While we might all love dipping into a book and losing ourselves to the imaginary world of fiction, it wasn’t always that easy. Learning to read is hard, frustrating and requires a whole lot of practice. Pair that alongside trying to tackle eight other classes while you’re stuck inside homeschooling, it’s not easy on you or your kids. So we’ve enlisted some help from celebs, who are doing their bit during this crazy time by reading to the masses, helping to make reading time enjoyable for both you and your children.
From former first lady Michelle Obama to comedy hero David Walliams, here’s 10 celebs helping to make homeschooling a whole lot easier right now.
Former first lady of the US and allround wonder woman, Michelle Obama recently launched a partnership with PBS Kids to relieve parents of their homeschooling pressures and help kids out by hosting read-along sessions every Monday on the PBS YouTube channel.
From treasured classics including The Gruffalo to There’s a Dragon, tune in every Monday to get your fix of Michelle and light relief from the monotony of homeschooling.
Known for his grizzly, tough characters with strange voices, now’s your chance to see a softer side of Tom Hardy in his brand new selection of CBeebies Bedtime Stories. His reassuring voice will see your little’uns falling to sleep, tantrum free, while you gaze lovingly at the eye candy on screen.
Scroll back further through the CBeebies archives and you’ll find all of the classic Bedtime Stories episodes featuring everyone from Robbie Williams to Joe Wicks, Alesha Dixon to Nadiya Hussain.
Comedian, author and TV personality, David Walliams, has helped revive elevenses during lockdown with the release of a free children’s audio book. Expect his humorous, elaborate voices that’ll have both and your kids roaring with laughter as you settle in for a late morning of reading. If you have the books too, it’s even more fun to follow along with each line.
If there’s one thing we can always count on, it’s celebrities coming through in times of need whether that’s donating to charities or volunteering and raising awareness. Right now, hundreds of celebrities are coming together to help parents who are home-schooling due to the outbreak of coronavirus.
Approximately 30 million in the US alone, rely on school for food. In response to the global school closures, actors Jennifer Garner and Amy Adams have teamed up with Save The Children and No Kid Hungry to create #SAVEWITHSTORIES, a platform on Instagram and Facebook where children will be able to tune in to listen and learn as their favourite celebrities tell their favourite stories.
Expect some humorous stories, witty remarks and much-loved reading heroes coming together to read to your kids and raise funds for Save The Children and No Kid Hungry.
Storyline Online goes one step further on the educational journey bringing with them illustrations to help bring the story to life. The organisation was first set up in 2011, with every book aiming to “strengthen comprehension and verbal and written skills for English-language learners worldwide.”
Delve deep into the archives and pick out some of your favourite stories and see your favourite celebs, including Oprah Winfrey, Kristen Bell and Chris O’Dowd, bringing the characters to life.
Get to know LaVar Burton in a more down to earth role as the Star Trek: The Next Generation star reads some of his favourite books during his Twitter story time sessions.
Back in 2017, Burton set up a podcast dedicated to reading short stories but during lockdown he’s gone one step further bringing the stories to life on Twitter. Each streaming episode, he changes up the novels from suitable to children through to those dedicated to adults.
Another entry for the Star Trek fans…
Patrick Stewart has taken it upon himself to read a sonnet a day to the masses and it’s really rather adorable. Perhaps one for the older kids, or even yourself, tune in each day to catch the next sonnet on the list from Stewart’s wholesome lockdown series.
You can’t deny Dolly Parton’s bubbly personality is infectious and her Imagination Library YouTube channel is just bursting with her lively character and renowned country Tennessean accent.
If you haven’t heard of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program before, the premise is simple. It’s a gifting book program that mails free, high-quality books to children from the moment they are born until they turn five free, no matter their parents financial income. Over on the YouTube channel, you’ll find Dolly Parton reading aloud to your kiddies in her charming way, bringing a little smile to the faces of those who watch.
American novelist, screenwriter and short story writer, Michael Chabon, is also helping out parents during this period of uncertainty and home-schooling madness by creating a YouTube channel and Instagram series called Story Time with Michael Chabon. Settle in for ten minutes of blissful silence as your children become encompassed by Chabon’s mesmerising storytelling techniques and ability to bring the souls of book characters to life.
Settle in for ten minutes of blissful silence as your children become encompassed by Chabon’s mesmerising storytelling techniques and ability to bring the souls of book characters to life.
American actor and comedian Josh Gad is another actor who has started reading to the masses during lockdown. From childhood classics through to the wizarding world of Harry Potter, grab a cuppa and settle in for some lockdown light-reading (well, listening). The father of two hasn’t just been seen reading to his thousands of followers, he’s also been reading to his children, who you might hear chirping in every now and then. It’s really sweet.