Things to Do While Sheltered In Place

Hello loyal JBRish readers, friends and fellow humans who have found their way to this web page. As we are working through trying and unusual times, someone sent me a list of resources covering a wide variety of interests and age groups. We hope you find several things on this list that interest you and help lighten the burden of sheltering in place.

NOTE – I do not know the origins of this list. If anyone can provide the appropriate originator, please leave a comment and I will provide proper annotation.

If you find a broken link in which you are interested, please leave a comment and I will try to fix it!


Recently Added

Disclaimer: I cannot vouch for the quality or value of any of the links below. I am just passing information along in an effort to help others use their “shelter-in-place” time in a more interesting and perhaps rewarding manner. As always, let the buyer beware and your mileage may vary.


8 Online Art Classes That Will Keep Kids Creating

Hollywood Art Institute Photography Course & Certification via Hollywood Art Institute
Discounted 99% ($19) on the date of this post – 3/24/2020



The San Diego Zoo has a website just for kids with amazing videos, activities, and games. Enjoy the tour!

Tour Yellowstone National Park!

Explore the surface of Mars on the Curiosity Rover.

✅This Canadian site FarmFood 360 offers 11 Virtual Tours of farms from minks, pigs, and cows, to apples and eggs.

Indoor Activities for pre-K – 1st

Play games and learn all about animals

Play with fave show characters and learn too

Travel to Paris, France to see amazing works of art at The Louvre with this virtual field trip.

This Virtual Tour of the Great Wall of China is beautiful and makes history come to life.

Math and Reading games

Phonics skills

✅The British Museum located in the heart of London allows virtual visitors to tour the Great Court and discover the ancient Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies.

Read, play games, and hang out with Dr. Seuss

300,000+ FREE printable worksheets from toddlers to teens

Geography and animals

Math practice from counting to algebra and geometry

Fave kids books read by famous people

Crafts, activities, mazes, dot to dot, etc.

Math and reading games

Math and language games

Hands on Elem science videos

Voice based learning… learn through Alexa

Fun games, recipes, crafts, activities

ClickSchooling brings you daily recommendations by email for entertaining websites that help your kids learn.

Math as a fun part of your daily family routine

Games to get “into the book”

Online history classes for all ages preteen through adults


Elem Math through 6th grade

Educational games K-12

Digital archive of history

Resources for Spanish practice

Chinese learning activities

Music is for everyone

Science, Math, Social Studies

Daily free science or cooking experiment to do at home.


Reading passages for grades 3-12, with reading comprehension and discussion questions.

Vocabulary, grammar, listening activities and games in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Korean, and Latin.

35,000 pages of online content on the cultures and countries of the world.

K-5th Science lessons

Tons of free classes from leading universities and companies

Free printable K-8 Reading and Math activity packs (available in English and Spanish)

Digital learning content for preschool through high school

Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing.

3 Free Weeks of Maker Stations to keep your children creating at home! Each challenge includes simple instructions using materials around the house, QR code video resources, and a student recording sheet.

Classes for older teens or adults – One free month of membership!

Online homeschool platform & curriculum for Pre-K to 12th grade. All main subjects are covered, plus extra curriculum courses.

Printable board games, activities and more for phonics and reading all using evidence-based methods. Can be customized to any student’s needs including creating flashcards for other subjects.

K-8 online math program that looks at how a student is solving problems to adjust accordingly and build a unique learning path for them.

Engaging reading game for grades 2-8 that combines strategy, engagement, and imaginative reading passages to create a fun, curriculum-aligned literacy game.

Foreign languages

Interactive video earth science based curriculum supplement.

A safe research site for elementary-level readers. They are offering — free 24/7 access
USERNAME: read (case sensitive)
PASSWORD: read (case sensitive)

✅Educational brain breaks to help students review essential literacy and math skills, while getting in some exercise. Find over 900 videos to help your child keep learning at home and burn off some extra energy. Our site is best used for ages 4-8.

Movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts.

7,000 free videos in 13 subject areas

Carmen Sandiego videos, stories, and lessons for all subject areas

Math Videos with lessons, real life uses of math, famous actors

Entertaining & educational videos for all levels and subjects

Online education program for toddler through high school

Free Printables for PreK-2nd Grade

Free printables library with activities for children 0-6

Free at-home kids yoga lesson plans

Magic Spell is a carefully crafted spelling adventure.

Enter your math problem or search term, press the button, and they show you the step-by-step work and answer instantly. 2nd grade through college.

Elem Math games, logic puzzles and educational resources

Poetry and music

3D printing projects and Coding projects, involving math and other K-12 subjects

Introductory and intermediate music theory lessons, exercises, ear trainers, and calculators.

Scads of free resources, games, learning resources, and lesson plans for teaching personal finance

Improve your typing skills while competing in fast-paced races with up to 5 typers from around the world.

Illustrated recipes designed to help kids age 2-12 cook with their grown-ups. Recipes encourage culinary skills, literacy, math, and science.

Online curriculum that builds better writers.

80+ do at home science activities

Daily lessons and educational activities that kids can do on their own

Adaptive curriculum in Math and ELA for Grades K-8

Novel Effect makes storytime a little more fun for kids (and grown-ups too!) As you read out loud from print books (or ebooks!) music, sound effects, and character voices play at just the right moment, adjusting and responding to your voice.

Quick & easy at home projects curated for kids 2 and up

Teaches students how to write a paragraph through interactive online tutorial

PreK-12 digital media service with more than 30,000 learning materials

Curricular content hub specifically designed for K-3 students.

Science and math labs and simulations

Prodigies is a colorful music curriculum for kids 1-12 that will teach your kids how to play their first instrument, how to sing in tune & how to understand the language of music! 21 for free

Free videos from around the world from grade 3-12

QuaverMusic is offering free access to general music activities to all impacted schools, including free student access at-home

For students to practice and master whatever they are learning.

ReadWorks is an online resource of reading passages and lesson plans for students of all levels K-12.

Critical Thinking resources for K-6 students

Music Based Spanish Learning

Science simulations, scientist profiles, and other digital resources for middle school science and high school biology

The Shurley English program for grades K-8 provides a clear, logical, and concrete approach to language arts.

Sight reading and sight singing practice exercises.

Music practice transformed

Spellingcity is free right now with code VSCFree90

Kid-friendly workouts — choose from Strength for Kids, Agility for Kids, Flexibility and Balance for Kids, Warm-Up for Kids, Cooldown for Kids, Stand Up and Move for Kids, OR create your own custom kid workout.

A collection of hundreds of free K-12 STEM resources, from standalone models and simulations to short activities and week long sequences of curriculum materials.

✅Course sets (Levels 1–5) that combine and thoroughly cover phonics, reading, writing, spelling, literature, grammar, punctuation, art, and geography—all in one easy-to-use, beautiful course.

At home OT, PT, and ST resources designed to build skills in children through movement and play.

Science projects that can be completed with or without Internet access

Keyboarding practice OR

Next Generation Science video game focused on middle school where students directly engage in science phenomena as they solve problems.

Short videos and readings that answer various burning questions for students. There are vocabulary challenges and comprehension questions.

Math practice

K-5 curriculum that builds deep understanding and a love of learning math for all students

✅A quick start resource to help families pull together a plan for surviving the next 1-2 months at home with their kids, but it can also be a time of slowing down and enjoying kids as they learn.
Preschool through 8th grade

Spelling 1-4 grade

2,500+ online courses from top institutions

22 languages to learn

Learn to code

Miscellaneous games for all subjects k-8

Phonics and learning to read

PreK – 5 games for all subjects

Online digital coloring pages

Every course you could possibly want to homeschool preschool – 8

✅Every course you could possibly want to homeschool for high school

Phonics worksheets for kids

Free stories online ages 3-12

National Geographic Young Explorers is a magazine designed specifically for kindergarten and first grade students. Children can listen to the magazine being read to them as they follow along with the highlighted text.

Learn all about earthquakes

Learn all about the periodic table

Farmer’s almanac for kids… Date, weather, moon phase, etc.

Guide to gardening for kids

✅Website allows students to play basic games to reinforce math skills and compete against the computer or others

Space science for kiddos

Math Games, Logic Puzzles and Brain Builders

Games, quizzes and fact sheets take kids on a journey through time.

✅NGAkids interactives offer an entertaining and informative introduction to art and art history.

News and more for kids

Randomly generates 356,300,262,144 story starters

✅Immerse yourself in cryptography

Math games galore

✅Tons of science experiments that you can do at home

✅An interactive way to learn history

✅Just explore, have fun, and learn some science along the way.

Interactive games based on the book series

Work on the 8 parts of speech

Learn all about cells

All sorts of learning here if you dig in

✅Scratch draws students of all types into coding and lays a foundation for future learning.

✅A wonderful, endlessly detailed way to get kids engaged in the world of art.

Tests kids’ geography skills. Using images from Google’s Street View, it plops players down in the middle of the street and asks them to figure out where they are.

✅Allows students to type in any city, state, or country to view an archive of historical photographs and other documents. It’s a unique way to help them learn about history.

Short videos about numbers that help kids explore complex math topics and make math more fun.

✅A human visualization platform that allows students to explore the human body in really cool ways.

✅Helps kids learn to appreciate the arts by providing them with the opportunity to play games, conduct investigations, and explore different forms of art.

✅Lets kids play instruments online. Instruments include the guitar, piano, pan flute, drums, and bongos.

Crafts, activities, bulletin board designs, and finger plays for early education teachers and parents to use with kids.

✅A large selection of fun songs to help teach preschool and kindergarten students

Resource section includes free flashcards, coloring pages, worksheets, and other resources for children, teachers, and parents.

Life skills curriculum for students in grades K-12. Their resources include strategies for teaching social and emotional skills.

Coding for ages 4-10

✅No need to travel to one of the Smithsonian’s zoos or museums — this website brings your child everything from live video of the National Zoo to the Smithsonian Learning Lab right to their screen

✅Cool Kid Facts gives your child access to educational videos, pictures, quizzes, downloadable worksheets, and infographics. They can use these to learn about geography, history, science, animals, and even the human body.

✅This interactive website, hosted by the U.S. Government Publishing Office, allows your child to see the ins and outs of the U.S. government by taking a series of learning adventures with none other than Benjamin Franklin.

✅This NASA initiative covers a wide range of topics including weather, climate, atmosphere, water, energy, plants, and animals.

✅Ask Dr. Universe is a science-education project from Washington State University. Kids can send Dr. Universe any question they may have about history, geography, plants, animals, technology, engineering, math, culture, and more.

✅Your child can play games, learn fun facts, and find out how to turn coin collecting into a hobby.

✅From rainbows to tornadoes and winter storms to tsunamis, meteorologist Crystal Wicker breaks down the fascinating world of weather.

Kids Think Design explores careers in fashion design, graphic design, interior design, book design, product design, film and theatre, architecture, animation, and environmental design.

Brainscape offers over a million flashcard decks for every subject, entrance exam, and certification imaginable.

✅The Theta Music Trainer offers a series of online courses and games for ear training and music theory.

✅Banzai exposes students to real-world financial dilemmas to teach them the importance of smart money management.

Innerbody explores the 11 bodily systems in depth. With interactive models and detailed explanations, this website will help them learn more about the internal mechanics of the amazing human

Alcumus is specifically designed to provide high-performing students with a challenging curriculum appropriate to their abilities

Find and fix learning gaps

Fractions practice

Education for kids all topics

Math and logic problems for ages 5 and up to adult

Science podcasts to listen to with your kids

Alaskan Wildlife cams

Coding with Star Wars

Tons and tons and tons of games some learning some just fun

Crafts, projects, science, recipes for young children

Amphibian unit studies

Read more miscellaneous stories on JBRish HERE


All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2020 —

A Soldier’s Son – Life During War

“The soldier is the Army. No army is better than its soldiers. The Soldier is also a citizen. In fact, the highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one’s country.” — George S. Patton

NOTE: You can read the introduction to this series HERE:


Life is often drastically altered during war time, but some measure of normal routine needs to be maintained while the machinery and events of war take their toll on the soldiers and the native populations.

A group of Chinese men pull a sampan along the inlet or river way
A group of Chinese men pull a sampan along the inlet or river way
size – 3.25 x 2.25 including white space

NOTE: A couple of the workers are wearing abbreviated, wrap-around “shorts” which seem to expose their posteriors. Whether this is customary garb for the time or due to the hot and/or humid weather, I am not sure. [ See close up below ]

Pictured below is a group of soldiers and Chinese villagers heading out to do some reconnaissance work as a joint mapping party.

A mapping party of villagers and soldiers head out to do some reconnaissance
A mapping party of villagers and soldiers head out to do some reconnaissance
size – 3.25 x 2.5 including white space

Daily routines do continue during war to the extent possible. This is a picture of a Chinese story teller near Chungking. The people are gathered around, but look at the photographer as the picture is taken (Circa 1944.)

A village story teller takes a moment to pause for the picture.
A village story teller takes a moment to pause for the picture as his audience looks on.
size – 2.5 x 3.25 including white space


NOTE — All photographs are “for sale.” Anyone interested in purchasing photographs should contact me via the contact email, i.e. JBRish [dot]com [at] gmail[dot]]com

DISCLAIMER — Many of the photographs I will be presenting as part of this series are very small and/or very old. In order to enable proper viewing, I scan the images and enhance them to the extent possible using Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop software. These images are not manipulated to remove or modify the content. The enhancements are strictly to provide contrast, bring out details and to render black and white areas in more natural tones. Nothing has been removed or added. I will provide approximate measurements of the actual photographs as they may seem larger than actual size because of the digital presentation.



All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2019 –

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 1

Map route from Portland to Astoria, OR
Map route from Portland to Astoria, OR – Green

As part of our “hike while you still can” regimen, my wife and I decided to schedule a hiking vacation along the coast of Oregon and then on to Crater Lake for September, 2017. Even before we landed at Portland International Airport, we could smell fire in the airplane. We knew it wasn’t the Boeing, but the fires breaking out all over Oregon which tainted the air.

We retrieved our luggage and made a beeline for the car rental counter. After dusting the ash off of our suitcases and getting the trunk of the car packed, we headed toward the Oregon coast and the town of Astoria.

Astoria is a river town sharing space along the Columbia River and it has the requisite trappings of a riverside town. Our hotel was just yards from a shipyard with a number of ships and boats in a variety of conditions. The sun was setting and I was tired, but I couldn’t resist the photographic opportunities. I took my Fuji X-T2 and snapped just two pictures.

Shipyard along the Columbia River, Astoria Oregon
Shipyard along the Columbia River

A better image of the boat above appears in my previous post Fuji X T-2: The Magic of Beginnings. We enjoy walking around towns and discovering the variety of shops and sights. As we explored the streets the next day, the reminders that this was a fishing and river town were abundant.

Salmon-themed trash can - Astoria, Oregon
Salmon-themed trash can

The antique shops, cafes and other stores proudly adorned their windows with sailing memorabilia and accessories. There were a number of “general” decorative touches along the sidewalks as well.

Bicycle planter along 12th Street - Astoria, Oregon
Bicycle planter along 12th Street

Our first major stop was the Garden of Surging Waves. This was a small, inner city park celebrating Astoria’s Chinese heritage dating back to the days of John Jacob Astor. Interestingly, “The Chinese written characters for the words ‘surging wave’ are also used to express hardship and struggle — experiences shared by many of America’s early immigrant groups.” *

* Read more about the Garden of Surging Waves and HERE.

We entered the garden, part of Astoria’s Heritage Square project, through the Moon Gate which appeared to be the main entrance although there are a number of entryways. The ironwork was bold and attractive.

Traditional Moon Gate entrance to the Garden of Surging Waves - Astoria, Oregon
Traditional Moon Gate entrance to the Garden of Surging Waves

The ironwork not only serves as an entry, but also a story screen. There are a multitude of quotes and phrases related to the experience of the Chinese families and workers who helped to build the town of Astoria.

One touching quote appearing in the picture below, across two vertical sections, reads:

“Grandma said that Dad was so sick on the boat from China that he would have been fed to the fish if he had died. Now a seafood lab is named after him for the fish feed that he and his team developed.”

Part of a story screen near the entrance to the Garden of Surging Waves - Astoria, Oregon
Part of a story screen near the entrance to the Garden of Surging Waves”

There are granite columns carved with traditional dragon, Chinese cloud and ocean wave symbols.

Traditional dragon columns of the central pavilion at the Garden of Surging Waves - Astoria, Oregon
Traditional dragon columns of the central pavilion at the Garden of Surging Waves

The columns hold a series of wooden beams which in turn serve to frame a colorful stained glass crown-like structure. Although the day was grey, the sun did try to poke through as we stood in the open air pavilion.

Circular glass artwork at the central pavilion at the Garden of Surging Waves - Astoria, Oregon
Traditional dragon columns of the central pavilion

Further investigation led us to a large cast bronze lantern in the style of an incense burner which depicts characters in a story about a mythical dragon and a wise monkey. You can read about the statue and myth HERE. This was our last stop in the garden before we headed for 11th St. and more discoveries.

Cast bronze lantern in the style of an incense burner at the Garden of Surging Waves - Astoria, Oregon
Cast bronze lantern in the style of an incense burner

This was just a small portion of our day exploring Astoria. will soon have more stories about Astoria and other adventures in Oregon.


Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017

Taliesin West Evening Tour Photo Essay – Part 5

Frank Lloyd Wright understood that a building cannot be a home without appropriate furnishings. He was concerned about decorating the rooms in a style that would enhance the overall architecture and aesthetic of each area.

Decorative Chinese theater scene
An example of the decorative ceramic Chinese theater scenes

Chinese theater scenes are placed throughout the estate with some used to mark transitions from one area to another.

Taliesin West wall of art
Room-separating artwork wall with sculptures and stones

The living room at Taliesin West
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West living room


Read more about Taiesin West HERE.

Previous posts and photographs in the Taliesin West series in chronological order:



All content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross