The coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for parents who are suddenly working from home and who also have their children at home doing schoolwork.
For many parents, their workday is going on far longer than school, leaving their children bored and with nothing to do but watch TV or play video games.
A couple from Nashville had a plan to produce videos for children and release them online. The goal was to have the videos ready for a launch in May. The stay-at-home order changed all that, and pushed up their schedule by weeks.
James Thayer, a serial entrepreneur who rents out equipment for video production, and his wife Ally, a hair stylist/cosmetologist who hasn’t been able to work, turned part of their house into a television studio and got to work. Fast.
“We saw a need for parents and kids to have activities while they are stuck at home,” said Ally Thayer. “So rather than popping them in front of mindless television, why don’t we give them something that’s enriching and actually helps them in life.”
James already owned a lot of TV equipment. In a very short amount of time, they transformed their sitting room into a TV studio.
“We set up a backdrop,” James explained. “We do a lot of our stuff on a green screen so we have a green screen paper roll for that. We set up a camera, we set up a teleprompter, lights for the green screen and her separate and we have audio. So it takes us a good while to do that.”
They both write. Ally is one of the hosts. James hosts videos as well and other hosts record their episodes in their own homes. The educational episodes teach life skills to elementary, middle and high school students.
“How do you change your oil, how to read nutrition labels? How do you write a check and change a tire,” the couple explained.
Some videos include an activity to keep the kids engaged and entertained longer than a short video. Their website has quickly grown to have over a dozen videos with more in production. And what happens after a day of shooting videos?
“Then of course we have to take it all back down to keep our house halfway decent,” they said.
Kids have a lot of time on their hands these days, and if you’re working from home, the social distancing network may be just what you’re looking for.
You and your kids can find the videos at www.socialdistancingnetwork.tv