During lockdown, homeschooling has become an essential way to keep our children learning while nurseries, schools and colleges are closed. And if COVID-19 restrictions mean you have suddenly found yourself with a lot more time on your hands then the responsibility for the bulk of this may well be falling to you.
Teaching is a highly specialised job and many parents are already beginning to appreciate the difficult job that our teachers do every single day. Many parents on social media have reported feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to begin. We’ve put together a list of resources that are available to help you homeschool successfully, no matter the age of your children.
Your children’s school
It sounds obvious, but before checking out anything else, check what your children’s school may be offering. Some teachers are continuing with lessons online using resources such as Zoom and Google Classroom, while others are supplying resources and lesson plans.
Your children’s school may also have set objectives or provide timetables to follow, but try not to be too hard on yourself if you can’t stick to them. There are plenty of parents having difficulties, and if this is the case for you, it may be worth going back to the school to understand any expectations they may have.
There is also a wealth of information online offering tips and tricks on how to get started with homeschooling, this article is a good place to start.
Twinkl is an amazing repository for teacher-created resources tailored to every Key Stage, plus those specifically for SEND and EAL curriculums. They are currently offering free premium memberships to everyone who could benefit – just use offer code CVDTWINKLHELPS when you sign up.
Educational publisher Collins has a fantastic Learn At Home section on their site, filled with free resources for Primary, and Secondary curriculums, plus specific resources for the Scottish Curriculum. This includes access to Collins Big Cat eBooks and worksheets, a free children’s song bank, and KS3 revision resources.
Developer of educational resources, TTS, have created a curriculum-focused independent learning resource that’s free to download and either print or use electronically. The resources cover Early Years, KS1 and KS2 and are packed with home learning activities created by teachers. You can even download the answers to questions posed in the KS1 and KS2 resources, so you can mark your child’s work.
The BBC Bitesize site has been around a long time but it is still a fantastic bank of educational resources for Primary, Secondary and Post-16 education. It’s divided up into curriculums so you can find resources relevant for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, and from 20 April they’ll be posting regular daily lessons in English, Maths and other core subjects in conjunction with special programmes to be broadcast on BBC iPlayer and BBC Red Button. Those of you with younger children should also check the CBeebies website for educational Early Years activities.
Topmarks was founded in 1998 and is effectively a specialised search engine to help educators find quality educational resources for pretty much all subjects and age groups. It also features a variety of learning games for younger children. They only feature trustworthy, reliable educational content so you and your children can feel safe using it.
Audiobooks provider, Audible, has made hundreds of titles available for free as long as schools are closed. Categories include Littlest Listeners, Elementary, Tween, Teen and Literary Classics, as well as stories available in languages other than English. These can supplement homeschooling activities, or offer some screen-free entertainment for kids.
This is a difficult time for parents and children alike, and you are definitely not alone – just check out these ‘homeschooling fails’. We do hope this resource is helpful for all homeschooling parents during lockdown (we know some of our Kingsbridge colleagues will be using it), and we hope you and your family stay safe and well throughout.