Most teens and parents are probably a bit burned out from the transition to online learning. And while it’s great that kids continue to make progress in schooling, spending so much time in front of their computer screens working on worksheets on their own can definitely get a bit boring. We’ve been hearing from parents about their need for creative learning activities for teens, and how incorporating learning into activities like cooking, nature exploration, and even photography or videography, have made a significant positive impact on their teens’ demeanor and outlook on this “at home learning” thing we’re all trying to figure out.
One thing we noticed this year with my son’s high school is that a lot of teens love the block schedule system. Honestly I had no idea what it was before, but we soon learned to love it too as we saw that having longer time to go deeper in a specific topic. For this quarantine, we’re following that concept and building our own blocks for ultimate flexibility during the week.
Creative Learning Schedule
Here’s a schedule with daily themes based on the idea of block schedules that many high schools use.
Because of the quarantine, there are lots of universities, museums, aquariums, zoos, and other websites with great ideas and mini-projects that teens and tweens could use to add some variety to their virtual learning experience. Here’s some great ones that we found for the different topics:
- Arts and Music: Your teen or tween can access free art lessons at Sparketh or follow photography prompts from B&H Photo and Video make their own portfolio book. Does your child already play an instrument? If they do, they can learn a new song that pushes them further. If they don’t, can they choose a favorite song and create a music video for it?
- Science and Math: Dreambox Learning has a great page with links to activities for middle and high schoolers that help put math and science in the “real world”. On this page, you’ll find links to videos that explore the physics, engineering, science and math of sports through “Science of Olympic Winter Games” and “Science of NFL Football.” You can also find videos such as The Chemistry of Cooking on YouTube for more inspiration.
- Language Arts and Social Studies: You can turn learning into a family activity by mixing language arts with a game. Make your own list of words for Pictionary or Charades from the vocabulary lists for your kids’ grade. Or practice collaboration by building a story together. Your teen can start the story with the first sentence, and you take turns building on it by each person in the family telling the next sentence in the story. Write it down as you go, and read it together later for laughs! Find additional Language Arts games here.
- Life Skills: The teen years are critical to start preparing for “real life.” Has your teen or tween had the opportunity to learn how to budget for groceries, or iron a shirt, sew on a button, or even practice interviewing for an internship or job? With just a little practice, they can start practicing skills that they will absolutely need for college. Check out this great list by Life Skills for Teens to get you started.
If you’re looking for additional ideas to build your family’s weekly schedule, check out Activities for Teens During the Coronavirus Quarantine.
Join our Facebook group Parenting Busy Teens, and let us help you with answers to any questions or challenges you may be having. We hope to be a resource for you and your teens, by providing ideas and encouragement, and celebrating success together!Connect with Teen SMART Goals on social media!