The University of Iowa

Resources for Helping Families to Support Children’s and Teens’ Home Learning During COVID-19 Pandemic

Daughter receiving literacy help from mother at home

The Iowa Reading Research Center is providing resources to help families with children's and teens' home literacy learning.

April 1, 2020

Just as people across the country have, the staff of the Iowa Reading Research Center has been adjusting quickly to the changing circumstances around the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Within a span of a few days as schools began to close, we recognized the need to redirect our efforts from primarily supporting professional educators to supporting families who are trying to continue children’s learning at home,” Iowa Reading Research Center Director Dr. Deborah K. Reed said.

The Iowa Reading Research Center has developed and published the following resources for Supporting Your Children’s And Teens’ Home Learning, which include new projects and standalone resources:

  • PDF iconSupporting Your Children's And Teens' Home Learning Guide, with tips on establishing home learning areas, improving the home-based learning experience, and utilizing web resources for students kindergarten-Grade 6 and Grades 7-12 in the subjects of English-language arts, science, social studies, and history. Web resources for assistive technology for home learning are also included for students with reading disabilities.
  • A 24-day IRRC Book Study for Teens crafted for students in Grades 7-12, with vocabulary words and reflections questions related to each day’s reading assignment
  • Weekly IRRC Writing Prompts for Children in English and Spanish released over 6 weeks from March 25 to April 29
  • IRRC blog posts focused on supporting literacy learning at home and posted with increased frequency (sign up to receive new blog posts via email)

In addition, caregivers may find helpful the following resources available on the IRRC website:

“We are committed to continue creating resources for families because literacy development is too important to be sidelined by social distancing,” Reed said.

Follow the Iowa Reading Research Center on Twitter and like the IRRC on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the latest Supporting Your Children’s And Teens’ Home Learning resources as they become available.

In addition to its own efforts, the Iowa Reading Research Center is collaborating with the following agencies and organizations to provide access to educational enrichment options for students, parents, and educators during the temporary disruption of classroom learning due to COVID-19.

AEA Learning Online

Iowa Department of Education 

Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council

Iowa PBS

Many of the resources have been added to respond to the need caused by COVID-19 and have not been through a full approval or review process. The hosting agency may remove a resource that has not been through a full approval or review process at any time.