Distance learning may be requiring parents to provide more educational experiences at home. Khan Academy Kids is here to help by providing weekly planner templates. First, read the overviews for your child’s age group below. Then, go to the planner and start building a schedule for your child. Click here to find more tips for learning at home.
- Ages 2-4 (preschool): Weekly Planner in English and in Spanish
- Ages 5-8 (kindergarten - 2nd grade): Weekly Planner in English and in Spanish
- Planificadores Semanales también disponibles en español para niños en edades de 2-4 y 5-8 años.
⏩ Click here to download your weekly planner template.
Here's a sneak peek of our Weekly Planner templates:
This article was written with guidance from early-learning experts at Stanford University. It is full of tips for planning your week, and we hope it is a helpful guide. You may already be doing a lot of these things to keep your child learning. We know it can feel daunting to have to take this on. We're here to help—you’ve got this!
Overview by age
For children ages two to four, use your planner to take note of all the learning that's already happening as a part of everyday life. Did you fingerpaint shapes today? On the planner, check off sensory exploration and art! You just covered spatial awareness, geometry, and executive-functioning skills. For this age range, learning should be play based, occurring naturally through everyday experiences. Subjects will naturally overlap each other, and you’ll notice that one activity covers academic content in several different areas. The categories on the planner are based on learning centers that are commonly found in early childhood classrooms. To read more tips for learning at home, click here.
- 🚂 Blocks and toys: Playing with blocks and other stackable toys develops both fine and gross motor skills, as well as spatial awareness. Use blocks to teach math concepts like height, width, and patterns.
- 📚 Reading and listening: When children listen to a book, they are developing language and pre-reading skills. Children learn how a book works, pick up new vocabulary, and become familiar with patterns of cadence and tone.
- 🎵 Sensory exploration: Play with sand, foam, water, or cloud dough to build sensory awareness. Children will connect the way they feel to what’s happening around them, leading to appropriate behavioral choices and self-advocacy skills.
- 💬 Imaginary play: When children engage in imaginary play, they're using a complex set of skills to determine the rules of the world they’ve created and to organize their thoughts into speech.
- ✏️ Arts & crafts: Creating art means that children are visualizing an image and bringing it to life! Children use fine motor skills to move writing utensils, spatial awareness to understand the boundaries of the page, and critical thinking to see how colors interact.
- 🏠 Helping at home: Asking your child to help with age-appropriate household tasks builds self-confidence. It can take longer to complete these tasks, but it’s a great time to weave in academic skills and exercise gross motor coordination.
For children ages five to eight, your planner can be used to map out educational activities for the week ahead. You can use the planner to organize ideas and activities that you may be getting from multiple sources: your child's teacher, the internet, or family members. Bring all these elements together to create a simple overview for your reference throughout the week. The categories on the planner include common academic subjects as well as categories that highlight the importance of fun, exploration, and executive-functioning skills. To read more tips for learning at home, click here.
- 🔢 Math: In kindergarten and first grade, math means noticing patterns, manipulating shapes, and getting comfortable with numbers.
- 📚 English language arts: ELA is all about communication. Children build literacy skills toward reading, writing, and speaking.
- 🏃♀️ Get moving: Set aside time for physical movement to develop gross motor skills. Play games outside, like tag and hopscotch, or turn on a video inside to guide children in a yoga or dance activity.
- 💬 Social time: Keep kids connected! Schedule video or phone calls with friends and family members. Encourage siblings to read, play, and learn together.
- ✏️ Arts and crafts: At this age, art is a natural entry point for practicing literacy skills. Staple paper together for makeshift books to build print awareness, pull out the paints to make letters, and get creative!
- 🍃 Science and exploration: Read nonfiction books, play with sensory materials like slime, watch how different colors of paint interact, or go for a scavenger hunt! Science is all about trial and error, making observations, and using descriptive language.
Extra tips for learning at home
Read below for more tips on incorporating learning into everyday life. These tips were developed by specialists in child development and early education—who are parents too! Download a PDF with the following tips by clicking here. These tips are also available in Spanish here.
💡 TIP: Look for learning everywhere.
When you think of education or school, what comes to mind? Maybe you think of math, reading, and spelling. Or you picture lined paper, desks, and sharpened pencils. As children grow, learning will eventually look like this. But for children of young ages, learning looks like exploration, helping adults with daily tasks, trying things out, and moving around.
You may be concerned that your child is not getting the same amount of academic instruction at home as they did at school. But did you know that in most early learning classrooms, teachers largely focus on play-based learning and building soft skills, like sharing with friends or sitting for a read aloud? There are occasional times for structured lessons, but even academic lessons are organized around songs and games. So, you are probably providing your child with plenty of academic instruction every day without even knowing it!
For young children, learning happens through immersion. Education is happening when children are playing, speaking, listening to bedtime stories, interacting with family members, and helping with household tasks. The trick is being able to identify when it is happening! Once you start noticing the ways that learning is folded into everyday life, you won't be able to stop seeing it.
🗣 When you're talking with your child, they're learning about conventions of speech, regulating the volume and tone of their voice, socially appropriate responses, and new vocabulary.
🏡 When you're building a blanket fort with your child, they are learning about spatial awareness, cooperation, how to make and execute a plan, and the scientific process of trial and error.
📖 When you're reading a bedtime story with your child, they're learning about patterns of speech, the parts of a book, how words correspond with pictures, and directionality of reading from left to right.
Learning is everywhere! 💫
💡 TIP: Seek opportunities to develop language and ask questions.
As you go about your day, an easy way to boost learning is to ask questions. Whether you're reading, taking a walk, playing with toys, or preparing a meal together, questions will get your child thinking—and show you how much they already know! Try out a few of the questions below, and watch how asking questions during daily activities becomes second nature.
Ask open-ended questions that promote critical thinking:
- 🖍 While drawing: “What are you drawing? Tell me about it!” As they're speaking, write their words on their picture. Children can start making connections between words and images on a page.
- 🧸 While building with blocks: “Wow, how tall can you build your tower? Whose is taller?”
- 🎨 While painting: “What happens if you take the yellow and the blue and you let them run into each other?”
- 👕 While playing dress-up: “Why did you choose that costume?”
- 📕. While reading: “I see a boat. What is on top of that boat?”
- 🧩 While putting together a puzzle: “What happens if you flip/turn/slide the piece this way?” “What happens if I move this piece over here?”
Additionally, you can help your child’s language development by modeling what their speech should sound like. An easy way to do this is by describing what the child is doing out loud. This makes it easier for your child to pair their experience with new vocabulary.
- 📦 Shapes while building with boxes: “This box is the shape of a cube!”
- 🖍 Colors while drawing: “I see that you used the colors red and blue.”
- 🧸 Positional words while playing with blocks: “I’m going to put this block behind the car.”
- ⏩ Now, it’s your child’s turn! Say, “Tell me about…..” to prompt them to talk about what they are currently seeing or doing. You might be surprised to hear about the things they notice!
💡 TIP: Meet your child where they are.
Learning happens when you can match your child’s pace and engagement levels! Knowing what is developmentally appropriate for your child’s age can help set realistic expectations. While adults can typically hold up to seven pieces of information in their working memory, children can only hold on to a few pieces of information at any given time. They need time to listen, process, and think before responding. Children can take in information more easily when adults slow down their speech and focus on only a few ideas at a time.
Keep in mind that children’s attention spans are very short. If there is a certain topic you are trying to cover, but you notice that your child is losing engagement with the current activity, try changing the method of presentation. Are you making letters out of playdough and losing engagement with your little learner? Let’s find a different way to practice letter recognition! Pull out their favorite book and search for certain letters in the text. Or, incorporate choice. If you’d like your child to practice writing, offer two activities for them to choose from.
Average attention span for children:
- ⏰ 2 years old: 4 to 6 minutes
- ⏰ 4 years old: 8 to 12 minutes
- ⏰ 6 years old: 12 to 18 minutes
- ⏰ 8 years old: 16 to 24 minutes
See the following resources to learn more about your child’s developmental level:
- Guidelines for screen time by Common Sense Media
- Activity recommendations by age by Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child
- Child development guide by the Children’s Hospital of Orange County, CA
🌟 You’ve got this!
In short, you've got this! You intuitively nurture your child, and your child will naturally gravitate toward things that will help them develop. Remember, learning for young children does not look like sitting still in one spot with pencil and paper. Children will run around, explore, follow you, and try new things. All of this is a part of the learning process, and your presence alone is enough to help your child grow.
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