Homeschooling has suddenly become the new normal for many parents and guardians during the COVID-19 pandemic. This alone would mark enough of a seismic shift for millions of us, but we’ve also been working out how to homeschool while getting to grips with unprecedented changes to our working lives.
How can we make the best of this extraordinary situation, ease the pressure of teaching at home and give the children in our care the tools they need to thrive? We’ve collected together some fantastic free resources that can take the headache out of homeschooling, providing you with some peace of mind in these difficult times.
The Best Online Tools for Learning
During this period of Coronavirus homeschooling, parents and guardians have been reassured they’re not expected to directly replace teachers — instead, our role is to guide youngsters through the teaching materials provided by schools. However, it’s still a relief to know there are many online homeschooling resources available to help us dream up ideas for study topics and tasks.
As providers of a range of educational tools for schools and further education, here at Webanywhere, we’re keen to help however we can. We’ve put together a selection of e-learning options designed to be used by teachers, but in these exceptional times, they can be really useful to parents and guardians too.
Finding Educational Materials for Your Child
There are so many options out there that it can be tough to narrow down which educational materials are the best fit for your child’s age — and which are actually worthwhile. We’ve been able to take some of the hard work out of the equation, signposting you to some fantastic online destinations to bolster your children’s learning.
Broken down into useful tools for students in Key Stage 1 and 2 (ages 5-11) and Key Stage 3 and 4 (ages 11-16), they are further divided up to cover key subjects including English, Maths and Science. There are also enjoyable and educational links to content that can bolster learning for topics such as Art, Music and French. Some of the online tools we’ve highlighted include:
Some parents may remember this long-running service from their own school days! BBC Bitesize offers a range of educational tools for learners of all ages, from primary school to secondary education and beyond. It’s also been updated with lots of info on Coronavirus homeschooling.
Perfect for budding artists, Tate Kids is full of fascinating facts, fun quizzes and ideas for getting crafty at home. With lots of interactive elements and educational content, this is a great resource for keeping young minds busy and engaged.
The Children’s Poetry Archive
Full to the brim of inspiring verse, the Children’s Poetry Archive can be searched by theme and age range to find rhymes to suit all tastes. The website provides access to a wide range of poems that are read out loud by their authors, helping to bring them to life for children of all ages.
The Natural History Museum
The spectacular Natural History Museum has a special section on its website dedicated to learning resources for kids. From a directory of facts about dinosaurs to a child-friendly guide to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, this is a great pick for aspiring scientists and historians.
Using Apps to Aid Learning
You can also take advantage of digital devices to aid learning, with many fantastic educational apps available for mobile devices. Several of these can be downloaded directly to your smartphone or tablet and used as an educational aid at home, adding a little more variety to youngsters’ learning time.
Among the apps you might find useful are the language-learning platform Duolingo, the resource-packed Khan Academy, and flashcard-based learning tool Quizlet. Don’t forget to discuss online safety with youngsters in your care and set up parental controls on mobile devices as appropriate, as well as keeping an eye on the apps and websites they are using.
How to Build a Structured Routine
Guidance published by the government advises that children of primary school age will take comfort from predictable routines, which can significantly aid their learning process. Schools will provide advice for how to structure your children’s days but don’t forget other important elements of a daily routine like regular bedtimes, making time to be active and scheduled breaks.
If you’re able to work from home, aim to manage the day in a way that suits the structure of your working hours. Your employer may even be able to allow some flexibility to help you manage the twin demands of your day-to-day work with homeschooling in the Coronavirus pandemic.
Do you have any more tips to share with us about great homeschooling resources? Get in touch with us on Twitter or LinkedIn to share any amazing online tools that can make life easier for parents and guardians who are homeschooling.