These sites provide a wealth of educational information, games and activities and many of them are offering free access during this challenging time while schools are closed. While home schooling may come naturally to some parents, many of us may find it tricky to keep busy minds focused on the task at hand. Schools will eventually open but with the current uncertainty, these sites offer creative ideas and ways of helping your children learn and revise; and can be referred to even when they’re back in class. Plus, they can be a lot more fun than actual lessons and even you may learn something!
If your children attend a school that follows the English national curriculum, BBC Bitesize is the ideal platform to get key stage appropriate study support and resources. The Learn & Revise section is divided into Primary, Secondary and Post-16 and within each of these there are the applicable subjects. For younger students there are also games, and an app for 14-16-year-olds. Read the home learning article before getting started and note that from 20 April there will be daily online lessons for all ages.
This is one of the most famous sites for learning languages and it offers a comprehensive list from common choices like Spanish, French, Mandarin and Japanese to more unconventional options like Swahili, Czech and Danish. The site is more suitable for children aged 10 and above, while the Duolingo Kids app is aimed at younger children. The lessons are free and have been designed to be fun and easy going. Choose a language, answer simple questions to personalise the lessons and choose how many minutes a day you want to learn. The site even has Klingon and High Valyrian courses available!
The Children’s University of Manchester
This educational site is run by the University of Manchester and offers support for KS2 students (aged seven to 11). The site encourages parents to get involved if they can by going through the lessons with their children as this can improve a child’s progress and development. There are six sections to choose from – History, Languages, Science, Art & Design, Ancient Egypt and Student Life (a great introduction to university student life). Learning activities are included, which include games and introductions by university lecturers and students.
American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History has a science website just for children called Ology, which is Greek for ‘the study of’; e.g. zoology (animals) and anthropology (culture). Users have the option of exploring the site based on activities like games, stories, hands-on and videos, or by a specific science subject. The activities are great fun from creating 3-D dioramas and planet mobiles to drawing dinosaurs and growing rock candy. This site makes science very approachable and explains subjects like genetics, microbiology, climate change and biodiversity in a way that encourages children to want to know more.
DK and DK findout!
DK are a popular publisher known for their non-fiction titles covering food, history, culture, lifestyle and hobbies. They also have a fantastic range of children’s titles including educational books for key stage one and two students. The DK site has a Stay Home Hub section divided into Home Learning for Kids and Home Activities for Adults. There are activity packs (history, maths, science, English), recipes, craft projects and exercise ideas. Each of these are linked to the book they came from so you can order it if you want. DK findout! is an affiliated site that is a safe online space for children to learn and explore through videos, quizzes and informative lessons.