NC State junior creates homeschooling website for parents

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A North Carolina State University student has created an online resource for busy parents struggling to homeschool their children during the pandemic.

Ryan Catalfu, a junior and computer science major at N.C. State, recognized the problem as a way to complete an English class assignment.

“We were told to address a problem that could be solved in some way using writing, something that could be a real problem that’s facing the world,” said Catalfu.

Catalfu said the COVID-19 issue immediately came to mind because it was such an unprecedented event. He discussed the idea with his parents to clearly define the issue he could address. “A lot of parents are for the very first time having to teach their kids or at least be a facilitator,” he said.

Catalfu created a free web resource called Elementary Education at Home: A guide to surviving the coronavirus pandemic with elementary school children.

The list of expert resources on the site includes short videos, quizzes, lesson plans, documentaries, online books, curriculum guides and educational games. Some are free while others require setting up an account.

Catalfu offers a list of ways to approach home education, including stress management as a first step.

“Many people don’t know what to do. They’re overwhelmed,” he said.

Other helpful topics include ideas for creating a productive home environment for remote learning, establishing a daily routine and duplicating an “at school” schedule at home. “Kids should understand that, from this time to this time, I’m going to be working on this,” Catalfu said. “I think that adds structure to the day.”

Catalfu’s mother worked several years as educator, so she was a great resource for ideas to make learning fun and engaging. Included on the site are sample activities like games to help children with spelling, math, reading, social studies, science and even computer science and engineering.

Before starting his project, Catalfu searched for other websites that included a one-stop-shop web page with the similar ideas and easy to access resource links.

“That was something that I didn’t see on other sources,” said Catalfu.

Original Article Source: WRAL TechWire