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“Apple Picks” – Applerouth’s Tip of the Day

Like many parents around the world, my husband and I have found ourselves suddenly and unwittingly homeschooling our children (a 9th grader and a 6th grader). My husband’s PhD and college-level teaching experience and my own 25 year career in education (including a four year stint at a boarding school) have left us woefully unprepared for this responsibility. 

Ready or not, there is learning to be done, so last week, we got started. Our 6th grader got to “school” (on time for once!) and settled into his first period class in front of the computer with his classmates and teacher on Zoom. Twenty minutes in, my husband heard him singing and burst into the room to tell him to quit singing and focus on class. Our sixth grader looked up from the screen and said, “Dad, I have Chorus first period.”

Apparently we all have some learning to do as we navigate this brave new world together (but socially distant). In that spirit, the test prep and tutoring experts here at Applerouth have combed the internet and our own experiences to bring to you some of the best ideas for making the most of this enforced ‘family time’ and distance education. Enjoy!

-Ginger Fay, Director of IEC Engagement

Do you have an activity, lesson or suggestion to share? Email

Tip for 4/6/2020

I’m missing getting to blow stuff up in AP Chem. Does the internet have a good substitute teacher for me?

Calling all STEAMers! Former NASA Engineer Mark Rober is hosting a live weird science class every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1pm Pacific on his YouTube Channel. Mark has the answer to life’s big questions, like… Why is the sky blue? Can sharks really smell blood? and the all-important: Does tooting make you weigh less?

Tip for 4/3/2020

Happy Birthday to you! It’s time to wash your hands. Again.

OK, so maybe it’s not really your birthday, but if you are tired of singing the “Happy Birthday” song to yourself to make sure you wash your hands long enough, an Atlanta Magazine reporter put together a list of 20 second song alternatives. Check out the story behind the story on WABE.

Tip for 4/2/2020

I finished my assigned work, but I am not finished learning for today.

When academic work is completed but a bit more educational activity is needed, take in a virtual livestream offered on various topics, for a variety of ages. Some videos are recorded on You Tube or Facebook Live for later viewing, but you can also set a schedule to keep your body moving and mind engaged throughout the day.

Tip for 4/1/2020

Throw the Ball against a Wall is getting a little old…My ‘PE @ Home’ class could use some inspiration.

Your family may not be big enough for a rousing game of Dodgeball (and after two weeks stuck together at home, the game could be seriously dangerous!), but here’s your chance to try a sport you might never be brave enough to attempt in public! Ashley Bouder, principal dancer with New York City Ballet, is offering advanced ballet classes and workouts for free through her youtube channel.

Tip for 3/31/2020

They say ‘the show must go on’ but my end of the year school show surely is not. What should I do with all my creative energy?

Broadway stars are encouraging students who are missing their spring musical performances to post rehearsal videos online. Even Lin Manuel Miranda requested to be tagged in posts so that he can support young artists! Local arts organizations are starting to move their offerings online during this time of social distancing. For example, Atlanta’s Center for Puppetry Arts is now offering scheduled performances and workshops at no charge that folks can participate in from home. Dig out the craft supplies and get that creativity flowing!

Tip for 3/30/2020

Need a reason to keep up with your French Horn practice? Check out some free streaming concerts.

The bad news is that the concert or show you were so excited to go to this spring is cancelled (read: my family is holding out hope that we will somehow still get to see “Hamilton” at the Fabulous Fox Theater someday…). The good news is that many artists are offering a peak into their home studios and sharing their talents through streaming services. So if you are feeling like you have exhausted all the good stuff in your Nexflix/Amazon/Hulu que, check out the list of online concerts TV Guide has assembled. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to keep up with your music lessons – or take up a new instrument altogether (may I recommend the oboe?!).

Tip for 3/27/2020

I’m missing my usual extra curricular activities. What will I have to put on my resume when it is time to apply to college?

While filming of many of our favorite shows and movies have halted, some production companies are moving up the streaming release dates of recent blockbusters so you can enjoy them from the convenience of your home. But a movie is a lot more fun with popcorn and friends sharing snarky comments ala Mystery Science Theater 3000. (Shout out to former Applerouth Program Advisor and Tutor, Emily Marsh, who starred in the stage production of MST3K that toured the US recently!) Enter Netflix Party. Now you can remain distant but get social with a group of friends and talk or text your way through the movie with no one three rows over shushing you or sending you dirty looks. You have officially started your own Virtual Film Club. Break out the Junior Mints!

Tip for 3/26/2020

We are running out of toilet paper…is there an engineer in the house?

In my time as a college counselor, I tried to help identify students who might find their passion in engineering. They are easier to spot the older they get – they are the ones who love Calculus and love Physics and love them the most when they get to do them at the exact same time. It can be harder to identify a budding engineer before the end of high school, which can be too late for it to impact their college search. Sometimes their love of Legos and K’nex will give them away. A burning desire to take apart broken things is another tell-tale sign; but if you are out of toilet paper, then a small DIY project just might answer the question and solve your TP shortage issue at the same time: build your own bidet

Tip for 3/25/2020

I’m stuck at home, but I know there are worse places to be stuck; how can I help others during this time of need?

Nothing gets me out of my own funk better than trying to do something kind for someone else. While the battle against COVID-19 rages, I am reminded that troops are serving all over the world and could use a little cheer while they are so far from the comforts of home and family that the rest of us might soon grow sick of! Enter Operation Gratitude. You can become a “virtual volunteer” by making a paracord bracelet or writing a letter. And you thought social distancing was going to keep you from completing your service learning hours this year!

Tip for 3/24/2020

Getting a little stir crazy? Time for a Virtual Field Trip!

As some communities face sheltering in place, the four walls of your home can start to feel a little dull. So, why not stare at some other walls instead? Google Arts & Culture worked with hundreds of museums all over the world to put their collections online. Americans may not be able to travel to Italy right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t see Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” at the Uffizi in Florence. Looking for more inspiration (or inspiring things to look at?)? Check out this article in USAToday. You might not be able to study abroad this semester, but that doesn’t mean you can’t open up your world.

Tip for 3/23/2020

I hear Penn has a class on Gamification. What is that and how can I take it? 

The time you are saving by not commuting to work or school, not waiting in line at the store and not watching a movie on the big screen could be turned into the chance to learn and even master something entirely new, a skill that might set you apart when application season rolls around again. Class Central has compiled a list of over 500 FREE classes you can take from Ivy League colleges like Harvard, Yale and Princeton thanks to the MOOC movement (Massive Open Online Courses). Read more about the program and options in this article from Who needs extra curricular club meetings when we have the internet?!


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