Parents finding new ways to teach children during school closures

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- In this age of quarantines and social distancing, the classroom has been replaced with the living room with some exceptions.

For Destiny Curtis and her five-year-old daughter, Ella, Tuesday's lesson is going outdoors.

"After a week in the house, everybody gets a little stir crazy," Curtis said. "But we actually added plants to her learning and we're learning about the native plants around here and the uses for them, so this was just adding to our day's curriculum."

Other parents like Courtney Pankratz recognize the need for fresh air. Her four children range in age from pre-school through 7th grade.

"My kids like to be very active," Pankratz said. "Usually, they're in dance and playing, so we decided we needed to come out and get a little bit of a break, so we need to burn some energy."

When weather prevents outdoor learning as an option, parents are turning to online learning resources. Fresno Unified School District is offering weekly lessons to its 2500 early learners, including pre-K, pre-school and T-K students.

"What we're putting out is a guide," says Early Learning Program Manager Erica Ayala. "We understand that might look different for every family. Just do what you can. Remember, reading is important; doing some basic mathematical things is important, too. But most importantly, get to know your child. Get to know their interests."

Many parents are fulfilling new roles in this time of quarantine - educators.

"I'm usually an esthetician, so, obviously, my work is also closed," Pankratz said. "So, I feel like I'm being a teacher and mom and a maid and chef and everything else."

But now, when children do return to the classroom, parents will have more tools to support their kids' education at home as well.

"Why not continue this work when schools are back in session and say, 'Hey, here's another resource to use at home so you can align the work that's happening in the classroom at home,'" Ayala said,

We want to remind you that there are some online resources available to you if you're at home with your little ones, and you want to do some online learning activities.

RELATED: Free educational resources for Central Valley kids stuck at home during COVID-19

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