Lockdown learning: nimbl’s guide to home-schooling

Home-schooling is a learning experience – and not just for the children busily beavering in bedrooms-turned-classrooms. Parents, too, are having to revisits subjects they might not have thought about since they themselves were young, be it fractions and French, or economics and English.

This would be tricky at the best of times, not to mention during lockdown when there are a million-and-one other important jobs around the house to sort!

To help support parents and children, we wanted to share a shortlist of our favourite education apps and platforms, which have been designed to help parents navigate the strange new world of home-schooling.

Resource rich

Kahoot – The master of gamified learning apps that came crashing into the scene back in 2013, Kahoot is still one of the most widely used educational apps out there. It is currently free to sign-up and the platform offers a long list of interactive activities, spanning everything from times tables quizzes to geography tests. The app even allows parents to create their own games and quizzes – particularly handy when trying to replicate those end of topic tests your children thought they’d escaped!

TwinklThe most practical and resource-rich platform on this list, Twinkl is an online portal full of teaching resources, including planning materials and activity sheets. Following the announcement of school closures in March, Twinkl decided to offer these materials to schools for free, in addition to sharing a simple, step-by-step guide to home-schooling. The platform is full of resources that can be used for KS1, KS2, KS3, and SEND (Special Education Needs and Disability) learning.

Culture vultures

Kids Planet Discovery – For those intrepid-explorers trapped indoors, Kids Planet Discovery is a great app that gives children the chance to embark on educational adventures. The app is free to download from the App Store and is packed full of lessons and games devised to teach children about cultures, music, and animals around the globe. Aimed at kids 4 years old and up, the app offers a great solution for those missing geography and remains unapologetically curious about the world around them.

Google Arts and CultureWith museums and galleries across the countries closed in the face of Covid-19, cultural education still remains a key pillar of childhood learning. Google Arts and Culture is an online platform that lets children take a tour of some of the world’s most iconic destinations from the comfort of your own home, a great tool for enhancing their cultural knowledge. Whether it is eating breakfast with Van Gough, floating their way down the canals of Venice, or exploring the world’s largest Buddhist temple, where do they want to go first?

Targeted learning

Duolingo ABCLast month, the well-known language learning app launched its first English language reading app, offering short lessons on the alphabet, phonics, and sight words for 3 to 6-year olds. With parents across the country taking on the tricky task of teaching their children to read, this app could not have come at a better time. Designed by early-education experts, and with no in-app purchases or adverts to distract from learning, this app gets 5 stars from us.

Scratch – For budding young coders, this website allows teenagers to program their own interactive stories and games, offers a great introduction into the world of computer science. A free educational project created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the website is designed to help teenagers develop their creative, analytical, and collaborative skills – all of which are vital for life in the 21st century.

What do you think of our list? Which apps have you been using to help with home-schooling? Are there any “must-haves” that we missed? We would love to hear your recommendations and what your experiences of home-schooling have been so far.

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