Does the thought of being stuck home with kids fill you with terror, or even just leave you wondering how you’re going to fill all that time? For a whole community of home-educating families, a life away from classrooms is the normality - as the motto of organisation states, “education is compulsory - school is optional”.
Jenny Eaves, from central Scotland, has two kids aged eight and six, neither of whom has ever attended school.
三级成人视频“I personally chose to home educate our children as I didn't think my eldest would cope well in a school environment, he's very much an outdoors child who doesn't sit still,” says Jenny, who blogs at . “We let the kids naturally fall into whichever activities they enjoy, but I do like to strew books and activities around the house that they might be interested in.”
三级成人视频Tim and Ruth Freed, from Northamptonshire, who have three children aged 12, 11 and nine, have been home-educating for seven years. While Tim runs his own business (a magazine for parents called , Ruth is an ex primary school teacher, and they chose the path partly to give their children a one-on-one education, and because their oldest suffered anxiety each day of the two years she attended school.
三级成人视频“For us, a typical day involves formal work in the morning, eg maths, English, science etc - pre-planned by Mum, with free play in the afternoon, which might include reading, writing stories, drawing or role play, and some chores,” says Tim. Both join up with other home ed families for group activities such as drama and music.
Whether your school is closed or you’re self-isolating as a family, here are their tips on how to keep your kids busy - and stimulated - at home.
三级成人视频Author Simon Webb, from Essex, educated his daughter Simone, now 26, at home from day one. “It never really occurred to me to put her into the school system,” says Simon. “I prefer to take responsibility for my child - she started reading when she was 15 months.
"She read Lord of the Rings by the time she was five - sending her to school would have been damaging to her education.”
His method was relatively formal by comparison, sticking closely to the curriculum. Want proof that you don’t need schools to have a high achiever in the family? Simone is now finishing a doctorate, after graduating with a first in PPE from Oxford, and teaches philosophy at Kings and UCL.
Kitchen science is a big hit for both families. “The kids’ favourite activity is making volcanoes (think playdough, papier mache, sand or soil), and then adding bicarbonate of soda and vinegar for it to erupt,” says Jenny.
Another favourite experiment in the Freed household: “Use juice from red cabbage to create a Ph indicator,” says Tim. “It changes colour when you add acid (such as lemon juice or lemonade) or alkali (bicarbonate of soda dissolved in water).” For more ideas, “Pinterest is your friend,” adds Jenny.
Travel the world… in your kitchen
A simple bit of cooking can form the apex of a cross-curricular activity. “Baking and cooking are English, maths and potentially geography all in one delicious exercise,” says Jenny. “Plan an adventure (either imaginary or a possible future trip), and work out how to get there, where to visit, what local foods there are (choose one to cook) and learn some of the language. Working out a potential budget too, so both maths and English are used too.” She suggests watching for inspiration.
For a kit-free activity, Tim says “Use your own general knowledge to ask questions about geography, science, nature, history etc. Get your children to ‘buzz in’, putting their hands up when they have an answer. We often give multiple choice answers to help embed the learning.”
“For kids of all ages, I’d recommend making parachutes,” says Jenny. Round up some Lego or other figurines, then gather a few different types of material: tissues, paper, card, a plastic bag - whatever you have to hand - and some thread or tape. Then get your child to hypothesise what material or shape will be the best and test it by making numerous parachutes, and drop them from the highest point you can find.
“For older kids, set Lego challenges such as making a wind racer (a car with paper sail held on by a toothpick), a marble maze using base plates, or a device to hold an egg.”
“Our children love writing stories,” says Tim. “Fold several sheets of paper in half and staple them together on the ‘spine’ to create a blank book. Then let their imaginations go. In a similar vein, writing a diary or writing letters to friends are good fun ways to encourage writing and literacy.”
Don’t be ashamed to resort to the telly
“There are so many fantastic programmes for learning,” says Jenny. “We have worked our way through all the and similar documentaries, but there are also (my youngest finds it too scary in places, but for less sensitive kids it’s great) and the is rather funny.”
三级成人视频If you can get to a park or even just your garden, go on a bug hunt, suggests Tim. “Print off a list of bugs with pictures, descriptions of their natural habitats, and see if the children can find them.” Can’t get somewhere green? Even the most urban environments can provide the basis of a statistics project. “From a window or a street corner, tally up different things you see: different colours of cars; number of people looking at their phones; men vs women etc. Then draw graphs or pie charts to represent the statistics.
“Discuss what they mean: are most of the cars grey? Is there an even split of men and women or not? Why might that be?”
Budding artists can set up a makeshift easel by a window: “all you need is something to lean on, some paints (or pens) and paper,” says Tim. And then, paint what you see.
Know your child
三级成人视频When it comes to teenagers who are studying for GCSE and A-level exams, parents should understand what will work best for them. In a UCAS study guide, the National Extension College (NEC) advises students to be frank about how they learn best, asking questions such as: set timetable or by self-motivating; on a computer or paper. Ros Morpeth, chief executive of NEC, says: “The headline tip would be: know your child.”
三级成人视频If they need motivation, set them tasks such as past exam papers or TV documentaries (for example, BBC’s Secrets of the Museum). As well as text books, use online resources, including the Wellcome Trust, Tate Museums, and the History, Chemistry, Physics and Biology Associations.
Ensuring your child sticks to the exam curriculum is straightforward, says Simon Webb. “Find out which exam board it is and search online for the ‘subject specifications’ and previous papers - it will tell you everything they need to know.” The school will probably be setting work through apps like and .
Educational apps, podcasts and websites for kids
Science and technology made irresistible to kids: the latest episode is about bee vomit - need we say more?
Learn fascinating facts about animals and more with Simon the Frog.
Reading, gamified, for kids who are still learning to read.
三级成人视频 Maths practice personalised for each child. Suitable for primary-level kids.
三级成人视频 With topics ranging from STEM to art, this will keep kids aged 3-7 stimulated.
Take a virtual adventure around the world, with puzzles and games incorporated.
Resources created by teachers, including printables and lesson plans. Now offering free materials during school closures.
One of the earliest online learning resources for kids with topics ranging from computer programming to art history, it’s free and particularly good for older kids.
三级成人视频 Games and video clips covering a wide range of the curriculum. Very easy to navigate.
Learn basic coding and program stories and games.
While museums and galleries are closed, take a virtual tour here.
三级成人视频 Learn any language online for free. Great for kids - and adults.
三级成人视频 and Arts and crafts ideas for little ones.
and for behind-the-scenes museum videos for older children.
and for study guides for children studying GCSE and A Level subjects at home.
and creative websites for teens to learn computer and coding skills.
Fun educational videos on history, science and more.
三级成人视频 Complex maths made simple. For older kids.
Ted talks for kids.
Seek out the Christmas lectures for engaging science videos.