Covid-19 – Week 1 Diary of staying home + websites and virtual classes – #homeschooling #covid19

Coronavirus, Parenting
Covid lockdown diary week 1 - Virtual classes online, education resources, things to do activities
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Well here’s a post I never, ever expected to write! Starting homeschooling!! Anyway, with the schools being closed because of COVID-19 we are scouring the internet for all the ideas to keep a 5 year old and a crazy non-stop nearly 3 year old entertained.

H is 5 and in reception so everything I write about here is aimed at her, B will do some bits as she will want to copy H, but also play a lot. I’ve no idea how this is all going to work, and am fast remembering how much two kids eat in a day – I hope our supermarket delivery slots actually have food!

In terms of our first week I’d say it’s gone well. Exhausting, but lovely to have time with both girls, and lovely that we can all have breakfast together, something that only happened for us at weekends as hubby always left before breakfast. It’s also been lovely seeing him at lunch and feels that gives the day much more structure than a whole day on our own. He’s done bits and bobs with H as well which helps, so it’s not just mummy making her work and do things she isn’t in the mood for. But, I’m sure we’ll have many more weeks of that and we’ll all get a bit tired and grumpy at stages!

Update: I have publish my HUGE list days & times of live virtual classes for kids during Covid-19 – do take a look as there are so so many classes on the list to help kids learn and keep fit.

Of course I digress, back to what we’ve tried in our first week of this new adventure and some ideas for resources for homeschooling during COVID-19 – this is basically my brain dump most of which we’ve tried in these first 10 days. I suspect we will be using these websites every day, getting moving, drawing, and doing worksheets to learn…

Getting moving…

1. PE with Joe

The nation’s PE teacher… definitely one for parents too, my legs were aching last weekend after those workouts! Live on YouTube at 9.30am weekdays, or can be caught up anytime on YouTube.

2. Cosmic Yoga

We love the Frozen yoga adventure on Cosmic Kids Yoga Facebook and YouTube. It seems quite a few schools use this, at least in reception.

3. Ballet with The Ballet Coach

Ballet for all ages starting at age 2+, (see timetable) including adult and grandparent classes!! The girls loved these classes this week and really enjoyed the fairy adventure!

4. Gonoodle

Gonoodle was recommended by school and H loved this crazy movement loved when we put on! It’s nice o keep doing things they re used to!

We also discovered that Tumble Tots UK are doing online live classes at 10 each day!

Maths, Writing, Phonics… learning to read

Then do something sent by school and some worksheets from one of these sources

1. Twinkl

FREE this month in light of COVID-19 using a country specific code or CVDTWINKLHELPS on the Twinkl website.

A wealth of activities geared for each year group, not all have to be printed.

2. Mrs Mactivity

Mrs Mactivity is website full of resources, perfect or kids across the year groups covering all areas from maths, displays, phonics and fun colouring addition colouring.

Some resources are FREE, or you can subscribe. We have been gifted a subscription so will be sharing a more in depth post on Mrs Mactivity and why we are loving it.

We have a couple of these Lego activities saved ready to try. As well as lots of addition and subtraction colouring (like colouring by numbers but you have to do the sum/subtraction to know which colour to use).

3. Reading Eggs

Learn to read from age 2+ with Reading Eggs app or on a computer.

– 4 weeks FREE then monthly subscription

We reviewed Reading Eggs last December after using it for a number of momths – H absolutely loves it. It’s so easy to use and has brilliant fun games to teach kids to read. Also they earn eggs which is a great incentive.

4. Teach your Monster to Read

Teach your Monster to Read is FREE to use on a computer/laptop, or £4.99 to use on your phone/tablet (pay £4.99 to download the app).

A brilliant reading programme with fun activities for kids to learn to read.

FREE resources have also been added including phonics sing-a-long and posters to print..

4. PhonicsPlay

PhonicsPlay is a website that school mentioned – brilliant games that the kids love by all reports. H can play this – Buried Treasure, especially – for a good hour!

5. The Maths Factor

Carol Vorderman’s The Maths Factor maths school for kids is currently free until schools go back! Usually £19/year, so actually a really good deal anyway! They are having teething issues with the number of signups they are experiencing so we haven’t managed to try it yet! But fingers crossed we do soon! Next week’s update will have more info.

6. Phonics with Robot Reg

Phonics live at 9.30am on TheDadsnet Facebook page every day. Geared at age 3-6, but especially loved by B in our house (she is nearly 3). TheDadsnet are also running a huge amount of live classes from a parents quiz on Friday night at 8pm, to maths, cooking and even a live Q&A with Andy Day on Friday 3rd April.

Art/drawing time

We will also be tuning in for in these awesome drawing tutorials from actual kids book illustrators…

1. Draw with Rob (Rob Biddulph)- new videos 10am every Tuesday and Thursday – videos on Facebook and YouTube. We absolutely love this, not just H, me too!! Rob explains the drawings at a great speed, perfect for H who is 5 to keep up. We usually pause it for the colouring stage.

2. Harptoons Publishing – Draw with Steve Harper – live 2pm EST everyday on their Facebook page. 7pm UK time. Having ad on my radar, I caught a glimpse of this at bed time and Steve is absolutely brilliant, his 6 year old son draws along and he also goes into schools (normally) to help kids of all ages draw. He is engaging and draws simply showing you what he’s going to draw and is a perfect speed for kids to keep up with.

If you have any other recommendations please share them in the comments!


Fantastic Science with Prof. Zob – age 5-8 years – creating experiment you can do with things lying around the house!

As well as science, Captain Fantastic is also running a whole host of activities from maths and English, to toddler parties and fitness.

I’m looking for more science ideas… but we’ll probably watch lots of science programmes, Okidoo, and any You Tube videos I stumble across.

We’ll do lots of geology looking at my fossils and difference types of rocks and where they come from, talking about volcanos and earthquakes and the Earth.


Boogie Beats Music And Movement Cheltenham are doing a free live Facebook class every Tuesday at 10am. B absolutely loves these classes, and we actually used to attend these classes for 3 years. They’re brilliant fun and Emma a fab teacher. I’d definitely recommend this one and catching up if you miss it!

Fanfare Music on Facebook are doing live classes at 10am every morning. A mum and her three kids! This looked fab in the clip I found, but we’ve not had time to try it yet! Another thing to definitely join in with next week!

Quiet time…

Aka the time mummy can have a cup of tea, and sneak a biscuit or three in the kitchen!

Stories, outdoor time, walks, colouring, wordsearches…

I have seen a few scavenger hunts doing the rounds, but we made our own based on what is actually in our garden! The girls helped, and we used it later in the week.

Of course Audible is now free to listen to stories, but it is absolutely lovely seeing all of the authors reading their own books, and others. The community spirit is really spreading far and wide, and hopefully if everyone can really stay home we will conquer this virus quicker. Ooops back to the point! A few authors we will be tuning into….

Authors reading

There are so many of these, from celebrities to authors reading their own books and others like Konnie Huq…

David Walliams – 11am every day on his website.


Colour by numbers, addition, subtraction like these – from Familie Tyd Oeurs.

Colour by numbers, by addition/subtraction, and by phenom/phonic/digraph from Twinkl.

Wordsearches – we’ve downloaded some from Puzzles to Print and even just made our own!


We had a couple of ancient posters from when H was about 2, an alphabet one and numbers 1-10, so were in drastic need of more.

So far we have printed a few from:

Twinkl – a days of the week banner which H then coloured, cut out herself and stuck on the twine.

Teach your Monster to read – who also have made some other FREE resources: sing-a-long phonics songs, flashcards, posters, games, getting active with phonics and also their app (free until the 23rd March, but only £4.99 after that, or it can be played for FREE on a computer or laptop!).

P.S. the girls do use their Kindle Fire’s/tablets and our laptops throughout the day too… Reading Eggs, Teach Your Monster to Read (they use this at school so we will continue this), PhonicsPlay, cbeebies etc.

We did really enjoy our field trip Friday watching the virtual zoo day at Chester Zoo, and I’d thoroughly recommend you catch up on it if you haven’t already seen it.

As I forgot to hit publish on this Chester Zoo did a virtual zoo day II on the 3rd April do you can catch up on two lots of it if you like!

As the weather here in Gloucestershire has been nice we’ve also spent quite a bit of time in the garden, which has made the whole experience much much easier.

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