Who knew that I would be taking up the role as my children’s educator in a far greater way than I ever expected!
For those who may not know, my girls had their last day at school on the 16th March. This was a week before the government officially shut the schools.
Out of all of this crazy, the one thing I didn’t want was the girls education to suffer so during the first week, I was all guns blazing with educational activities to entertain my girls. We had school running from 9am-3pm with a strict schedule of snack breaks and lunch breaks.
The schedule has most definitely changed as I’ve learnt about each of my three daughters learning capabilities and styles. For reference, I have Freya who is in Year 6, Eva is in Year 2 and Elsa in Reception (or the Early Years Foundation Stage). So all very different stages of Primary School.
I’ll probably talk about that further in another blog post but today, I wanted to share some of the things I’ve found that have really helped keep us going and keep my daughters engaged.
Make Believe – My girls had started to attend their classes at the weekend, during lockdown they have been doing online Zoom sessions instead which are brilliant. Make Believe is a performing arts group. You can join their free virtual sessions of Make Believe by signing up at your local school.
Reach Out Reporter – Reach Out Reporter is an online primary science news service. Freya let me know about this as they used to watch the videos weekly. Ultimately, it’s a short video clip exploring science based topics. We’ve looked at videos covering Star-Nosed mole, the coronavirus and the problem with cow farts. We’ve put them on during snack time.
Reading eggs – This isn’t free but I personally think is worth every penny. It costs £6.99 a month for one child, then 50% off the second and third etc children. We have signed up to have them do Reading Eggs and Mathseeds. It’s basically a phonics/reading/maths app available on your laptop, phone or tablets. They do quick bursts of interactive learning at their pace. It’s suitable from ages 2-13 years. Initially, your child works through a placement test to place them in the correct level so no adult input required! It’s really helped keep my girls engaged with their phonics and is literally the only way I can get Elsa (who is 5) to do phonics lessons.
Bible Adventure – Whether you are religious or not, we have found the Bible Adventure videos on YouTube to be great fun to watch. I have linked a specific video but there’s loads! It’s super child friendly with a story and singing. My girls really enjoy it and it supports their religious education.
Twinkl – I’m not sure if Twinkl are still offering free membership for parents, however, this website has been my source of worksheets and activities ideas to support the curriculum. Our school use Twinkl sheets all of the time. It would be well worth a subscription to download lots of resources for education.
Katie’s classroom – I first saw her go live on The Dadsnet (see below) Facebook page. But she has her own Facebook, website and Instagram. Katie has been doing live little videos for phonics and Elsa really enjoyed them.
The Dadsnet – There’s been so many fantastic live videos going on over on the Dadsnet Facebook page. Al is also doing KS2 Literacy and Maths lessons. I’ve found my girls engage better with someone that is an actual teacher.
Oak Academy – In the last week I’ve been using Oak Academy. There’s lots of real teachers filming virtual lessons supporting the curriculum. There’s been some really useful resources that have helped with the work set by my girls teachers. The Reception/EYFS lessons have also been brilliant for a rather reluctant Elsa.
BBC Bitesize – Our school have been regularly point us towards BBC Bitesize. I remember using it during my own school years and was so surprised to see it being still a thing! The videos have been really good for Eva, especially maths ones, in explaining how to do something. They’ve also started adding daily lessons for Years 1 to 10.
YouTube – I think this goes without saying as a fabulous place to find all sorts of tutorials and entertainment. Specifically, we’ve been loving Tom Fletcher‘s bedtime stories every Monday evening.
One Hour Of Code – Freya let me know about this website too. It’s a coding website that takes you through an hour of coding through fun games. This obviously supports the computing skills side of their curriculum.
I hope you’ve found some new places to get home learning inspiration. My one top tip for all of this is to not put pressure on yourself. Would love to hear if you have any other great places? Leave a comment below.