Ticking off the ‘curriculum’ boxes set out by schools and exam boards is not always the most exciting way to acquire new knowledge or inspire passion in an academic subject
So, the next time your child shows interest in a subject, try some of our favourite resources to push inquisitive minds beyond the school curriculum and encourage them to embrace different ways of learning.
Log into Google Earth and you will have the world at your fingertips! Whether you want to see the ancient ruins of Petra, virtually trek up El Capitan or find out where bald eagles live, it is all there at the click of a button.
You can try quizzes on the origins of food or join a mystery trail tracking a stolen treasure across the world. You can also find literary locations in real life or research evidence of where dinosaurs lived.
Want to test geolocation knowledge? Try Geoguessr. Or for a very addictive way of linking history and current affairs to locations then Smarty Pins is a great way of mapping events across the globe. earth.google.com
The covid pandemic has encouraged many of the world’s great museums to open their doors to virtual tours. The British Museum collection traces two million years of human history that can be tracked as a time line across the years and continents.
With the google virtual tour you collect badges on your way round for looking at different artefacts and by going into the ‘Learn/Schools’ section there are challenges along the way, such as building your own Greek Temple. britishmuseum.org
James Dyson, of hoover and innovative engineering fame, has set up a fantastic series of challenges to expose children from a young age to the wonderful world of engineering.
These ‘safe to do at home’ experiments look at some of the magical aspects of Science, with easy to understand explanations of the related theory.
For example, make a balloon car, build a spaghetti bridge or design a marble run. jamesdysonfoundation.co.uk
Traditional board games encourage a range of skills along with good gamesmanship.
Our tutors are currently mad about ‘Katan’. Players have to collect resources towards building settlements, but it depends on the probability of your number coming up, how you trade with other players as well as strategy, economics and exploring.
Lots of learning potential and lots of family fun too!
Part of the TEDX family, TEDEd breaks down the topics so they are accessible to children of all ages.
Not only are the videos often animated for visual learners, but they are also often filled with interesting and unusual facts, exactly the sort of information children remember for life!
Each video has a comprehension, questions and a debate forum. ed.ted.com
While these resources can be linked to the school curriculum, they are really designed to encourage self-led, independent learning at home; to make learning fun and to get children to engage with a learning in a variety of accessible formats which will really stretch and expand their minds.
Director of Studies at Carfax Education Clare Preston is responsible for designing and guiding curriculum development for home schooling families and for tutoring pupils at Carfax.
For more information visit carfax-education.com