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Working from home with kids? Here are some useful resources

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt our regular routines, many Australians are attempting to juggle full-time work and childcare at the same time, including home schooling.

In a bid to help parents and carers manage life under COVID-19 restrictions, organisations including Australia’s national broadcaster are dishing out free resources, guides and educational materials.

“With so many Australian children now studying at home or preparing to do so, the ABC is boosting its support for students, teachers and parents to help young Australians receive the education they need,” ABC Managing Director David Anderson said.

“Our expanded schedule will complement the many hours of education content already available on the ABC across multiple platforms and we will build on that programming as required.

“Australians trust and rely on the ABC and this is another way we can contribute to and support the community.”

Here are some resources to help plan your days.

Educational content

The ABC’s expanded schedule of free education content aims to support students, teachers and parents in home learning.  

Children’s news website Kid’s News has also launched a new learn at home program, offering free educational activities for students from Prep to Year 9. The resource has been created by teachers and is linked to the National Curriculum. 

And don’t forget apps. Language learning app Duolingo is free to download and turns learning a new language into a game. Think earning points, levelling up and bite-sized lessons to keep your teens (or you!) interested. Languages include Italian, French, German, Arabic, Indonesian and Korean.

Learning environments

The NSW government has created a learning from home hub dedicated to providing advice for parents regarding setting up learning environments, as well as important information for homes without access to the internet. 

Press play

Have an important Zoom call coming up? Or perhaps you want to debrief with your co-workers in peace on a Friday afternoon and need something to entertain the kids for half an hour (that doesn’t involve a screen). Why not hit play on a podcast? They might even learn something...

There are heaps of excellent podcasts for kids and teenagers out there, including:  

  • ABC Radio’s Short & Curly: A fun-filled ethics podcast for kids, asking curly questions about animals, technology, school, pop culture and the future. Think ethical conundrums such as, ‘Do I have to like my sibling?’ and ‘Was Dumbledore right?’ There’s even a coronavirus episode.
  • Imagine This: Another from the ABC, Imagine This makes science fun and engaging for kids aged four and up. Don’t miss the 'Where does our poo go when we flush it down the toilet?' episode.
  • Story Pirates: Got a kid who loves to write their own stories? In this podcast, children submit a story and then the Story Pirates – made up of comedians, improvisers, singers and actors – adapt it into a radio play.
  • Dear Hank and John: John Green, author of young adult novels including The Fault in Our Stars, gets together with his brother Hank to offer humorous and heartfelt advice about life’s big and small questions.
  • A History of the World in 100 Objects: In this informative podcast, the Director of the British Museum narrates 100 programmes that retell humanity's history through the objects we have made. Best for teens.

Time management

For full-time home workers managing remote learning for more than one child, or of children across age groups, the Khan Academy has free routine and schedule examples, as well as FAQs on how to support children’s learning during school closures.

Guiding young adults

The University of Sydney has released tips and resources for parents too, including resources for remote online learning and information on how to support young adults

Emotional support

Home isolation generally means being cooped up with your family 24/7, which can be stressful for parents and children alike. Child Mind Institute has released an abundance of family support resources, including live video chats with support clinicians, as well as information for parents to help manage children’s anxiety.