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Alternative Education Options for Kids at Home During Covid-19 Outbreak

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DES MOINES, Iowa — With school districts across the state canceling classes for at least four weeks, per a recommendation from Governor Kim Reynolds, parents are wondering how to keep their students on track while they stay at home.

The Learning Post and Toys in Urbandale says it has seen an influx of workbooks flying off the shelves as parents try to keep their kids entertained at home.

“Parents, I think then really took the situation seriously and understood that this was probably going to be their only resource to keep them involved in academics and study,” said Katie Stessman manager at the Learning Post.

Des Moines Public Schools reminds parents that they don’t need to jump into schoolwork right away.

“I love that parents are excited about keeping things on track but to remember that it is Spring Break. So it is okay to have a little break time with your kids and your family that you were going to get anyways,” said Sarah Dougherty Director of Secondary Teaching and Learning for Des Moines Public Schools.

Des Moines Public Schools recommends reading, writing, and journaling to keep minds actively engaged. Online resources like the Des Moines Public Library and The Library of Congress have digital collections available when books run out at home.

“Kids are incredibly resilient…and that means that they can bounce back but it is important to keep them thinking and exercise their brains,” said Dougherty.

The most popular text picked up by parents at the Learning Post is called the Summer Bridge workbook and it’s filled with core learning exercises.

“It’s a workbook that contains all subjects into one, and it’s not overwhelming because they offer just 15 minutes a day activities,” said Stessman.

Dougherty says it is not recommended that parents recreate the school day at home, instead she says simple daily exercises will help retain knowledge.

“We are not going to replace those professionals that love and care for and teach our kids, but we can work to keep our kids fresh. A little bit of exercise every day,” said Dougherty.

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