With all the will they, won’t they close the schools around the Coronavirus, I thought it would be a good time to find out a little more about how I could help my kids with their learning at home.
Home-schooling to support your child’s learning during a school closure is a pretty daunting task and goes beyond my homework support skills so I asked some Mum bloggers who home-school their kids, to give their top tips.
There are lots of free educational resources available that you can access online. There’s a brilliant list that’s been pulled together by ‘North of England Home Educators’ that’s been collated by wittyhoots.com.
This is more for printouts, and usually at a fee, but they are offering a month of free access to parents in the event of school closures.
This site is old and no longer updated and yet there’s so much still available, from language learning to BBC Bitesize for revision. No TV licence required except for content on BBC iPlayer.
Free to access 100s of courses, only pay to upgrade if you need a certificate in your name (own account from age 14+ but younger learners can use a parent account).
Especially good for maths and computing for all ages but other subjects at Secondary level. Note this uses the U.S. grade system but it’s mostly common material.
Learn computer programming skills – fun and free.
Free taster courses aimed at those considering Open University but everyone can access it. Adult level, but some e.g. nature and environment courses could well be of interest to young people.
Hit The Button
This was recommended by my son’s teacher last year and we use it lots for him to practise his times tables.
Pinterest is brilliant source of activities for children that are both fun and educational. Mum blogger Monkeyandmouse.co.uk use it a lot by searching for science activities relating to the topic they’re studying. She’s written a great post on 10 ways to entertain the kids and educate the kids when school is closed.
All sorts of engaging educational videos
National Geographic Kids
Activities and quizzes for younger kids.
Learn languages for free. Web or app.
Free science lessons
The Kids Should See This
Wide range of cool educational videos
Science awards you can complete from home.
Digital enterprise award scheme you can complete online.
Paw Print Badges
Free challenge packs and other downloads. Many activities can be completed indoors. Badges cost but are optional.
This is in U.S. grades, but good for UK Primary age.
Listening activities for the younger ones.
A lot of these can be done in a garden, or if you can get to a remote forest location!
Oxford Owl for Home
Lots of free resources for Primary age
Big History Project
Aimed at Secondary age. Multi disciplinary activities.
Blue Peter Badges
These days there are lots of different Blue Peter badges you can aim for. Can you collect them all?
Educational online games
DK Find Out
Activities and quizzes
Science Experiments for Kids
If you’d looking for a break from filling in worksheets and I’m sure your kids will get bored of those pretty quickly try some science experiments. They can be super fun and they learn without even realising it. There are lots of ideas for all ages over on Science Sparks.
Get Crafty at Home
Have a dig around your cupboards and recycling box and I bet you can pull together enough for some creative arty kids projects. I’ve got lots of ideas for all ages from preschoolers to tweens on Red Kite Days including this cute sock bunny. Anyone else always have a lone sock hanging around?
Have Fun Too
Once the traditional learning is done, if you’re cooped up at home you’re probably running out of ideas. Here are a few to keep you going.
- Family board games or you could even design and play your own.
- Read books, whether your kids are reading themselves or you’re reading to them they’re still learning. RainyDayMum recommended a virtual book club for kids.
If you’re getting really stuck, here are 60 play activities for when you’re stuck at home from ArthurWears.
For some students, especially those studying for their GCSEs and A-Levels, you might want to thinking about online tutors. They can provide live support and tailor their tutoring to specific needs and gaps. Find out more about online tutors.
Wide Open Spaces
I’m guessing and very much hoping that if the schools close due to Coronavirus (Covid-19) then I’ll at least still be able to take them outdoors to big wide open spaces where we won’t come into contact with other people. One of our favourite things to do is to take a small bucket, the kind you take to the beach, and collect anything little that takes our fancy. An unusual stone, a conker, fallen leaves. We usually end up hauling along an over sized stick too. Fresh air and a run around is great for lifting the spirits. Here are a few of the bigger parks and country parks I’ve visited.
Cutteslowe Park (Oxford, Oxfordshire)
Black Park Country Park (Wexham, Buckinghamshire)
Kilkenny Lane Country Park (Carterton, Oxfordshire)
Waddesdon Greenway (Buckinghamshire)
Ray Mills Island (Maidenhead, Berkshire)
Shotover Country Park (Oxford, Oxfordshire)
If it’s not too muddy you could try sections of the Thames Path.
If you’re looking for a family bike ride, I’ve got lots of great ideas for Berkshire.