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When families invest an hour of their day into a live online enrichment class with Homeroom, we believe it's our obligation to use this time to strengthen friendships, build self confidence and spark curiosity.

We started Homeroom at Home in response to the COVID-19 school closures and over the past few weeks we've been inspired to see the positive impact that thoughtfully curated, interactive online enrichment classes can have on elementary school students. 

Something really got us thinking lately.  It was a recent article about the fuzzy guidelines for distance learning and the lack of consensus on how long the remote school day should be.  With experts, educators and district leaders all over the map and guidelines being created on the fly, families are left wondering how to shape a manageable, enriching, productive, fun day for their children.  We can help!

At Homeroom, we're not just enrichment experts, we're parents too! We've put together a few tips to help families figure out how to find online classes that elementary schoolers will love.

1.  Go live!

During this time at home, our children are craving connection. 
Live online classes give students the opportunity to build relationships by connecting face-to-face with their instructor and classmates. When students can ask questions in real time it allows instructors to respond to each child's unique learning style and for collaborative problem solving among classmates.  
Small-group, live classes make room for a child-directed curriculum where instructors can adapt lessons to the interests of the group, leading to that spark of curiosity we hope for as parents.
For children that need time to get used to online experiences or to warm up to group interaction, live online events are a great in-between.  Some of our children's favorite live online events lately are Monday story time with Michelle Obama, live learning events by Smithsonian and cooking class with Delish.

2.  It's better with friends

"I Can’t Believe I Am Going to Say This, but I Would Rather Be at School’  
This quote from a recent NY Times article about kids' experiences during the coronavirus pandemic illuminates just how much children miss their friends and the stable connections and predictable rhythms of elementary school life.
At Homeroom we have experience coordinating after school programs at hundreds of schools across the country.  As enrichment experts we know that learning and playing with friends fosters a sense of belonging, builds self-esteem, and develops important life skills.  As parents we know how much our kids love attending classes with their school friends.  
When we designed Homeroom at Home we knew that we had to create an online experience that not only eased the transition to online learning but also one that supports children's friendships and provides engaging, inspiring experiences to keep them connected. Classes on Homeroom are intended to be enjoyed with school friends and it's easy for parents to safely share details with their community and bring more families into the fun.

3.  Learn from the experts

We heard this from an elementary school student in one of our live online enrichment classes last week:
Juliana, Age 7.5Drawing & Sketching for Fun
“I really, really, REALLY liked my teacher! I am so, so, so, so, so, so glad”  
Reactions like this are what we live for and they're made possible by our community of passionate educators, credentialed teachers and experienced enrichment instructors.  
When you're looking for an online class that will keep your child engaged and inspired, start by checking out the instructor bio or website.  Do they have experience working with elementary school students?  Have they adapted proven programming to work online with minimal supplies required?  
Look for testimonials from parents and students and consider reaching out directly to your child's past activity providers to see if they are offering an online class.  A class with a trusted instructor who already has experience with your child is an ideal way to build even stronger bonds during this time at home.  
At Homeroom we're giving our village of enrichment providers the tools to take their best-loved classes live and online.  If you know an educator who needs support in this transition, please connect us.


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