The best resources and lessons to help homeschool kids during lockdown (OLD)

Make sure your pupil has a busy timetable so they don’t fall behind (iStock) Boris…

<p>Make sure your pupil has a busy timetable so they don’t fall behind</p> (iStock)

Make sure your pupil has a busy timetable so they don’t fall behind


Boris Johnson has announced a new national lockdown with emergency measures to control the rapid spread of coronavirus, which came into play on midnight on Monday 4 January.

Crucially this means that primary and secondary schools have been closed in England until at least February half term, except for vulnerable children and those whose parents are key workers.

During the televised address, the prime minister acknowledged that the closures mean it will not be “possible or fair” for all exams to go ahead as planned this summer.

If you’re concerned about how you’re going to juggle homeschooling again, we’ve found all the best resources available for parents and caregivers to help keep your child’s education on track.

Many are free, easy to use and are being continuously updated. If you want another helping hand, read our IndyBest round-up on the best homeschooling books for some inspiration, or the best educational toys.

For younger children in nursery or those who had just started primary school, you can still structure their day. Baby sleep brand, Hatch, has an easy to follow Covid-19 daily schedule on its Instagram page. It’s a timetable that will offer ideas when you’re struggling, from the minute they wake up to bedtime.

Here is a guide of the live lessons available that will see you through that first week back.

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Made up of a group of teachers and mathematicians, here you’ll find five free maths lessons for children (Years 1-8) and each lesson comes with a video that you can watch on your own to understand the lesson first, or with your child.

Each lesson lasts 20-30 minutes and the team behind White Rose Maths is recommending you do one session a day.

We’d suggest making it the second lesson of the day, as members of the White Rose Maths team will be online Monday to Friday between 10am and 11am for a “maths party” on its social media channels, so children can put whatever maths-related questions they may have to the experts and still feel included in lesson time.

All subjects are covered and can be spread out across the week, tooiStock
All subjects are covered and can be spread out across the week, tooiStock

Children’s book author and illustrator, Rob Biddulph, runs draw-along videos every Saturday at 10am and there is a range of pre-recorded guided draws too.

You can leave your kids to follow along with Rob, armed with a pencil and paper while you get some of your own work done, or join in too.

The videos are free to watch and subjects include some characters from his books, like sausage dogs along with dinosaurs, aliens, Sonic the hedgehog and even self-portraits. Biddulph also encourages sharing the finished piece on social media using the hashtag #DrawWithRob, a fun way to feel part of an online community.

The online learning hub, Twinkl, has created an extensive website with lesson ideas, activities and live videos for Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 4, which is particularly helpful if you have kids across different learning abilities, aged from three to 16.

It is updated daily and incorporates every facet of schooling from the free PE lessons offered by Joe Wicks to multiplication tables.

There’s a free taster pack to download too, with PowerPoints, activity cards, quizzes and games.

For the first half of 2020, Dr Chips offered doses of science, engineering and computing three times a week where he taught children how to code, make musical instruments out of household objects and how cybersecurity works. All of the video lessons and quizzes are available on the Dr Chips website under “Past Doses.”

There’s clear information on the tools you’ll need, some lessons require a laptop and internet connection, while others only pen and paper, so you can pick and choose which one to do with your child depending on your personal resources.

For an extra helping hand, Collins Dictionary is also running a word of the day series, which can help you explain what a pandemic is, what furlough means, why we’re in lockdown and more so you can help keep them calm and understand why they can’t go to school or see their friends as usual.

Collins also has a wide selection of activity books, especially for younger children such as Cursive Writing Ages 4-5, £2.99 and Easy Learning French Complete Grammar, Verbs and Vocabulary, £12.05.

Kick off every morning with a PE lesson from fitness coach Joe Wicks, who has announced he is bringing back his hugely popular virtual exercise sessions from Monday 11 January at 9am on his YouTube channel. You don’t need any equipment, just some clothes you don’t mind your children getting sweaty in and a bit of space for exercises such as jumping jacks.

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9 best books for homeschooling success during lockdown

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