Lockdown learning: Online homeschooling resources
- Deborah Chu
- 28 April 2020
Learn geography with Sir David Attenborough and explore the wonderful world of botany with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh's cat, Marley
For many children across the UK, this week ought to have seen them return to school and begin their summer term. But since the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that classes won't be in session for the foreseeable future, many parents and guardians are having to step up to the plate and keep those young minds ticking away. But there's no need to homeschool alone, as educators and experts across the country host virtual classes, workshops and activity packs to make learning fun during the pandemic. Here we've rounded up a few of our favourite online resources to help you homeschool the wee ones.
Marley's School of Garden Magic
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh have opened the doors to their new online school, hosted by their own black cat, Marley. The School of Garden Magic's interdisciplinary programme will lead children through a range of age-appropriate activities designed to educate and foster wonder about the natural world, with topics ranging from science and maths to arts and health & wellbeing. All courses are aligned with the Scottish curriculum, so that kids can get straight back on track once schools reopen.
Explore Marley's School of Garden Magic.
BBC Bitesize Daily Lessons
To the collective relief of parents everywhere, the Beeb have stepped up to the homeschooling plate with a daily lessons programme as part of BBC Bitesize. They've got maths and English lessons for every year group, as well as regular classes in history, science and geography. The curriculum was created by a roster of educators and leading experts in their field, and a few famous faces are lending a hand in the virtual classroom. National treasure Sir David Attenborough will be teaching us about animals and the vital role that oceans play in our world, and Professor Brian Cox will lead us on a galactic adventure through space and physics.
Explore BBC Bitesize's daily lessons.
National Museum of Scotland
The National Museum of Scotland has a treasure trove of online learning resources and activity packs available on their website, inspired by their exhibitions and collections. From making a dinosaur out of recycled materials and interactive lessons about the Declaration of Arbroath, to computer games that'll teach the little ones about robotics, the museum has plenty to fill the lockdown days and keep the kids curious.
Explore the National Museum of Scotland's online collections.
Though none of us are going anywhere anytime soon, the British Museum's (in)famous collection of globetrotting historical artefacts are an excellent way of teaching youngsters around the wide world out there. Their website has dedicated resources for every age group, with virtual visits, digital self-led sessions and workshop resources to do at your kitchen table.
Explore the British Museum's online resources.
Take a Code Break
Code Break hosts weekly live webcasts for kids to hone their skills in computer science, accessible for all levels of ability and even those without a computer. These virtual interactive classrooms are led by the organisation's founder Hadi Partovi and a roster of special guests, including the likes of Microsoft mogul Bill Gates, comedian Keegan-Michael Key and 'Father of the Internet' Vint Cerf.
Explore Code Break's weekly webcasts.
Dan Hancock: Home School PE
Take care of your mind and body with personal trainer Dan Hancock, who runs his Home School PE sessions on YouTube every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning. With a focus on both children's mental and physical health, Hancocks leads his audience on simple exercises that anyone can do at home, and hopefully burn off some of the quarantine cabin fever.
Join in with Dan Hancock: Home School PE.
Jacqueline Wilson: Story Writing and Illustration Competition
Fans of Tracy Beaker and Hetty Feather, rejoice: the great Jacqueline Wilson has launched a story writing and illustration competition for children between the ages of 6 and 16, running from now until the end of June. Help Wilson write a new story, titled The Two New Foundlings, by submitting words or drawings, with one submission selected each week to continue the story. To help get the creative juices flowing, Wilson has also uploaded a series of useful tips on narrative structure, finding inspiration and more.
Take part in Jacqueline Wilson's Story Writing and Illustration Competition.
Follow The List's Staying In is the New Going Out articles for more recommendations, alternative online events, press releases, refund policies, restaurant deliveries and further general information.