I have a four-year-old who normally goes to daycare while my husband and I work full-time. We are now in social isolation together learning a new rhythm to life. This presents us with the privilege and responsibility of facilitating more of her preschool learning. We already had a subscription to ABCMouse that we did not use often since we try to limit her screen time at home. Now we are adjusting that set time to accommodate for more learning online. I quickly discovered that the learning level for ABCMouse was too young for her. She was thrilled to move up to the pre-K level. This program has a fantastic combination of learning experiences through different games, puzzles, books, and more. Kids can earn tickets through every activity and then go “shopping” to buy fun things for their avatar. It is a lot of fun but does come with a cost depending on how long you are buying a subscription for. I bought a year subscription to knock down the price each month. The library does not offer this service remotely but, when we open our doors again, feel free to try it out for free in the library on one of our computers!

In addition to this, my husband checked out a resource that is currently free during the pandemic…Scholastic’s Learn at Home. This has been a fantastic learning opportunity for my daughter. She enjoys picking a subject and watching a video, listening to a book being read to her, matching words to their meanings, and answering questions about the lesson. There are a variety of subjects and she is learning at a level I was not aware she is ready for! This lack of awareness on my part may sound strange since my husband is a teacher and I am a librarian, but a great deal of her learning takes place at her daycare with amazing teachers. We take time at home to teach too but this is the first time we have both been with her 24/7 since she was an infant. We are amazed at how much she knows and how eager she is to learn more!

Another great resource we are starting to explore together is Tumblebooks, a free digital resource through the library. It has a large collection of story books, read alongs, language learning, puzzles, games, and more. Additionally, through the end of August, Tumblebooks is offering free access to TumbleMath. Both of these digital resources allow us to engage with our children and provide the tools we need to teach our children when we are used to them being in a classroom environment.

Please check out all the free resources available currently – whether that’s through the library or through another free or inexpensive platform. This is a challenging time for sure but it presents us with the amazing opportunity to spend more quality time with our children.

Becky | Librarian