service recently to provide custom recommendations for kids in grades 3-8. Try it!
Themed Lists for Kids
Staff create lists of great materials around a variety of themes, and they include personal notes about why they selected particular books.
Our library staff members are also passionate about helping kids learn through doing things, and here are just two of the ways we're helping you keep your kids active and engaged in learning while having fun at the same time.
BOOMbox at Home
Every week, staff put together a new set of activities for hands-on learning (and fun!) on a particular STEAM topic. Want to know more about fungus" architecture? myths? textiles?
Science for Kids
We have a growing collection of short videos for kids on things like lions and tigers, soap, and axolotyls.
As the school year continues, we will keep providing all manner of materials, events, and answers for you and your family. Let us know how we can help.