The Definitive Guide to Staying at Home with Kids through the Coronavirus

You might be feeling anxious at the moment and we want you to know that is normal and to be expected given the circumstances. Whether you are worried about the health of your loved ones, keeping your business and/or finances afloat, coping with the unknown or wondering how your older relatives are going to cope: you are not alone.

None of us can do anything about the unknown BUT with everything else, we can and will endeavour to help. Many parents in the UK are potentially facing homeschooling in the event of school closures.

Fortunately for many families, while you might not be a qualified teacher, you may have access to the internet and a laptop, phone or tablet.

I want to thank Lisa Mellis, the TechPixies Digital Marketing Assistant, for putting this definitive guide together. Before joining TechPixies, Lisa was a teacher for 15+ years. She has taught primary school-aged children up to degree level adults. She has worked hard to make this guide as easy as possible for you to follow. We will continue to add resources as we find them.

Lisa’s Top Tip: **Check the front/back of your children’s home/school diaries. Many schools put a sticker with login details for programmes children are already using, that the school already subscribe to. Check your child’s school website, as they will be keen for your children to keep up to date on the relevant schemes of work too**

Your TOP 3 LIFELINES and general all-rounders

These 3 suggestions will enable you to work out a long term plan for your children. You cannot just give your child these 3 links, they are for YOU to download, print, organise for your child. These are to gather schemes of work for longer periods. If you have a printer you could get most of what you need for MANY weeks of work from my first two suggestions. The third suggestion might be more useful to you if you do NOT own a printer.

#1 TWINKL

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ Printouts ☑️ Device/tablet use ☑️ App downloadable ☑️ Doesn’t need a lot of adult input

Firstly, if your children are of primary age, I’d point you towards Twinkl. It is used by primary schools up and down the country. It will be INVALUABLE to anyone that has to home school and self isolate in the UK as it follows the national curriculum. You can find appropriate work easily that children LOVE.

Handy too, if you prefer to print out some resources to cut down on screen time. Twinkl has released a special offer [free access to all resources for one month] to help those who need it. Follow the link above to the offer. Scroll to the bottom of the post for older children. We will focus on Primary children first as primary children need more help to structure their time, and more of your time keeping them entertained!

#2 TES Resources

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ Printouts ☑️ Device/tablet use App downloadableDoesn’t need a lot of adult input

My second top tip would be The Times Educational Supplement TES resources I have relied upon this website MANY TIMES as it is so useful.

Be aware that there are free and paid-for resources. The resources are designed by teachers to share with other teachers. The payable resources are not hugely expensive, a couple of pounds max. However, a vast amount of downloadables are available for free.

As you can see it is sectioned into subjects and subtopics really beautifully. You should find whatever you need. If you look carefully, you might even find my old teaching resources!

#3 BBC Bitesize

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadableDoesn’t need a lot of adult input

BBC Bitesize has saved me from many a dull afternoon with nothing to do as a supply teacher. I would say it is a fantastic all-rounder with a massive amount of different subjects, that follow the national curriculum.

Downside… if you’re not a fan of too much screen time, this does rely heavily on screens. However, the games are super fun and children enjoy it.

‘Crystal explorers’ will keep them entertained for hours!

Upside… you can keep the kids entertained and occupied for a long time whilst getting an education! I’ve seen a link doing the rounds on Facebook which is BBC Learning It’s BBC Bitesize’s old archived site. Honestly, I would use the Bitesize link instead of BBC Learning, as teaching methods do change a lot …and it got archived for a reason!

Early years and reception

#1 Phonics Play

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ Printouts ☑️ Device/tablet use ☑️ App downloadableDoesn’t need a lot of adult input

Oooooh we just lucked out here! Our very own TechPixie, Anna-Marie Garbutt, spotted this one. I have used this during my supply days many times!

Can I just point out… this is super generous of all these companies. They’re excellent courses for children and cost a lot of money to develop. During Coronavirus they are offering Phonics Play free with the code

USERNAME march20 PASSWORD home

You probably know nothing about phonics …and who could blame you! In a nutshell.. by the end of reception, your child probably will have completed phase 4. At the end of year 1 your child, on average, should have completed phase 5.

#2 Monster Phonics

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ Printouts ☑️ Device/tablet use ☑️ App downloadable ☑️ Doesn’t need a lot of adult input

Another TOP NOTCH phonics course. Our own, Michelle Matty, found this one! Nice one, Michelle! A very good site for learning phonics. Really worth it’s place on the list. Very easy to follow. From early years to year 2

Login with:

USERNAME login PASSWORD homelearning

#3 Numberblocks

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadable ☑️ Doesn’t need a lot of adult input ☑️

Numberblocks is a maths television programme for very little children and early primary ages. Teaching your very little children is hard, particularly when you need to work and you haven’t got time to teach them. Numberblocks is a series on BBC iplayer. It can get you 30mins to yourself at least! NB. You need to own a TV licence.

#4 Alphablocks

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadable ☑️ Doesn’t need a lot of adult input ☑️

This is for your infants to learn phonics. Similar to Numberblocks. A television programme for very young children.

#5 The Imagination Tree

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadableDoesn’t need a lot of adult input

Ideas for fine motor skills and all-round early years education. Parents with much younger children and babies would find this useful.

#6 Red Ted Art

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadableDoesn’t need a lot of adult input

Suggestions to keep your very little children busy. This one needs you on board… and it’s going to get messy!

#7 CBeebies

Let’s just say this, CBeebies is going to be a lifesaver if you have very small children. The radio station is great to get away from screens for a while. It has poetry, activities, stories & relaxation. I might have a listen, myself! The games are great, the content. All of it!

Primary by Subject

Maths

#1 Times Tables Rockstars

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadable ☑️ Doesn’t need a lot of adult input ☑️

It’s exactly as you imagine it. Learning times tables, but children can buy different things with the coins they earn. A big favourite with children everywhere. It is possible your child already has an account with this. [FREE FULL ACCESS available during coronavirus.]

#2 Mathletics

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadable ☑️ Doesn’t need a lot of adult input ☑️

It is possible your child is already using this and can carry on where they left off. They can also challenge their classmates if they are online too!

#3 Top Marks Maths Games

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadableDoesn’t need a lot of adult input

Individual maths games. This will need a lot of your input, particularly with younger age groups.

#4 White Rose Maths

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ Printouts ☑️ Device/tablet use App downloadableDoesn’t need a lot of adult input

If you are reading this from the UK it is highly likely that your child may already be using this. At the time of writing, they are preparing resources for school closures to make it easy for parents to know where their children left off. These are full schemes of work.

#5 Prodigy

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadable ☑️ Doesn’t need a lot of adult input ☑️

Yes, it’s American and I’d advise against using US platforms if you follow UK curriculum …BUT they ask where you are in the world and what year of school you’re in, which is super handy! -because it’s relevant for your child’s age and location. Easy to log in with your Google account.

#6 Cool Math Games

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadable ☑️ Doesn’t need a lot of adult input ☑️

I cannot believe I forgot about this website! *just added it* It is purely a site for Maths games. I have spent MANY an afternoon with a PILE of marking to do… enter Cool Math! Heavy use of screen I’m afraid… there is an app available too! Although worth it, in my opinion. NO complicated login required.

#7 MathsFrame

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadable ☑️ Doesn’t need a lot of adult input ☑️

Again, no difficult login. Get started straight away. Apps are available for download. What’s not to like?

Maths continued…

You may have been recommended Khan Academy. If you are from the US go for it. If you are from the UK, I recommend that you DO NOT use it, to avoid confusion. [Unless you constantly want to explain every subtle nuance!]

Your school can advise if they are using MyMaths. Currently, you need a login and they have no coronavirus offers.

English

#1 The Literacy Shed

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadableDoesn’t need a lot of adult input

Write a story from a picture. Lots of ideas to keep your children busy. Again, it’s likely your UK children have done activities from The Literacy Shed before. They regularly update the site and have fresh activities to do.

#2 Oxford Owl for Home

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadableDoesn’t need a lot of adult input

A great resource for English. Free e-books available to download. Also has age-appropriate phonics.

#3 Mad Libs

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ Printouts ☑️ Device/tablet use ☑️ App downloadable ☑️ Doesn’t need a lot of adult input ☑️

In my humble opinion the most fun way to practice using grammar! It’s an American site, but still perfectly good for using, nouns, adjectives, etc. All children love Mad Libs!! I even love Mad Libs for goodness sake!

#4 SpellingFrame

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadable ☑️ Doesn’t need a lot of adult input ☑️

Just like MathsFrame it is easy to use, fun and children can just use it and learn without too much fuss. Not just spelling by the way…

#5 Storyline Online

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadable ☑️ Doesn’t need a lot of adult input ☑️

All I can say is WHERE HAS THIS BEEN HIDING?!!! Amazing website. Not hard to use. Books read to you by celebrities. Immediate access. AMAZING!

#6 Into The Book

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadableDoesn’t need a lot of adult input ☑️

OK, this is not the most intuitive website… but if you feel your child needs to push themselves further with literacy Into the Book is designed to help improve students’ reading comprehension, as well as their ability to think and learn across the curriculum. It is an American website and on the whole, I do recommend you use sites from the country where your child goes to school. Click on the magic button in the middle to get started, so you don’t get lost in the marketing space!

#7 World Book reader

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadableDoesn’t need a lot of adult input ☑️

Ridiculously brilliant offer! Over 3000 e-books and audiobooks free to read for the duration of the current situation.

#8 ‘Wind in the Willows’ Theatre Production

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadableDoesn’t need a lot of adult input ☑️

As theatres are forced to close their doors, The Wind in the Willows the Musical is available to stream online for free. The film was recorded live at the London Palladium.

You can watch the film by clicking PLAY VIDEO. In return they are asking for a small donation. Please note this is currently only available in the UK. Spotted by Michelle Reynolds. Nice work!

#9 Night Zookeeper

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadable ☑️ Doesn’t need a lot of adult input ☑️

Fun, engaging games that increase vocabulary and improve spelling. Puzzles and challenges that develop grammar and structure skills. Inspiring prompts and story creation lessons that spark imaginations

Not free but 52% off at the moment 3.92 a month.

Technology

#1 Scratch

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadable ☑️ Doesn’t need a lot of adult input ☑️

Computer programming games that your child probably already uses and loves! Used in many schools in the UK

#2 Blockly

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadable ☑️ Doesn’t need a lot of adult input ☑️

Computer programming games. Not as good as Scratch in my opinion but will entertain and educate for sure! Plus, no complicated sign in

#3 Tinkercad

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadable ☑️ Doesn’t need a lot of adult input ☑️

Tinkercad is a free, easy-to-use app for 3D design, electronics, and coding. It’s used by teachers, kids, hobbyists, and designers to imagine, design, and make anything! A great introduction to CAD. Computer-aided design.

Science

#1 EarthCam

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadable ☑️ Doesn’t need a lot of adult input ☑️

Fascinate your children with live webcams from across the globe. Teach them about the world we live in right now! Show them the empty streets from around the globe. Eerie, yet educational.

#2 National Geographic Kids

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadable ☑️ Doesn’t need a lot of adult input ☑️

Older primary age kids can amuse themselves with these facts and games independently quite easily

#3 Nature Detectives

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use Printouts ☑️ Device/tablet use ☑️ App downloadableDoesn’t need a lot of adult input

A fantastic idea if you can get to a remote park or forest. Pretty good if you just have a reasonable sized garden!

#4 Mystery Science

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ Printouts ☑️ Device/tablet use ☑️ App downloadableDoesn’t need a lot of adult input

Many free, hour-long, structured science lessons from the US. They are offering some of their resources free at the moment.

#5 Crest Awards

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ Printouts ☑️ Device/tablet use ☑️ App downloadableDoesn’t need a lot of adult input

Challenging and thought-provoking real-world STEM projects for young people of all ages. Although primary age 5+ will need a lot of help. Star Awards are a great introduction to problem-solving in STEM. They offer children the opportunity to learn through hands-on challenges that focus on their everyday lives. Anyone can run these activities. Entry fee per child: £1 UK / £4 International* = For around 8 hour-long lessons

#6 Geography Gaming

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadableDoesn’t need a lot of adult input ☑️

Absolutely addictive!! Self-explanatory too, so you can get on with what you need to do. No silly login.

#7 DK Find Out

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadableDoesn’t need a lot of adult input ☑️

An encyclopedia with games and quizzes. Easy for children to use.

#8 Google Earth

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadable ☑️ Doesn’t need a lot of adult input ☑️

Visit the whole world virtually, whilst stuck in the house! Your children will scream when they find their house, school, church! Entertaining for hours! Give them a list of things to find: Eiffel Tower, Pyramids, etc

#8 13 Zoos that offer live streams

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadableDoesn’t need a lot of adult input ☑️

Thanks to HolidayPirates for this amazing blog post full of links to worldwide zoos with webcams. Genuine, working webcams, what a brilliant idea!

History

#1 Horrible Histories

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadable ☑️ Doesn’t need a lot of adult input ☑️

This is a comedy television programme about history for children that is factually accurate.

#2 Virtually visit 12 Museums of the world

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadableDoesn’t need a lot of adult input

This is a link to the blog ‘Travel & Leisure’, with links to 12 different museums you can visit globally online.

Physical Education

#1 Body Coach TV

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadable ☑️ Doesn’t need a lot of adult input ☑️ -join in!

Starting Monday morning at 9 am on the Youtube channel: The Body Coach TV the Nations PE teacher, Joe Wicks, is LIVE every day Monday to Friday at 9 am. Lots of content for children on his Youtube Channel too, but why not tune in LIVE to feel a bit more connected?!

#2 Go Noodle

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadable ☑️ Doesn’t need a lot of adult input ☑️

GoNoodle engages 14 million kids every month with movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts. Available for free at school, home, and everywhere kids are! Very fun, but set it up in another room if you’re busy…or join in if you’re not!

#3 Cosmic Kids

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadable ☑️ Doesn’t need a lot of adult input ☑️

A British website teaching children yoga. It’s very good. Lots of free sessions and videos. There is a subscription service for more content. I think judging by what I’ve seen, it’s probably worth subscribing.

#4 Change 4 life

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadableDoesn’t need a lot of adult input

Short activities for children, but you, or older children will need to lead it. It has some video activities to follow too.

#5 Disney workouts

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadableDoesn’t need a lot of adult input ☑️

Someone was using their head when they came up with Disney themed workouts! -Say What?! Also has other Disney themed family fun, recipes, etc

Music

#1 Yousician

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadable ☑️ Doesn’t need a lot of adult input ☑️

Can teach you guitar, ukulele, or piano from a complete beginner. Very intuitive programme.

PSHE

#1 Big life journal

Resilience and growth mindset kits for children. All kinds of personal development covered. They sell you books, sheets OR printouts that your child completes and colour. Really great content and something a bit different from Easter cards, etc. Not free, but 50% off during coronavirus using code: STUCKHOME

Art

#1 NGAkids Art Zone

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadableDoesn’t need a lot of adult input ☑️

Teaches your children about art with 0% mess. That’s right! Collaging without glue everywhere -priceless!

#2 The Artful Parent

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadableDoesn’t need a lot of adult input

Is a Facebook group with lots of arty suggestions

Languages

#1 DuoLingo

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadable ☑️ Doesn’t need a lot of adult input ☑️

Not necessarily for children, but so user-friendly that a child could certainly use it to learn any language she wishes. I’d stay clear of Russian, Mandarin, Japanese and Greek, due to the alphabet differences, but all the rest children could work their way through at their own pace.

Cooking

#1 Tasty

Computer/laptop use ☑️ Screen use ☑️ PrintoutsDevice/tablet use ☑️ App downloadable ☑️ Doesn’t need a lot of adult input

Get simple recipes, watch them be cooked… but listen if you can’t get all the ingredients right now …it’s mad fun to watch the cooking videos!! I’ve linked Slice and Bake Rainbow cookies as an example.

Timetable/Schedule/Structure!

#1 Free Online Schedule Maker

You could make a timetable like the one below. Children do thrive on structure, it’ll be easier for everyone. Hey! -Make yourself a timetable too if you like?! DO NOT FEEL GUILTY if this is not your cup of tea! You DO NOT have to be super-parent. The idea of a timetable might not work for you or your child. You do you.

We made a dummy timetable ☝️which you can take directly from the link (and edit if you wish.) You really don’t have to stick rigidly to a timetable …but the more children take ownership of their time, the less anxiety we all feel!

You’ll also have to define what each category does and does not contain!

‘Cleaning ‘ could mean doing general chores, tidying, folding clothes, filling the dishwasher, etc.

‘Quiet time’ in your house could mean a puzzle or board game -without screens. Or perhaps, that means a film or iPad time? You decide.

Educational Videos

Yes, your children probably love Youtube, but how about some educational videos during screen time?

#1 Ted Ed

#2 Crash Course

#3 Crash Course Kids

#4 The kids should see this

Other

#1 Blue Peter Badges

Applying for a Blue Peter badge is a great idea! Children can get a real sense of achievement.

#2 Toy Theatre

Cute games, slightly educational VERY basic!!

#3 Paw Print Badges

Your children complete the challenges, you buy a badge which is posted to them on completion.

For older Children (Secondary)

Your older children are more likely to tell you there is nothing they can do at home! There’s quite a bit they can do actually!

#1 TES Resources

The Times Educational Supplement TES resources Will have everything you need for older children and GCSE revision.

#2 White Rose Maths

Maths right up to GCSE

#3 BBC Bitesize

Most secondary and also GCSE revision subjects covered.

#4 Big History Project

Journey through nearly 14 billion years of history in this self-guided, six-hour version of Big History. Every chapter is full of great activities to keep your children entertained and test learning.

For much older children and young adults (GCSE / A-Level onwards)

#1 Future Learn

Courses leaning more towards A-level and beyond

#2 IDEA

Digital enterprise award scheme you can complete online

#3 Seneca

From KS2 through to A-level, many different subjects but geared a little more towards the older end!

#3 Open Learn

A-Level and beyond education.

Many thanks to suggestions received, notably:

From Facebook: @Lisa Mellis (@TechPixies); @Emma Tombling; @ilesphilippa; @Roberta Jeffs; @Lead with Literacy

LINKS TO OTHER CURATED CONTENT:

‘Travel & Leisure’ blog, for ‘Stuck at Home? These 12 Famous Museums Offer Virtual Tours You Can Take on Your Couch (Video)

Cool School – Suggested Daily Schedule created by TechPixie Lynne Artus

The best Kid Yoga Videos from Preschool Inspirations

The Big List of Children’s Authors Doing Online Reading Alouds & Activities

Teaching at Home During the Coronavirus – article by TechPixie Gayle Siobhan

Coronavirus Toolkit for Families – The Curiosity Box

from Lead with Literacy

Art Club with Olaf Falafel

Wild Days £8 per week £3 per day