Home schooling resources for parents, carers and children during lockdown
As we enter a new period of lockdown in the UK, primary and secondary students are faced with remote learning during January and February. Distanced learning and home schooling is challenging, and we hope we can help in a small way with free resources for teachers, parents and carers to keep children learning while away from school.
Here’s a round-up of some free learning resources by subject available in the UK.
Our recent launch of Maths4All provides students with hundreds of free games, apps, maths challenges on Alexa, worksheets for Kindle and Fire Tablets, and caters for a range of ages, learning styles and abilities.
Tune into a maths lesson from Rachel Riley, Countdown presenter and the nation’s favourite mathematician, who joined our Very Important Breakfast Clubs to play the numbers game and show that maths is ‘easy as Pi.’ This 13-minute episode focuses on prime numbers and practice with factors and is suitable for students who are year 4, 5, 6 and 7. (Available to watch for free until 31st January 2021)
You can inject some fun into times tables lessons with free games available to download on Amazon Fire Tablets. Older students can try out Timestables Rockstars while younger learners can play ‘Meet the Numberblocks!’.
You can even involve Alexa in learning from home. Get started by saying, “Alexa, ask the Maths Coach to start a test”, or “Alexa, ask the Maths Coach for a hard addition test”. Have some fun by asking, “Alexa, tell me a fact about maths?”, “Alexa, tell me a joke about maths” or “Alexa, rap about pi”. If you want to get competitive with your maths skills, ask Alexa, “Alexa, open maths monsters”, which is great for children to learn the times tables whilst having fun and competing to reach the top of the leader board.
Science and Engineering
Alexa is a whizz at science too and can quiz older students on their knowledge. Try saying, “Alexa, launch science challenge”. She has a wealth of science facts, but the catch is that some are made up – try and pick out the true facts from the false ones.
Also watch this 11-minute YouTube episode from Dr Ranj Singh, the NHS doctor and BAFTA award-winning TV presenter, who beamed in to give a brain-busting lesson in biology. Suitable for children in years 1 -7, the episode educates children about the growing brain and how to keep your brain healthy. If you missed it, you can still watch Dr Ranj’s biology lesson for free until the 31st January.
The Hour of Code Dance Party is the perfect feel-good Friday finish after a long week of remote learning. This interactive dance-themed online coding tutorial gives students the opportunity to build their computer science skills while have some fun coding characters to dance to songs from leading artists.
Amazon also has a wide range of free STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) resources to help students learn how to code, improve their maths skills and develop their career aspirations.
For example, Amazon Future Engineer is our comprehensive childhood-to-career programme designed to inspire, educate and enable children and young adults from lower-income backgrounds to try computer science. Earlier this year, Amazon Future Engineer launched free virtual coding programmes to help young people build computer science skills while learning at home.
Those aged 11-16 can enter the Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize, which challenges students to develop technological innovations to help solve some of the world’s biggest issues (entries close 12th February 2021).
Young people and parents can listen to stories at Stories.Audible.com, with specially curated categories such as ‘Littlest Listeners’ and ‘Elementary’ offering free audio books. Get whisked away to Alice In Wonderland (read by Scarlett Johansson), Jane Eyre (read by Thandie Newton), Anne of Green Gables (Read by Rachel McAdams) and Frankenstein (read by Dan Stevens).
There are lots of educational options too that can be accessed on Audible like ‘ABC: Learn Your Alphabet with Songs and Rhymes’ that are suitable for young learners who want to practise their English.
Alexa also has a BBC Kids skill which features stories narrated by special guests. Just ask, “Alexa, open CBeebies”, and you can choose stories read by Tom Hardy, Dolly Parton and Olly Murrs, who will read you classics such as ‘There’s a Bear on my Chair’.
As breaktime moves from the playground to indoors, have some fun with PE activities.
Find a spare 6 minutes to practice your football freestyle flair with Lia Lewis, British freestyle footballer and TikTok superstar, who will teach neck stalls, knee blocks and how to do a cross catch in her lesson. This is suitable for children in years 1-7 and is free to view until 31st January 2021.
You can learn and move at the same time with Alexa and Music Bop Adventures. To begin the adventures, try saying “Alexa, ask Music Bop Adventures to play adventures”, these fun, interactive adventures encourage movement whilst also incorporating educational themes.
Mental health and wellbeing have never been so important to parents and school children. The extra effort required from everyone to make remote learning work means that taking time to look after yourself is vital.
One way to clear your mind is to tune into Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place Meditations which are available for free on Alexa. Just ask, “Alexa, start Happy Place Meditations”, and Fearne will lead you through one of her guided meditations, which last around 3 minutes each.
Choose from 8 calming sounds by activating Alexa’s BBC Kids skill feature. Just ask, “Alexa, open CBeebies and play the calming sound of waves”.
For those of you with an Amazon Prime Video membership, you can access wholesome entertainment and educational TV. Just scroll to the categories ‘Educational TV’ and ‘Kids Entertainment’ to browse shows like ‘Operation Ouch’ and ‘Lego City Adventures’.