20 Free Resources For Homeschooling
When our national lockdown was implemented, one of the biggest concerns for parents was how to continue their children's education at home. Parents have been instructed that all schools will now resume for the autumn term in September, but this return to school will not be straightforward. For many families with vulnerable children and/or adults, it is likely that social distancing may still be necessary, and according to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, there may be staggered start and finish times. The prospect of homeschooling needn't be overwhelming. There is a wealth of educational, interesting and, perhaps most attractively, FREE homeschooling resources available online.
1. BBC Bitesize
The BBC Bitesize website has always provided high-quality interactive resources that support the national curriculum in a wide range of subjects, including PSHE and Chinese, from reception through to 16+ as well as additional resources for parents and teachers. During the school closures, BBC Bitesize expanded their resources to include Daily Lessons for pupils aged 5 – 15. These lessons have been created with teachers and other educational experts and are a mix of videos, animations, practice activities, quizzes and games. While the Daily Lessons have stopped for the Summer, they are all available on the BBC Bitesize website and will resume in September.
2. PE with Joe Wicks
In recent years, studies have increased around the importance of physical health and its impact on cognitive functions and mental health. While PE tends to divide opinion, it is still an important and much-loved subject for many students. British fitness coach Joe Wicks, also known as The Body Coach, is a notable advocate for the importance of exercise and healthy eating. During the lockdown, Joe Wicks offered free daily live PE lessons that are still available on his Youtube channel, The Body Coach TV. These lessons designed to be fun and educational, and parents are encouraged to get the whole family involved!
3. Virtual Field Trips and Tours
There is perhaps nothing more useful to get the kids out of the house than the plethora of free museums and galleries we have in the UK. There is also nothing more exciting for children than the prospect of a field trip – no school and a completely new place to explore with friends! Of course, lockdown meant these cultural institutions were closed, and field trips out of the question – but thanks to an incredible range of virtual tours, families were able to visit these establishments from the comfort of their own home! Similarly, it is now possible to go on virtual field trips – to the Great Barrier Reef or an African safari!
4. Chrome Music Lab
To make music more accessible, Google has created Chrome Music Lab: "a set of experiments that let anyone explore how music works." The website helps students explore sound, rhythm and melody and its connection to science, math and art. It is highly visual and built for the web, so is easily accessible by tablet, phone or laptop.
5. Dekko Comics
Designed specifically for subjects in the KS2 curriculum, Dekko Comics aims to make education fun and easy to remember. It breaks down motivational barriers through entertainment and has been proven especially helpful for students with ASD, dyslexia and more.
6. Oxford Owl
Oxford Owl is a fantastic resource for home learning. It is a platform of hundreds of free E-books and accompanying age-specific activities, including advice and support for parents and educational games. They also have a maths platform with tips on teaching maths at home, maths activities and games.
Quizlet allows you to simple learning tools for any subject of your choice! Design flashcards, games and classes to help your child study in a way that is fun and interactive.
8. National Theatre Live
The theatre has always been an important cultural learning site, and it being closed during lockdown was a huge blow to the industry. Thanks to the generosity of theatres across the country, hundreds of shows were put online for us to watch for free, including many plays studied at GCSE level, such as Frankenstein and Richard II.
9. Language Learning Apps
Language learning apps have long been an enjoyable, interactive and accessible way to learning a new language. They are fantastic free resources for homeschooling – simply download them and watch your child go! While Memrise focuses more on individual words or phrases, Duolingo assists more with sentence construction. Both are brilliant and engaging!
Seneca is a brilliant platform providing free revision materials on exam-board specific subjects for A-Level, GCSE, KS3 and KS2 students. Their smart learning algorithms are proven to make students remember topics better. If a student gets a question wrong, they will ask it again later in a different format and at an optimal time. They also have an excellent handpicked selection of GIFs guaranteed to make students laugh while learning.
11. Make Me Genius
Although it is an American website, Make Me Genius has a huge supply of fun and educational videos aimed at younger learners on a wide range of subjects such as primary colours, the solar system and Roman Civilisation.
To help families during the school closures, CENTURY is offering a free curated version of their English, Maths and Science courses covering all the key topics for years 3 – 11. It contains hundreds of micro-lessons and has a section for parents to learn how to identify gaps in knowledge and personalise content for your children.
13. BBC History for Kids
A brilliant free resource for learning History at home, BBC History for Kids allows students to enter ancient worlds, meet famous historical figures and discover fascinating facts by exploring a wide selection of history-based games and activities.
Are your children following you around the house asking you questions you can't answer, but you're worried what they might find if they use Google on their own? Put your worries to bed thanks to Kiddle, a completely safe visual based search engine designed for younger children.
15. National Geographic Kids
Aimed at younger learners, National Geographic draws on their wide range of resources to provide children with videos, games and other interactive media with a focus on science, geography and the natural world. The site is especially good for learning about other countries and cultures with an Interactive World Map allowing visual exploration and a ton of information about each country's geography, people, culture, history and government.
16. Worlds of Food
Worlds of Food is a free educational programme to help children and their families develop an understanding and love for fresh, healthy food and the skills they need to cook healthy recipes. The site provides parents with resources on how to build healthy eating habits for their children with great insights from Team GB Olympic athletes.
17. Fuel the Brain
Fuel the Brain is an online collection of educational games, guides and printables relating to the core subjects in primary education. The highly visual nature of the free resources means they are especially good for visual learners, including those with learning disabilities.
Initially a free public service to help children to read, Starfall has expanded to include language arts for preschool to Year 3. Starfall activities are research-based and align with Individual and Common Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics. The site does require a paid membership to have full access all of the resources, but they have loads of brilliant free resources too.
19. Storyline Online
The Daytime Emmy-nominated and award-winning children's literacy website, Storyline Online, streams videos featuring celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Chris Pine reading children's books alongside creatively produced illustrations.
The site receives over 100 million views annually from children all over the world. Reading aloud to children has been shown to improve reading, writing and communication skills, logical thinking and concentration, as well as inspire a lifelong love of reading. Teachers use Storyline Online in their classrooms, and doctors and nurses play Storyline Online in children's hospitals. It is available 24 hours a day, and each book includes a supplemental curriculum developed by a credentialed elementary educator.
20. 826 Digital
An excellent resource to supplement student's creative writing, 826 Digital offers learners mini-lessons, lesson plans and writing projects on a range of topics that are creative, relatable and age-specific. Writing prompts allow students to incorporate STEM concepts into their writing to help them learn more about science and maths.
Threshold Education delivers high quality and expertly led homeschooling specifically tailored for each student's unique needs. Each homeschooling programme is created to ensure that your child can achieve their learning goals, thrive intellectually and develop the confidence needed to be an independent learner. Our tutors have a wealth of experience in designing unique programmes that suit your child's social, emotional and learning needs. Families may decide to pursue homeschooling for a variety of reasons that we take into consideration when developing creative and bespoke programmes for your child. Our homeschooling services can be delivered in-person or online, according to your needs and wishes. To learn more, speak to one of our homeschooling consultants.