Resources to help homeschool children during lockdown

Monday 25th January 2021

Man and woman looking at laptopWe’re well into our third lockdown, and for many of you, that means more time at home juggling your degree with extra pressures and responsibilities.

We know that for a lot of you, not only are you keeping up with your own studies, but the closure of schools has now put you in charge of your children’s learning.

Homeschooling can be difficult for anyone at the best of times and can bring with it a range of emotions for parents and carers. We want you to know we are here should you need any wellbeing support or someone to talk to. You can contact SEWS at any time by calling 020 7078 8840 or emailing sews@bil.ac.uk.

To help support you with your children’s learning and school work, we’ve researched and pulled together a list of online resources and websites.

From educational resources on TV through to hands-on hobbies, we really hope these resources will help supplement your child’s learning and keep them occupied throughout lockdown. See all the resources below.

Finally, we know some of you may be finding homeschooling difficult, if not impossible, because of an unreliable internet connection, or limited or no access to computers.

The BBC have published a really useful article outlining what help is out there, including if you can get a laptop from the government and how you can get better or discounted broadband.

Education

The BBC have produced a huge range of resources to help parents in the latest lockdown.

Their recently launched Lockdown Learning sees 3 hours of primary school learning on the CBBC channel each weekday.

BBC 2 is also catering for secondary school students with at least 2 hours of TV shows each weekday.

You can catch up on all the programs on BBC iPlayer and for video lessons, quizzes and practice activities head to BBC Bitesize.

Tiny Happy People – also brought to you by the BBC – is here to help develop younger children’s communication skills. Take a look at their activities and play ideas.

Collins has a wealth of free resources to help children studying at home. Head to their website to access free worksheets, activities, lessons, study books and more for primary and secondary levels.

Collins Dictionary are also running a word of the day series, helping explain to children the effects of coronavirus.

Brought to you by the Oxford University Press, Oxford Owl is a site dedicated to providing ebooks for homeschooling children aged 3 – 11. They offer some free reading books when you sign up, as well as Maths games and activities.

Scholastic is one of the biggest publisher of school textbooks, and as a response to coronavirus, they have published a range of  free home learning packs. The packs can help parents with their kids’ schooling and development, and you can choose packs by your child’s learning age – Early Years, Key Stage 1, Lower Key Stage 2 and Upper Key Stage 2.

Twinkl has some great, free resources for children of various ages, including lesson plans, interactive activities and resource packs.

White Rose Maths produces a range of daily ‘home learning’ lessons for children in Years 1-9. The lessons are made up of a short video, followed by activities for your kids to complete.

Fitness

GoNoodle is great if your kids need to burn some energy while stuck indoors. The website has a host of free exercise games and videos designed by child development experts.

Joe Wicks is back every morning with his popular PE lessons. Tune into his YouTube playlist – PE with Joe to catch all previous and new videos throughout lockdown. All you need is a bit of space – no equipment required!

Last summer Sesame Street teamed up with Headspace to make 6 short videos teaching kids the basics of mindfulness and meditation. You can still catch the Monster Meditation videos on YouTube and perfect for children who may be struggling with anxiety and stress.

Another resource to help kids relax. Yoga for Kids makes yoga fun, by using quests, and the power of superheroes to get your children interested and involved in exercise.

Reading and Languages

While schools remain closed, Audible have made thousands of their educational and children’s audio books free. Stream thousands of stories in 8 different languages on your laptop, tablet or phone.

Duolingo is a free app for students to learn a huge range of new languages from fresh, or improve their current language skills.

One for the older kids interested in books, Getty has published over 300 free ebooks with a focus on art, art history and other creative subjects.

School of Sign Language offers free British sign language resources, designed specifically for kids to make learning fun and interactive.

The Book of Hopes, Words and Pictures to Comfort, Inspire and Entertain Children has been made free to download throughout lockdown.

The book is a collection of short stories, poems and pictures from over 110 children’s writers and illustrators, including Lauren Child, Anthony Horowitz, Axel Scheffler and Jacqueline Wilson.

Arts and Crafts

In the last lockdown, 64 Million Artists hosted a month of daily creative challenges. Good news, a brand new challenge has begun for January!

You can also sign up to receive a free tailored activity pack to keep you and your family entertained.

If your kids are into crafts, the Craft Council have plenty of online tutorials from clay and pottery to candle-making. Great for kids of all ages!

Creative Bug make a range of online craft lessons, from knitting to jewelry-making. Sign up now to get 30 days free.

Children’s book author and illustrator, Rob Biddulph, started making draw-along videos throughout lockdown last year. Head to his website to see the videos, along with his range of pre-recorded guided draws.

Tate Kids is a great website to get your kids involved in art, or inspire kids to learn more about art from around the world.

They can play free art games and quizzes, read about artists and share their own art.

IT / Digital

Code.org believe anyone can learn how to code. Your children can learn how to code today by creating a free account and signing up to their online courses and activities.

Code Spark is another great website for your kids to learn how to code, enabling children to learn valuable life skills. Sign up today using the code ‘schoolclosed’ for a 3 months free trial.

Scratch

Scratch teaches older kids how to program their very own interactive games, stories and animations and share their creations with the world.

And finally, Tynker is aimed at children aged 5+, and makes learning code simple, easy and fun. It’s the number 1 coding platform for kids and includes over 40 award-winning block and text-based courses.