Following Boris’s national lockdown announcement last night, homeschooling has, for yet another time, become a reality for parents up and down the country. And right now, we can imagine many of you are already at breaking point, unsure how you’ll be able to get through another six weeks (at the very least) of this.
We’re here to help, or rather the UK’s celebs are, as many of them are putting their platforms and skills set to good use with a host of online classes.
Joe Wicks announced yesterday that he would be getting the country moving in front of the TV with a revamped version of his daily P.E classes, meanwhile Myleene’s still hosting her virtual music classes and and Queen of Long Multiplication Carol Vorderman is doing her best at making maths fun – finally!
Read on for a daily schedule that will keep children of all ages engaged and learning thanks to this talented bunch of celebs. Don’t get us wrong, we’ve never been more grateful of our school teachers and we’re not saying this is a patch on the real thing, but in times of need, every little helps. And don’t worry, you’re doing a great job.
9am – P.E. with Joe Wicks
The man behind the Lean in 15 phenomenon turned his hand to children’s fitness at the beginning of the Corona crisis back in March and the nation went absolutely wild for it.
Yesterday Joe Wicks took to Instagram to share that he would be bringing back his virtual P.E classes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9am from 11th January.
Joe will be live on his YouTube channel to bring children of all ages and skill sets (and we imagine many parents too) a live P.E. lesson. It’s the perfect way to get children eased into their daily homeschooling routine in a fun and dynamic way.
Log on Monday, Wednesday & Friday or catch up on his channel daily.
If anyone can make maths fun it’s Countdown Queen Carol Vorderman. The TV star and maths whizz also has an online platform that makes maths easy and enjoyable for children ages four to 12 and it’s all in keeping with the National Curriculum.
Right now it’s priced at just £4.99 per month, with a 21 day free trial which is just perfect for helping to keep children’s maths skills up while schools are closed.
The Maths Factor has over 1,000 daily sessions available with Carol herself, as well as a back catalogue of fun games to unlock children’s confidence with numbers. It’ll also give parents a chance to see how rusty their own skills have become since schooldays.
Another firm favourite of ours for older kids who are doing GCSE level is
When he’s not rinsing Simon Cowell on Britain’s Got Talent or dressing up like a laaaady, David Walliams is busy being one of the UK’s bestselling children’s authors. With over 20 books to his name, from Gangster Granny to The Boy in the Dress, all coming with a moral and hilarious message, he’s been charming kids and making bedtime easier for parents since his first release back in 2000.
At the beginning of lockdown, David began releasing a free children’s audio book in his Elevenses series. While it’s yet to be determined if he’ll pick up this, you can tune in to some of the previous audio clips. It offers a fun approach to English and encourages little bookworms to use their imagination. They’re all voiced by David himself, so expect a few chuckles for the parents too.
Our memories of Home Economics consist of making scones and star-shaped biscuits. Thankfully, the kids of today have Jamie Oliver to get them inspired in the kitchen, with his Get Kids Cooking series.
From homemade fish fingers to lessons on the best child-friendly cooking equipment, there’s plenty to keep little chefs occupied with something a little more creative. Plus, you can break for lunch and sit down to eat once you’re done.
As we saw back in Lockdown 1.0 from Italians blasting Nessun Dorma from their balconies to the Spanish Zumba-ing their way through quarantine, music can be a heart-warming and uniting tool in times of crisis.
Popstar, TV personality and classically trained musician Myleene Klass during Lockdown 1.0 began using her musical skill for good, with her YouTube Music with Myleene sessions which you can still tune into and rewatch during Lockdown 3.0.
Along with her adorable daughters and her grand piano she talks children through everything from the difference between major and minor to how different notes and sounds make us feel. And don’t worry, you don’t need a Steinway in your living room to get involved, just a pen, paper, your ears and a little curiosity.
This one might be best suited to slightly older children but if you want to ensure they’re getting their history fix, tune into historian and TV presenter Dan Snow’s History Hit podcast.
In the podcast, Dan travels the country to keep up with the cutting edge of history, talking to experts, historians, and the people who were actually there, to put history into easy-to-digest context for the modern world.
Sign up for a free month’s trial.
School science lessons are filled with real-life experiments and trying out the theories learnt in class, and with homeschooling back on for the foreseeable, let presenter and YouTuber Maddie Moate guide you into an experimenting whizz at home.
From learning the ins and outs of lego making to finding out how to make your own soap, there’s something for every science and crafty whizz with Maddie.
Back in Lockdown 1.0, MasterChef star and author Theo Michaels hosted his Kids Cook with Theo live every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 4pm, in a bid to get children engaged in what they’re eating and how it’s made, but you can now purchase the kids lockdown e-book for just £5.99 and join in all of the cooking madness at your own pace.
The cookbook will teach little ones how to get creative with store cupboard-type meals and inspire parents with some additions to their quarantine repertoires.
Kids will be kept busy for an hour and everyone eats dinner at the end of it. It’s a win win situation.
Plus, don’t miss these extra classes taking place weekly or on certain dates.
Helping to make science and other subjects fun is CrashCourse, the educational YouTube channel set up by John and Hank Green. The brothers are more widely known for their novel writing (you’ll know John for his coming of age novels, The Faults in our Stars) and their other YouTube channel VlogBrothers. On CrashCourse they take tricky topics and break them down into more manageable bitesize pieces of information. From crash courses in chemistry to learning about World War II, if there’s a topic in the exercise book your kids are struggling to tackle, pop on one of their videos to learn a little deeper.
Back in May when we were amidst the first lockdown, many of our favourite celebrities took to the web to read to our little ones some of their favourite bedtime stories. From Oprah to Tom Hardy, Michelle Obama to Dolly Parton, make bedtime a whole lot easier and let the kids follow along with the books in hand. It’s a great way to help the little ones learn to read and pick up new words.
The daily BBC Bitesize classes may now have finished but you can catch up with everything on iPlayer. Learn from celebs like Olympic Gold Medallist Katie Archibald.
Real life action man, Bear, has teamed up with the Scouts to bring kids 100 indoor activities to keep boredom at bay.
Keep hyper tweenies and surly teenagers focused with these free revision guides for 11+, GCSEs and A levels. There are over 50 to keep them busy.
Tune into naturalist broadcaster and author, Steve Backshall’s YouTube video where he answers questions about the natural world in his living room. Topics include everything from habitats to holotypes, parasites to pademelons.
Back in Lockdown 1.0, Brian Cox and a lineup of academics shared their brain power with Cosmic Shambles’ Stay at Home Festival. Tune in to past talks and ignite the curious minds of little scientists.