The most part of the last year has seen parents taking on the role of teacher after the outbreak of the coronavirus caused school closures – and it's not getting any easier to entertain kids at home!
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If you're still unsure about how to best tackle homeschooling, then fear not because there is a huge selection of educational websites and apps focused on everything from general reading and writing skills to learning languages.
Until UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlines the roadmap for easing restrictions and reopening schools, which is hoped to be on 8 March, we take a look at some of the best ways to keep children of all ages learning…
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National Literacy Trust
To help kids tackle homeschooling, the National Literacy Trust has launched Words for Life, the new version of their original website, Family Zone. It includes plenty of activities to improve children's reading, writing and listening at home for those aged 0-12 years, such as children's nursery rhymes and poetry classes. The NLT's Virtual School Library also offers free books and exclusive videos.
Speaking about how to cope with kids being at home on This Morning, Phillip Schofield said: "What was the one thing that so many kids have lost touch with? Reading. So if you can reconnect people with reading, then just sit and have a couple of hours a day where you say, 'Right, let's get a couple of books and let's do something we wouldn't normally do.'"
For more information visit literacyfamilyzone.org.uk
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The Nanny Louenna App
Norland Nanny Louenna Hood launched the Nanny Louenna app in a bid to answer all parenting questions – and that includes education.
The Nanny Louenna app offers homeschooling activities
The app contains over 150 activity ideas from arts and crafts to outdoor games, 120 chapters including teaching your child to read and write, colour recognition games, learning journals and more. It also provides access to experts including speech and language expert Hannah Scully.
These parenting tips could be ones used by Prince William and Kate Middleton, who employ a Norland Nanny for their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.
For more information visit nannylouenna.com
Oxford University spinout Edplus is bound to keep kids engaged with its unusual TikTok style format using video questions. As well as allowing learners to test one another, the likes of Olympic Gold winner Rebecca Adlington have also recorded their own video questions - if that's not motivation enough to learn then we don't know what is! The app uses an adaptive-learning algorithm to personalise questions on subjects including Maths, Science, English and Languages.
For more information visit edplus.app
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For those learning a language, there's no better place to start than with Duolingo. Available as a website or a free-to-use app, Duolingo is not just for adults, with special lessons that can help walk kids through written and spoken languages such as French, Spanish and even English. With personalised learning, rewards and regular quizzes to help reinforce their learning, it's a fun place to start.
For more information visit duolingo.com
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge employ a Norland Nanny for their children
Everyone has heard of TED talks, but now they can be used to help you teach your kids at home. Suited to everyone from reception to University, Ted-Ed announced it is helping support students, parents and teachers by creating free video-based lessons on a daily basis. Whether your child is studying business and economics or needs to learn about science and technology, the lessons cover an array of topics. With subjects such as 'The mysterious life and death of Rasputin', perhaps parents may be interested in learning a thing or two from their kids, too!
For more information visit ed.ted.com
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There's a reason BBC Bitesize has been around for years. Covering a wide range of subjects with resources for all ages, the free website provides small, digestible lessons tailored to support the National Curriculum that won't overwhelm your children. Whether it's reception ages looking to brush up on their geography skills or A-level history classes, there are plenty of options to choose from. Plus, you can see if the lessons are really working with the tests!
For more information visit bbc.co.uk/bitesize
Not your traditional homeschooling app, Gimi provides financial education to children while helping them keep track of their allowance and chores - so a win-win for parents and kids during lockdown! Designed for children aged seven and over, the free app has lessons themed around earning, saving and spending with animated videos. A virtual piggy bank fills with the weekly allowance set by parents, and you can define rewards for specific tasks.
For more information visit gimitheapp.com
There are several apps and websites suitable for all ages
Need 1:1 maths turoting? Try EasyA, which connects your child with an Oxbridge maths tutor via secure instant messages sent inside the app. Created by Oxbridge and Ivy League graduates Phil and Dom and Cambridge University educational researcher and data scientist Dr Ghalamchi, EasyA is aimed at students aged 11 to 18 who can begin a session by sending a picture of the question they are working on. The app features a whiteboard that allows tutors to draw out diagrams, and a parent portal offering a bird’s-eye view of children’s activity and progress.
For more information visit easya.io
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Another way to keep your children up-to-date with their language lessons is via Busuu, an app built by linguists in London. Its Kids Keep Learning initiative offers free online lessons, in which you simply select a language - such as Chinese or Spanish - and the child's age group, pick a lesson in your time zone and stream it on YouTube. Unlike missing a lesson in school, they can easily catch up with missed work online.
For more information visit busuu.com
From learning languages to brushing up on reading skills
US-based nonprofit Khan Academy is a hugely popular resource for teachers, so there's no reason parents couldn't jump on board during the COVID-19 crisis. It offers lessons in maths, science and more with personalised learning allowing kids to practice at their own pace.
If you're struggling with structuring your school day in the home environment then you can also use the daily schedules for those aged 4-18, while specific parent accounts are available to track your child's progress.
For more information visit khanacademy.org
BrainPOP is an animated website to keep kids interested and entertained with movies and games while learning about topics including English, Social Studies and Arts and Music. There are also webinars parents can watch to learn more about how to use BrainPOP for remote learning.
For more information visit brainpop.com
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