With schools closed, we’re all homeschooling for the foreseeable future. So how do we support our children’s learning through these unprecedented times?
Thankfully, there are many online educational sites that can help. From fun learning activities for younger kids, through to subject-specific support for teens, here are 10 sites to help your family in the weeks and months to come.
“Teachit started off as a tray in the corner of a staffroom (to allow teachers to share their resources with each other) and has grown into a thriving community of teachers contributing resources.”
This huge bank of teaching resources is usually a paid subscription service, but currently, Teachit is granting free access for everyone until the end of April 2020, to support children through the school closure.
There’s a Teachit Primary site – covering the whole primary-school curriculum. Kids at secondary school? Take a look at the separate subject sites for maths, English, history, geography, science and languages. Plenty to help your family continue learning from home.
“I want to suggest to people who are being thrown into this “homeschooling” for the first time to ease up on the timetable and rather try a routine approach,” says the mum-of-two beind Ofamily Learning Together. Read this post on the difference between timetables and routine to find out why.
Teacher’s favourite website Twinkl is also supporting parents with free access to their home-learning resources for the next month. Besides all the teacher-oriented lesson plans and ideas, Twinkl has a range of activities specifically written for us parents to use at home with our children.
There are printable home learning support packs for all the primary year groups and school closure support packs for secondary-school children in all the curriculum subjects. And for anyone who doesn’t have access to a printer, check out their interactive learning resources.
If you’ve got older kids who need help with history, And All That will save the day. This blog has a really rich bank of totally free teaching resources for all the age groups from Year 7 to A-Level.
You’ll find articles, videos, lesson plans and suggested reading on everything in the curriculum. Although it might not be needed for this year’s GCSE and A-level cohort, there are some brilliant guides to revising and preparing for history exams.
Clare is Freddie’s mummy, and she’s been homeschooling her 10-year-old son for a while. Her blog, Freddie’s Mummy UK is an amazing resource for newbie homeschoolers. Besides recommendations of good quality homeschooling resources and fun homeschool activities, Clare has lots of great advice on how to make the transition into homeschooling easier.
She recommends starting the day with the subject your child finds the most difficult, taking five-minute breaks every half an hour, and (particularly important for younger children) making sure they get lots of exercise.
The BBC’s very own educational platform, BBC Bitesize, has long been a go-to for quality, interactive learning. You won’t find printables and lesson plans here. Instead, there are short, punchy activities, online video tutorials and ‘live lessons’ hosted by favourite BBC presenters and actors.
Younger kids will love the fun learning games on this site (my daughter is pretty addicted to the Food Chain Challenge at the moment). While older children will find their short video lessons really useful and relevant.
BBC Bitesize is going to be putting out daily content during the school closure to help with education and wellbeing, so bookmark this site for the coming days and weeks.
With over 3000 free, online activities, Education Quizzes is another great interactive resource to keep kids learning while having fun. “The concept is simple – make learning enjoyable so that the children WANT to learn at home,” say the team behind the site.
Covering the whole curriculum, from KS1 through to GCSE, there are plenty of activities to help your children test their understanding and show you where they need a little extra help.
Mr Barton Maths has been running for over a decade. It’s where the eponymous Mr Barton – long-serving maths teacher and co-creator of another great maths resource Diagnostic Questions – shares all his favourite teaching materials.
There’s something for all ages and abilities on this very well-structured site, with a comprehensive topics section covering every single aspect of the maths curriculum, past exam papers, and even maths jokes and chat-up lines for days when the kids might be missing that corny, maths-teacher wit…
“Question: What do you call friends who love math?
If you have teens studying maths and science at GCSE or A-Level, Primrose Kitten is an excellent one-stop-shop. The site is run by teacher Jen, although it’s named after her feline co-star Primrose.
Jen has recorded hundreds of free videos that teach children every topic of the science and maths curriculum. It’s like having your own personal tutor in your living room. She’s also got lots of low-cost workbooks and revision cards.
During the school closure Jen and a group of fellow You Tube teachers have set up a “StopGap Academy” to deliver a video, some questions and a task every day. What’s more, you can take part in the poll to ask for subjects you need help with. Fantastic for teens who want to study hard and “resit” an exam later in the year to boost a teacher-assessed grade.
‘For as long as schools are closed, we’re open’ says the team at Audible. The audiobook platform has made hundreds of audiobooks available for free. Just go to stories.audible.com – no accounts or passwords are needed – simply click, stream and listen.
The audio books are curated by age group with collections for younger listeners, tweens, teens and literary classics. If you’re looking for a screen-free alternative to break up the day, or an activity that gives you a chance to get on with your own work for a while, a good story offers everyone some respite. There’s even a choice of books in German, French, Japanese and Italian.
We hope you’ll find these resources helpful over the weeks to come. Let us know how you’re getting on via our Facebook page.
Lead image: Slatan