These are tough times for parents. Most schools have provided materials and homework for their children to work on, but if you’re looking for extra resources, there’s loads of great material out there. We’ve prepared a directory of what’s available and got some tips to help get your kids in the mood for learning.
And if you think you might have some spare time over the next few months, we’ve found a site that could help adults do some home education too.
Download the directory.
Sites and courses
- All Ways Educating This is an organisation which has provided lessons for home educators. It’s going to launch online lessons in April, and new students can sign up. It’s not entirely clear but it looks like fees are charged.
- BBC Bitesize This has a huge amount of resources for students from 5 to 16+. The material includes videos, quizzes and more. It’s all written by teachers and subject experts. The site will be launching fresh daily content in April – this content won’t just support kids’ education, it should also help their wellbeing. BT Mobile, PlusNet Mobile and EE will not charge you when accessing BBC Bitesize.
- Cbeebies Radio Listening activities for younger pupils.
- Crash Course You Tube videos on many subjects.
- Crash Course Kids As above for a younger audience.
- DK Find Out Plenty of free activities, quizzes and information. There are also links to Dorling Kindersley books which you may want to buy.
- The Economist Education Foundation Lots of materials for learning about current affairs and to promote critical thinking. The target is upper years primary and Key Stage 3 (up to 14 years old.) You can also sign up for a weekly newsletter.
- Education otherwise This is aimed at parents who are educating their children at home long term, but resources can be adapted.
- Futurelearn 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).
- Seneca GCSE and A Level - For those revising at GCSE or A level. Free revision content. Paid access to higher level material.
- National Geographic Kids Activities and quizzes for younger children.
- Openlearn 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.
- Oxford Owl for Home Lots of free resources for Primary age pupils. Help with reading, maths and much more.
- Paw Print Badges Free challenge packs and other downloads. Many activities can be completed indoors. Badges cost but are optional.
- Ted Ed All sorts of engaging educational videos.
- Tinkercad All kinds of making with a scientific twist.
- Toy Theater Educational online games.
- The Artful Parent Good, free art activities.
- Red Ted Art Easy arts and crafts for little ones.
- The Imagination Tree Creative art and craft activities for the very youngest.
- Blockly Learn computer programming skills - fun and free.
- Scratch Creative computer programming.
- Big History Project Aimed at Secondary age. Multi- disciplinary activities.
- All languages There are links to good national resources for French, German and Spanish. Most are intended as classroom lessons first, but there may be resources that can be adapted. There are links to the British Council as well.
- Duolingo Learn languages for free. Web or app.
- CBBC Primary school lessons are on CBBC between 9.00 and 12.00 every weekday
- BBC Two Secondary school programmes are on BBC Two between 13.00 and 15.00 every weekday
- Oak National Academy Oak National Academy is a resource of almost 10,000 free lessons. EE, O2, Three, and Vodafone will not charge you when accessing the Oak National Academy website www.thenational.academy
Many museums have virtual collections and online resources. For example, The Tate Galleries
What help is my mobile phone company offering?
If your child has a device but does not have the data to use it, or if you are struggling to pay for the data needed for them to log in and learn from home, your network may be offering support https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2021/01/mobile-providers-table-students/
What help is there if my child needs a device?
If you need a device, please contact your child’s school and let them know, as the government is distributing devices through schools and colleges.
Tips to help learning
- Make sure children have got a space to work and the equipment they need. If at all possible, try and set up a desk in a quiet corner of the house where your child can keep their laptop, books and notes. It can be hard to find the space to do this but if it’s possible, your child will find it easier to focus and the rest of the family can continue life as normal.
- Set good habits around phone use. Teens spend a lot of time on apps speaking with their friends anyway - and isolation will only increase their desire to communicate socially. While some communication will be positive for their mental health, the opposite is true when social media fuels feelings of isolation and anxiety. You’ll need to set some ground rules for how phones are used during the day and keep an eye on your child’s mood.
- Help them organise their day (and make sure they go outside!) Without the structure of the school day, and without the engagement of peers, motivation and energy can take a dive. Help your child set up a timetable that’ll work for them and covers the subjects they need. Divide up periods of study with active breaks. Make sure your child moves, goes outside, eats meals at the appropriate times and has offline conversations.
And finally… for adults as well as kids
The Chatterpack website can point you to a wide range of educational sites that could help relieve the boredom for anyone who is stuck at home – adult or child.