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With schools around the globe shutting their doors for the foreseeable future, it's a relief that there are loads of great options for online, remote learning – both paid and free – to keep kids on their toes (and keep parents sane). Whether you're looking to support your child's pre-existing schoolwork or want to get creative and learn new, exciting things, there's a programme for it – and Mumsnet users are on hand to recommend the ones that get the best results.
Best online learning resources at a glance
- Best all-rounder: EdPlace – start your trial now
- Best for home learning: Explore Learning, Explore at Home – book your free online trial
- Best for one-to-one tutoring: Tutorful – find an online tutor now
- Best for teens: Your Favourite Teacher – start your 14-day free trial now, plus get 20% off
- Best for maths (overall): Mathletics – start your trial now
- Best for maths (personalisation): Smartick – start your trial now
- Best for English: Reading Eggs – start your trial now
- Best for science: Tassomai – find out more
- Best for languages: Memrise – sign up for free
- Best for exams: A Testing Time – try 30 questions free
- Best for creative writing: Scribeasy – find out more
Read on for more information on these websites – and a whole host of others – plus feedback from Mumsnetters who've been there, done that, and got the exam results.
All core subjects
Age range: suitable for children aged 5 – 16 Price: £99 per year or £15 per month for all three subjects, family discount packages available
An EdPlace subscription gives your child access to thousands of interactive tutorial worksheets covering the core national curriculum subjects: English, Maths and Science up to GCSE level. In other words, you're getting a lot of bang for your buck – though single subject subscriptions are also available (for multiple student accounts).
Worksheets created by teachers with at least five years of experience are assigned to your child and adaptive technology tailors assignments to match your child's progress. There is also a parent dashboard which allows you to track your child's results and sends a progress report each week. Most importantly, you can expect to see a 10% increase in scores when EdPlace is used more than once a week.
“I tried EdPlace on a 14 day trial for £1 and was so impressed I am saving up to purchase in full. I like how it's set out – it's my favourite find to date.”
EdPlace is offering Mumsnetters an exclusive 15% off all subscriptions with code MUMSNET20
Tutorful - Mumsnet Rated winner
Age range: any age Price: free to sign up, rates are set by tutors
No matter what subject your kids need a bit of help with, Tutorful match children (or adults) with the right tutor to boost their confidence and maximise their potential. You can browse thousands of tutors and filter by location, level of expertise, and more. If you can't find what you're looking for locally, you can opt for online tuition with your tutor of choice in Tutorful's virtual classroom – ideal if you live rurally and don't fancy an hour long round trip on a weeknight.
“The tutor we tested out was very warm and friendly and good at talking to my daughter (who was a bit shy) she had a bag of tricks that aided her in making learning fun and was great at holding her attention.”
“The tutor was fantastic. I’m sure my son learnt more in that 30 min guitar session than he has in the last three years!”
You can read an in-depth Mumsnetter review of Tutorful's service here
Your Favourite Teacher
Age range: 13-16 Price: 14-day free trial, then £18.99 per month
Ideal for older children, Your Favourite Teacher is an online learning platform that'll help your child ace their GCSE exams, with English, Maths and Science courses created by experienced teachers.
Your child's subject knowledge will quickly improve through engaging, teacher-led videos. High-quality topic pages, worksheets and quizzes will then reinforce what they've learnt and boost their confidence in answering exam-style questions.
With detailed reporting, you’ll be able to track your child’s progress and quickly spot where they need to focus their attention and revision. You can also reward their efforts and keep them wanting to come back to learn more, as they can earn coins, badges and certificates, raising them up through the learning ranks.
Your Favourite Teacher is offering Mumsnetters an exclusive offer of two weeks' free trial plus 20% discount on any Your Favourite Teacher subscription, with the code MUMSNET20
Age range: suitable for children aged 5 – 16 Price: free
BBC Bitesize offers resources for a broad range of subjects from KS1 through to GCSE. “Lessons” are delivered to younger children through engaging videos and games and older children can access concise notes followed by tasks to test their knowledge. Bitesize has resources specifically tailored to the curriculum for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, too. Best of all, because Bitesize is created by the Beeb , it's completely free.
Explore Learning - Mumsnet Rated winner
Age range: 4-14 Price: Free online trial session, then a monthly package is £129
Explore at Home is an online learning experience, perfect for children aged from four to 14, created by Explore Learning to help families keep education going. Explore Learning's mission is to support children by nurturing the skills and attitudes they need to become confident, fearless learners who are hungry for knowledge – traits we can certainly get on board with.
Sessions take place online, allowing children to access their individualised learning courses, with expert tutors on hand to provide 1:1 support throughout. Plus, your child gets unlimited access to their own tailored learning course, and Explore Learning supports the whole family with access to an exclusive members area full of parent advice, activities, videos and more.
“I was very satisfied with Explore Learning. The staff were knowledgeable, caring, friendly and very helpful. The work that my DC went through was engaging, and the whole system seemed pretty well thought out.”
You can read an in-depth Mumsnetter review of Explore Learning's in-person tuition service here.
You can also call this number to register: 01483 447414
Related: Here are the best books for three-year-olds to tempt your kids away from their screens
Age range: children aged 4 – 16 Price: £59 per year for one learner
A Mathletics subscription enables your child to access hundreds of hours of maths activities per year level, as well as the Mathletics printable workbook library for extra offline activities. Primary school-aged learners can also access Live Mathletics: an online maths game which allows them to compete against other children across the world. As a parent, you will be emailed a weekly report and can also use the Mathletics Family Console to track your child’s process, print their certificates and assign them activities to complete.
“My son had real difficulty with maths and Mathletics has helped – first in his confidence and now in his ability.”
Age range: children aged 4 – 14 Price: quarterly subscription £108 (other options available)
Smartick consists of daily 15-minute sessions in which children can master the maths foundations, develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Its curriculum includes arithmetic, word problems, logic and coding, and is suitable for children who are either behind, have learning gaps to fill or simply want to excel beyond the classroom.
It also uses artificial intelligence to identify the skills and learning pace of each student, meaning it can adapt to their needs in real-time. Smartick's personalised method proved popular when Mumsnet users tested it, especially the daily progress emails.
“This has helped my son improve on his maths and even his teacher has seen a difference. I love the enthusiasm he shows each day wanting to do his session.”
Smartick is offering Mumsnetters an exclusive 25% off all subscriptions. You can also test it out yourself with their 15-day free trial.
Age range: children aged 2 – 13 Price: £39.95 per year
Reading Eggs offers online reading games and activities that are engaging for young children and easy to incorporate into your daily routine. Your child will complete a placement quiz to gauge their reading level but afterwards the activities are self-paced, allowing your child to learn in a way that suits them. This program is ideal for children who are preparing for school or struggling with reading.
“Reading Eggs has been brilliant for my five year old who was being seriously let down by the offerings at his school. In the space of a few weeks he is now able to properly decode words and has grown in confidence so much. Can't recommend it enough.”
Age range: any age Price: monthly plans from £5.40 and yearly plans from £27 (exclusive discount for Mumsnet users – usually £6 and £30 respectively)
Scribeasy is a creative writing app that gets children of all ages into storytelling.
With audio-visual methods and tools to keep children of all abilities switched on, it has a good blend of tech and story inspiration to boost vocabulary, creativity and confidence.
Scribeasy is offering Mumsnet users an exclusive 10% discount off monthly and yearly subscriptions (automatically applied at checkout)
“My kids and friends' children have used this for years. It has been helping them write much better stories for homework. Sometimes mine even use it for fun! It has a library of thousands of real-life images to make scenes that inspire a story, and has an in-built thesaurus. It can read the story out loud, is dyslexia-friendly and has lots of clever tech – image bank, parent deck etc. It's just a proper home ed platform that you can adapt to the curriculum. This app really is fantastic, and there's a free trial too!”
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Age range: children aged 7 – 16 Price: varies depending on the course but, for example, an AQA Biology GCSE course is £10 per month
Tassomai works by breaking a syllabus down into micro-facts and repeatedly testing pupils. Their unique algorithm adapts itself to the user, targets their weaknesses and adapts quizzes accordingly. Weekly progress reports keep parents in the loop, but Tassomai's results guarantee is where they really stands out: they guarantee a 7-9 grade in GCSE Science if the course is completed – or your money back.
“My daughter used Tassomai very intensively, starting part way through her actual GCSE exams and got full UMS points for most of her modules.”
Tassomai don't offer a free trial but their monthly pay-as-you-go subscription can be cancelled at any time – more info here
Save My Exams
Age range: children aged 15 – 18 Price: free
Ideal for GCSE and A-level students, Save My Exams offer past papers and mark schemes for all major UK science and maths exams – for free. Your child can access relevant papers from their exam board as well as free sample worksheets. For £6.99 a month, or £24.99 a year, your child can access all of the available worksheets with questions grouped by difficulty or topic.
Age range: suitable for children (or adults) of any age Price: free (with the option for a premium subscription)
Really popular thanks to its convenient app-based structure, Duolingo is the perfect tool for on-the-go language learning. Although mostly geared towards adults, the picture-based vocabulary games are also great for teaching kids the basics of a language. With loads of languages available, from French and Spanish right through to Hawaiian and Scottish Gaelic, you'll be a linguistic guru in no time.
“I am learning Spanish on Duolingo and finding it fun. There are quite a few languages to choose from. I do a few lessons every morning and find it is really sinking in. Would highly recommend.”
Age range: suitable for children (or adults) of any age Price: free
Ever wanted to learn how to read a menu in Mandarin? Memrise promises to teach you just that, among more conventional subjects such as learning basic French and Italian. Based on the latest science behind how our brains work, it uses 'mems', essentially pictures, memorable situations, symbols and any other mnemonic devices to help you remember and revise. Your child can access over 200 language courses for free but there are lots of extra features available from about £4 a month.
“We started using Memrise for our daughter's French and it has expanded her vocabulary in leaps and bounds. It also often includes phrases (and it's free).”
Related: Here are the best audiobooks on Audible right now.
A Testing Time
Age range: this course is aimed specifically at children preparing for the 11+ exams Price: £18 per month, £119 per year
Online verbal and non-verbal reasoning tests for 11+ exam practice. Children are guided through a course of unlimited questions which adapts to their level, helping them to progress towards a target within a set time. Immediate and detailed feedback and encouragement helps to prepare them for exams.
Age: GCSE to A-Level Price: free
If your child is studying for GCSEs or A-levels, look no further than S-Cool, the largest revision site on the web for these crucial exams. Pretty much all the most popular subjects are covered in depth, broken down into topics with detailed overviews followed by multiple choice and exam-style questions. Best of all, it's completely free – you just have to register on the site.
The best free recommended online educational resources
Quizlet is a website that provides learning tools and games to help revise anything from poetry terminology to musical notes. Think flashcards but much more interactive and fun. You can use cards other users have already made, or make your own set specific to what your child needs to learn. Its nifty world map also shows you who else is studying on Quizlet. Try it here
“My daughter has been using Quizlet to make vocab revision flashcards and quizzes for herself – it seems like a very useful site.”
Made free in light of the Covid-19 outbreak and schools being shut, Mumsnetters love the fun, interactive nature of this website – bonus points that it's run by Countdown's very own maths legend. Try it here
“We love Mathsfactor! Carol's video lessons are always cheerful and supportive and the girls love the video game-style of learning.”
Wonderopolis sends subscribers a new 'wonder' to discover each day, posing questions as weird and wonderful as “Why don't spiders get caught in their webs?” and “Who invented time?” Then there are quizzes to test your knowledge and vocabulary on the wonder, and links to resources if you want to find out even more. Try it here
4. Khan Academy
Challenge your teenagers with Khan Academy, a not-for-profit website that promises “a free world-class education for anyone anywhere.” Offering video tutorials on everything from maths to cosmology, your child will be able to get help on a subject they can't quite grasp, or just learn about something that piques their interest. Try it here
“Khan Academy is fantastic. I even get my Master's students to watch the advanced calculus and stats ones. Both my boys (seven and five) have learnt loads.”
Atom Learning is an online KS2 teaching and learning platform. As part of our response to COVID-19, they're now hosting free online lessons in English, maths, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning, and all lessons are hosted by professional teachers. Sign up now to access their timetable for the week.
“We found it clearly laid out and easy to use, and I love the fact that you can see at a glance what your child has done that week. My child was encouraged by the virtual badges he earned, and his stats went up over the months. I was really impressed actually, highly recommended, and I love the fact that it gives the answers and WHY which is so much better than a lot of the books you can buy which just give the correct answer with no explanation.”
Find advice on applying to Oxbridge, writing personal statements, revision tips and more. The blog's continuously being updated and articles are written by students and graduates of the college or subject that they're writing about. Try it here
7. Seneca – revision and virtual learning for A-Level and GCSE
A website dedicated to older children (and therefore more complex work), Seneca has tonnes of free resources, including some particularly useful dedicated sets of the toughest exam questions and topics to get your teeth into. There is also the option to trial a premium, paid service, which has even more resources available.
“I have found Seneca to be really useful, as the kids seem to actually engage with it for a lot longer. You can sign up as a parent and get weekly activity reports too.”
More free home learning resources, websites and guides:
8. Oxford Owl – educational activities, online ebooks, and support for parents
9. PhonicsPlay – a very popular site who have decided to make their resources free in response to the coronavirus crisis
10. Sublime Science – 101 free and fun science experiments to try at home
11. Twinkl – Primary school resources from early years to KS2
12. SchoolScience – some outside-the-box real-world science news
13. Topmarks Education – online teaching resources for fun learning
14. Primary Resources – lessons plans and ideas which can be adapted for home use
15. Puzzlemaker – a free puzzle maker to keep bored brains ticking over
16. Teach Your Monster To Read – a fun game to help children with phonics and the art of reading
17. Corbettmaths – resources for the new 9-1 GCSE maths syllabus
18. Teachit Maths – KS3-5 maths resources with free print-at-home PDF sheets
19. Maths is Fun – a great resource full of handy real-life demonstrations of maths problems
20. Mathster – free downloadable maths worksheets
21. BrainPOP – free access to a range of primary and secondary resources during school closures
22. Tynker – computer coding courses for kids aged 5+ (great for Minecraft fanatics!)
23. Crash Course Kids – a YouTube channel with videos covering lots of scientific lessons
24. Science Channel – another science YouTube channel, this time for slightly older kids
25. National Geographic Kids – a source of entertaining and educational content from around the world
26. GEOgraphy Focus – learn about all the countries of the world through fun videos
27. Scholastic Learn at Home – day-by-day projects to keep kids on their toes
28. Funbrain – a collection of fun, educational games that your children will actually want to play
29. Storyline Online – a huge American resource of children's books read aloud
30. PBS Kids – loads of online games, videos and stories for instant boredom-busting
31. Highlights Kids – available on the web, on YouTube and as an app
32. CoolMath4Kids – a whole host of maths games and brainteasers for all ages
33. Seussville – the online home of the wonderful world of Dr Seuss, with games, videos and character profiles
34. Mystery Doug – five-minute engaging educational videos to act as a quick break, emailed weekly
35. Emerald Ant – fun online resources relating to local history, geology and heritage, perfect for a little change of scenery
36. EdShed – an excellent educational resource including a Spelling Shed, Maths Shed and Literacy Shed
37. Art For Kids Hub – a YouTube channel of art activities for kids
38. Sir Linkalot – The App – spelling and vocabulary work for KS2 on an interactive (and very well-animated) app
39. TheBrainScoop – a look into how natural history museums operate (WARNING: definitely for older viewers, and not for the faint-hearted – think animal stuffing and flambéing insects)
40. CENTURY – AI-powered learning in the form of English, maths and science courses for years 3 to 11. Free during schools closure
41. White Rose Maths – maths lessons for years 1 to 8, with video
42. Twinkl with London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine – Covid-19-specific learning resources for teaching younger children about the virus
43. Arts Inside – live teacher-led creative arts lessons streamed daily
44. Tiger and Tim – educational videos to help children develop their reading abilities, emotional intelligence and wider knowledge
45. The Oxbridge Masterclass – free UCAS personal statement writing course, designed to support students making a UCAS application