In light of the Covid-19 school closures we thought it would be helpful to list some of our key recommendations when it comes to making home-schooling a success.
We recommend that you create a dedicated learning space that is solely used for home-schooling. Some key points to consider:
- Location: If possible, a room that is quiet, receives plenty of natural light and has a good amount of space.
- Organisation: As you would with a child’s desk at school, invest some time in to setting up the learning environment, ensuring there are designated spaces for storing textbooks, workbooks and equipment. Tidy workspace; tidy mind!
- Managing distractions: Whilst technology can be used effectively, be aware that it can also be extremely distracting. Think about removing technology from the designated learning environment unless it is required and can be employed productively.
- Schools: Your school may provide an online timetable for your child to follow. Not only is it important that you familiarise yourself with it, but you help your child to follow it. Print copies out and put them on display around the house so that everyone is aware.
- Keystone’s Recommendations: In the event that your school has simply provided you with tasks to complete but not a timetable to follow we would recommend you create one of your own. Take a look at our sample timetable that you can adapt to your own situation. Children benefit from a clearly and predictably structured day. Whatever routine you come up with, it is important to stick to it!
- Plan: Use your child’s current school timetable as a reference point. Consider the number of hours per subject and length of day.
- Prioritise: Ensure enough time is devoted to the right subjects. For Year 11 and below English (including reading), Maths and Science are typically considered ‘core’, or the most important, subjects. Mirror the in-school provision for these subjects.
- Balance: A balanced timetable is key. Incorporate a balance of academic learning and extracurricular activities each day and across the week.
- Breaks: Breaks are critical to refresh the mind. Set clear break times throughout the day and, where possible, encourage your child to get some fresh air during this time!
- Exercise: Physical education can be difficult to incorporate into a home-schooler’s timetable, but exercise is an essential part of a balanced curriculum. (See below)
- Schools: Schools have been planning to provide continuity in the event of disruption or closure. In most cases, schools will be making use of systems and approaches (including online platforms) to ensure continuity in teaching. Find out how your child’s school is providing any online support and make sure that this is integrated into their home-schooling schedule.
- Keystone’s Recommendations: The extent of the online provision schools will make available to students is likely to vary greatly. Although many schools are attempting to deliver online lessons in virtual classrooms, the majority of students will simply be set work to complete independently at home. Thus, should you wish to supplement you child’s in-school provision we have the following suggestions:
- You can access the National Curriculum online. Use this to understand what your child should know by when.
- If your child is studying is in Secondary School you can access the curriculum for I/GCSEs and A Levels from the websites of the exam boards they are following (e.g. AQA – GCSE Biology (8461))
- BBC Bitesize was the original online resource, having been launched in 1998 and contains a wealth of tasks and activities for ages 3-16 following the UK. At GCSE the resources are categorised by exam board to ensure the correct topics are being studied.
- The Great Fire of London Workshop sounds like a fantastic way for Key Stage 1 pupils to discover and learn about all the characters involved in The Great Fire of London!
- Crash Course is YouTube channel offering free educational videos on a range of topics from Mythology to The Poetry of Sylvia Plath.
- Khan Academy is an excellent resource providing free personalised courses in a wide range of topics from basic algebra through to computer science and understanding capital markets. For ages 2-7 they have an app, and otherwise you can track your progress using the website.
- Lumosity is a brain-training resource originally created for commuters that uses evidence-based tasks that claim to improve memory and focus. Can be used in-between study periods or to help with non-verbal reasoning.
- Memrise is a language platform that allows you to learn most foreign languages!
- Fancy getting back into Latin? Former teacher Nicholas Oulton has designed a 3-part 'So you really want to learn Latin' course which takes those who really want to learn Latin from beginner to advanced level.
- Reading should be encouraged as much as possible to children of all ages. Get them reading a range of different material, some inspiration can be found at these link Reception to Yr. 3, Year 4 to Year 8 and read more about fostering a love of reading here.
- With kids at home and parents looking for educational activities, many authors are offering online read alouds and activities on social media. We Are Teachers have rounded up some of the best virtual author activities below!
- Seneca is an online resource providing resources across all subjects and levels. They have some great exam board specific revision activities and assessments for A Level and GCSE students.
- Teach is another BBC resource which provides a series of curriculum related videos arranged by subject for children 5-16 years.
- Twinkl an online publisher of lesson plans, schemes of work, activities and assessments are offering free membership for 1 month due to the COVID-19 situation. Go to www.twinkle.co.uk/offer the use the code UKTWINKLHELPS.
Assessment & Tools:
- Desmos is a great online maths graphing tool.
- GoConqr offers online quizzes resources in a range of GCSE and A Level subjects.
- Gojimo is a highly popular revision app for 11+, 13+, GCSE and A Level students. You can access over 40,000 practice questions for free!
- Quizlet has thousands of learning tools and revision activities across all subjects and ages.
- For students taking computerised pre-tests there are various websites you can subscribe to which provide practice exercises and mock exams. Our recommendations would be Keystone Tests, BOFA, Atom Learning and Bond.
- 450 Ivy League courses you can take online right now, for free
- Code Academy are offering secondary school and university students free access at the moment
- As are Tynker for younger students
- Fire Tech have taken their tech camps remote for Easter break. Same great courses, same awesome tutors, delivered live to your child in your home. 50% off over Easter break!
- Cypher Coders has launched online camps which run for 5 days, 90 minutes each day. These are aimed at children in Years 1 - 8 and will run for all 3 weeks during the Easter Break. They are also working hard to create a termly course to follow once children are meant to return to school.
- Digital Workouts - how London’s top fitness studios are responding to the coronavirus with digital workouts
- Yoga videos for kids
- Get online singing lessons
- Join an online choir
- Online streams of the Metropolitan Opera’s Performances
- Ten Pieces is a BBC site that encourages primary age children explore classical music
- Animal lovers can tune into these webcams from San Diego Zoo and Monterey Bay Aquarium which allow you to check in on an array of animals
- Wildlife Watch has a plethora of indoor and outdoor activities
- Geo Guesser is a game that drops you somewhere in Google Street View and you have to guess where you are by navigating the streets
- TED-Ed includes free talks from expert speakers on just about everything!
- Get Body Smart is a great way for children to truly understand how their body works.
- BP, the oil company, has some great resources which to introduce STEM learning in a real world context
- Learn a new language
- Chess in Schools and Communities is a charity which uses chess to help children's educational and social development.
- Wellbeing advice from Mind.
- Anna Freud offers advice on how to support young people’s mental health during disruptive periods.
- Relaxation apps, such as Headspace, who need to unwind and develop meditation and mindfulness skills.
- Advice for children from Childline and Young Minds.
Keystone’s Online Tutoring: If you need to supplement your home-teaching, then consider bringing in an online tutor. Keystone’s tutors have taught nearly 130,000 successful lessons online, with over 60% of our tutoring now conducted in this way. If you would like any supplementary online tutoring to support your children’s learning do take a look at our online tutoring video or get in touch to organise a lesson.
For more information about home-schooling and tutoring please do not hesitate to get in touch and we will do our best to help.