FIRE the teacher…. Become the teacher! (Free educational websites and apps)


In my last post¬†I mentioned how a National Curriculum can’t ever hope to keep up with the current rapid advances in technology, the workplace (AND LIFE!)

Left to their own ‘devices’ (no pun intended ūüôā ) the Little FUs will spend 24 hours a day plugged into one type or another, so it’s only natural to look to computer/tablet-based apps and websites for learning, too.

As life has gravitated online even we as adults¬†waste¬†while away many a rainy afternoon clicking from one interesting YouTube video to another, and children can whizz through a whole year’s worth of science videos in a couple of hours in just the same way.

But online learning needn’t be expensive.¬† It needn’t cost anything, in fact.

The sites and links I’ve listed below are free to access and we have no affiliation or link with any of the companies or websites mentioned – they’re merely a collection of things we use and find useful, or have had recommended to us.

Coding using Raspberry PI

Coding using Raspberry PI

As well as the free ones we’ve taken advantage of some of the amazing discounts that companies do for HE families by subscribing to sites like¬†Mystery Science and Squaducation History videos. ¬†Both are firm favourites with my boys, and have sparked a real interest in learning.¬† So while my still-schooled 11-year-old merely grunts when I ask him what he’s been learning at school today, the younger two (who’ve spent the afternoon exploring whatever they found interesting) are brimming over with amazing facts and discoveries to tell me about.

I‚Äôd love to hear your views on my post and also any brilliant websites I’ve missed. ¬†What learning sites have you used with your own children that they love to learn from?


Pre-School

English and Reading

Reading Bear  Free phonics work.

Oxford Owl Free e-books featuring Biff, Chip and Kipper.

Progressive Phonics  A completely free phonics site from early years to age 10 approx

Teach Your Monster to Read  This free reading game is very popular among HE parents and children

Skoolbo online game-based learning

Cookie American site with worksheets, too.

Pre-Kinders Theme-based American website with printables.  Suitable for very small children.

Reading Eggs  Free trial only.  Reading Eggs will help your child learn to read using fun online reading games, lessons, phonics and more.

Galactic Phonics phonics, spelling and literacy worksheets and resources

Maths

Snappy Maths  free worksheets, interactive activities and other resources

Skoolbo online game-based learning

Education.com Worksheets and activities

Cookie American site with worksheets, too.

Science

Teach Pre-School Science  Lesson ideas and printables

Peep & the Big Wide World  Hands-on learning for pre-school age children

Small Science Club Hands-on experiments and learning

Education Worksheets and activities

Magic School Bus reading-based science learning but some experiments, etc.

Butterfly Addition (Apple App) do the sum to catch the butterfly

Other

Salsa Spanish game Spanish activities online Рcolours, numbers, etc.

KinderART lots of ideas for art and craft activities

Incredible Art lots of ideas and activities for pre-school age children

Activity Village colouring pages,  crafts, educational resources, puzzles, printables and worksheets

PE Central  Lots of activities and ideas to develop physical skills

Cosmic Kids Yoga Yoga made especially for kids РYouTube-based

Woodland Trust Nature-based activities

Dave Conservatoire Music lots of videos including the history of music


Primary Age+

English and Reading

Johnny Grammar in action

Johnny Grammar  my boys love this free app for their iPad to help with their spelling and grammar.

Spelling City  Great for on the go on tablets this is a great way to learn spellings.  My boys like the games.  Desktop, too.

Children’s University, Manchester¬† a great unit on words, such as idioms and matching pairs.

DK Find Out

Reading Bear Free phonics and spelling help.

Oxford Owl Free e-books featuring Biff, Chip and Kipper.

Look Cover Write Check A brilliant version of the spelling site where you can test yourself on high frequency words or enter your own words easily to test your knowledge. Age 4+

Progressive Phonics  A completely free phonics site from early years to age 10 approx

Teach Your Monster to Read  This free reading game is very popular among HE parents and children

Poetry Zone If you are between 4 and 18 you can send in your poems to be published. There are ideas for teachers on how to teach poetry. Read interviews with poets, too.

Children’s Poetry Archive¬†A superb selection of poems arranged by themes, style or author. You can listen to an audio track of each poem being read by the author.

Scott Foreman  Free pdf workbooks

Skoolbo online game-based learning

Core Knowledge Language and Literature  parent-led activities

Cookie American site with worksheets, too.

Reading Eggs  Free trial only.  Reading Eggs will help your child learn to read using fun online reading games, lessons, phonics and more.

Galactic Phonics phonics, spelling and literacy worksheets and resources

Treasures Workbooks American workbooks

 

Drama

Drama Notebook Drama monologues for children and teens

Teach with Movies Questions-based learning using movies

BBC Drama 

BBC Media Studies

Into Film We love the free film festival in Autumn each year, too

Maths

DoodleMaths   Free Рextremely popular with children and parents. Subscription available for extra features.

Prodigy Maths  Free РGame-based, very popular with home edders.

Khan Academy  Online videos & worksheets, very popular with home edders.

Corbett Maths  Online from basics up to GCSE level, with videos and 5-a-day activities.

Snappy Maths  free worksheets, interactive activities and other resources

Skoolbo online game-based learning

Core Knowledge Maths

Education.com Worksheets and activities

Cookie American site with worksheets, too.

LearnZillion  Free parent-led site (lesson plans and worksheets) American site.

SumDog  Free game-based site

AAA Maths  Free Рworksheet based.  American site.

Sushi Monster (Apple App) fun game where the aim is  to complete correct sums to feed the sushi monster

Zap Zap Fractions (Apple App) fun visual learning app Рteaches fractions

Mathland (Apple App) More than Maths this app teaches logic, critical thinking and problem solving.

DK Find Out online encyclopaedia – facts, quizzes, videos etc

 

Science

Children’s University, Manchester¬† ¬†some great units on teeth, medicine and the brain and sense among others.

Bill Nye Science Guy a great list of science experiments that can be done at home

DK Find Out online encyclopaedia – facts, quizzes, videos etc

OUM of Natural History Designed especially for children by Oxford University Museum of Natural History, there are lots of fun things to do and learn here. Sections include: Animals, Insects, Rocks, Fossils, Minerals & fun stuff.

Easy Science for Kids Free. Parent-led Рtextbook

Education.com Worksheets and activities

Love My Science  Free. Parent-led Рactivity based

E-Learning for Kids РScience  Story based Science.  American site.

Core Knowledge Science parent-led activities

Kids Astronomy¬† kids’ astronomy – games, activities, facts and resources

Great Grub Club  A colourful website that uses cartoon characters to encourage children to make healthy eating choices, as well as to take plenty of exercise.

Coding

Scratch Jnr and Scratch excellent free coding in Scratch

GameStar Mechanic Learn how to design video games

Kano coding  Make apps, hack hardware, create games or code works of art

Unplugged Parent-led coding etc Рhands-on

CodeCombat game based coding

Kodable  coding

Tynker coding for kids. Tynker is a complete learning system that enables everyone from beginners to advanced programmers to code with intuitive, interest-based activities.

Typing Club   Interactive online typing course

DK Find Out online encyclopaedia – facts, quizzes, videos etc

History/Geography

Children’s University, Manchester¬† ¬†some great units on Ancient Greece and¬† Egypt and Black History.

BBC Primary History Online and interactive content

DK Find Out online encyclopaedia – facts, quizzes, videos etc

Woodlands Primary School  History textbook and information online

National Archives  Excellent online textbook and resources. Lots of primary sources.

Core Knowledge  parent-led, question-based resources linking history and geography

BBC Geography  Free online and interactive geography content

Geography For Kids  physical geography and earth science

Seterra  Free map-based quiz game for Android or Apple devices Рcustomise to suit your needs.

Core Knowledge History and Geography parent-led activities

Big History Project  13.8 billion years of history online for free

Mr Hinds History  YouTube help with modern world history.

Languages

Salsa Spanish game Spanish activities online Рcolours, numbers, etc.

Hello World Online videos & immersive interactive  language learning

Voyage Kids – German and German culture

Duolingo Рlearn a language for free

Memrise languages for beginners – also an app for Android and Apple devices

Mind Snacks games-based language learning

Art

Activity Village colouring pages,  crafts, educational resources, puzzles, printables and worksheets

Draw Stuff Real Easy Shoo Rayner’s YouTube site¬† – videos & hands on. New videos every Thursday.

Art UK¬† Discover the nation’s art collections. Discover over 200,000 artworks from 3,000 venues

Drawing the Portrait –¬†A fantastic site which covers how to draw each feature of the face in detail.

The Artist’s Toolkit¬†Explore the tools like line, colour, shape, balance, space that artists use to create works of art in this great site. Each section has an animated demonstration and examples of the concepts in works of art. Then you can try your own composition.

Google Arts and Culture – Explore museums from around the world and zoom in on artworks at incredible zoom levels.

Core Knowledge Visual Arts Parent-led Activities

Young Rembrandts YouTube video & hands-on

Concordia Art lessons on famous artists parent-led (lesson plans etc)

How to draw it online textbook Рstep by step on how to draw lots of things

KinderART   Parent-led Рproject-based art (lessons and ideas)

Cracking Ideas This website contains a wealth of educational resources to introduce students to the world of innovation and creativity

PE and Outdoors

BBC PE Online parent-led activities

PE Central  Lots of activities and ideas to develop physical skills

Cosmic Kids Yoga Yoga made especially for kids РYouTube-based

Woodland Trust Nature-based activities

Motor Skills Learning Video-based skills and sports development

BBC PE free online ideas and content for parents

TrueSport  PDF based parent-led information

Ace Fitness Free American fitness and sport programme for children

Core Exercises  20 Core Exercise for Kids  to strengthen weak core muscles

Music

Dave Conservatoire music lots of videos including the history of music

Kids Guitar Zone  Free online course for guitar

JamZone  online lessons from songwriting to guitar

Fiddlerman  online free violin lessons and video tutorials

ZebraKeys  Free online piano lessons

You Can Play It Piano and Vocal tutorials Рvideo based

Core Knowledge Music  parent-led activities

Classics For Kids This site is designed to help you introduce your child to classical music.  It has audio files, information on composers and tips for parents on helping children get started with music lessons.


OTHER SUBJECTS, OLDER STUDENTS (and adults)

If you’ve taken your child out of school but still want to do exams there’s some fantastic information on the HE Exams Wiki website¬†here, from where to find past exam papers to where to sit iGCSEs.

Future Learn online courses in a wide variety of subjects from coding to law and creative media.

KS3 Science Downloadable Science worksheets

Skills Workshop  Functional skills and skills for life, all free.

Go Venture World Online Рgame-based business skills

Fist full of dollars online game-based business skills

Gazillionaire  Online Рgame-based business skills Рbecome a trade tycoon

Alison free online courses (with certificates) in everything from photography to business studies

Kids’ Udemy courses

Coursera Online courses n a variety of subjects.

TedEd full of educational videos on a variety of general education topics

Chop Chop Cooking Club American site but great to get children cooking

Brain Pop not a completely free site but there are freebies on there. Subjects include curricular ones but also health and social sciences.

Correspondence Courses¬†some great links in this Wiki site for home ed learners for online courses and schools – not all free, of course, but I’ve had some enquiries about what comes next, and for many HE children this is where formal qualifications start from.¬† Alternatively some colleges take students part time from aged 14 or GCSEs can be studied at home at sat at an exam centre (or a local school/college if they’ll allow it).

If you’ve enjoyed this post I’ve also compiled a list of free places to visit (mainly indoor) in the UK.

 

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2 Responses to FIRE the teacher…. Become the teacher! (Free educational websites and apps)

  1. A great list of resources there! Another site I’d recommend for adult learning which offers free courses is https://www.futurelearn.com/ they did a great one on investing/saving/pensions a while ago. It might still be up there, if you sign up and hunt around for it.

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