homeschoolingEven though the Coronavirus pandemic is creating hardships around the world, opportunity is knocking. A friend who teaches high school is off work, her school closed for six weeks because of the virus. So she’s home-schooling her own children and loving it! Not only school subjects, but practical skills like cooking and household chores. Her oldest daughter, age 8, has learned to do laundry, wash, dry and fold the clothes. Her youngest is cleaning the bathrooms. And they are having fun working and studying together, something which has been difficult under usual circumstances.

And with wonderful free homeschooling resources available online, you don’t have to be a teacher to help your kids and have fun at home. There are Ted Talks, NASA lessons, and Duolingo language instruction on your cell phone. Khan academy has free lessons on almost every topic. Pick something that’s fun and do it together. Write funny poetry or ghost stories, learn a language, learn to code a simple video game, study Mars, visit a virtual museum.

Most sites are free and fun and some are amazingly interesting. Want to be a Harvard student for free? You can take online classes free of charge.

Staying home is also a wonderful time for religious instruction. Many churches have sermons and resource materials online. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for example has traditionally had “family home evening” on Monday nights, for religious instruction and other activities with everyone at home.

The Church of Scientology has free online courses. Many Christian denominations have free courses for children You can learn Judaism or Islam online, or use Google search to find exactly what you are looking for.

While the world worries about the Coronavirus pandemic and families are urged to “shelter at home,” there is a wealth of education and inspiration waiting online. And when the virus fades away and families emerge from their homes and resume life anew, the time spent together can be something remembered for many years, part of the shared experience that builds a lasting family.