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How to get free home learning packs to help you home school during Covid lockdown

PARENTS can get free learning packs online to help home school their children during the coronavirus lockdown.

The majority of children across the UK are learning from home due to schools being shut until at least March 8.

We round up all the free learning resources available to school children

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We round up all the free learning resources available to school childrenCredit: Shutterstock

Schools only remain open for vulnerable kids and the children of key workers, with all other lessons switching online.

But if you’re struggling to get your kids to learn, or perhaps just want to give them an extra educational boost, we explain what resources are available online for free.

This includes teaching videos, learning games, puzzles and quizzes.

If you’re really having trouble home schooling, you should speak to your child’s school as soon as possible.

What other help is available for children and parents?

HOME schooling can be tricky, especially if you’re struggling financially or finding it hard to juggle your job and being a teacher.

Here’s what other help you and your child could be entitled to:

Free WiFi vouchers from BT:

BT is handing out free WiFi vouchers to vulnerable households, even if you’re not a customer already.

The free vouchers give access to five million BT WiFi hotspots across the UK until the end of the academic year in July 2021.

Your child’s school will need to apply for the vouchers on your behalf, so speak to them as soon as possible if you don’t have internet at home.

Free mobile data:

The majority of well-know mobile providers are offering free data for struggling families.

For example, EE, Three and Vodafone are giving out unlimited extra data – this is applied on top of your usual monthly plan.

O2 will boost your data package by 40GB per month, while Virgin Mobile is offering an extra 20GB per month.

You can find a full list of providers taking part in the Department for Education’s (DFE) Get Help with Tech programme on the Gov.uk website.

Again, your school will need to request this help for you.

Free 4G routers:

Pupils and students who don’t have fixed broadband or access to the internet at home may also be able to claim a free 4G router.

You can ask for one even if you’re not eligible for free mobile data.

Like the above help, you’ll need to speak to your child’s school first as they’ll need to put the request in through the DfE website.

Free laptops and tablets:

You might be able to claim one of 1.3million free laptops and tablets being given out by the government for home schooling.

The government initially said it would hand out 200,000 free devices through the scheme.

But this number has gradually increased due to the on-going coronavirus pandemic.

So far, the government has delivered 876,013 devices to struggling families.

Again, speak to your school as they’ll need to request the laptop or tablet for you.

Free school meals:

If your child usually get free school meals during term, then they’ll qualify for free food parcels or food vouchers while learning from home.

Similar to previous lockdowns, it is up to the schools to decide which form of support is offered.

If you haven’t heard anything from your school, get in touch as soon as possible to discuss what help is available.

Ask to be furloughed:

Parents who are struggling to juggle work and home schooling can ask to be furloughed by their employer.

On the Gov.uk website, it says you can be furloughed if you’ve got caring responsibilities.

You can be furloughed if your caring responsibilities means you are:

  • unable to work (including from home)
  • working reduced hours

Virgin Media

Virgin Media is giving mobile customers free access to over 10,000 free educational videos at the Oak National Academy.

The videos cover primary and secondary school learning, with resources split up into different key stages, ranging from early years to key stage four.

Key stage four covers children in years 10 to 11, so aged 14 to 16.

Subjects that are available on Oak National Academy include maths, English, science, languages and computing.

We also spotted learning resources for music, PE and history.

Virgin Media said its mobile customers will still be able to access this content even if they have no data.

This means you don’t have to do anything extra to access Oak National Content.

Virgin is also offering some of its TV channels for free – specifically those broadcasting factual shows.

Channels include Animal Planet, Crime+Investigation, Discovery Science, Eurospot and Sky History.

BBC Bitesize

BBC Bitesize offers free lessons for primary and secondary school children, including videos, quizzes and practical activities.

The website splits its resources up into age three to 11, age 11 to 16 and age 16-plus.

Subjects available include the core lessons like maths, English and science, plus additional topics like geography, biology and physics.

There’s even an extra section for parents to help them with the learning.

As of the end of January, customers with BT Mobile, EE or Plusnet Mobile can access the content without eating into their data allowance.

More mobile companies are expected to follow suit soon.

Amazon

If your child is struggling with their sums, the Amazon Maths4All page has hundreds of free games, apps and challenges.

You can also download worksheets for your Kindle and Fire Tablets.

Amazon has also partnered with celebrities to make videos for home schooling.

For example, Countdown presenter Rachel Riley stars in a video about maths, and TV doctor Dr Ranj Singh has covered an episode on biology.

Amazon also has a wide range of free STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) resources to help students learn how to code and improve their maths skills.

For help with English, students and parents can listen to stories at Stories.Audible.com.

Rachel Riley has teamed up with Amazon to release a maths video

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Rachel Riley has teamed up with Amazon to release a maths video

Hamilton Learning

Teaching charity Hamilton Learning has hundreds of free resources, such as puzzles, games, investigations and practical activities.

Their learning equipment covers kids from years one to six, so age five to 11.

The free content includes English, maths, but for some other subjects the resources are locked and you will need to pay.

You’ll know if the content is paid-for if there is a padlock next to it.

Access to the full website costs £33 for access for a year, or schools can sign up for £135 plus VAT for 30 students.

Scholtastic

Scholastic has created a load of activities your child can do while reading their favourite books written by Julia Donaldson.

If your child is a fan of the Gruffalo or Zog, and they already have the books, they can follow the activity sheets as they read.

To access the learning packs, you’ll need to sign up with your email address to create a free account.

You can then download the packs as PDFs.

British Museum and Science Museum

The British Museum website currently has free history resources for children aged seven to 11.

Topics range from Ancient Britain to Ancient Egypt, with PDFs and Powerpoints available to download.

The British Museum was offering on-site school sessions but this has been temporarily suspended.

The Science Museum is also providing activities, games and videos so your kids can learn more about science and maths.

You can download PDFs to guide you through science experiments you can do at home, including how to make a fizzy mountain using a bottle of fizzy pop, a roll of mints and a tube.

We’ve rounded up 14 freebies for parents and new mums including nappies, baby wipes and Lego magazines.

Here are 15 ways to get freebies on your birthday including doughnuts, prosecco and luxury beauty products.

And these are the retailers, including Boohoo and PrettyLittleThing, that will give you money off if you recycle old clothes.

Dr Hilary discusses the transmission of covid-19 in schools

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