How to run your own home prison…err we mean…how to home school your kids

Photo by Allen Taylor on Unsplash

Yesterday, we mentioned the importance of setting up a schedule for your children to continue with their learning outcomes, and to prevent them from kicking their siblings. We want to share some additional resources to keep your kid’s brains active and engaged.

According to MIT, one-hour blocks are most effective for problem-solving and knowledge acquisition, dividing the day into blocks of 50 minutes of work time followed by a 10-minute break (aka running the stairs, taking the garbage out and jumping jacks).

I have included a sample schedule that we are using with my son (who is active, curious, and full of energy), to help keep him engaged in learning while schools are closed. Schedules can be adjusted based on age, he is 6, so we are using 45 minutes and he needs more running and jumping between activities). Find the right time schedule that works for you and your children. Sample schedule at the end of the article.

So now, what do to with your kids during the time blocks in the schedule…. We compiled a list of Five Canadian EdTech companies that will keep those minds active and entertained so that your kids aren’t artistically expressing themselves on your newly painted walls.

  1. Prodigy is a curriculum-aligned math game, which means that activities are aligned with the required learning outcomes for your child’s grade level. The platform uses problem-solving questions and rewards to motivate children to answer math questions. The game uses adaptive learning, a technique that adjusts the difficulty and pace to suit your child’s learning style and ability. In response to Covid-19, Prodigy is offering free access to parents to create an account for their children.
  2. Scholastic who doesn’t remember the excitement of getting a new scholastic flyer and the fun of stuffing brand new scholastic books into their bag growing up??!!!. Now you can bring that fun home for your kids. Scholastic is online and has great books, games, activities and resources for you and your family. They are offering free online courses through their “Learn at Home” website for kids affected by school closures due to coronavirus. They have five days of lessons with three hours each for each grade level.
  3. Robogarden a local Calgary favorite, is teaching kids around the world how to code. Using a game-based approach children learn Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math (STEAM) subjects and basic coding concepts. In this time of crisis RoboGarden is supporting families around the world by providing free access to a number of games and resources. Keep your kids learning and teach them how to code while at home during the COVID-19 quarantine. Great job prospects for coders in the future!
  4. Makerkids If your kids are missing the social interaction of school and tired of having mom and dad as a teacher. Makerkids offers live online classes that teach the foundations of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), while building key social and change-making skills. Kids will create their own inventions in our weekly programs with a focus on Robotics, Coding or Minecraft. Makerskids is offering weekly online and private lessons to children who are at home and affected by school closures.
  5. we know that the little minds can only take so much learning, and sometimes need a break for entertainment. Kidoodle.TV another Calgary favorite is a safe streaming platform with curated kid-friendly content, parental controls and is available across all platforms tablet, smart tv, or mobile phone. With Kidoodle.TV you know that they are not collecting behavioral data that Google and YouTube do. They have more than 18,000 episodes of kid-friendly content such as Lego Friends, Zoo Moo and Sunny Bunnies- that have all been vetted by panels of parents. With the free account, there is advertising but for $4.99 per month, parents and children can have access to ad-free unlimited content.

This is a challenging time for all families as we have to shift and reorganize our lives and structure to accommodate school closure and work from home. Having access to the right resources and setting a schedule will make it more manageable for everyone in your family.

Sample Schedule:

Additional Resources:

All Subjects:

Learn Alberta

Open School BC

National File Board

Khan Academy

Out School

PBS Kids

Brain Pop


Tumble Math







Write On Q


French: Idello

Spanish: The Spanish Experiment

General: DuoLingo


Tumble Books


Reading Eggs

Science and Technology

Education and Technology Clearing House

Ed Heads

Common Sense

Mystery Science

Written by: Tiona Corcoran, VP International Recruitment and Immigration, Global Talent Accelerator

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