The new norm? Sitting at the kitchen table, trying to do my “job” while homeschooling my two daughters. Oh, you have a literature zoom at 2:30? My mind runs through today’s to do list… which report can I finish in that 30-minute window. Your worksheet is taking a while? Maybe I can draft a media release now so I won’t be up as late tonight. Kids can work on kindergarten worksheets to improve their skills at a very young age.
Every minute is painstakingly filled to maximize productivity and it’s somehow become our normal. What’s more? Even though much of our time together is spent homeschooling, I want it to be fun; something they look back on fondly, which means I have to preserve my sanity in these beautiful daily tasks.
And when the time comes to switching over to focusing on work, I have a find a way to do so without mom guilt because I need to provide for my family. What I’m discovering is that there are a lot of fun, free resources out there that engage and educate my kiddos, when I need to switch over to work.
Our new favorite activity is Gettysburg: A Nation Divided, a free mixed reality app that recreates this historic battle in our kitchen, backyard and weirdly enough… the bathroom. Basically, wherever your mobile device can go, the battle can go. The experience is immersive, not something the girls watch, rather something that unfolds around them with 360-degree views of the battlefield. Their favorite part is the artifact scavenger hunt which allows them a chance to earn Civil War era coins and a deeper understanding in the process. They move our phone around to put Lincoln’s hat on one another’s heads and laugh hysterically when they fit the cannon next to the toilet. It really doesn’t get more immersive than that.
I was surprised to find images of Robert E. Lee riding his horse next to our car and apparently General Picket was in the kitchen with me while I was cooking dinner. Ultimately, my kids were having fun and learning while I was working, cooking and even just sitting.
Thank goodness for technology which is allowing many of us to work from home and our children to learn at home. In an effort to make this app available to as many people as possible, developers QuantumERA have waived their initially planned download fee of $12.99 so that more children will be able to learn from home using mixed reality.
Note: The BETA version of Gettysburg: A Nation Divided optimized for Apple iPads, is available in the app store. Mobile optimization for other Android devices will be coming soon. Free downloads are available for a limited time. The app has been carefully designed for children ages nine and up.