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Homeschooling Help: Resources, sites and activities for homeschooling in lockdown

Lisa O'Keeffe

6 January 2021

Time to read

17 minutes

Here we go again! With the latest lockdown news, and the confirmation that schools will be shutting their doors for weeks, homeschooling is back on the list of things to do.

But before panic strikes or you're left pulling your hair out, we’ve pulled together a list of over 40 resources to help with homeschooling. From FREE apps and websites to tools recommended by teachers and parents, we’ve even split it out into categories to help you find exactly what you need! And, to help get you in your routine, why not try our FREE downloadable home-schooling timetable?

A preteen girl doing school work at a table whilst looking at an ipad

Jump to: General education | Maths and times tables | English, phonics and Spelling | Science and STEM | Arts and Crafts | Computing | PE and Activities | Attractions with at-home activities

General Education

  1. BBC Bitesize
    This FREE website is a saviour when it comes to learning at home, and BBC Bitesize is packed full of lessons, games and activities for everyone aged 3-18. Choose your country and age range to find content based on the curriculum near you, and dive into loads of interactive activities. The BBC has also announced its biggest EVER education programming across CBBC and BBC Two, so worth checking that out too. 

  2. Twinkl
    If your kids are in primary school, then chances are you’re already fairly familiar with Twinkl from the first time round! Used by teachers, see if you have a school login to allow you to access premium activities, or check out the free resources to try for yourself.

  3. Let’s Go Live with Maddie Moate
    CBeebies star Maddie Moate was busy in the first lockdown, creating over 60 Let’s Go Live shows - the fun, family-friendly science shows with partner Greg! She’s announced that they’ll be back with brand new shows every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11, but you can catch up on all the original ones again now.

  4. Scholastic
    You can find thousands of resources specifically designed for early years and primary aged children at Scholastic, covering everything from English and Maths to Music and Languages. There is a paid subscription for some of the premium resources, or you can discover over 4,000 pieces of free content - simply filter by age to find the best ones for you.

  5. Top Marks
    This was a site that has come recommended by lots of parents, thanks to its game-like approach that makes learning a doddle. Top Marks is free to use and activities are grouped by age range - you can play on a laptop or computer, or simply scan a QR code on each page to open that specific one on your mobile or tablet. Super quick and easy to use with no need to register.

  6. Oak National Academy
    Created by teachers and designed to support classroom learning, Oak National Academy has also developed a series of video lessons for parents and carers to use at home during lockdown. With lessons suitable for reception all the way through to year 11, they’re completely free and provided by fully qualified teachers. We love the videos - they feel more like the real thing than downloadable worksheets!

A primary school aged girl doing homework in the kitchen

Attractions with at-home activities

  1. Treasure Trails
    Not only will you be able to stretch your legs outdoors, but you’ll also be able to get in some fun learning too! Treasure Trails are great fun for all ages, and they’re a perfect way to get little minds thinking, plus the fresh air is a brilliant bonus too!

  2. Leeds Museum and Gallery
    Leeds Museum and Gallery have put together a range of activities and crafts to bring the Museum into your home. Get creative with special crafts designed around history, and there’s even an at-home Art Quest for you to complete too!

  3. The National Football Museum
    If your little ones are footie mad, this one is definitely for you. The National Football Museum has put together a series called ‘Kicking Off Your Creativity’ especially aimed at KS2 fans, these story-starters will help kickstart some great creative writing.

  4. Chester Zoo Live Tour
    If you can’t get to the zoo, let the zoo come to you! Chester Zoo can come into your home with their special Virtual Zoo Days videos, including live tours! It’s the perfect solution to get your adorable animal fix until you can visit again.

  5. The Natural History Museum
    The Natural History Museum has put together a range of activities to get involved in nature at home. Get inspired with some nature-inspired arts, crafts, and activities, and there’s even a whole section around dinosaurs for any prehistoric fans!

  6. Winchester Science Centre
    If you’re looking for some super science fun, check out Winchester Science Centres ‘Science@Home’. With Curiosity Challenges, Activity Sheets, and Science Sizzlers, there’s a whole range of indoor and at-home science activities the whole family can take part in.

  7. Warwick Castle
    Warwick Castle have put together plenty of resources in their Education Library covering all things castles! As well as historical activity packs completely with quizzes and answers, there’s even a virtual tour and some super fun colouring too.

  8. National Trust
    Love Peter Rabbit™? The National Trust are bringing all things Beatrix Potter right into your home with a collection of downloadable activity packs. All are packed full of great activities featuring all your favourite characters, plus they’re a great way to learn more about nature.

Maths and Times Tables

  1. Numbots
    You’ll need a school login to be able to use Numbots, but when it comes to learning addition and subtraction, this is up there with the best! Pupils choose their own Bot before launching into ‘Story’ and ‘Challenge’ modes, where the clever algorithm takes care of their learning - so you don’t have to. Loved by kids and with clever gameplay along the way, it also integrates with TT Rockstars.

  2. White Rose Maths
    Used and loved by teachers, White Rose Maths has developed a strong home learning pack that’s free for parents. Simply choose their year group and you’ll see the right topics and learning activities grouped by week to help you structure their learning. Each week has a lesson plan so you can easily plan your time, plus the content is video-based making it easy to follow.

  3. STEM Primary Maths
    You’ll need to register to use STEM Learning, but it’s completely free and unlocks thousands of resources to help with home learning. Again, this is matched to the latest national curriculum, so is a great way to support topics set by your school and teachers. 

  4. Times Tables Rock Stars
    Times Tables Rock Stars is up there with one of the most recommended tools for learning maths at home, and it’s clear to see why! Available as paper worksheets, web games or via the app, each child has an avatar and rock alter ego, helping them to build confidence and recall of their times tables at the same time. I wish this had been around when I was at school!

  5. Prodigy Game
    You’ll need to register for Prodigy, but with a commitment to being - and staying - free it’s worth two minutes of your time to get set up. Centred around the game world, kids are tasked with answering math questions to complete quests and earn rewards. Designed to support and strengthen more traditional learning, this game is great for encouraging practice in a game environment.

English, Phonics and Spelling

  1. Phonics Play
    We recommended Phonics Play back in March, and it’s great to see that they’re back supporting schools and parents this time round too. Use your school’s subscription to access all the fab resources at-home, or if your school doesn’t have a subscription, you can get your own for just £6 for the year. There are tonnes of games and resources for phases 1 to 6, and all come highly recommended by primary school teachers.

  2. Teach Your Monster to Read
    Not only does this have the coolest name, but Teach Your Monster To Read was one of the top parent-recommended resources for phonics! Funded by the Usborne Foundation, the computer version is completely free and features three games to suit three different reading levels. Fun, structured, and with great characterisation, this is one of our favourite resources to try at home.

  3. David Walliams downloadable book packs
    If your kids are fans of David Walliams’ books, then they’ll love these resources based on all their favourite characters. From poems and writing to understanding characters and tone of voice, these interactive workbooks are great for older kids looking to develop their writing skills.

  4. Storytime from Space
    Whilst this isn’t designed to be a learning resource, we couldn’t help but include Storytime from Space in this list! Perfect for a 15-minute break from the curriculum, each video features someone reading a book from space (look out for their crazy gravity-free hair!) - a charming way to wind down at the end of the day.

  5. Reading Eggs
    Parents can get a 30-day free trial of Reading Eggs, which is a great way to test and try out all of the features before committing to spending any money! Packed full of games, songs and activities, this is a great way to encourage kids to learn to read - and they’ll love the rewards they can earn along the way.

  6. Spelling Shed
    Powered by EdShed, Spelling Shed is another resource that your school may have access to, making it a free resource to support lockdown learning. You can play on your phone or tablet, and word lists are designed in line with the curriculum so you know they’re learning relevant content for their age range. We love the Hive Games too with a handy multiplayer option.

A boy sitting at the table doing homework as his mum reaches over to help

Science and STEM

  1. STEM Primary Science
    STEM Primary Science is packed full of resources for a science lesson at home, and there’s a variety of topics too. With learning focused on all Primary School ages too, you’ll be able to find something to keep your little ones engaged.

  2. The Christmas Lectures
    Don’t be fooled by the name! Brought to you by The Royal Institution: Science Lives Here, The Christmas Lectures are a series of fantastically fun science lectures aimed at all ages, but particular kids. Whilst originally broadcast on TV, all of the previous lectures are online, so you can be inspired at home.

  3. Mystery Science
    Mystery Science has a whole host of online science lessons. With short videos and activities available on plenty of different topics, you’ll get to take your pick and become inspired by science.

  4. World Geography Games
    If you’re looking for a little lesson in Geography, World Geography Games has a variety of interactive, fun and educational games to play. From World Capitals to World Flags, there are all sorts of exciting games to keep you entertained.

  5. The Dad Lab
    Discover all sorts of great online science resources from The Dad Lab. There are fun games and crafting ideas to get your little ones thinking, plus some great at-home science experiments that will really put the fun in learning! 

A dad and son doing a science experiment at home

Arts and Crafts

  1. Draw with Rob
    Discover all sorts of fantastic draw-along videos with ‘#DrawWithRob’, brought to you by the award-winning children’s author and illustrator Rob Biddulph! These easy-to-follow tutorials will teach you all sorts of great drawings, from adorable sausage dogs to the wonderful wizards that you may recognise from his popular books.

  2. Mini Missions from Boden
    Boden isn’t the first brand that comes to mind when you think of at-home activities, but their Mini Missions are the perfect creative outlet for some at-home fun. With downloadable mission guides to help you along your way, you can expect anything from designing your own t-shirt to planning an outer-space expedition!

  3. Aards and Crafts
    Brought to you by Aardman Animations, the team behind Wallace and Gromit, Shaun the Sheep and Morph, these fun Aards and Crafts videos are a great way for kids to get creative (and a little bit silly!) at home. From drawing lessons to Lu-la space slime, there are 39 videos to choose from - how many can you complete?

  4. Disney arts and crafts
    Got creative kids that love Disney? You’ll love these downloadable activity sheets featuring all their favourite characters. From Mickey and Marvel, princesses and puppies, simply download and print your preferred pack for 15 minutes of guaranteed peace.

  5. Tate Kids
    The famous art gallery is full of inspiration for kids looking to practice their art and craft skills, split into sections like paint and draw, cut and paste and sculpture. With a combination of activities inspired by famous artists and more classic craft ideas, there’s plenty on Tate Kids to keep the kids entertained.

  6. House Of Illustration
    The great family activities from House of Illustration are both fun and educational. Pick from arts activities specially designed around the curriculum subjects, or choose to express some creative fun as a family, these arts will definitely inspire the whole family. 

Computing

  1. Purple Mash
    Purple Mash is another tool you may have access to through your school, and it’s a great way to keep on top of the computing curriculum whilst at home. From coding and animation to all-important online safety, this is a great tool for all things tech.

  2. Scratch
    Aimed at ages 8+, Scratch is a great online tool that helps kids learn valuable life skills through programming their own games, animals, and all sorts. Got kids aged 5 - 7? Check out ScratchJR where they can have a go at programming and learning all things digital. 

Active

  1. PE with Joe
    That’s right, Joe Wicks is back to help you through the third lockdown! The popular PE with Joe returns on Monday 11th January with a series of at-home morning workouts especially for younger kids to get you moving. They’ll all be on The Body Coach TV, along with plenty of other active inspiration too!

  2. Cosmic Kids Yoga
    If you’re looking to introduce yoga to the whole family, this is definitely a must-do. Cosmic Kids Yoga is on a mission to make yoga and mindfulness fun for kids, and with a series of FREE yoga videos and tutorials to get little minds and bodies active, plus they’ll be fun for you too!

  3. Get Kids Moving
    Looking to add some energy into your homeschooling? Get Kids Moving has a whole host of awesome themed workouts to inspire your kids, from Star Wars ‘Jedi Training Academy’ exercises to working out alongside Elsa from Frozen, it’s a great way to get yourself active and keep moving.

  4. Oti Mabuse Kids Dance Classes
    Ready to dance? Strictly champ Oti Mabuse brings you some great kids' dance classes for some fun and movement that you can do in your home. Exercise doesn’t have to be hard or difficult, and these great little dances are a great way to add some exercise and movement into your day.

  5. Disney Themed Activity Challenges
    If your little ones love Disney, these Disney themed activity challenges will be perfect for you! This FREE document has all sorts of fun activities to get your little ones moving, and it’s all inspired by their favourite films too. From a  dancing challenge to a special game of hide and seek, getting active has never been more fun.

A family doing a dance workout in their living room

 

We hope you’ve found these resources useful and that they help with your at-home learning, but if you’re looking for some fun ideas for things to do at home, check out some of our other blogs here:

100+ Indoor Activities | Easy Science Experiments | Home Learning Timetable | Winter Lockdown Activities

 

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Lisa O'Keeffe

6 January 2021

Bio

Lisa heads up the Brand & Content team at Day Out With The Kids. Originally from London, she now lives in Birmingham and is a big kid at heart!