Learning at Home

Tips and tricks from Elyria City School District

Dear Families,

With the sudden new changes in our lives in recent weeks, we've all found ourselves in strange new territory.

Just a few months ago, no one would have thought it imaginable that an entire generation of school children would be forced to immediately transition into an at-home learning environment, albeit temporarily.

At Elyria Schools, we are striving to help you navigate this terrain as efficiently and productively as possible--for your children and for you.

You've probably seen quite a few postings on social media and online, providing links to a wide variety of educational resources.

We are assembling and providing this newsletter as a major step in bettering that process,

largely as a way to consolidate many types of information and resources so that it best serves you, as the caregiver and captain of your child's intellectual and educational journey.

We are providing this newsletter as a regularly scheduled resource--starting weekly, at a minimum--rich with links to educational resources, as well as links and documents provided by our top-notch Elyria Schools educational staff.

We want to strike a healthy balance between providing you with ample resources and avoiding the possibility of inundating you with information.

If at any point you feel you need more resources, please do not hesitate to reach out to your school principal or your child's teacher for assistance.

Meal services

We'd like to take a moment to shine the spotlight on the hardworking foodservice team of Elyria Schools and Aramark.

During the extended closure, the team has been working to ensure fresh prepared meals that meet USDA guidelines are ready for children each day.

Meal service is available for all children 18 years old and younger.

Next week begins a new schedule of service. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, beginning March 24, 2020, parents can pick up multiple meals at once, including food for the weekends, at specific distribution centers twice per week. Children do not have to be present during pick ups.

Read more about this important program here: https://bit.ly/2QyD6RE

How to provide structure

When your children are in school, their days are packed with scheduled activities. We know routines are very important so we're providing you with suggestions of a home schedule that mirrors a typical school day.

You'll find suggested schedules for elementary and middle school students here:


Setting aside blocks of time during the day for learning is what's most important. Also, stay consistent as much as possible, and devote time to core areas like writing, reading and math.

Let children have time to use their imagination and work with their hands. Challenge them to create drawings based on something they are reading or a program they watched on television. Use construction paper and items around the house to build sculptures. Send them on a scavenger hunt in your own backyard.

Don't discount the importance of good nutrition and sleep, especially when stress levels are high. Read more on this here:

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on nutrition: https://bit.ly/3bgBYtP

AAP Healthychildren.org on sleep: https://bit.ly/3aaQZxa

Keep children on a consistent bedtime schedule and have them turn their electronic devices off at least one hour before going to bed.


Writing Activities

The sky is the limit when it comes to writing!

Give your child a school notebook or journal, or staple loose paper together to use as a writing log. Encourage them to spend time writing in blocks of 15-20 minutes at least twice per day. Give them prompts or let them work independently with their own thoughts. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Describe a room in your house how it currently exists and have them describe a dream version of it. What would it look like? What would it have in it?
  2. Write a play. Create dialogue between characters. Describe the scene and the look and personalities of the characters.
  3. Plan a menu with their favorite foods and describe how the foods look and taste. If they had a restaurant, who would come and what would they order? What conversations would they have at their table?
  4. Ask a family member to describe their childhood; what they enjoyed doing, where they vacationed; their favorite school memory. Have your child write it up in their journal.
  5. Have them write a journal entry about feelings and what took place that day.

Parents: find more ideas and resources for fostering a learning environment at home here:



Set up a quiet comfortable space at home and encourage independent reading--at least 20 minutes per day and more with older children. Ask children to retell portions of the story they're reading to you. Ask them questions about the content and characters to encourage thought and discussion.


Choose two math-related activities to do each day.

  1. Make a map of a room in your home and measure the dimensions. Make a map of your neighborhood.
  2. Build towers and measure them. Measure other items inside the house and outside in the yard.
  3. Tell time on the clock. Count money. Play store.
  4. Calculate sales pricing using newspapers and magazines.
  5. Draw pictures using specific shapes.
  6. Make flashcards and practice math facts.
  7. Make a family tree with important dates and interesting facts. Calculate the number of years between family units or generations.
  8. Play a numbers game: Designate a number, like 24. Players write down four numbers under 10, and try to make them add up to 24 using any mathematical operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division.) Write down all the solutions you come up with.

Make it. Move it. Put the Music to it!

In a new video series we're calling "Home Away from Home," we'll introduce you to Elyria Schools teachers, staff and students as they engage you in crafts, activities, read-alouds and all manner of fun in the name of education.

Let's start with elementary art teacher John Filipiak. In this short video, he shows us how to use a standard piece of paper and crayons to make an angry fish. Check it out!

How to Make an Angry Fish