We, like thousands of other households across the country, have had to embrace a whole new family routine this year – school suddenly became, well, me.
I can honestly say, hand on heart, that one particular website has got me through it (along with a steady supply of custard creams…) and that website is Twinkl.
I had already used their free services a few times over the years for word searches and the like in school holidays, so as soon as we pulled the kids out of school in March, I headed over there for help.
To my surprise (and joy), the fab people of Twinkl offered their premium content to parents for free for a couple of months of the lockdown, so I signed on the dotted line and bought a large box of printer paper.
Twinkl provides teaching resources for all stages from Early Years through to KS4 on a massive variety of subjects.
There is such a huge variety of things to choose from that I have been able to do all sorts with the kids, from basic modern languages to algebra (yuck).
When the free time ended, I didn’t hesitate in signing up to pay for the Ultimate subscription. I would be lost without Twinkl when it comes to sustained home-schooling, if I am honest. £9.99 a month isn’t all that high a price to pay for resources, ideas and guidance.
So Is It Just Worksheets?
Not at all!
There are educational games kids can play on-site – Tori got a bit addicted to one of the maths ones, I had to fight my laptop back off her a few times.
To go with many worksheets, there are related PowerPoints you can share and watch, which are really helpful when tackling topics you are not overly familiar with yourself.
There are also lesson plans, teaching guidance, hints and tips to help you tackle being a teacher, which is really not a thing that comes easily if you aren’t that way inclined.
Which I am not.
Do They Only Cover Core Subjects?
No, alongside all the core subjects of Maths, English and Science, they have resources on RE, Art, History, Geography, PE, Computing and a large selection of ‘topics’ that cover several of those on a theme. For example Pirates, Animal, Inventors & Inventions, and more.
They also have plenty of resources relating to current affairs, which have been a staple for us. Through the week days they release a new worksheet every day on a current news story, with questions to go with it. The sheet and questions comes in a variety of difficulties so you can tailor it to your child’s needs – this has been great for doing things together. Tori is currently Year 6 and Arthur Year 4, but the differentiated level worksheets means that they can do the same thing but at their own levels. We can all talk about the news story together, and work through their questions and not have to have two completely separate ‘lessons’ going on at once. Which is a whole lot nicer and simpler for me, if nothing else!!
The current affair topics have covered everything from the Black Lives Matter Protests, through to marine discoveries about Snot Palaces built by weird little sea creatures which scientists think will help them to design structures in space. They have led us into all sorts of conversations and further research and just given us a place to start on days where everything has felt a bit overwhelming. (Which, let’s face it, is often at the moment.)
Do I Have To Pay?
If you want access to everything, then yes. But they do offer quite a lot of free bits and pieces, particularly for the younger age groups.
If you want to try before you buy, then they have a selection of free Taster Packs which feature a cross-section of the different things they have on offer across the subjects.
I don’t know how long I will stay subscribed – it probably all depends on when/how the school situation develops come September time, but for now, I am clinging to this educational lifeline with all I have.
And on that note, I shall be off to go and print out the stuff for today – I am thinking we will do a bit of stuff about Rainforests… any excuse to end the school day with a dose of David Attenborough on the telly!
Where To Find Them:
On their website: Twinkl.co.uk
On Twitter: @twinklresources
On Instagram: @twinklresources