Getting the kids moving: Resources for parents on a budget

With a lot of schools forgoing planned music lessons and guided physical activities, parents are getting creative to keep their kids moving. 

One mom with a kindergartner at Woodin Elementary in the North Shore School District is hoping the things she has been doing might help other moms and dads as they make this transition to remote learning.

Stephanie Norby says back in the spring she thought this could be a possibility and because she homeschooled her daughter through preschool, she pretty much has it down, “I started getting online, just looking up all of the deals, because you know we are a one-income family so I couldn’t just go and buy all this stuff. So I have just really been doing a lot of thrifting and doing a lot of online thrifting, because obviously we didn’t go anywhere for a long time, and we have just really come across some cool things, you know we got like a toddler trampoline, random stuff, like soccer gear and we got tap shoes online you know like very cheap or free from our community… Just people passing things down so that has been really nice.”

Stephanie says she takes advantage of her community Facebook groups and sites like offer up.  She also mentioned using YouTube Premium to help with music lessons, it is free for the first 3 months. Her daughter learned guitar last year and will take on the drums this year.

“Just like do a little research. Go on Pinterest, Pinterest is the best. You can find anything you know, preschool through high school, home activities, you can pick different types of curriculum if you would like, just get online... And that is the blessing that we have now, it is online. 100 years ago when people were homeschooled, they had to think of it on their own.”

Stephanie says her daughter lives with special needs and actually only has one eye. One of her eyes is a prosthetic and the other has declining vision, so they really are worried about long-term remote learning and that excess screen time, so she is doing as much as she can without screens too.

She also take a lot of what she calls ‘Urban Hikes’ around her neighborhood. She says it helps her daughter socialize too because they visit their neighbors, while staying socially distant of course.

When it gets cold, Stephanie says they hop in the car and find things to see and talk about, Ispy is one of their favorites.

Stephanie says while parents are going to be spending a lot of time focusing on the kids while remote-learning, it is still really important to take care of yourself too, “You gotta say it, It’s only one year maybe you know, could be half a year, could be two years, we don’t really know so why stress about it? You know, like chill out. Because if you stress they’re gonna stress.”