I have compiled here a selection of Fun links to engage children with independent learning. one of the biggest assets to a home educating life is the ability for independent learning. The extent a child can do this does depend on age but any child over 5 can.
I probably wouldn’t advice leaving a 5 year old online for independent learning at this age we would have Velcro activity books I made for them
This works best when it combines a few things. The three things that have always helped mine happily sit for their allotted time has been:
Choice of activities.
And if it is on a computer!
Also the knowledge that if they don’t spend the time learning, they can happily do chores instead 🤣.
I will admit finding these do become harder as they get older. Don’t despair though as they are also are happier to engage fun project based activity alone.
Projects that include: story writing, Cutting and sticking or construction, experiments with write ups and predictions. Mine also have home work from paid courses. They will also do small talks or displays on interests too so these links become less important.
I use most of these for my girls (Mainly Emily). Those that I don’t use I either have/Had bookmarked to use. If I have decided not to use one I won’t remove I will simply explain my reasoning.
Jessica’s home education has changed dramatically as she reaches the end of home education and prepares for onward education. So it’s not that she doesn’t do any independent work. She just doesn’t do much online.
For those only just finding our blog my girls are 15 and 11 years old.
Jessica is awaiting assessment for Asperger’s. This is after a recent private comprehensive Dyslexia testing. During the test concerns arose that she shows many traits associated with an Autistic mind. It did confirm she is Dyslexic and this is paired with dyscalculia. Autism to one side, it is her dyslexia and dyscalculia that has caused issues in her education. Testing showed a few holes in her basics. Although certain areas are known to her they aren’t strong enough for her to be able to process work quickly. This will be her issue in any future setting to further her education.
Emily is what they would call in a school setting complex needs her diagnosis is ASD/ADHD/SPD and Dyslexic
I wanted to start with the most obvious choice for a free site.
Good old BBC! offers games, quizzes and so much more. All covering the full range of the national curriculum BBC Bitesize.
English (spellings and Grammar)
Spelling frame – £10 a year per student.
We have decided to pay for this and give it a go.
Both girls have had a go. Jessica has had a play while helping Emily, as well as being set her up with a list.
The games so far seem to keep them engaged. To be honest for this price It is worth a go.
Even if it doesn’t keep them entertained for long it would be the sort of thing they would do daily. There are plenty of fun spelling apps for younger children but this is brilliant for older.
IXL – Annual cost we paid was £119 price may have changed. Our renewal for next month is still set for this price.
We have had a membership with these since February 2020.
My Children go back and forth to this. They do a little each day, as part of the less fun independent learning choices. Despite this it is on their daily goal list to do 3 English and 2 maths of their choice. Touch wood they never moan and do complete their goals.
Emily loves collecting the stickers. For me it is very helpful at ensuring you are covering all areas of English and Maths.
Night ZooKeeper – 7 days free trail then £46.99 (just noticed this is a discounted price) for a years membership.
This website states for 6 years plus. It seem to specialise in creative writing, including grammar skills and building a decent vocabulary.
It works like a computer game where they have levels to complete. Each level gives them achievements and opens up new opportunities to buy or draw and design their own animals.
I have started the 7 day trail for my Emily who loves to write stories.
normally her stories are about the amazing animals in her Fact cards. So it will be interesting to see if her animals divert from her cards or not.
Funbrain – Free
This website offers a selection of games, books and videos.
Not all is educational so maybe save this for the end of your child’s day. It is useful as an easy transition from learning to for fun.
It is a nice little website. I do however I highly recommend you look at it first especially for younger children.
Again it is based on the American education system and caters from pre Kindergarden to 8th Grade
Education.com – Limited access free or 15$ a month or 99$ for annual membership
We have used these since 2009! back then you could buy a lifetime membership which we did. They were one of the only online resources at the time. They are again based on the American Educational system and run from pre kindergarden to grade 6.
It has a full range on offer from video’s, worksheets and lesson plans.
I am really not sure what the free account is able to do.
As a member we can:
Create child profiles.
Allocate work for them.
Save, download and print worksheets
Progress profile for the children.
Personally I do still find it useful to test the girls progress.
Prodigy – Free
Our tutor has just put us onto this. we haven’t tried it yet but I have set my account and the kids accounts. it appears like you maybe able to oversee what the children do while on the site which is absolutely fantastic for a free service many of the paid ones we sign up to are for this reason. we have it down for later today for the kids to try, so will let you know.
MathsFrame – £10 for online games or Worksheet only access £20 for access to both per student.
Again like it’s spelling city counter part it is a very cheap option and they have some free games available to have a play with. We haven’t gone for this one purely because of the amount of maths related possibilities out there for us finding decent English options are the biggest problem for us especially prior lockdown.
Maths Playground – can be used free or via membership of just under 40$ a year for a family membership.
For free you can access Maths games & Videos, Multiplayer learning games, Logic games and puzzles, fun skills games.
Based on the American education systems of grade 1-6.
The memberships benefits are as follows:
Being able to play the games in full screen.
Access to member only games.
Be able to use the site ad free.
Lastly being able to save your favourite games.
My children haven’t been on this yet but I will get them to have a look this week
Maths is fun – Free can’t see a paid option.
This site is very basic in design, but I won’t lie it is very in-depth and well thought out.
You have tabs to access different options:
Each section starts with links to different parts of the topic. Each section explains the subject at hand very well.
As you work your way down each page it covers the area in order of knowledge needed. It ensures a complete understanding and where needed words are linked to their meaning in the dictionary.
These can also be accessed via the Dictionary tab along with others that may cause confusion.
I am not so sure we would use this for independent learning for Emily but definitely will for Jessica. I will go through this with Emily
Learning games for kids – free
This is a bit of an odd collection of games on various subjects. Emily enjoys pottering on this one and I add it to her list for her last. Being Autistic this link aides as a natural progression from work to free time.
Twinkl – Free limited access or £9.99 per month (annual options available) What list would be complete without Twinkl? again this is an option that has been there since early on in our journey.
I will admit probably a lot more asides and they are UK based!! they cover all Key stages too!
Sparklebox – The Original place to source worksheets similar to Twinkl.
Sparklebox was the first resource we had. It launched in 2006, 2 years prior to us starting to home educate. Nearly the whole site is completely free.
every school UK covers most subjects and has a range of different interactive games as well as worksheets and other bits too.
CBBC Educational games based on many of children’s favourite CBBC educational programmes.