Homeschooling Resources UK
As a UK homeschooling family we are always on the lookout for resources to enrich our homeschool life. It’s easy as a homeschool parent to get brain fog or just simply tired of coming up with new ideas and resources, so I’ve put this list of UK homeschooling resources together which hopefully will give you inspiration for those days when you want something new and fun to do! There are plenty of websites to create your own free online school as well as many other educational resources. These are all great ideas for non-homeschooling families who just want some extra ideas of quality things to do with children!
I’ve categorised these resources into ‘Organisation & Storage‘, ‘Activity & Learning Websites (inc. Printables)’, ‘Annual Memberships for Days Out‘, ‘Educational Apps‘, ‘Educational YouTube Channels‘, ‘Homeschool Books‘ and ‘Play Based Learning Resources‘.
I will continue adding to this list of UK homeschooling resources as I discover more and I would love to hear your suggestions and favourite homeschooling resources too, so please feel free to comment and let me know!
- 1 Homeschooling Books
- 2 Homeschool Room Organisation & Storage
- 3 Activity & Learning Websites (Create Your Own FREE Online School!)
- 4 Annual Memberships (Days Out)
- 5 Educational Apps
- 6 Educational Subscription Boxes
- 7 Educational YouTube Channels
- 8 Play Based Learning Resources
- 9 Homeschooling Support Networks
- 10 Conclusion
We have countless books in our house; they have all been read at one time or another and we acquire more from the library, Amazon and charity shops all the time. There are too many to put in this blog post so I will do a separate post on my favourite homeschooling books for each subject and will recommend my top 3 (what I’d purchase first) in this section of my favourite homeschooling books.
For easy, simple English workbooks our top 3 are:
- The Collins Easy Learning series
- Carol Vorderman English made Easy books
- The Scholastic English 100 Practice Activities Books
For starting Maths I would recommend:
- Carol Vorderman Maths made Easy books
- Letts 5 Minutes a Day Maths
- The Scholastic Maths 100 Practice Activities Books
For primary History studies our top 3 are:
- The Horrible Histories books by Terry Deary- funny, fascinating and gruesome stories and facts from the past
- The DK History Year by Year encyclopaedia, providing an excellent timeline and commentary of notable events
- The Smithsonian Visual Guide to Natural History, perfect for animal or nature lovers
For Art, our top 3 are:
- The Children’s Interactive Story of Art, a great introduction to fine art and different techniques, artists and works.
- Art Lab for Kids: 52 Creative Adventures in Drawing, Painting, Printmaking & Mixed Media
- “I’m NOT just a Scribble”– a beautifully written and illustrated book showing children that every artwork and effort is unique and valuable.
For Geography our top 3 are:
- This illustrated children’s atlas as a beautiful visual resource covering every continent and country
- The National Geographic Kids’ First Atlas, packed full of info and pictures from around the world
- The Horrible Geographies series for going more in-depth into specific subjects such as ‘Raging Rivers’ and ‘Earth-shattering Earthquakes.’
For Science our top 3 are:
- The National Geographic Science encyclopaedia
- The Dorling Kindersley 101 Great Science Experiments (for classroom or home)
- Mistakes That Worked: 40 brilliant inventions and how the came to be
For pure reading experience, imagination and pleasure, here are our top 10 favourite fiction books:
- The Faraway Tree series by Enid Blyton
- Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
- The Boy In The Dress by David Williams
- The Lorax by Dr Seuss
- Matilda by Roald Dahl
- Horton Hears a Who by Dr Seuss
- The Secret Seven series by Enid Blyton
- James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
- A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- The Naughtiest Girl in the School by Enid Blyton
Homeschool Room Organisation & Storage
I have written a whole post on how we organise our homeschool room and the educational toys we love, so here are the highlights of that post:
Kallax cubed furniture are excellent for storing all kinds of resources. We keep puzzles, board games, Playmobil and Lego etc in the Drona boxes inside the Kallax; it is sleek and minimalist and can easily be customised to any interior theme as the wood is neutral and there are many Drone box designs to choose from.
Trofast drawer combinations are our other go-to for homeschool room organisation; they can be bought at any height and it is a brilliant way to organise art, maths and science supplies.
Expandable Filers are how we keep our children’s work stored and organised; the multiple compartments mean that separate subjects can be easily found and having one file per child works very well as a neat and organised record of what they have done each year.
Tuff Trays are absolutely brilliant for messy play such as exploring non-Newtonian fluid (cornflour and water!), sand and of course slime, or simply having Lego and Playmobil readily accessible! At the homeschool group our children attend there are several Tuff Trays so the children can choose an activity Montessori-style, and they work perfectly for either keeping your floor free from mess or as outdoor-play areas. These elasticated covers will protect whatever you put inside your Tuff Trays!
Activity & Learning Websites (Create Your Own FREE Online School!)
These are websites that provide games or lessons for kids- many are free! Using these you can put together your own free UK online school that is tailored to meet your child’s unique passions and abilities.
Twinkl: This is a go-to for primary school teachers and is a colossal goldmine of printable games, lesson plans, wall charts/signs and the like for all subjects. There is a free version that we currently use from which we print colouring sheets, basic maths and english worksheets, paper board games, labels and signs. You can even easily design your own printable resources using the templates. The paid version is well worth it; we used to have it and there are so many activity options (sorted into topic, age, etc) as well as an app containing videos and digital games and whole lessons, that it is really the only website you need if you’re wanting an academically focused resource. There are 3 paid options which are around £50, £75 and £100 per year depending on your needs. You can sign up for free here or join this Facebook group which will notify you when the homeschool discount is available, as well as providing a community of other parents homeschooling with Twinkl!
NRICH is a maths website project put together by Cambridge University in order to help children thrive in maths.There are resources for both primary and secondary children as well as teachers.
60 Second Histories by Squaducation offers a 2 week free trial and has over 300 history videos and activities (plus a discount for home educators!) It also has 20 videos that are free to view without registration.
RedTedArt.com is a great resource for arts and crafts, including ideas for creative sessions and free printables for children.
Exploring Nature with Children is an excellent year-long curriculum for children to explore nature and deepen their connection with the outdoors. Each week includes a book list, a poem, piece of art and extension activities. The whole thing is around £10!!
New York Philarmonic Kids Zone is a fantastic website with many games, puzzles and activities for children to learn all about music.
Teach Your Monster To Read: A really fun and interactive free online school reading program that helps kids learn to read, from the beginning stages through to older kids who need a bit more practise. Children get to design their own monster character and take it on adventures through different reading levels to increase confidence and reading skills. Teach your monster to read is completely free and it works on iPhones, iPads, Android and Kindle tablets as well as any laptop or desktop.
Nasa Kids’ Club offers children a fascinating insight into space and the Universe through games, cartoons and mission info.
AAAMath is a website with thousands of free maths lessons, games and activities for children from Reception to Year 8.
IXL is a paid resource that provides unlimited practise in Maths and English from Reception to Year 13.
Ducksters.com is a packed website with separate sections for History, People of Interest, Geography and Science.
Mathletics: This is a great platform for helping children with various maths concepts through games, activities and tests. Mathletics is around £59 for an annual subscription, working out to less than £5 per month. You can trial Mathletics for free here.
New York Philarmonic Kids Zone is a fantastic website with many games, puzzles and activities for children to learn all about music.
Reading Eggs: Reading Eggs uses animation, bright colours and fun characters to keep kids engaged in an interactive multi-level program from phonic identification to more complex challenges. This has been an absolute game changer for our family when it comes to teaching reading! You can get a free trial of Reading Eggs here and the annual subscription is £39.95, or £47.95 when combined with a Mathseeds membership.
Science Kids.co.nz: A huge free resource of science-related info, games, activities and challenges. From Earth facts to science word scrambles and plant-growing activities, kids will love browsing this science site.
CBBC: Play games featuring CBBC famous faces, take quizzes, watch CBBC programs and find info on your favourite topics on this completely free website for kids. We particularly enjoy the material in the ‘animals’ topic section, with wildlife odd-one-outs and dino footprint classes.
Historyforkids.net: Touch on Tudor topics and delve into the Druids with this free and comprehensive history website for children (and curious adults). Download free PDF worksheets and colouring sheets on different history topics or play games and quizzes online!
Daily Sudoku For Kids: Does what it says on the tin- daily printable Sudoku puzzles for children!
Lovatts Crosswords and Puzzles: I love this website- choose from crosswords, word searches, Sudoku and quadra puzzles in themes from ‘mythical creatures’ to ‘at the park’.
Activity Village is a great primary resource and contains everything from printable life-cycles and water-cycles to printable jigsaw puzzles and maths challenge colouring sheets. Loads of the resources are completely free and there is a paid upgrade option at just £17.50 for a full year of access!
Education.com has over 30,000 lesson plans, printable worksheets and online games across a wide range of subjects.
Funbrain.com has whole books that can be read straight from the website as well as educational games and videos for children aged 5-17.
The Maths Factor is Carol Vorderman’s website for teaching children maths and has a 2 week free trial as well as 93% parent satisfaction rate.
Nat Geo Kids opens up the natural world to children in a fascinating and interactive way. Activities on the website each have objectives for multiple subjects, so it is an excellent resource for exploring by topic or subject.
VirtualDrumming.com is a great website for learning all you need to know about drumming, including video lessons, quizzes and virtual drum sessions!
Edplace.com is a Maths, English and Science resource that offers 14-day trials for just £1 and has facilities for ages 11+ as well as primary children.
Duo Lingo is a free language-learning website and app that offers over 30 languages to choose from. This is perfect for adults too so why not embark on a new learning journey with your child?
BBC Bitesize is a free website that offers guides, videos and revision lessons for both primary and secondary aged children.
Activity Village is free and has thousands of colouring pages, craft ideas, puzzles and sudoku, educational resources and more, including resources categorised by topic.
Classics For Kids is a children’s website dedicated to learning all about classic music through podcasts, clickable music pieces, games and a “Composer of the week” focus.
Open Learn is the Open University’s free online program portal and has over 1000 free courses, videos and more.
Khan Academy is one of the most popular educational websites out there and offers unlimited resources in maths, science, arts and humanities.
KidzType is a fun typing resource to teach children how to touch type with dance-mat style videos and games.
Music Tech Teacher is a free website for children interested in learning music technology.
Interhigh is a full time online school for children aged 8 to sixth form age.
Annual Memberships (Days Out)
Investing in annual memberships is one of the ways in which we keep our homeschool costs down (see the exact amount we spend on homeschooling here). If we are at a loose end we can simply head to one of the places for which we have a membership and presto, an easy and free day out!
National Trust memberships start at just £6 a month and are a fantastic way for children (and adults too!) to explore nature, history and art in a living, hands-on way. There are more than 500 National Trust properties around the country so we’ve found it brilliant for free days out while holidaying in the UK as well as at home!
The Merlin Pass is one of the most popular annual memberships for families and several of our friends swear by it- unsurprisingly as the membership gets you unlimited free entry to Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures, Alton Towers, Legoland, the London Eye, Madam Tussauds, the SeaLife centres and more (over 30 attractions!) The Merlin Pass is now offering monthly payments which makes it much more affordable than it used to be.
RSPB Wildlife Charity membership gives you free access to over 170 nature reserves as well as free welcome gifts, a welcome pack, quarterly magazines and more.
English Heritage properties include Stonehenge, Hadrian’s Wall and Dover Castle as well as 400 other sites to explore- all free for members.
The Forestry Commission membership offers free parking at Forestry Commission forests as well as discounts on outdoor companies such as Go Ape, Forest Holidays and Muddy Puddles clothing.
Apps for mobile devices are excellent resources when it comes to making your own free online school. They are both fun and educational and many are enjoyable for adults too!
Geocaching is an app that reveals the location of secret buried treasure (‘geocaches’) around your local area – a brilliant way to spend a day out with kids!
Pixton is a brilliant app that lets children create and edit their own comics and graphic novels
LoveBalls is a great app for mastering the basics of Physics- kids create ramps and tunnels to get the two cute balls to meet!
Minecraft is an immersive small-world experience where players can mine for resources, raise animals, defend their territory and build infinite possibilities.
Pokemon Go is a super fun way to get out and about- users hunt for and capture digital creatures in the real world!
Science360 offers scientific news, games, videos and articles, updated weekly.
The Human Body has interactive chapters that teaches children about the foundations of human anatomy.
Flow Free has over 2000 puzzles for children to enjoy while developing key skills.
Star Walk is a brilliant map of the night sky- hold the device up and the app depicts each star and constellation above you.
DragonBox is an app that gives children aged 6+ a good foundation in understanding numbers, through play. DragonBox Algebra introduces children to algebra in a fun way, either from age 5+ or 12+ and DragonBox Elements introduces children to geometry with over 100 fun games.
Periodic Table App showcases each element in their natural state as well as with real-life applications; children can also explore the discovery of the elements throughout history.
Toca Boca Builder is a brightly coloured app for children who like to design, create and build whatever they like.
Educational Subscription Boxes
We started using subscription boxes around a year ago as a way to have interesting and novel activities to do without me having to think of them all the time- I also think they are absolutely brilliant as the kids think of them as presents, as opposed to ‘educational resources’. They can’t wait to get stuck into them and we have tried everything from STEM to gardening to cookery boxes- here are our favourites! You can sign up to each of these through the same platform, www.uopen.com– I have an exclusive discount of 10% off for my readers when you use the code adventuretravelfamily.
Mud and Bloom box– this is a wonderful, novel and creative box that comes with everything you need for your children to both grow lovely plants (edible and decorative) and create other outdoor crafts such as sundials, stained glass and wind chimes.
Our Little Globe box comes with a box of country-themed goodies including a spice pouch to make a local dish, a kids’ passport, stickers and crafts as well as a suitcase to store their creations.
The Foodini Postal Club delivers one sweet and one savoury recipe for children as well as a related craft and info sheets about ingredients- vegetarian and often vegan friendly, this is great for kids who really want to get stuck into their cooking!
Sand Art box – a great package to make sand art on canvas, including glue, sand, canvases and a little wooden easel for display!
The Letterbox Lab is a handy kit of 5-10 science experiments in every box, from making magnetic slime to discovering ‘dinosaur poop’ and more! Includes gifts to build up a kit including safety goggles, a microscope and more so that children get the full ‘scientist’ experience.
The Space Journey box is perfect for future astronauts- each box comes packed with activities, facts, stickers and gifts such as dehydrated astronaut meals to try or space sunglasses.
Cookie Crumbles Baking Club delivers all-natural baking mixes from blueberry and vanilla muffins to chewy chocolate chunk cookies- ideal for children to develop confidence and independence in the kitchen as well as trying new flavours and textures!
Educational YouTube Channels
YouTube is honestly like a free online school in itself; there are SO many highly skilled and talented people sharing their passions and it is a wonderful place to watch brilliant videos and learn new skills! Here are some of our favourite channels that benefit our homeschool.
SciShow Kids is full of ideas for scientific activities and experiments as well as myth-busting videos about the natural world.
Art for Kids Hub is one of our favourites, with a ton of drawing and how-to tutorials. This one is responsible for the plethora of anime artwork papering the kids’ rooms!
Charlis Crafty Kitchen is run by two kids who love to bake and make tasty kids-friendly treats.
Mr. Fast is a channel that showcases amazing inventions and incredible engineering to inspire kids to get creative and enjoy science.
BBC Teach has videos covering all school subjects and is split into playlists such as “Secondary computer science” and “primary drama”.
Seeker offers enthralling insights into the natural world and the science that underpins it.
NASA’s channel offers an insight into astronauts’ lives and satellite cameras around the world.
The Brain Scoop is all about natural history and biology and includes some fascinating dissection videos (caution advised!)
5 Minute Craft Kids does what it says on the tin- from making dolls house furniture to DIY soap, all from around 5 minutes!
Cartooning for Kids has a lot of tutorials including how to draw many of our kids’ favourite characters from Spiderman to Pokemon!
Mathantics has a collection of videos about mathematic terms and concepts, explained and illustrated simply.
Nat Geo Kids has wonderful, weird and wacky videos featuring science, pets, nature and more.
AnimalWonders Montana has plenty of animal care and fact videos featuring unusual animals such as sugar gliders and beavers.
Video Math Tutor has many maths lessons for all ages, including brain teasers for interactive learning.
Khan Academy has lessons and explanations across many subjects, including sub-channels for more specific topics and subjects.
3 Blue 1 Brown is a maths channel that strives to teach through graphic animations- great for visual learners,
Minute Physics is a super fun channel with live animated drawings explaining fascinating scientific concepts and facts such as “is it better to walk or run in the rain?” and “Einstein’s biggest blunder”.
Play Based Learning Resources
There are some resources that have become invaluable to our kids in terms of play based learning. Our girls enjoy these at home or at their homeschooling groups; all of these are high quality and long-lasting.
Jigsaw puzzles are a great way to have fun, increase concentration and are a perfect rainy day activity. We love these excellent puzzles (many are Usborne jigsaw and book sets):
- The Solar System (48 pcs)
- Jungle Animals (100 pcs)
- The Periodic Table (200 pcs)
- Insects & Bugs (100 pcs)
- A map of London (100 pcs)
- The World Atlas (300 pcs)
- Flags of the World (300 pcs)
- A map of Great Britain and Ireland (300 pcs)
- A map of Europe (300 pcs)
Snap Circuits are a fantastic introduction to physics for children, who can use the equipment provided to create their own machines including an AM radio, lie detector, a touch lamp and more!
Schleich Animal figures are the most anatomically correct animal figures on the market and we have bought these on a regular basis since Esmae was a baby- they’ll last forever so our grandkids will be able to enjoy them too, and our girls play with them every day!
Magnatiles are durable coloured tiles that can be used for STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) activities as well as simple construction and imagination play.
LEGO is also an excellent and timeless resource for STEM and imaginative play, either individually or in groups. There are some great books that have suggested builds and themed ideas to complement play. We have a lot of the basic bricks as well as specific project sets.
Playmobil is our favourite small-world play resource; we have many different playsets and it gets taken out to play at least once every day!
We got a Smart Globe when the girls were tiny and us adults found it just as fascinating as the kids! This globe goes from day to night showing 88 constellations, and has plenty of facts and info via the interactive app.
Homeschooling Support Networks
The following websites and online groups are a great way to get support in your homeschooling journey. If you would like to meet other homeschooling families in your area, search for local groups on Facebook or ask in these bigger groups:
Home Schooling UK Facebook Group is an active and supportive group for anyone homeschooling in the UK (primary or secondary)
Home Schooling Ideas and Projects UK is a place where parents can share ideas for homeschooling projects and activities
Home Education in London does what it says on the tin… activities, groups and info for those in the London area.
Education Otherwise is a charity providing information and support to home educating parents in the UK
I hope this post on our favourite homeschooling resources has been helpful; please take a look at the rest of my homeschooling blog posts for more info and advice on UK homeschooling!