CORAdvantage Blog Classroom Tips

Family Resources for At-Home Learning: There is No Guidebook

By Holly Delgado | April 15, 2020

Across the nation, headlines have been dropping the news: School is officially closed for the remainder of the year. 

In response, school districts are creating virtual learning plans and teachers are attending professional development courses to make the switch to online platforms and other remote teaching options.  As parents, we’re left to wonder how we are going to juggle it all. Many of us have not been trained as teachers, let alone as a teacher of several children, each one at a different grade level.

Yet, here we are. 

Over the past several weeks, I have heard the term homeschooling bandied about However, I want to make clear what we are doing as parents right now, in this moment, is not homeschooling. Homeschooling is a choice — a conscious decision made by parents to educate their children outside of the traditional school environments. Homeschooling encourages families to enrich learning content with community resources, such as libraries, museums, and nature centers. It involves interactions with other families who also choose to homeschool their children. These are not among the options we have available to us during this time. 

This is not something we chose. 

What we are living through right now could more aptly be named crisis-schooling. It is a stopgap.      

Around the world, teachers are doing amazing work. They are tirelessly attempting to support families and their children. They are endlessly searching for learning resources. They are continuously creating alternative ways to maintain relationships with our children. And they are offering us unrelenting support to help us build the skills we need to become our children’s primary educators.

Yet, in spite of all of this encouragement and support, many of us are not okay. We have not adapted to our new normal. Those of us who are still lucky enough to have jobs may have not yet figured out how to juggle all of our new responsibilities. Those of us who have lost our jobs may not have had enough time to process what that means for our families. It’s difficult to tack on the role of “teacher” to our role as a parent when we may question or doubt our ability to take on the challenges that come with it.  

These questions? This doubt? It’s completely normal.

There is no guidebook for navigating COVID-19. So, how do we give the 120 percent we are asked to give as our children’s teacher when there is only 10 percent of us left after fulfilling our traditional roles as parents and employees? I’m not sure. I don’t have the answers. Instead, I am choosing to remind myself to breathe. To hug my children a little tighter. To build routines that work for my family. 

Today, I am exactly where I need to be. I am doing exactly what I need to be doing. 

You are exactly where you need to be. You are doing exactly what you need to be doing. 

And tomorrow? It will be a new day. Perhaps I will slowly work my way through the overwhelming pile of resources and activities that keep coming in from each of my children’s teachers. Maybe I will spend a few additional minutes playing trains with my three-year-old, building Legos with my 5-year-old, or writing a story with my 8-year-old. I am going to give myself the flexibility to remember that a hike in nature or baking cookies in the kitchen counts as science; playing Monopoly and sorting laundry is math; a bike ride or playing soccer in the backyard is physical education; and snuggling on the couch to read is both social-emotional development and literacy.  

Whatever I do, I will remind myself: 

Every little bit counts. Every interaction we have with our children matters. As parents, we can do this.    

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 5 (PDF – English)

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.