With the continuation of lockdown, and no news on when schools will reopen, the approach of more weeks of homeschooling may seem daunting. In today's blog, we look at resources for home schooling.
Online learning has been around for a while, and there are a good range of companies out there offering both paid and free teaching online. These lessons can be used to offer variety to your child's learning schedule, but also to supplement your knowledge, particularly when you are not a specialist in that subject. if you do choose to subscribe to any services, make sure you use the free trial before buying.
Free Lessons and resources
Khan Academy (Free)
Khan Academy has been around for a while, and is well respected. It aims to provide a world class education for everyone. In response to the current crisis, it has created Daily schedules for students from the ages of 2-18, and is free to use. Students have their own personalized dashboard, and there are a range of exercises, videos, lessons. They say: 'We tackle math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more. Our math missions guide learners from kindergarten to calculus using state-of-the-art, adaptive technology that identifies strengths and learning gaps. We've also partnered with institutions like NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences, and MIT to offer specialized content.'
BBC Bitesize (Free)
BBC Bitesize follows the UK curriculum, and has lessons for all children, across a range of subjects. They are now providing new daily lessons. They say 'Bitesize guides are written by teachers and subject experts and are mapped to follow the curricula of the UK. Secondary Bitesize follows exam board specifications for the main exam boards in the UK, including for GCSE in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National 4, National 5 & Highers in Scotland, ensuring students are preparing for the right exams.'
Oxford Owl for Home (free)
Oxford Owl has a range of videos; activities and lessons for children aged 3-11. There is an e-library; and videos of authors reading their work. The lessons and activities cover Maths and English, and are activities and worksheets are provided for each age group.
Quizlet provides free flashcards and activities for a range of subjects, aimed at High School and College level. Subjects include: Languages; Sciences; Maths; Arts & Humanities; Social Sciences etc. The activities allow you to read / learn with flashcards, and then to test what you have learned.
Scholastic is a leading educational publisher. This website provides lessons for children from Pre-kindergarten through to Grade 9. Lessons include reading and activities, and offer a four week schedule of daily lessons. Topics range across the curriculum.
Coursera (Free - Adult / University / A-level)
Coursera is a platform for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS).Many courses are offered by Universities. They are a great way for High School students to get ahead, or for adults to learn something new. They have courses on a wide range of topics and subjects. Many courses offer recognized certification
CK12 Foundation offers free online courses for students from Kindergarten through to Grade 12. Courses cover a a wide range of subjects across the curriculum. The platform includes chat and support options, along with webinars, textbooks and activities for students.
Funbrain is 'Created for kids in grades Pre-K through 8, Funbrain.com has been the leader in free educational games for kids since 1997. Funbrain offers hundreds of games, books, comics, and videos that develop skills in math, reading, problem-solving and literacy.'
BBC teach is 'home to thousands of free curriculum-mapped videos, arranged by age-group and subject.'
Free Online learning for specific subjects:
XtraMath - XtraMath features free maths videos, lessons, and activities as well as progress reports and resources for teachers and parents.
How To Smile has a range of activities for STEM subjects: 'Search almost 3,500 of the very best STEM activities on the web. Find handpicked activities from your favorite science museums, public television stations, universities, and other educational organizations. All activities are available to anyone, free of charge. Start searching now and filter by age, material costs, and learning time to find exactly what you need for your educational program, class, or family. '
Pink Monkey has been around for a long time, and provide a range of English literature study aids: 'The World's largest library of free online Literature Summaries, with over 460 Study Guides / Book Notes / Chapter Summaries online currently, and so much more. '
The Big History Project (BHP) - 'History 'delivers a big picture look at the world, and helps students develop a framework to organize what they're learning both in and out of school.'
Code Org: (coding) 'Code.org provides the leading curriculum for K-12 computer science in the largest school districts in the United States'
The Artful Parent 'is full of tips on getting children started in art and helping your family live more creatively. '
Duolingo: this platform allows students to develop their skills in other languages, with online lessons. There are a large number of languages available, including High Valyrian!
Get Body Smart: An Online Examination of Human Anatomy and Physiology
BP Educational Service: BPES brings real-world science to life with inspiring curriculum-based content for 4 to 19 year olds. Free to access, open to everyone.
True Tube: free resources for RE, PSHE and Citizenship
Outschool provides online live classes for a fee of $5.00 per lesson, but also has a range of free tools and resources to support parents.
Wolesy Hall Oxford is an online Home schooling provider, and offers a full curriculum for a range of ages. However, this is not an inexpensive option, with the lowest course price for a year coming in at £475.00.
If you would like more individualized support for your child, then you could hire a personal tutor online. Companies like TutorHouse provide online tutors who can tackle a range of subjects and support your child. A professional service like this ensures that tutors are vetted, hold CRB checks, and they maintain a high standard of teaching.
While researching this blog, I found another Blog from the Techie Mom about Homeschooling, which offers advice on choosing a platform, and a free list of resources, which have been carefully curated. This blog is from 2018, so some links may be out of date, but the list is worth investigating.
There is also a great list of free educational websites here.
Of course, your local schools and councils are also likely to provide you with materials to use. Combining these with selected resources from this list will provide a full curriculum for children, even during lockdown.
Remember to take screen breaks, and include exercise in your child's daily schedule.