An ever-expanding list of educational resources for parents to use with kids while our schools are closed.
You may not be in a place to use these right now. That’s ok. We are all doing the best we can to keep going through this once-in-a-century moment in world history.
In fact, as you establish your children’s home-based academic schedule, it’s worth thinking about whether trying to continue their education at the normal pace is a feasible goal in the middle of a pandemic, no matter what their age. Alan Richardson, a Professor in Philosophy at the University of British Columbia, has been very open on Twitter about his own doubts about the general assumption that education can continue as usual, just online, this spring.
In a series of tweets posted on 18 March 2020, Alan Richardson (@arichardson_phi) says:
It is indicative of the current state of the educational mission of universities that professors are being offered a lot of technical support in moving things online, but almost no help in how to think about the morality or humanity of continuing to make substantial intellectual demands on students in the current public health, economic, and existential crisis. Where is the leadership on, or even the discussion of, how we can model the compassion of proper academic culture?Alan Richardson (@arichardson_phi) via Twitter, March 18, 2020.
If college students aren’t in a position to maintain their regular course load right now, how can we expect all of our younger learners (and their already over-taxed parents) to be able to do it?
There are definitely kids out there who will thrive on / need a regular course of instruction during this period. Maybe yours is one of them.
There are also kids out there whose anxiety is already off the charts. For those kids, keeping a regular learning schedule during a pandemic might not be the best plan.
You are the world’s foremost expert in your children and your family. You know best what your family needs right now, when it comes to your children’s education these next few months. Allow yourself to do that without regret.
My intention in creating these lists is not to shame you into doing more than is right for your family, but to ensure that Caterpickles readers have a variety of resources readily available to them as they work to identify their family’s best path forward.
How this section of the blog is organized
I just started tracking these types of resources a few days ago, and already I can tell there’s an overwhelming number of helpful people out there. So rather than make one enormous list on a single page, I decided to treat this as a blog-within-a-blog, put each type of resource on its own page, categorize all those pages as Educational Resources, and add the Educational Resources category to the quick links at the top of this blog.
Ideally, this means that you will be able to open this section of the Caterpickles website, see a list of major categories, and jump directly to the sort of resources you are looking for. That’s the goal.
Still, this isn’t a perfect method.
First, anyone who follows this blog by email is going to get a lot of emails from me over the next few days as I roll these posts out. I’m sorry about that.
It also means that when I add to these lists, I’ll simply be updating existing posts, so no one will be automatically notified when new items appear. That’s an easy problem to solve though. I’ll just use my main blog to let you know when I’ve made significant updates.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I have not personally vetted all of these resources. There just isn’t enough time right now to do that. So if something looks interesting to you, be sure to vet it before you use it with your child.
Find a resource I’ve missed?
You’re inevitably going to come across things I’ve missed. If you do, please let me know about them, either by dropping a comment below or finding me on Twitter (@shalahowell).
I also want to take a moment to thank everyone who has reached out to me through email, Twitter, or Facebook to send me their suggestions for this section. If you sent me one, but don’t see it on the list, assume it’s my mistake and maybe, if you’re willing, send me a little reminder?
If we all work together, things may still turn out all right.