How to homeschool your kids with free apps and videos

As schools close due to coronavirus, here's some handy resources for educating children at home.

Homeschooling: Tips to help parents teach children at home. Pixabay
Homeschooling: Tips to help parents teach children at home.

As the threat of coronavirus continues to spread, the majority of school children have been sent home.

But with many parents working from home or in key industries, it may not be easy to keep children occupied.

While some schools have sent pupils home with work, there are other ways to keep your kids learning while also having fun.

From apps to YouTube videos, here’s seven resources to help your children stay entertained while learning in this difficult time. 

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Physical Education

Fitness coach Joe Wicks has launched daily PE lessons streamed live on YouTube at 9am each morning. 

The 30-minute classes require no equipment, but aim to help parents and their children keep active whilst in isolation. 

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Joe says: “With the schools closed and with us all spending more time at home, it’s more important than ever that we keep moving and stay healthy and positive.

“Exercise is an amazing tool to help us feel happier, more energised, and more optimistic.”  

Science

Glasgow Science Centre may have closed to the public, but staff are still ensuring children can still learn about science by hosting daily classes on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at 10am each day.

While GSC says the live streams aren’t formal lessons, they teach children about everything from the spring equinox to making their own lava lamps. 

Live demonstrations also show how chain reactions work using mousetraps and ping pong balls.

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Yoga and mindfulness

Cosmic Kids Yoga is a YouTube channel which is often used by schools to help teach children mindfulness practices, as well as an introduction to yoga.

Each class is themed, with the movements matching the story presenter Jaime tells.

Previous classes have been based around stories from Star Wars, Frozen and Trolls, and there are guided meditation videos aimed at building confidence or even tackling separation anxiety.


Spelling

App SirLinkalot aims to help children with their spelling by using quick, memorable animations and quizzes.

The style of learning is also said to be an excellent resource for children with special education needs and specific learning difficulties such as autism and dyslexia. 

The owners have made the app free following the coronavirus outbreak, which can be accessed through a code on their website. 

Art

Bestselling colouring book illustrator Johanna Basford has created a 30-day colouring challenge, aimed at people looking to switch off from their devices.

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20 Colouring Downloads and more… When I feel anxious 😕I need to be busy. So this morning when I got to the studio I pulled out the laptop and started making a ‘Happy Place’ on my website. 😍 . There’s 20 free colouring downloads, a tonne of my most popular tutorial videos and all the videos from Inky Art School, my online drawing course. . It’s all there, for FREE. Link is in my bio or swipe up from my story today. . Creativity is a simple way to ease anxiety and can have wonderful positive effects on your mental health. Now more than ever we need to care for ourselves and others, both physically and mentally. . Go check out the page, maybe try a download or 2. Share them with friends. If you’d like to print out a tonne and share them with your apartment block, your school, your colleagues – then please feel free. . Let’s share the creative love and hope we can spread a little happy. . Stay well, much love, Johanna x . . . #livecolorfully #colorventures #colorcolourlovers #thatcolorproject #colourmehappy #abeautifulmess #createeveryday #colortherapy #drawing #oddlysatisfying #abmlifeiscolorful #coloring #colouringpages #coloringforadults #coloringbooksforadults #adultcolouring #adultcoloring #coloringtherapy #coloringmasterpiece #artgram #dailyart #carveouttimeforart #seekthesimplicity #livethelittlethings #petitejoys #illustrator #inkdrawing #floralillustration #doitfortheprocess #johannabasford

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A resource best for slightly older children, the Aberdeenshire illustrator’s challenge features 30 hand drawn flowers which can be downloaded from her website, encouraging you to colour one flower a day.

She also offers colouring tutorials on her YouTube page and there are more than 20 colouring pages available on her website if you finish the first challenge.

Sign Language

Natasha and Kelly-Ann will host British Sign Language workshops every day from 1pm live on Facebook and YouTube.

Classes will be around an hour long, and will feature Natasha learning BSL from her sister Kelly-Ann who has hearing difficulties.

The classes are aimed at the whole family looking to learn a new skill and feature simple greetings, sing-a-long songs and the alphabet.

Coding

Another skill children may be interested in learning is coding, which is being offered for free by Tynker.

Children can learn everything from making a game to creating their own apps, thanks to more than 40 block and text-based courses. 

The website is also broken up into age groups to help find the right course for your family.


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