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    How to Supplement Your Child’s Education (During COVID-19)

Oregon was quick to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. Schools were shut down. Businesses were closed. This greatly helped slow the speed and “flatten the curve” of COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. Yet, still, the rapid action left families, schools, and businesses without a playbook for how to act next. The Portland Public School system was quick to implement three (3) hours of virtual education for high school students. Many families we spoke with were thrilled about the quick and decisive actions taken by PPS. Still, in a recent gallup poll nearly half of families said they are worried about their children’s education during the COVID-19 crisis.

Many families had questions regarding how to supplement their child’s education. That’s why we created this free guide on how to supplement your child’s education. There is a section dedicated to both parents and teachers in this resource. 

FOR PARENTS (& Their Students!)

Khan Academy

We encourage Khan Academy for many of our families. It is a wonderful learning platform centered around the belief that students can learn anything. Khan Academy is an even more valuable resource in the era of remote learning. 

Most parents know that Khan Academy has video resources and digital worksheets for students. But they aren’t always aware of the wealth of other resources that they have as well. For example, we appreciate this sample remote learning schedule that Khan Academy created. It has sample remote schedules for students ranging from grade K to 12. 

Did you know that Khan Academy also offers parent accounts. Many families were unaware of this when we told them! The link we provided has simple step-by-step instructions on how to create a parent account. We suggest you sign up! 

Are you working from home and also trying to manage your student who is learning from home? Khan Academy has tips about that, too! Check it out. 


Desmos is an online calculator. It can be used as both a graphing calculator and a scientific calculator. The calculator is very beneficial because it lets students visualize functions and how they change with different inputs. 

Quaranteenagers (The New York Times)

This is a great advice resource from the New York Times on how parents can deal with being quarantined with their teen! The article talks about how important it is to make space for both yourself and your teen—and also for everyone’s emotions. These are difficult times. So many events have been cancelled. This can leave teenagers feeling as if they are missing out on things (sports, prom, theater, & friends). You can try to validate the feelings they are having. Their feelings are a normal response to an abnormal situation. 

Hippo Campus

Hippo campus is a unique website which has thousands of videos geared towards students. The majority of the site focuses on math and science courses, but there are also videos related to English and the broader social sciences. One thing that we like about hippo campus is that it is incredibly easy to navigate. Within 3-4 clicks a student can easily find a chosen video covering exactly the topic she was interested in. Additionally, they also have entire courses available! It might be a good idea to start your teenager on one of these courses during these remote learning times! 

Earn Tuition Free College Credit (Saylor Academy)

Yes! Honestly, tuition free! That’s pretty good, right? However, even if you aren’t interested in college credit, you can also “enroll” your student into other free online courses through Saylor Academy. An astounding amount of great courses await you here! Saylor has everything from general chemistry, to public relations, coding, economics, English, psychology and professional development. 

Big History Project

The Big History Project was funded by Bill Gates. And it is truly extraordinary. It features remarkable videos which tell the history of Earth and various civilizations as we know them. The BHP attempts to answer the big questions of our Earth: how did it start, how was it created, why are humans on this certain planet? If you want to understand humanity and what it means to be human… you have to analyze the entire universe. You have to start with the big bang. 

The course is designed for high school students. It’s completely free. One student said: “it’s the first class where I have actually enjoyed history.

Learn to Code (with Penjee)

Penjee is great website for learning how to code. One thing that we think Penjee does very well is that it turns coding into a game! It makes coding fun. It is fun because when you type in the code you can see what your code does in live real time action. Try it yourself: enter some code and see the penguin move!

Advice to Parents (The Atlantic)

First off, a few things about The Atlantic. We are huge fans of this publication. (Consider having your teenager read it as part of their “homework.”) It is a cultural commentary with roots dating back to 1857. It was founded by famous writers including Ralph Waldo Emerson. Oliver Wendell Holmes proposed the name “The Atlantic.” It was one of the first publications to write about the abolition of slavery and it has long published stories on education, literature, & culture. Recently, we found a great Atlantic article which gives advice to parents during this challenging time. It’s written by Lori Gottlieb, who is a psychotherapist based in Los Angeles and a contributing writer to The Atlantic. She does a great job addressing the uncertainty and anxiety surrounding this global pandemic. She writes that, “how parents respond emotionally to a challenge… impacts how their kids do to.”  

How to Talk to Teens About The Coronavirus (Harvard Health)

Talking to teens is hard enough on an average day, without the looming threat of a global pandemic. But the coronavirus certainly raises the stakes and makes everything more difficult. We really like this article from Harvard Health which provides parents with tips and insights on how to talk to their teens about the coronavirus. It is important to ensure that your teenager is well informed about the crisis but not over-informed to the point of feeling overwhelmed. It’s possible that—through social media, gossip, and poorly researched media articles—your teenager has already picked up some “misinformation” about the coronavirus and COVID-19. The Harvard article, linked above, goes into great detail about how to clear things up while providing accurate and timely information. 

Coronavirus Myth Busters (World Health Organization, WHO)

There are many myths circulating the internet about the coronavirus. This page, created by the World Health Organization, is a detailed myth busters page. The article itself is well-written. What we like most are the graphics that go along with every myth. They are fun and easy to share. We hope that more teenagers will read this article and share the graphics with their friends so that society can do its best to limit and restrict the flow of harmful misinformation. 

Insight Into What Teenagers Are Going Through (BuzzFeed)

This is an interesting article that interviews 12 teenagers on what it’s like to be stuck at home during the coronavirus crisis. We thought it might be a good idea—if parents are interested—to read through it and get some sense of what “being stuck at home” might be like for your teen. 


How to Create Online Courses for High School Students (Stanford University)

Here is an incredible free resource from Stanford University about how to create online courses for high school students. It includes videos such as the essentials of teaching online. They provide case studies for online learning. There is also a helpful essential checklist which has a dropdown advice bar for each checkpoint. Additionally, there is a best practices page which gives advice on everything from multi-screen video, to breakout rooms, to text chat. These resources will certainly help even the best most prepared teachers enhance and refine their online learning program. 

The Differences Between the Best Learning Platforms

Are you struggling with the best online learning platform to use for your students? Here is a free resource which discusses the differences between Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams. There is useful information in this article which speaks to the features available on each different platform. 

Effective Ways to Teach English Courses Online

This is a wonderful resource page by the National Council of Teachers of English. It contains tips about online leaning. It has insights for writing skills, how to use audiobooks effectively for learning, and ideas about how to create a 10 week online writing course for students.

Opinion Article Focused on Online Learning

We are big fans of this blog post about online learning (from a teacher’s perspective) which was written before the crisis. 

Khan Academy

Did you know that teachers can sign up for a free teacher’s account? We recommend that you take advantage of this. It allows you to track your students progress and create lesson plan and achievement goals for them. We also like this video they have which gives seven tips for successful remote learning. The video is about one hour in length. It packs an incredible amount of detail. If you have time, we encourage you to watch it. 

Desmos for Teachers

Desmos has a great program for teachers. The tools here are really magical! They allow teachers to create unique lessons which harness technology to *engage* students. The programs allow students to answer problem and collaborate with their peers. Common topics include: quadratic functions, modeling, and transforming functions. 

Albert Math 

We really like Albert math. It provides countless practice problems for high school students studying math. The problems all follow the Common Core Standards. Additionally, problems come with in-depth and easy-to-understand explanations. The cost is about $7-15 per student.