Home schooling, is it worth your child’s time? Or is it a waste of time and resources? Is this something you should consider as we are currently staying indoors or you would rather sit back and wait for schools to reopen so as to go back to the normal classroom, teacher-pupil engagement?
While schools may be closed, children’s minds are still wide open and ready to learn. Don’t limit them but rather help them to learn and explore different ways of consuming those educational materials.
Everything just went from normal to abnormal in the blink of an eye. The school year was progressing well. Kids were in school. Everyone was busy with their daily chores and life to say the least was normal at least for majority of people.
We went from normal learning in school to homeschooling without any proper planning.
Is home schooling right for your kids?
While in the recent past some would have frowned at those parents who had opted to home school their kids, at the moment, they are the go-to for tips on how to handle the situation. Just like working from home is not for everyone but slowly becoming the new normal so is virtual learning.
Home schooling in Kenya for example is not so common. Parents are used to dropping their children off to school in the morning and picking them up in the evening.
But with all schools closed and not wanting their children to lag behind, most parents are being forced to look for alternatives as most schools don’t have the remote learning capabilities. Not forgetting that most parents don’t have access to high-speed internet to enable them to use tools like Zoom and Google classrooms.
A majority of the public schools and some of the low-end private schools don’t have the structures in place to facilitate online learning from home.
Even though there are a lot of hindrances to homeschooling, on the positive side it does have a number of benefits
If you have been searching for free remote learning options for your child, you’re in the right place. We are going to look at various home schooling resources that are available. Some of them cater for children all the way from pre-school to high school while others are for specific grades. Choose what applies to you and learn away!
#1 Khan Academy
Though it’s structured with the American child in mind, Khan Academy can be used by anyone around the world. From grammar to math, computer programming, sciences, and even history, they cover all age groups and a variety of subjects. With its personalized learning, your child can learn at his or her own pace. Take tests to gauge whether they understood what they have learned.
If you are busy and unable to supervise their learning, as a parent you receive periodic updates on what your child has been learning virtually and what their progress looks like. This will help you be up to date and know if you need to make any adjustments.
Established in 1965, Longhorn publishers have been around for a while and established themselves as a household name in educational materials. With the schools shut down and parents frantically searching for online learning options for their children, Longhorn publishers stepped in to offer a solution with their eLearning platform.
The platform covers learners from grade one all the way to form four. With subject notes and timed quizzes and interactive videos for English and Kiswahili for grade three pupils, the learners are able to continue their learning from the comfort of their homes even though the schools and libraries are no longer accessible.
One thing I love about the longhorn publishers’ platform is that they totally understand their market. Don’t have a computer to access the learning materials? Don’t panic. You can access all the available materials on a smartphone or by simply dialing their USSD code *864# all this at no extra cost.
As a parent, you can log in and generate reports and be able to check on your child’s progress over time.
#3 National Geographic Kids
Most of us enjoy watching the National Geographic channel. Its focus on nature has always been captivating especially for those who love nature. With videos on pets, wild animals and other strange and amazing stuff that nature has to offer, we must admit they do a great job.
And what’s more amazing?
They’ve launched a resource platform called NatGeo@Home where learners both young and old can learn something to keep them active even though they are social distancing from their peers.
The channel covers lessons across different subjects. From biology, to geography, earth science and social studies. There’s something for every learner in your home.
Have you run out of stories to read to your young ones or just looking for something to keep them busy but no money to go into the store to buy a new book?
Audible by Amazon has you covered.
Normally, Audible has a monthly subscription fee. They’ve however opened their platform and you can listen to the audio books for free.
With stories in English, French, Spanish and Italian, the audible story has something for everyone. From the littlest of listeners to teens and even adults, you won’t miss out something worth your time. And guess what? You don’t need to login to be able to listen.
Have you always wanted to learn or teach your child a new language but didn’t have a chance and it’s not part of their school curriculum? As we embrace the new norm of learning from home, you should check out Duolingo. If you are looking for a basic start to a new language, it’s worth checking out. You can learn 30+ languages on the app at your own pace.
They recently launched the Duolingo ABC app that helps to teach children aged 3 – 6 years how to read.
#6 Ubongo kids
Keeping young kids glued to a lesson can be difficult sometimes because their concentration is not so good. And in comes Ubongo kids. With their fun and entertaining videos, your little ones will have fun and learn at the same time. They cover STEM and life skills and some musical videos.
Common Sense launched Wide Open Schools to help parents have access to free educational resources to enable them have something to help in continuing their children’s learning.
The site has content from various organizations in one place. Looking to plan your child’s learning timetable, this may be a good place to start. From videos to offline learning, the resources are practical and hands-on to help learners from all age groups to keep learning from home.
If you are a fun of Sesame, you’ll find some interesting videos to keep your child glued to the screen. YouTube, Time for Kids, PBS, Noggin, Scholastic, are among the resources listed on the site.
As we social distance and try to embrace home schooling, I hope the above resources will help you get started and keep your child busy. I’ve tried most of the home schooling resources I’ve listed above and I know the content offered will be worth your and your child’s time.
Create a timetable, and sign up for what works for your child. Remember you don’t pay anything to access them but just because they are free doesn’t mean they are not worth it.
I’ll keep updating the list so check back often.