Tuesday 9 June 2020

How my youngest has been learning at home.

Ahh! We're back to doing school and college work and have been for the last week or so after half term. Becky has a few weeks to complete all of her college work and hand it in then her first year of college is finished. She isn't worried about it in the slightest and at the moment is ahead of where she needs to be.

Ellie obviously will have to continue doing school work until the middle of July, the end of the summer term as her school is only opening to year 10's, children of keyworker's and vulnerable children.

It took a while but just before half term we really got into the swing of this home learning. I think we have both learned that just doing worksheets or doing the work the school sets doesn't work so we mix things up and use a few different websites. I have started printing out a list of things for Ellie to do each week and she works better when she can cross off something she has done.

These are some of the websites we have been learning to learn at home:

SAM Learning.

SAM learning is on of the websites Ellie's school uses through the school and from what I've read a lot of other schools use it too. It used to be how she did her homework but now they are setting more work on it and it covers every single subject she does at school, even PE!

 There is a lot of quizzes, essay questions and it keeps her busy. I think the best thing about it is the leader board. It gives a bit of healthy competition between her and her classmates. 

Oak National Academy was a new one to us, Ellie's teacher recommended it. It was created in response to the coronavirus lockdown. The online classroom offers free access to great teachers delivering video lessons, quizzes and worksheets. Available for both primary and secondary, it covers a range of subjects.

You pick a subject and then a lesson and work through it. Each lesson is about an hour long and include a quiz, a video explanation from the teacher and a worksheet or activity. Ellie has said it feels like a real lesson at school and really enjoys them.

They also offer a full day of lessons with a variety of subjects that you can work your way through. We haven't done that yet but are planning to try it out this week.

MathsWatch is another one which is paid for by the school and to be honest we are not fans of it. The teachers set work through it and Ellie finds it so hard. I looked at some of what she was working on at the time and was baffled by it. If it wasn't organised by the school and part of her school work we wouldn't be using it. Ellie is usually fantastic at maths but this website just seems to rub us up the wrong way.

Seneca covers key stage 3, 4 and 5 and is free for both students and teachers. When Becky was revising for her GCSE's she was told to use this and did great with it. I was glad to see they had work suitable for Ellie too.

It presents learners with an animation, card or video based upon the topic that the learner is studying then asks them questions that relate to the card. It also gives learners quizzes and end of topic tests to assess their understanding.

It is interactive and fun plus is had a lesson all about Harry Potter which Ellie loved! 


I think we have all heard of Twinkle. They offer over 650,000 resources, planning and assessment materials and schemes of work all there to print out and use.

We hadn't used anything by them until last week. I thought it was just for primary aged children but there is actually plenty there for KS3 to suit Ellie. 

I also thought you had to pay for their downloads and print outs but there is plenty of free resources. It is something different from the other sites we use and a lot of it is fun too.

As well as using online resources we are spending time in the kitchen cooking and baking, spending time in the garden trying to grow things and weeding it and Ellie is really into drawing at the moment and has been filling sketch books with her creations. We've done science kits, been for walks and bike rides.

With doing a lot of learning online I did notice Ellie's handwriting was suffering so once a week she sits down and writes a letter to my great aunt. She writes about what she has been doing and usually about how she's missing her friends but it gives her the writing practice and my great aunt loves to receive the letters.

Of course there is still plenty of time spent playing games like Roblox and Minecraft. After playing them myself I don't think they're all bad. There is learning involved especially with the tycoon games on Roblox and the creativity aspect of building things on Minecraft.

It's not all perfect though, we do have days where one or both of us can't be bothered and arguments do happen.

How's your home learning going?


  1. Oak National Academy looks great - we will check it out.

  2. We've just been doing offline work that's been set, plus online research and in theory mathletics/times table rockstars and should be doing purple mash which we haven't worked out how to actually get an english stuff up on the screen as it's always blank. Luckily he's got enough to be getting on with. The online competition does help - at the beginning all of N's class were on mathletics and getting points to move up the leader board, but N said the other day that noone's been on for ages.