CORAdvantage Blog Classroom Tips

Family Resources for At-Home Learning: Finding Learning in Regular Moments

By Holly Delgado | April 20, 2020

Back when life was “normal”, my husband and I had ability to keep the brains of our three boy’s actively engaged and thinking. Public school was where they received formal education, but our nights and weekends were filled with social interactions, thoughtful discussions, and learning opportunities. We had soccer practice or trips to the park. We went on errands to the grocery store, home improvement store, or pet store. We visited the library, local museums, and nature centers. We went out to eat at restaurants or for fast-food with built-in play places. We met-up with friends, grandparents and cousins.
All of these outings had built in opportunities to engage our children and enhance their social, physical, and cognitive development. There was environmental print to read, people with whom we could interact, and exposure to real-world situations and scenarios they wouldn’t otherwise experience at home.
Then – all of the sudden – the world closed. None of these places were open anymore. Or, if they were, health and safety guidance suggested to leave children at home, to spend the shortest amount of time necessary, and to socially distance from others when visiting. The learning opportunities we leaned on so heavily to enrich the lives of our three boys were gone.
Like everyone else, we had to make a shift from not only enriching the education of our children, but to providing it. We were now supposed to navigate apps, help our children log-in to google classroom or video conferences, and stay vigilant to see that all their work got done. All the while, still trying to manage our regular work and parenting schedules; to say its chaotic is an understatement.
There are days we don’t get to it all. Yesterday, my 8 year-old, only logged into one app, and my 5- and 3 year-olds didn’t even do that much. Initially, I was disappointed in how little we were getting done academically. I felt like a failure. Why couldn’t we do this? Then, I remembered, as a parent, I now have three jobs – mom, teacher, and employee. So, I channeled that “failure” into finding learning in the humdrum moments of quarantine. I gave myself the allowance to recognize learning in even the most mundane tasks found within our own home. Chores became opportunities for math, science, and literacy.
  • Laundry – sorting piles of whites and darks, matching socks, and putting clothes away in the correct drawers is math
  • Meal Preparation – allowing my children to pour their own cereal and milk teaches concepts of volume, cutting fruit into pieces models fractions and part-whole relationships, stirring and mixing batter develops fine motor skills, and talking about the various ingredients is vocabulary development
  • General Chores – sweeping the floor or feeding pets teaches hand-eye coordination, squeezing sponges while doing dishes is physics, and watering the plants or pulling weeds is life science.
Feeling like you aren’t doing enough educationally with your children during this time is normal. Different school districts have different expectations. However, short snippets of required learning time spread throughout the day helps keeps children engaged and motivated. Remembering it’s okay if we don’t get to it all and reflecting on the learning of the other mundane tasks we did that day, helps keep me, as a mom, engaged and motivated.

Family Activities Packets

The HighScope and COR Advantage teams have created a packet of activity ideas for your second week. Activities are included for infants, toddlers, and preschool age children. Please watch for this packet of activity ideas to come out each week that children are home from school.

Download: Family Activities Packet 6 (PDF – English)

Download: Family Activities Packet 6 (PDF – Spanish)

More Resources

COR 360 is a collection of high-quality tools and resources for early childhood educators. Visit and join COR 360 to download all of our Family Packets, available in English and Spanish, along with a comprehensive library of other resources for professional development and at-home learning.

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From strategies you can implement now, to opportunities to grow professionally and a community of fellow educators to support you, COR 360 will strengthen the quality of your practice and programs.

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In partnership with HighScope Educational Research Foundation, the Exploring Early Childhood Newsletter is a twice a month collection of topical research articles, tips for educators, and unique ways COR Advantage can support the documentation and communication of child development.

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About COR Advantage

COR Advantage is HighScope’s flagship observation-based assessment. COR Advantage is the leading research-backed assessment for all children from birth to kindergarten. From comprehensive planning tools to dynamic family engagement, COR Advantage offers a complete picture of child growth for schools and families.

About Holly Delgado

Holly is an Early Childhood and Assessment Liaison as well as a former Demonstration Preschool teacher at HighScope Educational Research Foundation. She holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Central Michigan and a master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Northeastern Illinois. She has spent more than 10 years working in self-contained early childhood special education classrooms, inclusive classrooms, and home-based environments for children ages birth to five. She is a certified teacher in Michigan and Illinois and has experience as an education administrator for Head Start/Early Head Start programs. Holly is currently an adjunct professor of Early Childhood Education at Madonna University.