A Big Shout Out to the teens who are alleviating some of the chaos caused by everybody ‘staying at home’ together 24/7. Teen Helpers are a great way to go! Giving a teen you know a job and mitigating some of the pressure that parents feel in homeschooling their kids is the goal as we support our families and the community at large.

Parents, this is a rare opportunity to grab your kid’s full attention. Thankfully, it is not going to last forever. Being the best parent does not always mean, your one-to-one engagement with your child. Teen aged Virtual Parent Helpers can provide a fun, educational respite for you and your children. There are several good programs, such as Zoom, Skype or Facetime, that enable Virtual Parent Helpers (VPH) to connect remotely with your kids. Face to face they can develop relationships with their VPH stimulating their developing brains in ways that far exceed solitary time on the computer.

In addition to supporting online homework, VPH can facilitate playdates, online games, the exploration of a vast array of educational, cultural, and wildly exciting science websites (aquariums, zoos, and wildlife habitats). The possibilities are endless. When there is an ‘adult’ engaged in these activities asking questions that tap into children’s naturally inquisitive minds.…the entire brain will be activated in ways technology usually does not accomplish in the home setting.

Other ideas include nurturing friendships creatively, using technology; imagine a virtual sleepover after reading a scary book together, sleeping bags, each in their own homes and bedrooms, with their own screens going off to sleep…

This is a time to embrace technology.

Here are a few of the many online resources (and have your VPH find more!):
  • The Guardian costs $9.99 monthly at 50% off; 14 days free for a digital subscription to the 10 best virtual museum and gallery tours.  Paul Getty, LA; Vatican, Rome; Guggenheim, Bilbao, National History, London; Rijks Amsterdam, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, S. Korea; Musee d’Orsay Paris; British Museum, London; MASP, Sao Paulo, Brazil; National Gallery, London.
  • Explore the human body virtually! DIY Science experiments can open a whole new interest. Check out Disney, the Kennedy Space Center, and other remarkably diverse sites such as the Macomb Outpost@The Discovery Center-The Discovery Center: (An excellent portal to multiple sites) Smart Family Fun.
  • Play online games at gaspmobilegames.com.

Your, or your VPH can teach your kids “Old Maid” as well as the probable origin of it! A Victorian card game, 2-8 players derived from an ancient gambling game in which the loser pays for drinks.  Have kids rename the game for the 21st century where ‘old maids ‘no longer exist! Have kids make up their own card games.  Pogo.com has kids Monopoly and a whole host of other familiar games online; there is even a Monopoly app ($3.99) the Kidzpage offers online puzzles at multiple levels.

  • Explore the world, explore the seas, through chapter books and virtual travel. Partner reading, self-guided reading, and just plain fun reading. There are many chapter, picture, and graphic books online (some free) Epic.com is but one example. Audible is offering hundreds of free audio books for kids of all ages right now.

Your children can learn the difference between inferences and facts, practice making predictions and take the opportunity to think critically and reflectively while enjoying Book Parties, Game Parties, and International travel.  You and your VPH can help kids create journals and dictionaries discovering unusual and strange words, colors, animals, vegetation.

The possibilities to explore every corner of the world,..kid style are infinite!

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