Learning At Home
Parents and families can help our children to learn at home in many different ways. In this section, we make some suggestions and signpost you to websites that can help you to support learning to continue outside of school!
Coronavirus and Keeping Clean
In March 2020 the whole world is experiencing a pandemic due to the COVID-19 virus.
This is a very difficult time for everyone and children may struggle to understand what is happening.
These video presentations give you a means of showing your child what is happening and some visual aids for you to talk through to help explain Coronavirus, how to keep clean and what happens when a school is closed.
CORONAVIRUS EXPLANATION - A VIDEO TO HELP CHILDREN UNDERSTAND ABOUT CORONAVIRUS
WASHING HANDS - A VIDEO TO SUPPORT TEACHING ABOUT HAND WASHING
WHY IS MY SCHOOL CLOSED?
EducationCity is an educational resource for children aged 3-12 and their teachers. Their curriculum-based classroom software is perfect for your learning. Providing primary teaching resources, classroom idea and educational games.
Help Kidz Learn offer a limited free trial and is a widely used resource in school. They are currently offering a free 14 day trial. There is a great selection of early learning activities, including beautifully animated early cause and effect programs designed for both touch screen and early switch users.
Twinkl have a login in for parents and free month trial. As a parent, you want to do all you can to support your child’s learning, but finding the time and knowing where to start can be a challenge - and that’s why Twinkl are here to help. Their educational activities and worksheets cover the whole primary curriculum. It’s never been easier or quicker to help your child in their educational journey.
The Sensory Projects has created a bank of links to online resources and ideas, specifically to help home leanring during the Coronavirus pandemic, which has lots of great ideas for our learners!
Doorway Online is a collection of free and highly accessible educational games that learners will find easy to use independently.
Shiny Learning offers special needs educational software, and gives a free 7 day trial - online games for those who use assistive technology.
The renowned Ian Beam has a website SEN Switcher that allows access to over 350 online accessible activities for switch, touch-screen, pointing device and eye gaze users
Top Marks aims to help teachers and parents to save time finding excellent online educational resources with games and rerources on a number of subject areas and seasonal topics.
It is so important to help children to learn to communicate effectively - in which ever way works best for them - speaking, signing, using symbols…
- Make sure you are giving your child lots of opportunities to ask for things….they might use PECS, gestures, signs, eye-pointing…
- Play games where you need to take turns
- Use rhymes and songs to interact and build anticipation
- Help your child to understand more by saying the names of objects when you use them, show pictures of places you are going to before you go there Google Earth is brilliant for this!
- Create a timetable for the day or the week - It can be hard when children are off school to understand what will be happening that day. Talk them through it or even draw pictures to show them what will be happening.
- If your child uses or understands signing the Makaton charity has some Free Makaton Free Resources
- And youtube has some lovely signed stories, like this one - The tiger who came to tea - for your child to enjoy
- Don’t forget about Something Special with Mr Tumble!
Stories and reading are very important to your child’s learning and development.
Make them enjoyable by adding a sensory element or choosing one that has an animated version.
Vooks is a streaming library of child-safe animated storybooks that can be accessed on lots of devices. They offer a one month free trial. Their aim is to encourage the love of reading by retaining all of the important elements of story time: read-along pacing, life lessons, and a visual connection between words and text - storybooks brought to life - and we know how motivated many children are by electronic devices!
Sensory stories are a great to use your child’s favourite books to build language and have fun talking together. This video shares some ideas and resources for creating your own.
Sensory Story: The Blue Abyss - this site gives you all the suggestions and ideas to go along with the story including video links and sound effects. It is great for any child, but particulalry useful for children with PMLD - why not try doing it yourself at home?
The Sensory Projects has a resources and a sensory stories page that will provide ideas and links to more stories to share with children.
Living Paintings is a unique publishing house and library, they are the only charity in the UK who design, create and publish tactile and audio books for blind and partially sighted people. Have a look at what they call ‘Touch to See’ books.
Calibre Audio is a national charity lending free audiobooks for anyone who is print disabled, so have a look if you want to listen to a story.
The Northern Ireland Curriculum site for children with PMLD offers a number of sensory ideas around 12 different themes and includes powerpoints too. It aims to help you to develop and embedd awareness through a wide range of sensory stimulation, music, song, poetry, environmental and ICT experiences.
If your child is developing their writing skills it’s easy to get out of practice!
Do a short practice (just 2 - 5 minutes) daily - you can use highlighter to make letters and shapes and get your child to overwrite using a pencil - anything to keep the fine motor skills going!
Don’t forget about typing too, it’s a very valuable skill in this day and age!
The most important thing for maths skills is to use them in everyday situations.
Think about this when you are putting shopping away, laying the table, having a meal, bath time, getting dressed and tidying up!
Try to incorporate these things into your day to day routines:
- Counting out ~ going upstairs, putting chocolate buttons into a bowl, dropping bath toys into the bath
- Colour and shapes ~ spot and name colours and shape you see around you.
- Sort things into groups according to their shape or colour e.g. pasta shapes, coloured cars, blocks
- Share out things between all the people in the house e.g. a cup for everyone, a biscuit for everyone
- How many? Find out ‘how many?’ as a game in the house - How many windows do we have? How many legs on the chair? How many books on the shelf
For our more able mathematicians Maths Whizz have free trial for parents.
And Mangahigh a game-based learning platform for primary and secondary school mathematics, are giving full access to anyone affected by school closures.
Maths Chase is a completely free home online learning tool where children can play times tables games, along with many other mathematics skill-based games! The site features many simple learning games which children can play at home. They hope kids will find it a fun and different way to improve their maths accuracy and speed.
Easter Art and Craft Ideas
Going outdoors with your child can aid their learning and development in many ways and being outside is good for mental health and well-being!
Make a trip to the garden into a learning experience by commenting on things you can see and hear.
Maybe set yourself a challenge ~ find 10 daisies, touch 2 tree trunks, spot 3 red flowers.
‘I spy…’ can be adapted well outside with endless variations! Something green, something woolly, something wet.
Learning through Lanscapes offers outdoor learning ideas and outdoor lesson plans. These outdoor learning ideas have been developed and proven by teachers and early years educators. All are sorted by keystage, curricular area and age suitability.
Sensory Play at Home
Encourage your child to explore household items using all of their senses - look, listen, touch, smell, taste.
These could be smelling and tasting food, smelling herbs and plants, banging pans to a rhythm, listening to wind chimes, feeling different fabrics, moving to different music…
There are many household activities that children can join in with too, helping you (!) at the same time as developing their senses and practising using their fine and gross motor skills - wiping the table, loading the washing machine, washing the pots, hoovering, sweeping, putting shopping away, baking… the list is endless!
TACPAC - Communication through touch and music - draws together touch and music to create a structured half hour of sensory communication between two people. They are offering their ‘Set 5’ resource pack free of charge for 3 months to use at home. You can access this on the Set 5 page by entering the code 8Q7A3TXS at the checkout. It’s also worth watching their short help videos designed especially for parents to make the best use of the recsource.
A mum has created a website - Learning Through Exploring and Play - which has lots of ideas about things to make and do with young children, have a look at some of the nice suggestions, it might give you some inspiration!
Wellbeing - keeping healthy in body and mind
There are lots of things you can do at home to try to stay healthy physically and emotionally.
Childline have developed a section with videos, games, beathing exercises and calming activities to help children who are worried about anything.
If you have access to Facebook, Bumble Bee Physio London are doing live physio sessions for children who are wheelchair users at 10am on their Facebook page.