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Top Online Sites To Help Homeschooling During Lockdown

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by ABC Writer (subscribe)
Freelance journalist with a passion for theatre, the arts, food and books.
Published April 19th 2020
Top websites offering parents support to teach at home
Suddenly thrust into the task of homeschooling children during the Coronavirus lockdown can send many parents into panic mode.

Homeschooling, lockdown, parents
Do you need help with homeschooling?

With quarantine continuing after the Easter holidays, there's now the worry of running out of ideas to keep kids entertained and educated in an informed way.

To help access some of the most useful websites and digital tools or videos, we have a round-up of the online sites that can help mums and dads make the grade when it comes to a delivering a class or school timetable at home.

BBC Bitesize Daily

Across BBC iPlayer, BBC Sounds and online, there are over 200 teachers and celebrities offering virtual learning sessions for pupils.

Catch tutorials with everyone from Manchester City footballer Sergio Aguero, teaching children how to count in Spanish, to Professor Brian Cox, explaining key science topics including force and gravity.

Sir David Attenborough will even help educate youngsters about the oceans, mapping the world and why animals look the way they do.

There's something for all ages - from music lessons to reading sessions - to cover 14 weeks of curriculum-based learning for kids across the UK.

Katie thistleton, BBC bitesize, homeschooling
BBC bitesize presenter Katie Thistleton

Daily lessons are available from 9am each weekday on BBC iPlayer and BBC Red Button.

There are also daily podcasts on BBC Sounds to help families with homeschooling that are aimed at parents of primary and secondary pupils.

To keep children's attention, tutorials are from professional teachers along with celebrities including Mabel, Liam Payne, Doctor Who Jodie Whittaker, Danny Dyer and even Ed Balls giving a Key Stage 3 Maths class.

While online, there will be BBC Bitesize age-appropriate 'daily drops' of specially curated videos, quizzes, podcasts and worksheets to bring to life core curriculum subjects such as Maths, English and Science.

Bitesize Daily Online will deliver a newly created Maths and English lesson every day, for each year group from 1-10. The website will also house guides offering help to parents about how to teach their child, advice for effective homeschooling, and guides for pupils with Special Education Needs.

Oxford Owl For Home

Oxford University Press is behind this website featuring expert advice, educational resources and free eBooks to support children's learning at home.

oxford owl, homeschooling, website tools for parents
The Oxford Owl website has lots of tools for parents

Oxford Owl At Home is aimed at parents and includes a free ebook library, maths games, blogs with tips on how to do homeschooling activities like helping a child to read and storytelling videos by authors.

Fun resources are separated out by age group on its easy-to-use, bright website.


Seneca helps students revise on exam board topics for A-Level, GCSE, Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 2.

It's free and pitched as a more fun way for pupils to learn. You can get access to Seneca at its website here.

BBC Four Channel

BBC Four is devoting a block of programming each weekday evening to shows that support GCSE and A-Level curriculums.

There will be Britain's most authoritative voices on Science and History, while in terms of English, theatre screenings of Shakespeare plays by organisations like the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) are to be broadcast.

They include Macbeth starring Christopher Eccleston, Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello and Hamlet.

Macbeth, RSC, Christopher Eccleston
Macbeth by the RSC starring Christopher Eccleston

Other classic film adaptations on the current exam syllabus being shown include King Lear and A Midsummer Night's Dream.

There's also literature adaptations to be screened of Tess Of The D'Urbevilles, Pride And Prejudice, Great Expectations, Emma and An Inspector Calls.

Memrise for languages

Memrise is a website that helps language students to learn by watching conversational language from native speakers.

It offers a personalised learning experience through fun techniques to help memorise a new language.

There are main languages covered in the courses from German, French and Italian to Arabic, Korean and Japanese.

Kaligo handwriting app

Kaligo, is a handwriting app which combines neuroscientific research with AI technology to help children write.

kaligo, homeschooling apps, educating children in a lockdown, coronavirus
A handwriting app from Kaligo is just one of the apps available to parents

Children use a stylus and tablet to trace letters through colourful and intuitive screens. This is then stored so parents can easily monitor their child's progress.

Kaligo is providing the practice version of its app for free for a month to all schools that have closed to help children keep up with their handwriting whilst they are away from the classroom.

kaligo, handwriting app, screen, home schooling
A screen on the Kaligo app

The digital handwriting tool is aimed at children aged between three and nine. It takes a few minutes to analyse a child's current handwriting level and they can then proceed with options of pre-set lessons.

The practice version of Kaligo can be downloaded for free on iPad or Android at the Kaligo website here.


During the school closures, Century website is offering free English, Maths and Science courses for parents.

The courses are for years 3 to 11 and include hundreds of micro-lessons to help children stay on top of their learning.

Up to five learners can sign up under one parent account, but this will only be free while the schools are closed due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

You can sign up for the free courses at the Century website here.

Out of the box learning

Whether it's a quiz on Facebook or planting vegetables in the garden, there are many activities that can include learning for a child while they are self-isolating.

Joe wicks, body coach, pe with Joe, home schooling
Make time for PE with Joe Wicks

It could be organising a morning routine of exercising with Joe Wicks on his The Body Coach YouTube channel or doing a lesson that involves logic with a puzzle adventure game from Escape Hunt at home.

Planting seeds and watching them grow or looking out for animals and birds in the garden can add a fun way of teaching biology.
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Why? Help for homeschooling children during lockdown
When: Anytime
Phone: Various including Caligo - 0121 728 0557
Where: At home
Cost: Mainly free
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