Covid-19 means that parents across Ireland (and indeed around the world) are wearing more hats than ever before. Due to the current crisis, they are expected to be chef, chauffeur, housekeeper, nanny and teacher to their little ones while often juggling another job too!
Keeping all these balls in the air isn’t easy but thankfully there are some great resources out there that can help. Take the National Dairy Council (NDC) for example, who have created a virtual online classroom to help both pupils and parents throughout lockdown. This could be the home-school hack you’ve been waiting for. Here’s everything you need to know.
With school’s shut for the foreseeable future, many students are missing the classroom atmosphere that they experienced while at school, and let’s face it, it can be hard to concentrate in your kitchen or living room. To help counteract this, the NDC’s Moo Crew initiative includes online videos shot in a classroom as well as lessons and activities that have been specifically designed to help parents who are home-schooling their primary school children during the Covid-19 crisis.
Each video is accompanied by optional worksheets and activities that allow children to learn lots of interesting facts about nutrition, dairy foods, dental health, keeping active and dairy farming! The videos are delivered by teacher and presenter, Micheál Ó’ Ciaraidh from CúlaTG4 and Operation Transformation’s 10@10 in his own virtual classroom. This friendly, laid-back atmosphere is a great way to encourage kids to keep up with their school work during lockdown.
The Moo Crew Initiative is a trusted tool for parents and pupils across Ireland. Importantly, the programme was developed in consultation with primary teachers and the lesson plans have been developed in line with the Irish primary school curriculum, registered nutritionists and the Dental Health Foundation. Each lesson can be carried out in conjunction with subjects, or they can be undertaken as stand-alone topics.
The lesson plans are linked to the SPHE and Geography curriculum in particular. However, there are opportunities for cross-curricular integration across a range of subject areas including Primary Language, Visual Arts and Mathematics.
Orla Kennedy, Chief Executive of The Dental Health Foundation says, ‘We are delighted to have contributed to this with our dental health lesson plan. Great to see this initiative taking place as taking care of our oral hygiene is really important to help prevent tooth decay, particularly in the current climate.’
If you’ve got a few kids at home, don’t worry! All lesson plans are available at three levels (infant, junior and senior) which means there is something to suit every age group. They are also taught in both English and Irish so pupils can choose their preferred language. There is even a range of additional resources to support the lesson plans such as puzzles, word searches, mazes and videos which are available on the Moo Crew website.
The Moo Crew Initiative is a fun and engaging way to teach kids about the benefits of a healthy, balanced diet and the importance of exercise, which has become even more important during lockdown.
Through the lesson plan’s ‘Extension Activities’ and ‘Bring It Home’ section, pupils will have the opportunity to learn about the food pyramid, healthy eating, the importance of regular physical exercise, dental hygiene, dairy and the environment, and the story of milk ‘from grass to your glass’.
The launch of Moo Crew has even been welcomed by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed.
“I very much appreciate this positive initiative by the National Dairy Council while our schools remain closed,” says Minister Creed.
He encourages all parents to take advantage of this new resource and use it to help educate their children at home.
“Never has it been more important for us to look after our own health and our children’s health and I would encourage the parents of all primary school going children to avail of this resource. The story of milk from grass to your glass has never been more important.”
So, if you’re home-schooling this week why not give the Moo Crew website a go? It’s a fun, simple and stress free way to make learning at home that little bit easier.
For full details please visit the Moo Crew website.
The School Milk Scheme is managed by The National Dairy Council and funded by The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with the support of the European Union.