Life in lockdown: How to make homeschooling a little easier with technology

Liz Connor, PA

Homeschooling can feel absolutely relentless.

If you are struggling to stay motivated as a parent or guardian, and are looking for some support in what is an undoubtedly tough and challenging situation, there are plenty of apps and tools specifically designed to help little ones further their learning at home.

From acing times tables to boosting reading and writing, here are some of our favourite apps to help make lockdown learning fun and get you to the Easter break more smoothly…

1. Times Tables Rock Stars

Times Tables Rock Stars is a gamified website and app that provides children with daily times tables practice. They can make their own rock star avatar, who joins them on their journey to becoming the ultimate maths pro.

Each week, there is a different times table to focus on, and every couple of weeks children will be encouraged to recap all the new information they have learned.

Suitable for both primary and secondary school pupils, a subscription costs £7.20 per year.

2. Edplus

Created by a mathematician and an entrepreneur duo, Edplus uses short video clip questions to keep youngsters engaged with topics including maths, science, English and languages.

The questions only take a few minutes to answer and there are multiple choice buttons to make things even more interactive.

Answering the questions earns children gems, which they can use to access fun games as a reward for revising.

The app also uses an adaptive-learning algorithm to personalise questions, making sure your child continues to progress.

Edplus’s creators are currently offering parents a free subscription during lockdown with the promo code KEEPLEARNING.

3. Authorfy

Authorfy is a great tool for children who love writing – or could do with a nudge in that direction.

The idea behind the free platform is to make reading and writing fun, and introduce children to a variety of books, authors and writing styles.

Authorfy has interactive video masterclasses and fun downloadable activities to get creative juices flowing, including 10-minute writing challenges set by well-known authors Cressida Cowell, David Baddiel, Piers Torday and Holly Jackson.

4. Pobble 365

This handy platform was founded by a group of teachers to improve the teaching of writing and help build children’s confidence.

Each day, Pobble 365 provides youngsters with a new and captivating image which acts as a prompt, accompanied by activities to help with grammar, spelling and vocabulary.

Children might be given a specific writing prompt based on the image, or a “sick” sentence which needs improving by tidying up the spelling mistakes.

5. BBC Bitesize

Some parents might remember BBC Bitesize from their own school days.

The brilliantly free resource covers subjects on the national curriculum, from science and geography to maths and history. Designed as a revision tool, it has easy-to-digest lessons to help supplement children’s online school lessons and help refresh their memories.

One of the best features of Bitesize is its interactive tests, so youngsters can have a go and hopefully feel empowered ahead of any exams.

6.The Artful Parent

The Artful Parent is an online platform that shares ideas, information and inspiration to encourage you to enjoy and share art with your child.

The website’s directory has more than 500 arts and crafts activities organised by genre. You can find painting ideas, drawing tips, sculpture projects, collage activities and loads more arty lessons.

We also recommended heading to the YouTube channel, where you will find lots of craft, drawing and painting tutorials for fun, messy play.

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