Supporting our children during COVID-19

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In the blink of an eye, the education system as we knew it changed for families with school-age children. Parents became teachers overnight and home learning, whether in the form of e-learning or paper packets, became the norm as health and safety became the top priority due to COVID-19.

During this stressful time, it is important to remember how children are feeling and what they are thinking. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the outbreak of COVID-19 is bringing about fear, anxiety and strong emotions in both adults and children. The CDC also states that the way we cope with stress can make us stronger, along with the people we care about and our community.

While we practice social distancing and stay-at-home restrictions, there are ways families can support their children — socially, emotionally and educationally. The CDC recommends the following:

 Take time to talk with your children or teens about the COVID-19 outbreak. Answer questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child or teen can understand.

 Reassure your children or teens that they are safe. Let them know it is ok if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope from you.

 Limit your family’s exposure to news coverage of the event, including social media. Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be frightened about something they do not understand.

 Try to keep up with regular routines. Since schools are closed, create a schedule for learning activities and relaxing or fun activities.

 Be a role model. Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well. Connect with your friends and family members.

Here are a few FREE suggestions to continue learning from home:

 Download Hoopla and use your library card to borrow free audiobooks, e-books, comics, music and more. Many of the latest children’s books are available, including their favorite series.

 Take a virtual field trip. Visit the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute and see some fascinating animals via their webcam. https://nationalzoo.si.edu/webcams. Visit the Philadelphia Zoo and watch the penguin webcam. https://philadelphiazoo.org/penguin-point-cam/

 Scholastic Learn at Home. https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html

 Storyline Online. https://www.storylineonline.net/

 EPIC! https://www.getepic.com/

 StarFall. https://www.starfall.com/h/

 Book Creator. https://bookcreator.com/2020/03/support-for-schools-affected-by-coronavirus/

 Mystery Science. https://mysteryscience.com/school-closure-planning

 Virtual visits to the S.C. Aquarium, scaquarium.org.

Need Help? Know Someone Who Does?

Contact the Disaster Distress Helpline Call 1-800-985-5990

Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline Call 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224

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