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Learning Online can Expand their Minds!


In this article: Educational Resources - Audio Resources - Just for Fun

After nearly two weeks of “home-schooling” it has been really exciting seeing the children begin to explore the world from a different angle. I was a complete nerd at school – I loved it – so this time for me has been wonderful. I have gathered all the “educational” books in the house and put them in the lounge for easy reading and made plans each day about the next day’s learning programme.

Not a single book has been picked up and no one has followed my plan…!!

Educational Resources

They have, however, enjoyed the webcams and virtual tours and their ears prick up when I mention learning online. Even PE is done with Joe Wicks via YouTube! With thanks to some excellent people sending in recommendations, here are some online educational resources if counting shells in the garden isn’t getting them excited!

The Science museum have added challenges to do At Home for different levels of the curriculum including games and videos. 

The RSPCA have used this time to teach us about animal welfare through fun activities and suggestions for the whole family to get involved.

TES If schools don't reopen for several months you don't need to look any further than the TES Home Learning section that is currently free for everyone. 

The Maths Factor makes Carol Vorderman your child's online maths tutor! For 4-12 year olds and you can even print out certificates.

The MEL Academy is every young scientist's dream! And for the next 3 months they are offering free access to their website.  

Kew Gardens' Endeavour programme is for keen botanists and those with a love of nature; find out about plants used in medicines and explore habitats under threat. For Key stages 1 through to 5.

Coding for kids from age 5 can be found at Tynker, who are also offering free access to their premium courses during school closures. 

Creative children (and parents too of course!) can head to Creative Bug to learn new skills in Knitting, Crochet, Art + Design, Paper, Sewing, Quilting and Jewellery making.

If you love the Discovery channel then you will probably find Discovery Education really interesting. There are a lot of free resources on this site as well as being able to sign up for a free trial. 

A favourite of ours because we are animal mad is the National Geographic Kids website. We could spend hours on there finding out about the animals, the countries, the cultures and making the world a smaller place but knowing just a little more about it and how we can look after our planet. 

Time Magazine are offering Time for Kids free until the end of the school year. This American e-magazine is an interesting look into American politics. 

Twinkl have also provided free resources for home schooling and you may recognise many print outs that schools use!

If you have a Hertfordshire Library card you can get free access to the Britannica Library, and BorrowBox for eBooks.

Starting from 20 April educational videos, quizzes, podcasts and articles will appear on BBC Bitesize Daily via the BBC iPlayer, red button, BBC Four and BBC Sounds.

And Amazon Future Engineer has launched a free virtual coding programme students aged 12 to 17 to help build computer science skills. Access 20 hours of free content. Covering computer programming aspects in line with Key Stage 3 and 4 of the English National Curriculum. 

Just listen...

To rest their eyes and just sit and listen – maybe whilst colouring or drawing a picture – Audible are offering free children's stories during this time. Loyal Books is another free audio book store with many of the classics. 

BorrowBox from the library has hundreds of audio books available and Storynory provides free audio stories including fairytales, original stories, myths, poems, music, history and audiobooks.

BBC Sounds has podcasts for children covering drama, music, activities, factual, comedy and sport.

David Walliams has been releasing an audio story each day from his World's Worst Children series, and our very own Harpenden author, Camilla Chester, can be found reading her latest novel, Thirteen Wishes on You Tube. 

And if our list isn't long enough, check out the free online resources from UCL!

And what about just having fun?

Technology (much as I hate to admit it) can lift our spirits and actually help us engage with each other by having fun together!

I think my favourite this week has been riding a virtual roller coaster in a laundry basket!

Creating crazy characters - maybe for a brilliant story you're going to write!

Dancing with Darcey Bussell? Oh yes!

See the new lambs at Willows Farm

Or elephants bathing and tiger cubs being incredibly cute at Whipsnade Zoo

If you have longed to head to Scotland with the hope of spotting the Loch Ness monster then you rest knowing that the loch has a live webcam! Can you spot Nessie?

More virtual fun can be found by Googling animals and seeing them live in your front room! Just type in an animal to Google and see it 3D.  Try panda, alligator, lion, tiger and duck to get started.

And some of our local providers have been posting daily or weekly challenges online:

Menace Sports

Trestle School of Drama

Elite Feet Football Development


Mini Athletics


SAADI Gymnastics

Or what about trying out St Alban's Library's virtual escape room: Escape from Narnia?


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