Schools across the UK have had to close their doors after a surge of coronavirus cases.
This means that parents have to once again take on the role of teacher.
Luckily, there are many free resources to supplement homeschooling for children in primary schools, all the way up to A-level.
Here, we list the very best resources that you and your child can use.
What free homeschooling resources are available?
There are countless resources available, for children of all ages including:
- Early Years Foundation Stage which covers ages 3-5 (Nursery and Reception)
- Keystage 1 (KS1) which covers ages 5-7 (Years 1 and 2)
- Keystage 2 (KS2) which covers ages 7-11 (Years 3-6)
- Keystage 3 (KS3) which covers ages 11-14 (Years 7 – 9)
- Keystage 4 (KS4) which covers ages 14-16 (Years 10 and 11)
- A-level and BTEC which covers ages 16+
The BBC will show curriculum content on TV every weekday from Monday, 11 January:
- Primary-school programming from 9am to 12pm on CBBC
- At least two hours of programming to support the GCSE curriculum on BBC Two
Bitesize Daily primary and secondary will also air every day on BBC Red Button as well as episodes being available on-demand on BBC iPlayer.
In addition, BBC Bitesize has lots of content divided into subject and age categories, ranging from ages 3 to 16+.
The lessons have been created with teachers and other educational experts and feature a mix of videos, activities, quizzes and games.
The website also offers some advice and tips to parents.
BrainPop is full of videos on topics in maths, science and English which are perfect for secondary school children.
As well as academic development, it has lessons on things like conflict resolution, respect, and mental health. BrainPop also provides information to parents on teaching children about racism.
Most content on the site is free, but you can upgrade your account to get access to lesson plans and even more activities.
You can sign up for a month-long trial for just 74p. After your trial, membership will then cost under £15 monthly.
YouTube’s Free School
YouTube’s Free School has fun videos on a vast range of subjects ranging from Beethoven to the alphabet to ancient history.
Each video varies from one to ten minutes long, and they are ideal for KS1, KS2, and KS3 students.
It’s worth asking your school if they provide MathsWatch.
The platform has videos and activities for children of all ages, and is popular among GCSE students across the nation.
For KS1 and KS2 students, TTS has free downloadable workbooks created by teachers. It has literacy tools to help with grammar, writing, spelling, punctuation, guided reading, comprehension, handwriting and English as a second language.
The website also includes a literacy essentials page full of educational resources such as whiteboards, reward stickers, worm words, and spelling programmes.
For younger children, Fun Phonics has made its digital products free for home learning – these include lettering, flashcards, word searches, objectives, name labels and spelling cards.
WowScience offers fun science resources, games, and activities for primary school children.
The site also provides details of cheap and easy science experiments and fun DIY projects that children can do at home – including changing the colour of flowers, making a balloon rocket, and constructing an anti-gravity hourglass.
My GCSE Science
My GCSE Science is a fantastic YouTube channel that concisely covers the entire GCSE specification, topic by topic, across Biology, Chemistry and Physics for each of the Edexcel, AQA and OCR exam boards.
There are over 200 videos, each around ten minutes long, and so make for a very comprehensive learning tool.
The British Museum
The British Museum has created an interactive learning tool ideal for KS2 and up which allows you to visually explore history across the world through its artefacts, which go from modern-day all the way back to 2000 BC.
You can pick from themes such as art and design, religion, trade, and conflict.
National Geographic Kids
National Geographic Kids has a variety of facts, games, quizzes and activities suitable for KS1 children.
A section of their website is also dedicated to explaining coronavirus to children, answering any questions they may have.
Developed by a geography teacher, Internet Geography is a GCSE-level resource which covers the full AQA syllabus.
The site also includes mock AQA exams, quizzes and case studies.
Each week, there’s a different free homework task, called Geography in The News, which is based on real current news stories.
During the first lockdown, author and illustrator Rob Biddulph filmed a number of art lessons where children could draw-along and uploaded them to his YouTube channel Draw With Rob.
His videos gained millions of views across the world and even broke the Guinness World Record for the largest online art lesson in May with over 45,000 participants.
Rob has confirmed that the art lessons will be returning with brand new episodes every Saturday at 10am, as well as ones from the archive every Tuesday and Thursday at 10am.
PE with Joe
The nation’s PE teacher, Joe Wicks, will be streaming PE lessons three times a week from Monday, January 11.
Hop on his YouTube channel on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays at 9am to take part in his live 20-minute workouts – great for kids (and adults) of all ages.
Will schools provide homeschooling resources?
The homeschooling resources offered vary from school to school.
Some schools will ask children to follow their existing timetables, with some live lessons, involving Google Hangouts and virtual classrooms.
However, other schools may only set a small amount of work for your child to do independently.
It is worth contacting your school to find out how much of your child’s day they are organising, and how much of it you need to arrange yourself.
Do you have to teach the curriculum?
Gov.uk says that you do not have to teach your child the national curriculum, but ‘you must make sure your child receives a full-time education from the age of 5’, and the education ‘must be suitable to the age, ability and aptitudes of the child’.
Parents are encouraged to ensure that their children are completing the work set by the school.
A full-time education is classed as at least three hours per day for primary school children, and at least four or five hours for those in secondary school.
The Education Secretary Gavin Williamson told the House of Commons: ‘We have set out clear, legally binding requirements for schools to provide high-quality remote education. This is mandatory for all state-funded schools and will be enforced by Ofsted.
‘We expect schools to provide between three and five hours teaching a day, depending on the child’s age. If parents feel their child’s school is not providing suitable remote education they should first raise their concerns with the teacher or headteacher and, failing that, report the matter to Ofsted.’
What help is available for families without computers or internet access?
The government delivered more than 560,000 devices to schools and councils in England between March and December and has promised another 100,000 very soon.
You should contact your school or local council to find out whether you will be able to receive a free laptop.
There are not enough laptops to go around, and so the Government has said that schools will remain open for those who do not have access to a computer and so cannot do their schoolwork remotely – which is around 1.8 million children.
The Department for Education runs a scheme for disadvantaged children who do not have access to a home broadband connection.
Some families may be able to benefit from free increases to their mobile data if they’re a customer of:
- Sky Mobile
- Tesco Mobile
- Virgin Mobile
You can apply for these data allowances on the Government website.
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