I would hate to be a young child in 2020. The world is big and confusing enough without having to add in factors like masks and remote learning. I hope and pray that things are better in 2021 so that we can get back to some sense of “normalcy,” not only for adults, but also for children.
My husband and I often talk about what life changes will remain long after COVID is just a horrible memory. Will there still be remote learning? Will people still have ZOOM meetings in lieu of person-to-person meetings? Will social distancing remain a thing that people are expect to do? I guess we won’t know until COVID is long gone (and pray that we never see anything similar in our life time).
I appreciate products, websites and services that help children understand what is currently going on in the world.T Take for example a very sweet and charming book called My Teacher’s in the Computer. The book was written by Shelby Hoefling and illustrated by Stephanie Hider.
This year is different for Haley as she embarks on an adventure of virtual learning and finds her teacher in her computer! With bring a bear to school day just around the corner, Haley teaches her number one pal, Eddy the Teddy, how to be a gold-star virtual student with her special checklist and school routine. Read and follow along as Haley helps Eddy to feel safe, comfortable, and confident as he approaches a different kind of school day through the computer and will help your child feel this way too! Find out why Eddy is so special to Haley as this book also sprinkles in a lesson on how to keep a strong relationship with your Grandparent, even when they are far away.
I love, love, love this book! It helps young children make sense of having online (remote) classes, and help children to understand that even thought their way of learning is different this school year (remote instead of in-person), it’s still very much school. You can still do things like show and tell and earn stickers and rewards in class (even if you are not physically in the classroom).
In the book, Haley and her bear Eddy wear matching masks, which is nice for children to see. I like that is emphasizes that keeping masks on is very important.
The book also has many great tips on how to be a “gold star” student with remote learning. I work with children (K-5th grade) and currently hybrid learning was put on a “holiday pause” from before Thanksgiving until mid-January. Our program is still open, but now instead of helping kids with classwork/homework and “entertaining” them (crafts, games, physical activity…), we have to keep the kids online all day with their remote learning. The kids in our program are physically in school, but their teachers are mostly at home (a few teachers are in the school working remotely). Having to keep kids, especially kindergarteners, online for hours is a difficult task.
This book gives children tips on what they should do while remote learning, including paying attention to your teacher (look at them all the time), set up a personal work station and take a break from the computer (when not in class), meaning stay off the computer and video games.
There is also a section in the book where a child (with a parent’s help if needed) to record their year of virtual learning. This would make for an interesting memento of 2020 that a child can look back on for many years to come.
Another wonderful book by the same author and illustrator is Grandma’s in the Phone.
They have the best time when they spend time together but unfortunately Mac’s Grandma lives far away and can’t be with him as often as he would like. Luckily, in this day and age, Mac and Grandma can actually see each other and spend time together even when they are thousands of miles apart. They do not have to rely on a phone call or letter in which they can’t even see each other as they talk, they’ve got video chat!
Read along and have fun with Grandma and Mac now that… Grandma’s in the Phone!
Learn how to bring quality conversations and interactions to video chat conversations between grandchildren and their Grandmas just like Mac and Grandma.
As with remote learning, connecting with family and friends via ZOOM and other video chatting platforms is “common place” this year. I’ve even done video messaging between my cousin and my aunt on an app called Marco Polo (you record videos that the recipient can watch at their convenience, and vice versa). It’s like SnapChat, but you can watch the videos on your own terms when you have the time, even if the other person is not available.
I would like to think that video chatting to bridge the distance will continue after COVID is long gone. I think it’s a wonderful medium to keep connected with loved ones, most especially a child and a grandparent. Sometimes children lose interest in a phone call (especially little ones), but being able to visually see their loved one makes it better for them to connect with them. I also love that children can show things to their loved one instantly, such as a picture they colored, or a favorite plush toy.
Out of all the things that came about in 2020, I hope video chatting will be here to stay.
This book also has some tips for children (and adults) to help them establish a great video call.
Both of these books help make things like remote learning and not being able to be with your loved one in person a bit easier to comprehend, and make them seem less scary than they might appear to children.
These books are easy to read, and would also make for a great bedtime story. Perhaps have a grandparent read Grandma’s in the Phone to a child? That would be a fun idea.
I love the illustrations in both books. They are darling!
Both books are available on Amazon. They are linked in their titles (non-affiliate links). You can also do a search on for them on Amazon.
If you are interested in learning more about the author, Shelby Heofling, you can check out her website, ShelbyHeofling.com.
*I received free copies in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.