As we know, from today the UK has now gone into lockdown and schools are shut. Social media is full of parents facing the fact of having to home school again, how to fit work in, juggle schedules and timetables, keep children amused and reassured.
In Ireland, we’re already back in lockdown, Level 5, everything shut apart from ‘essential retail’ and looking like schools won’t reopen this month. The education system here is very different and I am not really familiar with it properly yet, having only lived here since March last year and being a home-educator myself.
However the issues around whether the schools should be open or not, and the outcomes when they close, are pretty much the same. Everywhere parents and children are feeling the strain of missing friends, missing the normal routines of everyday life. Parents worrying about work and finances; teenagers worrying about exams. Managing being stuck indoors together and how to manage it all.
We are all worn out with it – it’s a long haul and the winter weather doesn’t help.
There are plenty of opinions about how much schooling can or should be attempted. Some children are being educated via online schooling, provided for by the actual school they go to. Some are getting work sent via email or online school homework portals, some are getting very little direction at all. There are no consistent measures being applied as far as I can tell. Please correct me if I’m wrong about this!
There are some great English / literacy / creative writing / art resources out there for helping your kids – whatever age they are – to get through this latest lockdown.
I’ll list some here but will add more as I find them, use them, remember them or they’re recommended to me. So I will post this blog again on social media each time I update it. Please let me know of any resources / web sites / activities that you’ve found helpful too!
I’ll focus on what I know best here- which is creative writing, English literature and language, creativity in general / art, and things I’ve found useful myself in my journey as a home educator. Some of these might work for your child / children and some won’t. There is plenty to explore and you will know whether your child is likely to be interested in reading or writing stories, or if they would prefer to be doing something more physically active. Some of these are also age dependent.
I’m putting this up pretty quickly but will aim to add more information as I have time – we are all juggling a million things at the moment. I hope this is helpful! It’s a start… (in no particular order)
64 Million Artists January Challenge – something creative to do every day https://64millionartists.com/
Aquila magazine https://www.aquila.co.uk/aquila-resources/
Phoenix Comic https://www.thephoenixcomic.co.uk/Page/Index/SkillsHub
Dekko Comic (specifically aimed at KS2 kids with dyslexia) https://dekkocomics.com/puzzle-page-guide
The Week Junior – current affairs, great pics https://theweekjunior.co.uk/
National Poetry Day UK – Lots of great lesson plans here for poetry – all ages! https://nationalpoetryday.co.uk/education/free-education-resource-downloads/
Tate Kids – loads of great ideas for art and learn about lots of diverse artists https://www.tate.org.uk/kids
Learn touch typing for free – a great skill for kids with dyslexia but also really good for seeing progress with something on a daily basis https://www.typingclub.com/
Lovely stuff here for creative writing – thanks Jean Atkin https://www.sparkwriters.org/get-creative/
Update 6th January 2021
Great news if you are in the UK! The BBC has announced they will be delivering their biggest education offer in history, with significant airtime on their channels including BBC2.
Thanks to Annie for sharing The Happy Newspaper and the Julia Donaldon home learning packs from Scholastic with me.
Update 8th January 2021
For some excellent science-based activities for all stages of learning check out STEM’s Home Learning for Families
Also, Astronomy Ireland has a radio show here which you can listen to on the web!
The Science Museum has tonnes of learning resources for all key stages, related to objects in its collection