Homeschooling 2021: Your Top Online Resources.
Welcome back to our Homeschooling Page. We think it is useful, and accessible at home. Other resources are available and recommended on various media outlets, incessantly, as you well know, but we are limiting recommendations so as to achieve our mutual learning objectives for our wonderful pupils and to avoid overwhelming our equally wonderful parents and staff. We will amend this page as we navigate our way through the current closure. You all are doing an amazing job- juggling home life, pressing work demands, homeschooling, health, employment/economic challenges and so much more; we are blessed to have such a community of involved and supportive parents. However, our greatest shared concern, above all else, is the health and safety of our children, our loved ones, our elders, colleagues and friends, as well as our mutual aim to adhere to directives from the HSE regarding social distancing and self-isolation. Teachers and assistants are available to support you as best we can, so please connect with teachers, their plans and much more via our updated Aladdin Connect App, Seesaw, or directly to individual teacher email addresses. We will respond ASAP
You can also contact me, Mary Connolly, personally at our school email address, as always, on firstname.lastname@example.org. I will reply and arrange a time to phone you as soon as possible, when we need to talk/chat. Take care of yourselves. Wellbeing/ health is the No. 1 priority for your children and your loved ones, not to mention yourselves! All good things will follow if we get that one priority right. Take care agus beir bua.
https://www.khanacademy.org/math Free. I love this, especially the Maths. What a professional, well-graded site. There are some excellent short tutorials here in Khanacademy, followed by encouraging scored/paced activities. Grades (USA) are very easy to navigate when looking for a particular math strand in which your child may need more practice or want a challenge.
Handy Virtual Manipulatives for Math:
A lovely interactive fraction wall for helping your child with fractions (Third to Fifth Class) https://www.mathplayground.com/Fraction_bars.html
An interactive clock. (Useful for 1st – 3rd class) It is a virtual manipulative useful for teaching the time. The analogue clock’s hands can be moved to show different times. There is also an option to turn on the digital clock and compare the times shown. http://toytheater.com/clock/
An interactive 100 square. Ideal for skip-counting/tables. First -Third Class. Parent can ‘hide’ numbers. https://www.ictgames.com/mobilePage/hundredSq/index.html
10 Frames. Invaluable! We use ’10 frames’ regularly from Senior Infants up to Third. They are the building blocks of Number Value and Bonds, Addition, Subtraction, Doubles, Near doubles etc https://apps.mathlearningcenter.org/number-frames/
Here are the ANSWERS to NEW WAVE MENTAL MATHS Workbooks. (Rang 4 to Rang 6). Please follow links below to find answers for each week. Very handy for homeschooling !
Top Marks – Hit the Button
1st – 6th Class Hit the Button is an interactive maths game with quick fire questions on number, bonds, times tables, doubling and halving, multiples, division facts and square numbers. Games are against the clock and develop number fact recall. Designed for 6-11 year olds.
Notes: A paid app version is available from Apple/Google Play/Amazon but the web browser version is free to use.
Top Marks – Daily 10
Daily 10 is a primary maths resource which covers addition, subtraction, ordering, partitioning, place value, rounding, multiplication, division, doubles, halves and fractions. It has been designed primarily for use on an interactive whiteboard. This resource is suitable for children from 5 to 11 years of age.https://www.topmarks.co.uk/maths-games/daily10
https://www.khanacademy.org/math Free. A professional, well-graded site in all academic subjects, but we use it for Maths. There are some excellent short tutorials here in Khanacademy, followed by encouraging scored/paced activities. Grades (USA) are very easy to navigate when looking for a particular math strand in which your child may need more practice or want a challenge.
This padlet, devised by Ciara Reilly, Lecturer in Education Marino Institute of Education, has links to some wonderful sites that will prove to be fun, interesting, and informative for you and your child in all curricular subjects. https://padlet.com/ciarareillymarino/primarydistancelearning
Here is Mr. Damien’s Weebly site! His pupils can upload their work here and anyone can visit it! http://mrdamiensclass.weebly.com/class-work–pics.html
Oxford Owl is an excellent site for accessing e-readers. We use Oxford Reading Tree readers in school to support young readers (Jun Infants upwards). This site gives parents or home tutors access to an eLibrary, literacy activities, Maths, and much more. It has been created to help children aged 3–11 to develop their reading skills at home. https://home.oxfordowl.co.uk/reading/free-ebooks/
https://readingeggs.co.uk Reading Eggs is also recommended! It may be free for a month (one child per email address ) and some of our parents and teachers are paying a nominal membership fee , since the last lockdown. Worth investigating, as it is proving to be highly popular with all our young readers and educators, providing an excellent individualised literacy programme.
Please contact Libraries Ireland to see what they have arranged for this current lockdown/closure of schools (Jan 2021).
Science Foundation Ireland. Infants to 6th Class
Any science experiment you could ever think of is nicely organised into lots of different sections. Much of the equipment you can find at home but well worth exploring to try and do a science experiment every few days.https://www.sfi.ie/engagement/discover-primary-science-and-maths/activities-search/
ttps://www.duolingo.com/ A wonderfully accessible app for Senior classes and parents. Try 10min lessons a day, or more. Tá an Aip as Gaeilge go hiontach ar fad and the app in Ialiano è fantastica…..freisin:)
http://www.twinkl.com Created by teachers, ideal for home education, it has lots of appealing games, stories, worksheets, themed and seasonal, etc. It offered a free month’s subscription last year (enter offer code: IRLTWINKLHELPS).
http://www.scoilnet.ie This is the bible of the Irish Curriculum. A seriously well researched and resourced platform which is used extensively by educators in Primary and Secondary schools.
https://scratch.mit.edu/parents/ Scratch (Programming Skills, free): What do Middle and Senior kids learn as they create interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art with Scratch? For one thing, they learn mathematical and computational ideas that are built into the Scratch experience. As kids create programs in Scratch, they learn core computational concepts such as iteration and conditionals. They also gain an understanding of important mathematical concepts such as coordinates, variables, and random numbers. Middle and Senior classes are well able for this.
Ask About Ireland. An oldie but a goodie. This web site covers both History and Geography from infants to 6th class including some great project ideas. There’s probably enough here to cover the entire curriculum. Hard to believe it’s almost 20 years old!
Mental Health : During challenging times, it’s more important than ever to look after your child’s well-being. This journal is designed to help children enhance their mental well-being through a range of different activities. Most of the topics, such as positivity, gratitude, kindness, bravery, creativity and self-kindness are drawn from the field of Positive Psychology, which is the science of well-being. There are also activities based on dealing with worries and coping with change. The journal is based on Weaving Well-Being – an SPHE programme which is regarded as being the very best. Even if your child/ren has no experience of the Weaving Well-Being Programme they will still be able to use this as a stand-alone journal. Your child can work through the pages at their own pace with your engagement and support. This programme is highly valued and recommended by educators, educational psychologists and mental health practitioners.
A Book About Coronavirus
All Classes. Nosy Crow Publishers have worked with the famous children’s illustrator Axel Scheffler (of Gruffalo fame) and medical experts in the UK to create this really lovely, and informative book for children about coronavirus.
You can download it directly here:
A Journal for Posterity:
COVID 19 CAPSULE ALBUM: This is just a lovely wee journal /workbook and it’s well worth storing safely in the attic when all this is over…….to be revisited in later years. Ranganna 2-5 are engaging with this in their weekly schedules. Take a look…..other children/classes might like it too.
When siblings are not rowing (simultaneously) on the family boat.
This is from the Irish Times, in mid-May 2020. I have pasted here as the link might be closed to non-members of the I.T. It is worth a rereading in 2021.
Question: My children are fighting all day long and it is wearing us all out. It was bad before the Covid-19 lockdown, but now it is 10 times worse. My eldest is a 12-year-old girl and then I have two boys, eight and 10.
The main problems are with the middle boy, who often starts the day fighting his younger brother – so that I have to physically pull them apart. This can happen several times a day. He also then constantly winds up his sister with stupid jokes and sarcasm until she screams at him. It is like he is constantly seeking my attention.
I try to set them up in the morning with their home study, and that only lasts 10 minutes before the middle boy is disrupting the others. My daughter is a bit of self-starter with studying and the youngest is not bad, but the middle fellow keeps interrupting and winding everyone up until I end up shouting.
At the end of day my wife and I are exhausted and we can’t get anything else done.
Answer: Tensions, fights and rows between your children are amongst the most stressful and draining problems to deal with as a parent. Now in the middle of the Covid-19 lockdown with families pushed intensely together, these tensions are aggravated and tempers are rising and reaching boiling point. Without the balance of school and the safety valves of outside social activities and time apart, families can be pushed to their limits. Even before the Covid-19 crisis, sibling fights and rows were amongst the most common and disruptive family problems I would encounter and I have written several times about this before. The good news is that there is a lot you can do to help your children even within the confines of lockdown.
Understanding what is going on
As you rightly speculate, sibling rivalry is fuelled by the attention of parents. Your children are literally fighting for your attention. However, be careful that your reaction does not reinforce and increase these fights. When you get involved in an angry way as “the judge” and single out your middle son as the culprit, this is likely to make the rows worse. Being constantly identified as the “baddie” makes your son feel insecure in his relationship with you and also more resentful of his brother and sister. This lets his brother and sister off the hook (they are usually part of the problem too) and makes the rows more likely to happen again. Instead, a better approach is to not take a side and “get in early” to help them all proactively sort out their dispute.
Arrange a family meeting
A good way to start this proactive approach is to regularly sit down with all your children to sort out the problems and to agree how you can make things better. The key to make this family conversation successful is to avoid blame or finding out who is at fault and instead to focus on positive goals such as or “how can we survive the lockdown together as a family”.
You can follow the steps below
1Pick a good time – for example, after a nice family meal.
2Start positive – say something nice about each of your children.
3Acknowledge how hard things are during lock down and listen to how everyone
4Set a positive goal for the discussion – “how can we set up a home-school routine that works for everyone”.
5Invite each child to contribute ideas and write these down.
6Agree some solutions that might work.
7Make a time to have a family chat again to review progress.
Don’t pick a side in the fights
When a fight happens, try to be impartial as you help your children sort it out. You might say – “lets take a break and talk about what happened” or if you set a rule you address it to both of them: “look no name calling or hitting out… you have to sort things out a different way”’.
If you do use a consequence, it is best for this to be a shared one: “look, no screen time until you agree or sort things out”.
If you do need to discipline one child, it is best to do this privately and not in front of the others. For example, you might take one child aside later and say “listen you have to find a better way of dealing with your anger” or “what can you do differently when your brother winds you up?”. This thoughtful, impartial approach that supports each of your children will lead to less resentment and encourage them to resolve their disputes themselves.
Support your family relationships
The Covid-19 restrictions are putting family relationships under pressure. It is important to take time to proactively support each other and keep some fun and enjoyment in relationships. It sounds like your middle son needs your quality attention. Try to arrange the daily routine so that you get some one-to-one enjoyable time together each day. Ideally, it is important for you and your wife to do this with all your children. This might mean you arrange to do a daily walk with one child or cook a meal with another or play a game or watch a favourite TV programme with another. Review when you get these times of enjoyable connection each day and try to increase them.
While his sister and brother have a good relationship it sounds like your son is a little lost in the middle. Think how you can help him get along better with each of them. Essentially, this means setting up one-to-one times and positive connections between them. One mother I worked with who was dealing with a similar dynamic, got her middle son involved in a household painting task with his older sister (which they got rewarded for), which helped reduce tension and improved their relationship. Another bought her two youngest a small snooker table which they learned how to play together. Think of things that might work for you.