With children stuck at home due to the coronavirus outbreak, parents are turning to the internet for homeschooling ideas to keep up their kids’ learning – and keep them busy.
We’ve all seen the hundreds of ‘timetables’ doing the rounds on social media of how we should structure our days with homeschooling. Some look useful, some look well over the top if you ask me!
In a bid to be vaguely helpful, I’ve pulled together a non-exhaustive list of homeschooling and online education resources that might come in handy. You may have seen a lot of these in lists on Facebook already – loads are being shared about by the home education community. Jean Parnell, the Messy Mum has put a lot of it together, and I was also sent it by my lovely friend (and hero) Jacqui from One Messy Mama who does homeschooling with her FIVE children!
Some are free, some you have to pay for, some are better than others. Some are British, some are American, and they’re all for a range of ages. But they’re all worth a look at – if only to save your own sanity! And if you fancy something a little less structured, check out my post How To Keep Kids Entertained During School Closures.
Also if your local and have younger kids, check out the section at the end for baby and toddler groups which have gone online. Good luck trying to work from home with toddlers and children during this time.
Resources for homeschooling younger children
Twinkl Resources – home learning packs for each year group. They are currently offering a free months’ subscription so remember to get on it!
Night Zookeeper – fun, engaging games that increase vocabulary and improve spelling.
Cbeebies – If you’re a mum to younger children, this could be another go-to site. There are games, quizzes and puzzles, different topics, podcasts and an arts and crafts section. Plus your kids will recognise all the characters from their favourite shows.
Oxford Owl – free ebooks, interactive games and activities for reading comprehension.
Reading Eggs – an online resource which makes learning to read interesting and engaging for kids, with great reading games and activities.
Activity Village – colouring and activity packs for children of all ages. Now free for the next few weeks.
Virtual Book Club for Kids – resources for parents of toddlers and preschoolers. They have three activity packs (Construction, Ahoy Matey Pirate, and Out Of This World) free until April 30.
Have Fun Teaching – free coronavirus relief packs are now available for preschool onwards. Each download includes worksheets, activities, songs and videos for all subjects.
Nature Detectives – some great activity ideas for kids in different age groups as young as 0-2. Lots can be done in the garden or if you’re able to get out and about at all.
Blue Peter Badges – if you always hankered after a Blue Peter Badge but never got one, here’s your chance. An online way to earn them – or should I say, the kids…
BBC Learning – this is an old website which isn’t updated anymore, but have a look anyway as there’s loads on there from language learning to BBC Bitesize for revision.
National Geographic Kids – this is aimed more at younger kids, and provides activities and quizzes, along with its own Kids Club.
Duolingo – this teaches children a new language using games and bitesize lessons.
Mystery Science – lessons that inspire children to love science. They’re also offering their most popular lessons for free during school closures.
The Kids Should See This – this site offers a wide range of educational videos – and even features CBeebies favourite Maddie Moate!
DK Find Out – find loads of educational videos, activities and quizzes on all sorts of topics for kids.
Crash Course Kids – You Tube videos on lots of subjects – ideal for younger children.
Resources for homeschooling older children
Khan Academy – especially good for maths and computing for all ages but other subjects at secondary level. It uses the American grade system but still useful content for those in the UK.
Seneca – for those revising at GCSE or A level. There is lots of free content to help with revision, and you can pay to access higher level material if you need to.
Big History Project – this site is aimed more at secondary school-aged children with lots of activities whilst you journey back through 14 billion years of history.
Crash Course – You Tube videos on lots of subjects – more for older children.
Ted Ed – all sorts of video-based lessons, mainly for older children.
Geography Games – lots of games centred around geography, but for older children – unless your four year old is a genius and can name the capital of Madagascar!
Toy Theater – an online games website for kids full of educational interactive art, reading and maths games.
Or have a look at The Rebel Tribe Blog for an awesome list of 50 Free Things To Do When You’re Stuck at Home With Children.
Craft ideas to use when homeschooling
The Artful Parent a popular blog which offers lots of good and free art activities for kids.
Red Ted Art – this is a great blog which provides easy, do-able and fun arts and crafts for little ones.
The Imagination Tree – this blog offers great creative art and craft activities for little ones.
Rainy Day Mum – family crafts, recipes and activities to enjoy from birth to teens, which just so happens to be written by a lovely lady I know.
Online fun for little ones
If you’ve got babies, toddlers and preschoolers at home, you might not be thinking quite along the lines of homeschooling – and more about how the hell to keep them entertained if in isolation.
Pretty much all of the baby groups in Plymouth where I live, and I imagine across the UK, have closed their doors. But they’re not abandoning us – cleverly a lot of them are going to be offering their classes and content online. Cool idea or what! Think that will stop a lot of mummies going a little bit insane.
Sing and Sign
Sing and Sign Plymouth and Surrounding Areas is launching its Sing and Sign @HOME resource. Current customers will have access to the 30 minute class via a pre-recorded, streamed video. Then when the new term starts on April 20, if people are still having to stay away for longer, there is an @HOME only option that can be booked now. There is also a Jessie Cat Club Online Membership which is an annual subscription. It offers additional information about weekly class themes, Sing and Sign in Action clips, a streamable DVD, two new videos, interactive games and an online signing dictionary.
Diddi Dance Plymouth and Surrounding Areas is thinking outside the box and delivering their classes online too. Current customers are able to finish this half term’s Irish theme from their own homes. And little ones have already been dancing around their living rooms enjoying the classes. I love this!
Moo Music Plymouth
Lisa at popular Moo Music Plymouth may have been sadly forced to close her awesome cafe for the time being, but her Little Moovers won’t miss out. She’s planning on running the music sessions through live streaming and is calling on mums to be imaginative. Use tea towels for chiffon scarves, pots and pans for drums and anything from the toy box as an instrument. She says she’s aware many will be hit financially by the pandemic and will therefore kindly offer the sessions for a donation rather than the normal fee.
The Creation Station Plympton and Plymstock is no longer running classes. But owner Kelly is putting together Craft Packs for parents tailored to their budget and age of their children. She’s also delivering them for free. What a star!
Becky at Kidslingo has been delivering her French and Spanish classes to little ones via the internet. Current and new customers can join in the fun from their own homes.
Nikita at Story Sense has set up an online group where £5 buys you unlimited access to videos, story massages and ideas to keep little ones entertained.
One Fit Mama Plymouth
Mums who already go to One Fit Mama Plymouth sessions are able to carry on their lessons with Jess online. Live online classes for April are also about to be launched. For safety reasons mums must have attended a class before.
The Daisy Foundation
Kate at the Daisy Foundation is continuing her Tinies and Wrigglers baby massage and yoga classes online. She is also teaching birthing classes for pregnant ladies online too.
Soul Singers CIC
Soul Singers CIC are moving their Singing for Mums sessions online and hoping to do some children’s sessions too.
Blossoming Bumps and Babies
Blossoming Bumps and Babies will be moving their baby massage courses online.
Hartbeeps Plymouth and Saltash
Baby Sensory’s online content starts next week on the Zoom platform. Leaders will give parents a list of things they need to participate in class (something they can shake, bang, wave around with colour in it etc) before the class and then run two sessions a day with their usual class leader.
If you fancy doing a bit of baking with the kids, look out for Lulus Bakes online content. Louise is going to be posting baking videos to get the little ones involved – making sweet treats and savoury meals.
How did I do?
If you liked this post, how about you check out How To Keep Toddlers Entertained At Home or Activity Ideas for Preschoolers and Primary Aged Children. Or hang around and check out some of my usual tongue-in-cheek type of posts in the Mum Life section. There’s all sorts in there from my take on potty training, the lies we tell our kids, the best and worst things about having twins, whether you’re a yummy or slummy mummy, and all the stupid things I feel mum guilt over.
If you like a bit of social media madness, pop over to my Facebook page where you’ll be able to have a laugh at what ridiculousness goes on in my house with three very small boys on a daily basis. Warning – there is often sarcasm, and usually swearing. There are also great travel reviews and some AWESOME giveaways. Feel free to join my Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee – Shits and Giggles Parenting Group too, where everyone shares their hilarious stories.
And if you want to work with me, feel free to give me a shout here or at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get back to you.