Home Learning Resources And Courses For Kids And Teens

home-learning

Homeschooling is fast becoming a preference for many families, however within the current climate, many parents are being faced with no choice but to help their child learn from the comfort of their home.

Covid-19 has changed the way we live our lives for the time being, and that means we need to focus on educating our children as best we can, whilst using the guidance of teachers at school. However, if you choose to home school your child over the long-term, the sheer number of resources and courses out there can be mind-blowing.

Of course, you want to choose the right ones to ensure that your child is learning everything they need to take on board, in the right way, and in a manner which keeps them  energised, focused, and excited about the subject matter. 

Home learning needs to be approached in a specific kind of way and that means you need to be super-prepared and confident with the subject matter you’re delivering. If you aren’t sure about it, your child won’t be sure about it either. If you want to master home learning, you need to prepare, be confident, and plan ahead. 

There are countless online resources you can use and obviously, if you’re only going to be home schooling for a while, whilst schools are closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, you can also ask for help and guidance from your child’s teacher. In many cases, work will already be set for students under the current situation, and it simply comes down to finding resources which can help your child to understand the concepts in a more effective and deeper way. 

Now, we’re going to look at some useful resources and courses you can explore with your child or teenager. Not all of these may be suitable for your child’s current educational place, but by looking through the ones which jump out to you, you’ll find printables and other useful resources to supplement your child’s current curricular needs. 

Resources And Courses For Kids And Teens 

Oak Meadow

Oak Meadow is a website which focuses on preschool children and has a strong creative element to it. You’ll find printable resources you can help your child to complete and the use of music, painting and drawing means that your child will be getting plenty of creative time at home.

Cost – Free

Moving Beyond The Page

This website is a useful tool to help your child aged between 5 – 12 years. Whilst the curriculum is American, there are useful concepts to help your child to understand, and the whole focus is on critical thinking and problem solving.

Cost – Free

Khan Academy

This is a great website for home schoolers as it’s packed with printable sheets, videos, and activities which cover a range of subjects, including history, science, and maths. The exercises are totally immersive and interactive and there is a video clip attached to each one, explaining the background and how to complete the task. 

Cost – Free

Starfall

For younger children who are learning to read and immersing themselves in phonics, Starfall is a great resource. This is another free site which has interactive exercises teaching children through games and stories. With a total focus on phonics, your child will be encouraged to speak and repeat, so you can easily become involved and help them out. 

Cost – Free

Clickschooling 

Although we can’t travel the world at the moment that doesn’t mean your child can’t attempt it virtually, and Clickschooling has a section which allows them to take virtual tours of places of interest. This interactive approach is ideal for holding their attention and also expands their minds from the comfort of their own home. The site also has ideas which can be emailed to you every day of the week, based on the curriculum your child is following. 

Cost – Free

Time4Learning

If your child responds to games as a learning tool, Time4Learning is a great resource for you. The site is packed with games which help them to learn about the main subjects, such as science, maths and english, as well as incorporating social studies too. You will need to pay a small fee on a monthly basis, but it’s quite low, taking into account the amount of content your child can access. 

Cost – $19.99 monthly 

Reading Eggs 

If your chid is starting to learn to read, you of course can sit down and help them learn, but maybe they will respond better to someone else. In that case, Reading Eggs is the ideal option. The site is packed with games and lessons which help them to learn, with the focus on fun. As a result, they won’t even realize they’re learning. 

Cost – Free

Academic Earth

This is a very highly rated website which helps your child study higher level studies. This is ideal for teenagers with an inquisitive mind, and contains a huge variety of different subjects to focus on. Bear in mind however, the academic level of this site is quite high, so it might be not suitable for all children, however you could help your child by watching the lecture videos with them. 

Cost – Free

BBC Bitesize

This website has been around for years and has helped children of all ages with their school work and exam revision in a big way. All subjects are covered and they’re explained in a fun and colourful way, with plenty of videos, games, and printable resources to use. BBC Bitesize supports the UK national curriculum and it is divided up into small ‘bitesized’ pieces, which help your child to focus, without becoming bored or letting their attention wander. This is also ideal for all ages, from reception age up to A level. 

Cost – Free

BBC Teach

If your child is more likely to respond to a familiar face they’ve seen on the TV, BBC Teach is the ideal option! These videos are recorded with BBC presenters at the helm, with links to shows like Blue Planet and Doctor Who. The videos are carefully planned to hold the attention of your child and they will give exercises and activities to do within the videos, so you can either scribble them down and do them together at a later time, or pause the video and get your child to complete them.

Cost – Free, but you will need to create a free account 

Duolingo

If your child is currently learning a foreign language at school, they can continue their lessons with Duolingo, which is a world renowned resource for a huge variety of different languages. You can sign up for free, but you can also upgrade to the advert-free premium service too, for a fee. There is a mobile app, so your child can download it to their phone or their table, and there is a specific section for children, so you can ensure they’re learning age appropriate words. The lessons are bitesized, so it’s easy to stay on track, and the app itself is colourful and easy to use, which is a bonus for children. 

Cost – Free, but you can upgrade to a premium subscription if the adverts become annoying

The Artful Parent

For younger children, from reception age and up to around the age of 10, The Artful Parent is a great resource as it’s full of creative endeavours to help educate and keep your child occupied. The site also gives some useful guidance to parents, helping you both to connect and get the most out of the site. There are plenty of craft ideas, as well as interactive experiments, such as collecting leaves and sculptures. 

Cost – Free

3D Geography 

If your child is studying geography, this particular site has a huge amount of printables you can use to help them continue their studies in a more interactive way. As a result, they’re not staring at a computer screen and they can actually do something manually, which for some children helps them to soak up the knowledge more effectively. 

Cost – Free

Adventure Academy 

Let’s face it, kids love computer games and when they can connect interactively with other children their own age and compete, they’ll start learning without even realising what they’re doing! Adventure Academy is a game which connects with online learning for children up to 13 years of age.They can also connect with other children of the same age and play against them. The topics include science, maths, reading, and a huge number of other appropriate subjects which you can choose and pre-select. 

Cost – 30 day free trial and then $9.99 per month 

Bamboo Learning

Whilst Bamboo Learning is aligned with the US curriculum, it does have some very useful resources which can be used int he UK too. The content is free and can be downloaded onto many devices and also used in conjunction with Alexa. There are a huge number of subjects supported and many of the exercises encourage family participation. The content is voice-based and you can also set up an account which helps you to monitor and track your child’s learning progress.

Cost – Free

Brooke’s Publishing

For any children who is focusing on reading and English in general, Brooke’s Publishing is currently offering a service which helps younger children. There are countless free activities and resources available on the website and there are video chats a few times a week with experts in the educational field and big named authors.

Cost – Free

Fabulinga 

If your child is currently learning Spanish, supplementing their learning with Fabulinga is a great idea. At the moment, the service is free so it’s a great time to take advantage of what they have to offer. The activities are done in a way which helps your child to learn without realising it, and focusing on fun and new activities every day. You can download the app onto a phone or tablet too, so they can learn from the garden!

Cost – Free at the current time 

Hand2Mind

Again, this is an American site but one which can easily be used by UK parents who are trying to help their child homeschool during the current time. Hand2Mind is designed to help your child learn independently, so you don’t have a huge amount of input, but you can monitor their progress all the same. There is free content on a daily basis, including lessons which can be streamed, based on literacy and maths. There are many activities which can also be downloaded. 

Cost – Free

Happy Numbers

For children who are struggling with maths, Happy Numbers is a great resource. You can download the app and use it remotely, and it is designed to be used for just a short amount of time every day. This bitesized approach helps your child to stay connected and switched on, therefore not becoming overwhelmed with the content and losing interest. 

Cost – Free at the current time

Headsprout

The value in Headsprout is that it allows your child to move at their own pace, therefore not placing any amount of pressure on them to reach certain milestones by a certain time. However, as a parent you can monitor their progress and help them via gentle encouragement. This is a reading site, so it allows your child to read and learn without really realising it. It’s also ideal for children who have an inquisitive mind, as there is a huge amount of content to choose from.

Cost – Free at the current time 

Homer

No, this has nothing to do with The Simpson’s! Homer is one of the best reading programmes around for young children under the age of 5 and the ideal app to download to a mobile device. Helping your child to learn phonics and general language, and lessons are cut into small chunks, so your child only really needs to spend a minimum of 15 minutes per day on the app to gain benefit. There is another section which can help children up to the age of 8. 

Cost – Free 30 day trial and then $19.99 per month thereafter

Home Schooling Without Stress

Of course, we can’t deny the fact that home schooling can be stressful, especially when you’re not used to it. To help you and your child navigate the weeks ahead, whether you decide to stick with it or you simply allow this period of time to pass, it’s vital that you practice patience and give your child the space they need to do their work. 

It’s very tempting to sit next to your child and make them do the work, but in some ways that can totally backfire. Many children rebel against pressure in this way, but the beauty of many of the sites and apps we’ve mentioned is that they are structured in a way which helps your child learn automatically. Then, all you need to do is encourage them do to their work and leave them to it. They’re also fun apps and sites, which will help your child to learn without realising it. That’s often the most effective way!

At the start we mentioned the vital importance of being prepared and that’s something we can’t stress enough. Look through the sites and apps we’ve mentioned and identify the ones you think will work. Then, research into them more deeply and shortlist it down to the ones you want to use. If your child is old enough, encourage them to look through the sites and apps with you and ask which ones they feel they might like to use. 

Then, print out any of the resources that are useful and plan out a lesson for your child to follow. If the app or site is already structured, you can skip that step.

The most important thing to remember is that you are not expected to be a teacher. Many parents have been thrown into home schooling by the current coronavirus situation and it’s not only stressful but a huge amount of pressure to put onto a person who may have other responsibilities to see to as well, e.g. caring for another child, working from home, running a household, etc. These sites and apps have been chosen because they help to take the pressure off and effectively allow you to leave your child to it. In many ways, they’re more likely to learn better in that way.

When it comes to monitoring their progress, this is something you can do together. Ask your child how they feel they have done, ask them to show you what they have learnt, and if the site or app allows for a parental monitoring account, set one up so that you can check out what your child has been doing and how much progress they have been made.

Many of the courses and resources we’ve mentioned are for the US curriculum too, but that doesn’t mean you can make use of the free printable that are included on these sites. Happily, you’ll also notice that the vast majority are free to use!

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