At the time of writing, there still seems to be no definitive guidance about when children will be able to go back to school. As lockdown eases, some schools will open throughout June, almost certainly. However, this will only be for some pupils in particular year groups, initially. Not only that, a lot will depend on an individual school’s capacity to open safely for all concerned. One thing is clear, homeschooling in one form or another is here to stay for a good while yet. This is why you need as many fun homeschooling ideas for lockdown as possible.
Fun homeschooling ideas: Why we need fun!
Any parent who has played the role of homeschooling teacher/parent over the last couple of months will know how difficult it is! There has a been a renewed gratitude for the work that teachers do day-to-day. There are many questions that still need answering. Pupils about to move up to secondary school and those in Year 1o and 12 and set to face exams next are a big concern. But, even if we haven’t got all the answers to all the questions just yet, it’s crystal clear that you need to incorporate fun homeschooling ideas into your home/school curriculum.
Teachers are the best source of material and resources designed to prepare children for examinations. However, parents still have a key part to play. They need to make sure that their child’s educational diet is varied and engaging.
Put simply, learning is better when learning is fun!
Keeping learning fun: Use apps
One of the most important things to think about when planning fun homeschooling ideas during lockdown is to make sure you use digital learning. More than anything, this means using some of the great apps that are out there.
For pre-school kids, the CBeebies apps are a must. For a start, they are all free. The apps feature children’s most loved characters. Furthermore, they are guaranteed to be fun and include great activities based on the early years’ curriculum.
For Key Stage 1 kids, the Squeebles Spelling Test app is a must-have. Ready-to-go tests – based on the National Curriculum – can be downloaded, or you can customise your own. This great app, at just £3.99, is a worthwhile purchase. Kids will love rescuing their Squeeble from the spelling snake! You won’t find a more fun way to learn to spell.
Apps are for older kids too
Don’t make the mistake of thinking apps are only for the really little ones. For Key Stage 2 pupils, Roblox and Duolingo are both free – and both come highly recommended. The Learn & Explore option of Roblox opens up a world of possibilities. Meanwhile, Duolingo is the easiest and most enjoyable way there is to learn foreign languages.
There’s even something for GCSE students too. BBC Bitesize, also free, is the interactive and engaging way to test progress and revise for GCSE subjects. The app is exam-board specific. All learning is focused and totally relevant. This app will be particularly useful for children in Year 10, keeping them on track for next year’s exams.
The importance of the arts and creativity
Of course, learning should never be all about pen, paper and having your head stuck in books. If you want fun homeschooling ideas for lockdown, it’s always a good idea to turn to the arts. Unique Voice are a Bristol-based social enterprise that uses the arts to teach some, often challenging, issues. Recognising the importance of play and creativity, Unique Voice have created a downloadable Stay At Home Activity Pack.
Fun homeschooling ideas: Taking the pressure off
It’s important – for children of all ages – not to overload them with academic learning. Of course, it’s vital that they don’t fall behind with their core learning. However, don’t forget the fun side of things. We can’t underestimate the effect that missing out on social interaction will be having on young people.
Fun activities include paints and crafts, playing board games, or reading books or online magazines. Readly is a subscription service that offers unlimited magazine reading in one app. It offers a month free and gives you access to a great range of children’s (and adult) magazine titles. All in all, it’s great for family sharing.
Overall, the key thing to remember is to strike a balance between study that brings on academic learning, and fun and creative ideas that stimulate young minds. The good news is that, while lockdown has restricted our movements, the things we are allowed to do, and the places we are able to go – as this post shows, you should never really be short of fun homeschooling ideas for lockdown.