PORTLAND, Ore. — A lot of parents out there are getting ready for the start of another very different week with kids out of school and at home.
But there are resources and ways parents can keep their kids occupied and engaged.
First, let's get the more obvious one out of the way. Many school districts have provided resources online that'll help keep kiddos learning. It'd be a good idea to check that out first.
Then there are options like Outschool, which serves kids all around the world.
"Outschool is an educational platform where individual teachers run their own businesses, so we set our class schedule we set our prices and we set our class duration," said Kristen Elizabeth, a teacher on outschool.com.
The website says there are more than 10,000 classes to choose from covering all sorts of subjects, from "Raising Chickens 101" to a course dedicated to learning Chinese.
Prices range too. Elizabeth said classes can cost $5, $15 or $20. It just depends on the duration of the class and what the teacher is offering.
Teachers are vetted to make sure they're knowledgeable in their subject. They also go through a background check but don't have to have a current certification or license.
"It's an amazing opportunity for kids to have to do at home and to continue their learning process," said Elizabeth.
Then there's random stuff you can find on YouTube. We typed "art classes free" into the search bar and a bunch of videos popped up.
Some of the videos are dedicated to helping parents and kids during the coronavirus pandemic.
Then we found a huge list of ideas through the Facebook group PDX COVID-19 Mutual Aid Network. There were a lot of good ideas on the list.
However you decide to fill time with your child, Reena B. Patel, a parenting expert and psychologist, said her No. 1 tip is to create some structure.
"You do have to create a routine and a system. It doesn’t have to be filled with education all the time," Patel said.
She has an example for parents that she posted on her Instagram account.
For those who don't have internet access, Comcast is offering free WiFi hotspots and unlimited data.
Also, while schools are closed, Audible has free stories available for kids that can be streamed to your computer, tablet, or phone.