How to use COVID-19 as a teaching opportunity at home

The news surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic may seem overwhelming to adults and children. Forbes recommends limiting your family’s exposure to news outlets and social media feeds to reduce your levels of stress and anxiety. You can do this by committing to only checking the news once or twice a day and by limiting the amount of sources you follow on social media. Additionally, there are many resources that share what is happening in an age-appropriate way for your family. Here are four resources you can use to educate your family in a productive and calm manner:

  1. Harvard Medical School has compiled useful ways to talk to children about the coronavirus. Use this time to open a conversation about how they are feeling and what questions they have.
  2. Newsela.com is a great resource for grade level readings on almost any current event topic. You can choose to talk about the pandemic or discuss something else that’s happening around the world.
  3. Lots of news is being reported on Instagram, where your teens may be seeing it. It is important to explain how to differentiate between reliable and unreliable sources and now is a good time to show your kids the impact that false information can have. PBS has a good lesson plan that explains how teens deal with the spread of misinformation.
  4. The New York Times is publishing a daily reading list for children and their families, as well as supplementary materials that can be used as learning aids. Their work challenges kids to stay updated, think critically about the information being presented and consider the impact this will have on the world. Here is a link to their coronavirus teaching resources.