BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG) — School closures mean an unprecedented amount of kids are being homeschooled.
In New York State, this equates to 2.64 million children in grades K-12. Parents are trying to keep up with their children’s education, and to stick to some daily routines. Director of WSKG’s Education Department Jackie Stapleton shared some resources for learning at home and how families can maintain some normalcy.
They can be found here.[TRANSCRIPT]
SARAH GAGER: Jackie, thanks for being with us.
JACKIE STAPLETON: Hi, Sarah. Thanks for having me.
SG: You’re a parent. What has home life looked like for you and your family?
JS: Well, my husband and I are both working remote at this point, and, with the school closures, our two kids are home. I’d say that we’re figuring things out slowly, and just taking it day-by-day.
SG: As are so many of us today. Where should parents start when trying to build a curriculum?
JS: I really encourage parents to relax. Allow your family the time that they- that they need to adjust to this situation. School districts locally have done an amazing job distributing at-home learning materials and they have resources already curated on their websites for families. There are other materials out there online including virtual field trips from museums, national parks, performing arts. Teachers are posting online videos as well. There’s really endless, quality content available.
SG: And we’ll link some of those resources on our website. You have two children. Do you have any words of wisdom for balancing their learning experiences?
JS: I’d say do what is best for your family and your children. In our case, we carve out chunks of time during the day that we refer to as ‘learning time’ and we let each of our kids choose a subject that they want to focus on. So for example, our son may choose to play an online math game while our daughter reads for half an hour. Learning experiences won’t and don’t have to look the same for every child, but one thing that is universal is to get the whole family up and moving and to do this outdoors in fresh air if possible.
SG: Yes. Go outside, but avoid playgrounds or any other places where people are congregating.
JS: Yes. Be sure to maintain that safe distance.
SG: That six feet of distance. Well, if you do find yourself inside, WSKG is making some changes to our TV channel. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
JS: Absolutely. So, starting Monday, March 23rd, WSKG’s main TV channel will feature a brand new line-up of educational programming, and this is for students in grades K-12. The programming will run weekdays, 6 A.M. until 5 P.M., and what we’ve done is—we’ve built in programming that will support at home learning around Science, Social Studies, English/Language Arts, even WSKG’s own local history documentaries. It’s a major change to our TV schedule. It is one that we made with input from schools.
You know, the biggest reason we moved in this direction is because so many communities in our region- they lack broadband access, so we wanted to provide an equitable opportunity for students to keep on learning at home.
SG: And there are also PBS resources?
JS: Oh yes, plenty. PBS resources that focus on academics and also social-emotional health, which really should be everyone’s main priority during this time. We’re doing our best to curate these materials and share with families.
SG: Yes, priority is our health and that includes mental health, so thank you so much Jackie for coming in today.
JS: Thanks so much, Sarah.
SG: That is Jackie Stapleton, WSKG’s Education Director.
You’re listening to WSKG.