With the new lockdown in place, many dads have had to reacquaint themselves with the trials and tribulations of homeschooling.
If there’s one lesson we’ve all learnt from Covid-19, it’s that teachers do not have it easy. Lockdown has forced many parents to take on that role to some degree, and quite frankly not many of us like it. Keeping kids focused, interested and on track with schoolwork is a job that, when all this ends, many dads will be quite happy to hand back to the professionals.
Still, at least help is at hand. The first school lockdown last March took us all by surprise. This one was entirely predictable, at least to everyone outside government. That means there’s a wealth of resources out there to make things just a little bit easier.
Here’s our rundown of some of the best resources out there now, and keep checking back because it’s a list we’ll update as new ones come to our attention. Let us know in the comments if you have any tips of your own.
The usual homeschooling suspects
Back in March, at the start of the first lockdown, we wrote an in-depth guide to homeschooling that is still worth a read. As well as tips on how to manage the homeschooling day, there was a section on useful homeschooling resources. This included the kind of invaluable lessons, quizzes and projects those of us who homeschool all the time already knew about, from BBC Bitesize to Twinkl. These resources – some are free, and some have a free trial – should be your first port of call.
The best of the rest
On top of that, many educators and businesses have produced resources to help homeschooling during lockdown. Here’s a selection of the most useful that we’ll be adding to all the time.
Marvel Hero Tales
UK-based edtech gaming company Kuato Studios has made its award-winning Marvel Hero Tales educational game and all its in-game content free on iOS for a limited time. The game helps with vocabulary, reading and storytelling skills using characters like Spider-Man and Scarlet Witch.
Travel start-up tripAbrood has created free travel-themed activity packs (primary school-aged content). Parents can sign up here, and you’ll be sent two packs a week. There are currently ten destinations covered, including Japan and Hawaii.
YouTube Free School is a huge repository of educational videos on everything from the Solar System to Beethoven. The library of short videos is suitable for children from five to 14.
MathsWatch is designed for schools rather than parents, but many schools have it and it’s worth asking your child’s teacher if you can use it. MathsWatch is a comprehensive resource for GCSE students.
Young children often learn to read by using phonics. Fun Phonics is an online phonics teacher that has made digital resources free for homeschoolers. These simple word searches, letter outlines and more are easy to use and understand.
Create your own fun science experiments at home with easy-to-follow instructions from WowScience. They’re simple and instructive, and perfect for primary age children. So that’s how you mummify an apple!
History from the experts
The British Museum has reacted to lockdown by creating an interactive history learning tool for children seven and up. You can choose the period and theme that best suits your kids, and see history unfold through the museum’s brilliant artefacts.
Geography in the news
This neat idea combines a free Geography homework task with something currently in the news, to make it especially interesting and relevant. It’s for GCSE students.
Literacy and more
Educational resource suppliers TTS has a stack of free downloadable workbooks created by teachers for children in Key Stages one and two. It’s all based on the curriculum and there are lots to choose from.
What was there
This great site lets you pick a city and see photos and paintings of what it used to be like. Let your children travel back to London during the Blitz, or Paris in the 1920s.
This great science platform for teachers and homeschooling parents features videos, lesson plans, reading materials, quizzes and activities. Resources cover most science standards across the country, and the platform is partnered with the National Science Teachers Association.
What other great resources have you come across that we should include in this list? Let us know in the comments below.