COVID-19 School Closures are creating problems for parents. Are you wondering how you are going to make it through the next weeks...and possibly longer? Are you one of the parents who is searching for distance learning programs for elementary school kids?
How do you find the right distance learning programs quickly?
If your boss is asking you to work from home, you have to actually get work done. How are you going to do that if your child keeps interrupting you? You might be OK with some screen time, but not hours and hours of mind numbing, passive entertainment.
How long will the school closures last? Will teachers put unreasonable demands on kids when school starts again? How can you prevent your child from falling behind? How do you find the best solutions quickly?
Are you supposed to research all the distance learning possibilities out there? How much time will it take to find solutions that are at the right level, especially for an elementary student? Young students still need a lot of prompting and actual teaching.
Can software provide the right guidance, or will your child need help every few minutes? What if your child gets bored and you get resentful? You don't want to purchase a program that adds more stress at home.
Even if you find a program that your child enjoys, will this program result in academic gains? Will you have any proof? Will your child's teacher value the lessons that your child has completed? Will your child return to school with confidence?
I'm Anna Krueger, an online speech language pathologist and reading specialist. I help people use distance learning programs to improve brain skills, overcome problems and pursue their dreams. I want to offer parents some free expert advice during the COVID-19 crisis.
I have tons of experience using online software with students, so I know what doesn't work. I'm want to share my top three recommendations with you. These are programs that you can buy and set up yourself.
I only accept referrals from people in Canada. Plus... I'm not interested in being flooded with requests from parents whose kids have no learning difficulties. Parents, you can do this! Take a look at the links below and go ahead and buy these programs with confidence.
My Top 3 Distance Learning Programs for Elementary
These are affordable solutions that parents can buy for students who are gifted, average or struggling. It doesn't matter. The software will figure out the right level for your child. These programs have colourful graphics, animation and even music. They work on MAC and PC. They also have iPad apps.
If you purchase the following three programs, you will be able to fill many hours each day with an academic curriculum. If your child is 5 to 7 years old, that might be too much. Students who are age 7 and older should be able to do all three programs each day.
I mentioned that I'm in Canada. Sorry, I don't have uniquely Canadian recommendations. I hope that you won't be overly critical of the US spellings, the US coins and the imperial measurements in these programs. Keep reading to find out what makes these my favourites for elementary students learning from home during the COVID-19 school closures.
Equipment you will need
Let's Go Learn English Language Arts Edge Gr K to 8
Buy the combo of the Diagnostic Online Reading Assessment (DORA) and the LGL Edge Course from this page:
It is $124 US. This is well worth it because the assessment will automatically determine which lessons your child needs. No wasting time on useless drills or tasks that are too hard. Your child will get a customized protocol of 60 lessons. You can't share a license; the protocol is completely individualized.
This software was designed by specialists at the University of California Berkley. It is adaptive. If your child makes a mistake, the software provides coaching.
Let's Go Learn Math Edge Gr K to 8
Buy the combo of the Adaptive Diagnostic Assessment of Mathematics (ADAM) and the Math Edge Course for elementary students. There are also combos for secondary students which include algebra. You can make your decision on this page:
The price is also $124 US for a customized protocol of 60 lessons for one child.
Can you do the math problem in the image? No? Don't fret. The software provides coaching whenever your child gets stuck. In addition...and this is a huge bonus... you get free math tutorials from Khan Academy. These are totally organized according to what your child struggled with on the test. It is like having the word's best math teacher in your home.
All the Right Type Online Typing Tutor
The website looks less polished than you might expect. Don't let that turn you off. Kids love this typing tutor! Even students with severe learning difficulties tend to do well with this program. It is highly visual without any language comprehension demands.
Pricing is in Canadian dollars. You can pay by the month, or buy a package of 3, 6 or 12 months. You get 4 licenses with the 12 month version. Go to this page to buy:
If you want your child to use an iPad, you will need the right app for your version. I bought the 12 month license and then went to the APP Store. The APP called ATRT 4s.ca version didn't work for me. I had to download the app called ATRT 4s.
Canadians, Do You Want More Help?
If you are in Canada, and you have a child with learning difficulties you are welcome to contact me for additional support. As a telepractice speech language pathologist, I limit my caseload to clients in Canada. This is because of strict licensure requirements for SLPs around the world.