Learning in Lockdown
Are you struggling to keep your kids engaged? Is home schooling just as much a lesson for you as it is the kids? If you’re finding it difficult to answer their questions without a little help from google, don’t worry, you’re not alone. There’s a reason we aren’t all teachers.
The coronavirus is putting pressure on us all and it can be hard to keep momentum going in these weird times. While schools may be sending work home, keeping the kids on track within the home environment can seem like an up-hill battle. Maybe it was smooth sailing to start with but now you’ve hit a wall and are running out of ideas.
Although we’re all hoping for things to get back to normal as soon as possible, here are some ideas and resources to keep you going in the meantime.
1. Online lessons/ resources
The internet is a big place, and there are so many free and accessible learning sites to offer a classroom alternative education.
Bitesize is a reliable source of interactive learning games and lesson plans which offers support for a huge range of subjects across all different age ranges. https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize
The BBC also offers interactive learning via Live Lessons which covers a huge range of subjects with videos to keep you engaged
IXL is an online learning site which offers clearly structured resources and allows you to access a programme of study in line with the national curriculum https://uk.ixl.com/
If you have a particular interest in Science, Geography or Design and Technology then take a look at BP’s Educational Services which offer learning activities for primary and secondary education and even have activities specially designed for at home. https://bpes.bp.com/
Those interested in Science should also take a look at the Science Museum Group to explore a treasure trove of activities games and videos. https://learning.sciencemuseumgroup.org.uk/learning-resources/
Maybe stories are more your thing. Through the lockdown audible have selected a collection of stories which are available to listen to for free. https://stories.audible.com/start-listen
2. Learn a language
We all have a lot more time to ourselves recently (government mandated), so why not use the time to pick up a language. Make it a family activity, learning in a group can help push you and keep you progressing. There are loads of useful websites, apps and programmes that are great for beginners, here are a few we have found helpful:
Dualingo is a great language tool for beginners with a variety of written, listening and speaking activities it helps make learning a language accessible for all. This also comes as an app for your phone, and don’t worry about reminding yourself to keep at it Duo the owl won’t let you forget. https://www.duolingo.com/
If you’re looking to step it up, then take a look at what the open university has to offer. They have free courses which cover different aspects of a language available at different levels of proficiency. https://www.open.edu/openlearn/languages/free-courses
Another readily available source of learning is the BBC who present a range of audio, video and visual activities to get you on your way to be a proficient linguist. http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/
3. Experiential Learning
What if we were to take away the online resources and textbooks? What would we be left with? While these are valuable learning tools, they can be tiresome and sometimes we need a bit of a break. As a way to mix things up why not introduce some experiential learning into the schedule. In the most basic sense this is learning by doing. Where you actively engage, practice and perform activities which help facilitate learning.
It may seem a little abstract in theory but you’re likely unwittingly using this form of learning already. Here are some suggestions to help you along:
Learning through cooking/ baking. Many of us have taken to the kitchen during lockdown but why not make it a fun learning exercise. Through cooking and baking we learning skills such as literacy, weighing, counting, fractions (what portion of cake are you getting?) and many more. Why not get your child to plan out what ingredients you’ll need, look at the prices of ingredients (online) and work to a budget? Cooking and baking is a great practical life skill and can also encourage creativity.
Outdoor learning. Our time outside the house time can seem particularly scant as of late but why not use the time we do have to learn. Learning outside can be a great way to expose children to new environments and help develop an interest in their wider surroundings. Learning through landscapes is one site that offer many suggestions on how you can learn outdoors and have fun. https://www.ltl.org.uk/free-resources/
Get Creative. Learning is more than the core subjects. Schools provide lessons outside of Maths, Science and English so don’t limit yourself to these. Get drawing, paint, craft it up, put on a play or try out some poetry. If there’s anything that you’ve thought about trying but just didn’t have the time, give it a go you may find something that you love.
If you have any ideas, suggestions or useful websites that have helped you during lockdown get in touch and let us know on twitter or Facebook.