With schools closed down and kids spending more time in the house, parents will all have the same concerns. First, we’ve already hit the point where kids simply can’t go to each other’s homes. We’re also at the point where kids are sat all day playing on a Nintendo Wii, Xbox or PS4.
Sure, it might seem great for a bit, but this can quickly turn into quite a boring pastime as kids slowly realise that they can’t really leave the house over the coming weeks.
Parents will, of course, be wanting to ensure that their children continue to be educated. A lot of schools are conducting virtual learning or have sent homework and online portal access home so that kids can continue to keep up with their education from home.
But you can do more, so here’s a few tips if you’re in the same position as me and have a child at home staring at YouTube all day..
Create a schedule
In the week, ensure that you’re all up, have breakfast and chores are done. Ensure beds are made and there’s a pattern to a working day. Do everything you’d normally do, just as if you were going to school.
Make a workspace
This isn’t for everyone. After all, we don’t all live in big houses. I’m currently setting up a desk in the garage so I can work in there while my son does his home-schooling in the home office I created a few months back. You’ll need a table or a desk and a quiet area for your child to work. Ensure that they don’t lose focus and end up playing on games – tasks need to be finished before that!
A table, even if it’s a wallpaper-pasting table, and a chair is all that’s needed. A kitchen table will do fine too. Keep a drink near and do “short bursts” with perhaps more activity in the morning.
This doesn’t have to be high-end. Any old laptop will do and there’s a raft of cheap Chromebooks on eBay. You only need to get to websites or YouTube. A bigger screen is more ideal for this type of activity, so a laptop is preferred but you can perhaps use a cheap tablet instead.
This can be the tricky bit. In the last few days teachers have had to very quickly deal with the rapidly-shifting situation. You may have had activities set over the last couple of days and may have more in the coming weeks. Usually this will be via apps such as “Show My Homework” and may include sending your child off to sites like MyMaths.co.uk etc.
For more activities, the BBC have really come to the rescue here. Their BBC Bitesize service is invaluable. Just click the appropriate age group, then the area you live and the subject you’re looking to learn about. There’s a lot of overlap here with the syllabus and planning done in your local school.
The Key Stages are all listed – KS1 and KS2 plus KS3 and GCSE with careers advice too. For those over 16, there’s still activities, including Core and Functional Skills. These are all all brilliant resources with videos, tests, revision sections and an easily-digestible format.
In addition to all that, it’s worth searching for specific areas on YouTube. As an example, you can have a look for “KS2 lessons” or “KS3 lessons” on YouTube and you’ll stumble on video playlists like this..
There’s also paid-for services like IXL Training which starts at £7.99 per month but only seems to cover English or maths.
You might also want to check out the free English and free Maths courses that LearnDirect do too. If you hang around their website there’s a live chat window that’ll open – this offers up to 45% discount on their other courses. There’s GCSE, IT and more.
Want more ideas and tips? Head to the BBC Bitesize Support section for ideas on keeping your child healthy, fit and motivated.
If you want to be doing some learning yourself and perhaps making use of the time in the house, check out sites like OpenLearn where you can get a stack of free maths and english courses. Other excellent resources include..
- The Open University offering nearly 1000 free courses across 8 different subject areas via OpenLearn
- Learn languages, history, money, business and more.
- FutureLearn are offering more practical courses like teamwork and management
- Oxford Home Study are offering Fashion, Business, PR, Marketing, Customer Service and a huge amount of other course – all for free and all with certificates at the end of it.
- Talent Engaged Tuition do online courses too. We’re trying to find more information on this right now.
- The Maths Factor – Carol Vorderman has now made her learning site free “for the duration of the UK Schools closure”
If you guys know of any other resources we should be including here, do let me know and we’ll get them added.