Publishers' free homeschooling resources for parents

Publishers' free homeschooling resources for parents

Since schools officially closed to the majority of children on Monday 23rd March publishers have started releasing teaching resources for parents to use when they are homeschooling. 

There have been plenty of free learning resources and activities popping up, perhaps most famously Joe Wicks's daily PE lessons on Instagram. Publishers, literacy charities and literature festivals have joined the trend by providing activity packs and work sheets which are based around books and characters. 

Scallywag Press is one of the indie publishers that has put together teaching resources focused around its titles. Publisher Sarah Pakenham said: "At Scallywag we've always wanted to provide resources to help readers develop discussion, and have fun at the same time. The current need for such resources has made us accelerate this process, and our authors have produced all sorts of entertaining and thought provoking pieces from simple activities to lesson plans overseen by educators. We'd like as many people as possible to download these for free, get more out of the books, and get creative!"

Pearson c.e.o said: "It’s more important than ever that learning continues, even if it can’t happen in person. Learners, teachers and families are at the heart of everything Pearson does. If we band together, we can all do our part to keep learning going and ease the burden of this unprecedented time.”

Free learning resources:

Andersen Press
Andersen Press has release a free ebook, created by Sally Nicholls and illustrator Viveane Schwarz. Staying Home is available to everyone to download. The book follows a family of energetic racoons through a day in lockdown. 

Education platform Authorfy which provides author videos and masterclasses, is hosting free creative writing challenges with bestselling children's authors to support home learning. The challenges aim to inspire children, introduce them to new books and demonstrate new storytelling techniques. The challenges are only 10 minutes each, with a new challenge everyday for three months from authors such as Cressida Cowell (the current Children’s Laureate), David Baddiel, Piers Torday, Abi Elphinstone and Alex T. Smith.

Bonnier Books UK
The Bonnier children's team have created a free resource hub where all the latest teaching and learning resources and activities are free to download. In addition, they have revised their permissions process to allow recorded conent which shares their titles temporarily from 26th March - 30th Septemeber, with the aim of helping and supporting teachers. 

Books From Scotland
Books From Scotland will be shining a light online resources from educational and children's publishers. Including course books, activities and worksheets. 

Children's Books Ireland
Children's Books Ireland and An Post have launched the #ImagineNation campaign which brings together leading Irish authors and illustrators to create a free 24-page #ImagineNation playbook for free. The book has activities for children including drawing, writing and mindfulness exercise from creatives including Oliver Jeffers, Chris Haughton, Sarah Crossan, Dan Conroy and more. 

Collins has a huge resources archive! Categorised as three to five years, primary and secondary, there is something for all the children in a household. The database has times tables practice, free GCSE practice papers, simple activity sheets, as well as guides on how to improve your children's mental health. Collins also has specific guides for the Scottish Curriculum

Island-based publisher Cranachan has launched a free, illustrated anthology of poems and stories for children aged 8-12. Stay at Home! Poems and Prose for Children in Lockdown is a collection of 40 lockdown-themed contributions by writers based in Scotland. The anthology is illustrated by Darren Gate.

DK has launched a new Stay at Home Hub which brings together the best content, authors and experts from across its publishing list. The hub offers resources for people of all ages, with a focus on home learning tasks for children. There is also advice for parents needing help with school work, activity packs, batch cooking recipes and exercise tips to download. In addition, DK will be launching daily videos on Instagram using the hashtag #EverydaywithDK featuring top authors including Carol Vorderman, Professor Robert Winston, Lucy Wyndham-Read, Chris Bavin, Huw Richards and Jess French, plus education experts from DK’s extensive children’s list, will be sharing home learning videos, family fun activities, cook alongs, exercises and gardening ideas to keep people motivated and inspired during this challenging time.

Egmont has a huge teachers' and librarians' resource database ranging from pre-school to KS4. Activities include lesson plans and activity sheets! 

Fiction Express
Fiction Express is an interacive reading platform for schools and teachers. During the pandemic, teachers are able to request three months of free access to share with their students. The free trial will give students the opportunity to read new books and work on various activities from home. A tracking and evaluating system for the results allows teachers to monitor what their students are reading and achieving from a distance.

Flying Eye Books
The imprint of Nobrow Press has lots of free activity sheets available on its blog pages. The publisher is also sharing readings and activities on Instagram

HarperCollins Children's Books has announced its new initiatives to help children and families stuck at home. Fun and Learning with HarperCollins Children's Books is an online interactive hub where readers can find book recommendations for young readers, as well as free activities.

HarperCollins authors and illlustrators are also getting involved with their own initiatives. David Walliams is releasing a free audio story every day, as well as a wide selection of quizzes and activities on his website. Rob Biddulph is sharing #DrawWithRob videos twice a week on social media to encourage children to draw and keep themselves entertained. Finally, Oliver Jeffers is producing a #StayAtHomeStorytime where he will read one of his books every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and talk about how they were made. They will be read at 6pm on his Instagram and then uploaded to his website.  

Hay Festival
Hay Festival has granted free access to its programme for schools. Parents and Children are able to watch authors who have peformed at Hay for the last three years. There are 55 events available to watch with authors including Ade Adepitan, David Baddiel Gemma Cairney, Eoin Colfer, Julian Clary and Andy Stanton. The Hay Festival Programme for Schools is sponsored by Welsh Government and the Hay Festival Foundation. 

Hay also has the initiative Hay Levels,  which is a series of short films on Youtube for A-Level and GCSE students. Videos include talks by David Crystal on Language Acquisition, Marcus du Sautoy on Algebra, Shahidha Bari on the Romantic Ballads and hundreds more three minute lessons on subjects from rocket science to Antarctic melt and Romeo & Juliet.

Jessica Kingsley Pubslishers
The publisher has opened the JKP Library. You can dowload audiobooks, ebooks, educational video content and learnign resoources. There are resources for both children and adults.  This can be downloaded from the app store. 

Jolly Learning
Jolly Learning already has a huge online bank of resources include activity sheets and music. Jolly Learning has been working hard to produce extra work sheets for phonics escpecially, to help those who are organising. They post all new sheets to a Facebook page

Little, Brown
The Little, Brown Library already has a huge supply of online learning and teaching resources. Including author essays, podcasts, videos and educator guides. 

Oxford University Press
OUP has made lots of resources free in a bid to support teachers, parents and children during this time. Including Oxford Owl for School and Home, which has phonics resources, activity packs, an ebook library and parent information booklets. MyMaths is free and is a platform for interactive maths learning. Bond Online, which has resources to help prepare for 11+ exams. OUP is also hosting a series of author events for children, including story time, which will be available on Facebook at 11am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. For existing users, OUP has extended Kerboodle subscriptions until September. 

After seeing a "significant uplift" in the use of its online resources, Pearson committed to making an array of its digital tools, services and and resources available to students, educators and parents around the world affected by school, college and university closures. In the UK, that includes free subscriptions to literacy and numeracy resources for primary schools, free access for parents to Carol Vorderman’s The Maths Factor and subscriptions to e-books and content to secondary schools supporting GCSE, A Level and BTEC qualifications. Read the full story here

The Phoenix
The Phoenix comic book has launched Q Club, a free 'quarantine club' which features comics, tutorials, videos and boardgames. Drawing and writing guides as well as videos aim to show and inspire children how to create their own comics and characters. The Q Club features tutorials and videos from comic book talents such as Jamie Smart, Neill Cameron, Jess Bradley, the Etherington Brothers.

QuartoKids has been sharing themed reading lists to help parents and children cope with the challenge of learning at home. Reading lists include: Learn At Home, Kids Wellbeing, Activity Books, Search & Find, Toddlers, Discover the World, Sticker Books, Fiction, Little People, Big Dreams

ReadingZone is deisgned to help parents find the right books for their children. The site has extracts from children's and teenager's books. They have also recently launched a book club on Youtube for everyone to access when they are at home! 

Room to Read
Room to Read is a global non-profit orgnisation focused on children's literacy and girls' education. The organisation are releasing hundreds of books online for free during the school closures, through its online platform Literacy Cloud

Scallywag Press
Scallywag Press has a number of free resources on their website for lots of different books. Each book has its own resources such as colouring sheets, activity pages and teacher notes! Some also have video content. 

Scholastic has launched a new home learning page, with lots of activities and resources. Scholastic has also been hosting Julia Donaldson's weekly broadcasts, Julia Donaldson and Friends, and has launched Chapter One. Chapter One has readings from authors of their own books and attached resources such as discussion guides. 

Stratford Literary Festival
The festival has launched a free online platform full of video content aimed at young children and parents who are at home. The videos featire Jeanne Willis, Rob Biddulph, Sarah McIntyre and Lydia Monks. Videos vary from readings to activities. 

Sweet Cherry Publishing 
Leicester based indie Sweet Cherry Publishing is offering a variety of free homeschooling resources included free extracts, teaching packs and activity sheets online

Toppsta has created a free reading pack to help children and parents who are at home. The pack includes 15 minute a day reading challenges, games, reading recommendations, book reviews and other online resources. Toppsta is also pubishing a daily schedule of author and illustrator activities taking place online and have a list of over 1,000 children's books with resources like lesson plans, activity sheets and videos to use at home. 

Usborne has lots of resources designed for teachers but they can also be used as homeschooling resources. There are dozens of books on the website, including books about mental health and wellbeing. 

Walker Books
Walker has put all of its resources and activities in one place to make it easier for those who are homeschooling. There are also links to activity sheets and teaching notes. On top of that, Walker has created a Youtube playlist of the Stay Home resources such as author readings, Q&As and book trailers. 

Wiley has opened its resource database of online learning solutions to institutions. Teachers and instructors can request free acess for their students via an online form. For current WileyPLUS and Knewton Alta instructors, customer success specialists are equipped to provide additional support, including extension of due dates, adjusting assignments or increasing the capacity to work remotely. 

Wizarding World and J.K. Rowling
J K Rowling and her Wizarding World partners have announced three new initiatives under the banner Harry Potter At Home, to help children, parents, carers and teachers who are at home during the coronavirus outbreak. First, the hub, hosted on will have activities and resources that are free to use.

Throughout April, the audiobook and ebook of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone will be free to download. Audible are providing the audiobook as part of its Audible Stories collection, and OverDrive will provide the ebook as part of its online library. 

Read the full story and details here

J K Rowling has also granted a temporary Open Licence to enable teachers to record and post videos of themselves reading Harry Potter books aloud to their classes and school networks.