| By Klaudia Janek, MLIS, School Librarian, International Academy, Bloomfield Hills, MI |
Are you feeling overwhelmed with suddenly being thrown into homeschooling and the online learning world? I am! As a high school librarian, most of my days are spent with high school resources and working with high school students on research and finding the right books for our readers. Now I find myself at home, quickly moving to online learning for my students and making sure my own children aren’t being ignored. There are a lot of resources currently being offered to parents to help their children at home with learning. That too can be a bit overwhelming.
I decided to start with what I already know. I’m familiar with many high school Gale products and after this link was sent, I decided to check out Miss Humblebee’s Academy. It’s designed for children ages 3‒6, which is the age range I was looking for. It was super simple to set up an account using my information, and then had a screen to add the child’s name that was going to be learning the material. So I decided to test it out on my daughter. She was pretty excited to be doing something new on the computer with me. She learned how to navigate with a touch pad on my laptop so she could design her own avatar—and really liked that she could earn coins and stickers.
The lessons are short, which is perfect for those short attention spans. And I like that it rotates through different subject areas. We also discovered the read-aloud books section, and while I read a lot of picture books with her, having Miss Humblebee read it was a new and exciting experience. We added those books to her “1,000 books before kindergarten” list.
I’m aware that I don’t want to overdo a 5-year-old’s screen time. I’ve already handed over the iPad while I try to work from home. In order to get off the computer, we’ve been having a lot of fun with the printables section. It’s really nice to be able to print a worksheet that she can work on that’s not on the computer. We brought out our boxes of markers, crayons, and colored pencils. My daughter was pretty excited when I told her we could put all the printables in a binder to show her teacher once they get back to school.
The songs have been popular in our house and give my daughter the opportunity to get up and dance. Sort of like circle time at school—just at home and by herself. Miss Humblebee’s Academy has been a hit with my 5-year-old, and I’m glad that we got something quickly set up.