All the home school resources parents need during the coronavirus pandemic | ZDNet

Let’s get one thing out there in the open: the majority of you are not actually home schooling, nor are you expected to.

When the decision to home school a child is made, it traditionally takes thought, preparation, time, and often a collaboration between educational facilities, home tutors, and parents to create a comprehensive and thorough syllabus for a well-rounded education.

This is not the reality for most in light of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent emergency changes to the education system.

Parents and guardians have been thrust into the role of ‘teacher’ with no training, time, or warning. Unless you are a professional teacher turned home tutor, you are likely putting far too much pressure on your own shoulders — and potentially while worrying about other issues including health, relatives, work, and money, too.

This is an unenviable position to be in.

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I left the teaching profession years ago. Drawing upon my previous experience after seeing so many online messages from parents struggling to adapt to their new roles, sweating bullets trying to keep their children entertained for more than an hour or two, I’ll say this: You’re doing your best, and no reasonable teacher out there expects you to fill their shoes.

It’s okay if they get bored. It’s okay if you become frustrated. And believe it or not, if concentration is slipping, breaks do no harm. If you can stick to a schedule and routine, that’s brilliant — but if it doesn’t always work out that way, don’t sweat it. The spread of COVID-19 has created a difficult situation for everyone and wellbeing should be put before anything else.

Over 2020, and now 2021, the best part of a full year in school has been disrupted. Schools have opened and then have been forced to close again due to outbreaks and changes in regulation, teachers and parents have been moved from pillar to post with no notice, and exams have been canceled or based on estimated grades. Now the new year has come in, there doesn’t seem to be an end to the situation for frazzled parents and educators alike.

It’s not all doom-and-gloom. There are wonderful examples of parents sharing their home school fails; comical videos of parents begging teachers for their forgiveness now they have gained a new respect for the profession, and social media networks are being used to swap hundreds of ideas to keep the tiny humans now under house arrest entertained.

(Parents and guardians struggling to cope can check out advice from headteachers and education professionals here.)

To make life at least a little easier, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of free online resources, separated by age groups and subjects. The free resources and links below are focused on schoolwork as well as subject interest and will be updated as we discover more.

Have anything to add? Let us know below.

English language, literature:

Suitable for a range of levels:

Pre-school, primary, younger learners:

  • Kaligo: free handwriting app
  • Learning resources: activity packs, lessons for young learners. Everything from ABCs to numbers and shapes
  • Eduprintables: Thousands of printable worksheets. Ranging from nursery to third grade
  • Storyline: Free children’s books read aloud. Video content
  • Edshed: young learner English lessons, sample packs available with a trial subscription (no credit card required)
  • Teach your monster to read: free resources for teaching children how to read using games
  • British Council: activities and resources for teaching children English

Secondary learners, up to 16-years-old:

  • Grammar practice: free, digestible worksheets
  • Quill.org: making students better writers at elementary, middle, and high school levels
  • Audible: Audio stories, a variety of ages

Maths:

Suitable for a range of levels:

Pre-school, primary, younger learners:

Secondary learners, up to 16-years-old:

Science:

Suitable for a range of levels:

Pre-school, primary, younger learners:

Secondary learners, up to 16-years-old:

Physical Education:

Suitable for a range of levels:

Languages:

Suitable for a range of levels:

Secondary learners, up to 16-years-old:

Geography:

Suitable for a range of levels:

Pre-school, primary, younger learners:

Secondary learners, up to 16-years-old:

Music:

Suitable for a range of levels:

Pre-school, primary, younger learners:

Secondary learners, up to 16-years-old:

  • Chrome music lab: interactive activities and experiments
  • Jazz: Limited free jazz lessons and materials
  • Yousician: thousands of songs and exercises, free trial
  • Musicards: learning how to read music flashcards

Art & Design, drama:

Suitable for a range of levels:

Pre-school, primary, younger learners:

Secondary learners, up to 16-years-old:

History

Information Technology (IT):

Suitable for a range of levels:

Pre-school, primary, younger learners:

  • Code Spark: three months free with code “schoolclosed”

Secondary learners, up to 16-years-old:

Other valuable resources / sources of entertainment:

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