Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Coronavirus: Business and technology in a pandemic

All the free online resources parents need in home 'schooling' during coronavirus outbreak

These videos, revision materials, and activities might make your life a bit easier.

Let's get one thing out there in the open: the majority of you are not actually home schooling. 

When the decision to home school a child is made, it traditionally takes thought, preparation, time, and often a collaboration between educational facilities and home tutors to create a comprehensive and thorough syllabus for a well-rounded education. 

This is not the reality for most in light of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent emergency changes to the education system. 

Parents and guardians have been thrust into the role of 'teacher' with no training, time, or warning. Unless you are a professional teacher turned home tutor, you are likely putting far too much pressure on your own shoulders -- and potentially while worrying about other issues including health, relatives, work, and money, too. 

This is an unenviable position to be in.

I left the teaching profession years ago. Drawing upon my previous experience after seeing so many online messages from parents struggling to adapt to their new roles, sweating bullets trying to keep their children entertained for more than an hour or two, I'll say this: You're doing your best, and no reasonable teacher out there expects you to fill their shoes. 

It's okay if they get bored. It's okay if you become frustrated. And believe it or not, if concentration is slipping, breaks do no harm. If you can stick to a schedule and routine, that's brilliant -- but if it doesn't always work out that way, don't sweat it. The spread of COVID-19 has created a difficult situation for everyone and wellbeing should be put before anything else.

It is also important to note that at this time in many study calendars, teachers are now meant to be focused on revision and reviewing -- rather than learning new content -- and the material that teachers are now sending remotely will likely be covered many times over. 

It's not all doom-and-gloom. There are wonderful examples of parents sharing their home school fails; comical videos of parents begging teachers for their forgiveness now they have gained a new respect for the profession, and social media networks are being used to swap hundreds of ideas to keep the tiny humans now under house arrest entertained.

(Parents and guardians struggling to cope can check out advice from headteachers and education professionals here.) 

To make life at least a little easier, we've compiled a comprehensive list of free online resources, separated by age groups and subjects. The free resources and links below are focused on schoolwork as well as subject interest and will be updated as we discover more. 

Have anything to add? Let us know below. 

English language, literature:

Suitable for a range of levels:

Pre-school, primary, younger learners

Secondary learners, up to 16-years-old

Maths:

Suitable for a range of levels:

Pre-school, primary, younger learners

Secondary learners, up to 16-years-old

Science:

Suitable for a range of levels:

Pre-school, primary, younger learners

Secondary learners, up to 16-years-old

Physical Education: 

Suitable for a range of levels:

Languages:

Suitable for a range of levels:

Pre-school, primary, younger learners

Secondary learners, up to 16-years-old

Geography: 

Suitable for a range of levels:

Pre-school, primary, younger learners

Secondary learners, up to 16-years-old

Music:

Suitable for a range of levels:

Pre-school, primary, younger learners

Secondary learners, up to 16-years-old

  • Fender: 3 months of free guitar lessons
  • Chrome music lab: interactive activities and experiments
  • Jazz: Limited free jazz lessons and materials
  • Yousician: thousands of songs and exercises, free trial
  • Musicards: learning how to read music

Art & Design, drama:

Suitable for a range of levels:

Pre-school, primary, younger learners

Secondary learners, up to 16-years-old

History

Information Technology (IT):

Suitable for a range of levels:

Pre-school, primary, younger learners

  • Code Spark: three months free with code "schoolclosed"

Secondary learners, up to 16-years-old

Other valuable resources / sources of entertainment: