Not only CAN you be successful at home with your kids’ education, you can ROCK IT with helpful resources.
There is no doubt we are all making one of the most impactful decisions of our kids’ lives right now. This year, your school may have offered a virtual learning option; or perhaps you are safely preparing to send your kid back to school; or maybe you chose to homeschool for the first time. However you are tackling this unusual school year, you are faced with obstacles.
We’ve gathered helpful information to get you started. Keep going and know that you are a good parent making the best decisions for your
FOR FULL-TIME WORKING PARENTS
Kids’ First Sports Online Learning Support
Kids’ First offers a flexible e-learning support option for kids grades 1-12 where students can select from their school district’s e-learning platform or an online public school.
“We are primed with licensed teachers and experienced educators to be able to offer an option for families during this unprecedented school year,” says Megan Smith, vice president at Kids First Sports Center. “With small group sizes, daily physical education and socialization for young peers, it’s a wonderful option for students.”
Flexible partial and full-day options are available.
“We know that kids focus better when they are able to engage in physical activity and research shows that movement activates learning,” says Smith.
West Chester Academy Learning Hub
This new learning hub provides an adult-supervised and quiet learning environment for kids in grades 1 – 6 to help with the online learning program from their school or other online curriculum. In addition, they get a structured time for physical activity including private lessons in piano, guitar, voice, strings, drums, acting and more. Academic Monitors — aka accredited teachers — help kids with questions and ensure that assignments are completed and more.
YMCA of Greater Cincinnati Six Scholastic Centers
The YMCA of Greater Cincinnati is opening six scholastic centers for kids whose schools are opting for remote and blended learning this year. The centers will offer students a safe place to engage in virtual learning during the day, and to assist parents, too. Centers opening in the Greater Cincinnati area include: Powel Crosley Jr. YMCA; Carl H. Lindner YMCA; Gamble-Nippert YMCA; Blue Ash YMCA; RC Durr YMCA; and Valley YMCA Early Learning Center. Hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Extended care for before- and after-school hours is also available between 6:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.
The YMCA has waitlists for many of its programs – learn more about pricing and availability at myy.org.
Casa Design Consulting; casadesignconsulting.com
This company can set up a comfortable learning space in your home.
“Set up space and get things out for them the night before,” says Christine Trimmer, co-founder of Casa Design.
“Have a schedule for children who are a little bit older. You can say, ‘First you need to finish math, second you can go outside and play, third you come back and you do this writing work,’” she adds.
She also recommends staying flexible and keeping schedules in three-hour chunks; some days kids are more motivated than others, so do what works best for your day. It doesn’t matter how slow or quick, as long as the work gets done.
SINGLE WORKING PARENT
It’s not easy, but there is help out there. From tutoring programs to assistance from other parents, you can find something to lend you a helping hand.
If you are looking for extra assistance at-home for your kids, there are many tutoring, online and on-site, that can help out. Becca’s Book Box (beccasbookbox.com), based in Cincinnati, provides grades K-12 with a personalized tutoring experience tailored to your schedule. Varsity Tutors (varsitytutors.com) offers help in a variety of subjects with one-on-one tutoring through a Live Learning Platform.
Also known as Homeschooling Pods, Pandemic Pods or Coops, parents join together for homeschool or online programs, swapping teaching assistance. Groups of three to 10 students learn together in homes with the help of parents or a hired teacher/tutor. Local pods can be found in homeschool groups, mom groups or district parenting Facebook pages. Reach out to other parents of your childrens’ classmates to see how to pool your resources and form a POD of your own.
Homeschooling for the first time?
“Make sure the resources are as hands-on as possible and not just the workbook,” says Trimmer of Casa Design Consulting.
However, some kids do love workbooks, so It’s good to have them as a supplemental option. With distractions at home, it’s important to keep learning interesting and focused, so remember to take time to get up and stretch with big body movements (for example, have your child jump rope while saying his time tables).
Cincinnati Homeschool; facebook.com/groups/406397046108415
This is for parents in Cincinnati who are interested in or already homeschooling. Support, resources and more.
Cincinnati Area Secular Homeschoolers; facebook.com/groups/309286149126286
Created to serve the needs of homeschoolers in the local area who homeschool for reasons other than religious, though all are welcome.
Homeschool Network of Greater Cincinnati; hsncincy.com
Families working together to support each other in homeschooling. Members from Ohio and Kentucky.
Cincinnati-Dayton Unschoolers and Relaxed Homeschoolers; facebook.com/groups/ 232931826776913
Open group. Postings of interesting things to do in this area.
Ohio Home Educators Network; ohen.org
A regional network of homeschooling families aiming to provide interested parents with information about home education in Ohio.
Kentucky Homeschool Info; education.ky.gov/federal/fed/pages/home-school.aspx
Kentucky department of education information.
Ohio Homeschool Info; education.ohio.gov/Topics/Quality-School-Choice/Home-Schooling
Ohio department of education information.
Child Care Assistance
Another dilemma you may be facing is finding child care or after-care while you head to work. The YMCA and Learning Grove centers are offering childcare locally to help cover any scenario:
After school – Some kids will be kept in their schools, limiting transportation and may be under the eyes of paraprofessionals brought to their classroom.
Daylong supervision – Kids learning remotely will get supervision at childcare centers, with an academic morning (as they work online) and an enrichment-oriented afternoon.
Nontraditional care centers – Some libraries, churches and museums will likely offer space for childcare. Contact your local organization for more information.
Outside organizations – Kids from CPS (including other surrounding districts) may spend time with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Cincinnati or in Cincinnati Recreation Center programs.
Some families may not be able to fully afford additional childcare costs, which is why the YMCA is providing scholarships to families in-need. Learn more at myy.org. (Source: Enquirer – cincinnati.com)
Not all families have the resources they need to learn online, which is why some districts including CPS have thrived to partner with companies such as Cincinnati Bell which is offering free WI-FI to students learning online. In addition, the Ohio Department of Education stands as a book of information loaded with online learning options for your kids.
Here are other programs assisting families in-need this school year:
Beech Acres Parenting Center’s Beyond the Classroom – Enhances readiness to learn by improving the emotional and behavioral wellness of the students. Additional support is available for parents that builds resilience, improves economic stability and empowers you to become an advocate. Learn more at beechacres.org.
Stett for Kids – Assists parents and students coming from tough backgrounds who are unable to afford field trips, back-to-school supplies, clothes and more. You can help by contributing monthly donations or being corporate sponsors – donate $20, $40 or an affordable amount for you to help families in-need throughout the year. Learn more and donate at stett4kids.com.
Salvation Army, National retailers, Churches, Charities and Non-profit Agencies Near You There are numerous charity organizations offering back-to-school supplies, backpacks and free uniforms to students for the 2020 school year. Some will also offer low-to-moderate income families financial aid programs including free gift certificates so you and your kids can choose your own unique school items as well as free school items for single parents and mothers to help their kids.
In partnership with retailers such as Target and WalMart, you can find free back-to-school assistance programs administered directly by the Salvation Army or other charity organization near you.
United Way of Greater Cincinnati; 2400 Reading Road, Cincinnati, Oh; 513-762-7100; uwgc.org
Freestore Foodbank; 112 East Liberty St., Cincinnati, Oh; 513-241-1064
Madisonville Education and Assistance Center; 4600 Erie Ave., Cincinnati, Oh; 513-271-5501
Salvation Army Of Greater Cincinnati – Family Services Bureau; 131 East 12th St., Cincinnati, Oh; 513-762-5660
Tri-county Soul Ministries Main location; 11177 Springfield Pike, Cincinnati, Oh; 513-772-2277
Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries Rehabilitation Center; 7855 Tanners Lane Florence, KY; 859-371-1238
St. Vincent De Paul Society; 2655 Crescent Springs Road, Covington, Ky; 859-341-3219 and 906 Monmouth St., Newport, Ky; 859-654-2444
Lifeline Ministries Of Northern Kentucky; 4115 B Dixie Highway, Erlanger, Ky; 859-727-3733
United Christian Volunteers; 15 Kenton St., Erlanger, Ky; 859-727-4417
United Ministries; 525 Graves Ave., Erlanger, Ky; 859-727-0300
Be Concerned; 714 Washington St., Covington, Ky; 859-291-6789
Hope Ministries of Northern Kentucky; 263 Main St., Florence, Ky; 859-371-1887