With schools around the world closing down, I have received many emails and messages from friends asking me for advice as to what I do as a home educator with Olivia. Where I find resources, how much work we do each day, even what does your normal home ed day look like. So I thought I would put this post together to help.
This is Not What Home Education Normally Looks Like
While yes, you will be expected to educate your children or you may choose to educate while your children at home, please note this is not what home education looks like. We are not normally restricted to the same four walls. We normally spend a lot of time going to museums, libraries, zoos, farm, group events, sports lessons and see lots of friends. Believe me when I say this is affecting our kids’ education too.
Juggling Working from Home and Educating your Child
One of the most stressful factors is trying to juggle working from home and making sure our children are suitably engaged in educational activities. This can be very tricky, we try to spend mornings doing structured work for an hour or so and the rest of the day is slightly more free play. Allowing me to get on with other tasks as well.
First of all, I would explain to your children that you will be able to spend some time with them but that you also need to work, and by them getting on with activities on their own where possible they are helping you earn money.
Suggestions of how to Plan your Day
Remember, education can happen anytime. If you need to work and don’t have time during the day or you want to sit with your children and learn, why not do it before or after you need to be working or even at weekends. You will still be stuck at home then too! Let them play and get whatever is going to keep them most entertained and happy when you need to work. Also, remember as they are now going to be learning one to one or one to a small group they will learn quicker and get work done faster than in school.
Some schools will possibly send home-work and arrange online content.
Something that I know works for us and many other home educator is to leave out a selection of games and activities you would like them to do around the house. Children will be more inspired to do something if it is not forced upon them and they feel it is their choice. While they are sleeping, put some lego on the floor, maybe print off a list of lego challenges, set up a board game, put out paper, glue, scissors, pens and pencils and play-doh is always a winner.
Have a selection of activities ready that you are happy for them to do while you are working. Remember so many things they can do on there own have great educational aspects to them. Maybe ask them to come up with some ideas of activities they would like to do, things they would like to learn about.
Amazon, NetFlix and YouTube are your friends. They have so many great educational documentaries and programmes. Pick a topic and search for it, it’s incredible what comes up.
If you get the chance before everything shuts down, go to the library and get some books. Reading is such a great way to connect with your kids and for them to learn. If you can’t get to the library physically, you can also access your local library online and read books.
FREE Online Education Resources
Here are a great list of free educational resources. You can also search for ideas on pinterest.
Good educational courses from Maths and English to Coding and Astronomy. It is for all ages even Secondary level. Please note this uses the U.S. grade system.
Videos and information on lots of interesting subjects. No TV licence required except for content on BBC iPlayer.
Great resource with English, Maths and Science games. Make sure you sign up for an account as it will then save progress.
Free to access 100s of courses.
Great for revising at GCSE or A level. Lots of free revision content.
Free taster courses for people considering Open University. Mainly for secondary and higher but some e.g. nature and environment courses could well be of interest to young people.
Learn computer programming skills.
Creative computer programming.
All sorts of engaging educational videos.
National Geographic Kids
Activities, videos and quizzes for younger kids. You can also subscribe to their digital subscription for around £20 a year, and this offers access to all previous magazines and new ones every month.
Learn languages for free. Web or app. We are currently learning French and Spanish using this app.
Free science lessons.
Science awards you can complete from home. To gain the certificate it is £1 a child.
Digital enterprise award scheme you can complete online.
Paw Print Badges
Free challenge packs and other downloads. Many activities can be completed indoors. Badges cost but are optional.
Is in U.S. grades, but good for UK Primary age.
Listening activities for the younger ones.
A lot of these can be done in a garden.
Great ideas and resources to help kids and families connect with nature, from simple activities they can do at home.
Oxford Owl for Home
Lots of free resources for Primary age
For younger children just learning to read or wanting to improve their reading.
Big History Project
Aimed at Secondary age.
Blue Peter Badges
If you have a stamp and a nearby post box.
The Artful Parent
Good, free art activities
Red Ted Art
Easy arts and crafts for little ones.
The Imagination Tree
Creative art and craft activities for all ages.
DK Find Out
Activities and quizzes.
We use Twinkl a lot. It has ideas for children from 2 years up. This is more for printouts, and usually at a fee, but they are offering a month of free access to parents in the event of school closures. There are ebooks, role play, colouring, sports ideas as well as all the subject they would cover in school.
Algodoo gives you the opportunity to play with physics. Use your own hands and simple drawing tools to design, construct and explore the world of physics.
Great yoga sessions for kids based on stories, mindfulness and relaxation videos.
From our fun 10 Minute Shake Up games to information about active hobbies and sports, here’s everything you need to get your family moving.
You can virtually tour these 12 museums from you couch.
Someone has set up a daily lego challenge on Facebook for kids inspired by lego masters.
Not free but a Great Learning Opportunity
Zoology “living planet” (animal biology) classes for home-educated children who love animals and the natural world. We do these weekly online for £3 for a one hour lesson and they are great.
It’s Going to be OK
Remember it’s going to be ok. It’s going to be a learning curve for everyone so try and stay patient. When normally entering into home education we would advise a de-schooling period where everyone has time to relax and get used to the new dynamic. Remember Easter Holidays are coming soon so relaxing and just having fun is still important. Plus you will be amazed how much they learn from just day to day life and if left to their own devices.
Disclosure: Seeking Sights is a Twinkl Associate but is not affiliated with any other services in this list. Some of these links have been supplied by other contributors, Seeking Sights does not have experience of all of these services. We will not receive any commission if you follow these links.