Let’s get down to home-schooling!By Tanya Sharapova
January 5th marked the third national lockdown across the UK - inevitably signalling another wave of home-schooling. Parents across the country began brushing up on their English and Maths skills whilst balancing their own work and responsibilities. Thankfully, one sector has come to the rescue and provided fantastic resources to help families get out of this ‘home-schooling panic mode’.
Despite museums and attractions remaining closed, they have been pioneers in supporting parents and children, offering a wide range of activities, tasks and projects that children can get stuck into to help advance their learning.
Our latest ClearSight® report on Visitor Attraction Engagement highlights that the public would love to visit an attraction with a ‘new’ or ‘refreshed’ offer. These sites tend to generate a positive public image, supported by unique and engaging marketing content that is highly shareable.
Sites such as the Warner Bros Studio Tour London and Chester Zoo are great examples of this. They provide a fresh and appealing offer on-site, as well as a wide range of original content available on their websites to keep potential visitors engaged and excited about the next time they can visit in person.
Similarly, our ClearSight® report on Visitor Attraction Engagement identifies a distinct gap between awareness and visits. This is often driven by a visitor’s lack of understanding of an attraction’s offer and, more specifically, what a visit may entail and how it is relevant to them.
At a time when so many of us are resorting to searching online for entertainment, unique content for home-schooling offers visitor attractions an opportunity to build awareness and develop potential visitors.
Acting now to provide a wealth of educational resources
Museums and attractions are quickly adapting to the current times by providing intuitive and interactive activities for families with children, and we’ve found some great examples to dip into:
Tate Kids https://www.tate.org.uk/kids
Whether you are looking to learn about artists or draw inspiration for art projects, the Tate offers some great ideas for children of all ages.
The activities range from creative challenges using things you can easily find in the house to online games like creating your own graffiti (in case you didn’t want to sacrifice a real wall for this!).
Imperial War Museum https://www.iwm.org.uk/learning/home-learning-hub
If your children are currently studying wartime periods, then the Imperial War Museum is a great go-to.
They have created a home learning hub with 15 – 20 minute YouTube videos that take you and your children on a virtual storytelling journey featuring some of their artefacts within the museum. On top of this, they have uploaded video tasks that you can do together as a family in the comfort of your own home.
Literature, drama and film
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London https://www.wbstudiotour.co.uk/at-home/
While the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter keep their doors firmly closed in Watford, they are instead opening their online doors, offering fans and anyone with a general interest in film making a fantastic array of free activities, worksheets and challenges to create some movie magic at home.
Biology and the Natural world
Chester Zoo https://www.chesterzoo.org/schools/resources/
Chester Zoo’s learning resources page offers hundreds of worksheets to download, videos to watch and educational games to play; a popular choice to keep the everyone entertained and engaged until real Zoo visits are permitted.
Eden Project https://www.edenproject.com/learn/for-everyone
Additionally, whether you’re looking for lesson plans or just ideas on how to keep the children occupied and enjoying the outdoors, the Eden project has a superb range of available resources, activities and tips and tricks. In fact, it’s not just for children – you might find you have green fingers too!
The National Football Museum https://www.nationalfootballmuseum.com/communities/stayathome/
Aside from Joe Wicks helping everyone get active with his workouts, sporting museums such as The National Football Museum provide a range of short video activities and challenges to get children up and about. They are also supplying educational material with topics from black history in football to creative writing about football challenges set out by Matt Oldfield.
World Rugby Museum http://worldrugbymuseum.com/school-of-ruck
The World Rugby Museum Twickenham offer a special site devoted to content for children aged 5-11. The wonderfully named ‘School of Ruck’ offers 8 week-by-week ideas for a range of key stages, from spelling bees to Maths and History.
Looking to the future…
As sites across the country remain closed, it’s important that these educational programmes are continued and shared among parents and children. As an important part of children’s development, this way of learning can help bring about not only improved cognitive ability, but also foster a connection with parents by offering them something helpful when they need it most.
Once national restrictions are lifted, the sites that people have been visiting virtually will have helped build important personal relevance, with a real willingness to visit in person with their children on the subjects they have been learning about at home.
For more information on our latest ClearSight® data or to include your visitor attraction in future surveys, please get in touch with Tanya Sharapova.