I’m literally trying to write this review and help my one son with his school work for the day. It isn’t going well. It has taken nearly 15 minutes for me to get to this point whilst busy trying to explain a contraction. I didn’t know what a contraction was until this morning, well at least I didn’t know the name for one, look at me using contractions!
The thing is I’m fed up getting up at 5am so I can write in peace, doing school work all day, Monday to Friday then heading off to my day job all weekend. I am super lucky that I only have to worry about one child’s education and luckier still that my employer has let me my normal 4 days of mid week hours into the weekend. I am lucky and I know that. It doesn’t change the fact that I am tired, so very tired.
Then the school work, keeping a seven year old motivated and learning is difficult. I am his mum, not his teacher, I know where my skill set lies and it’s not teaching. We are getting there though, just, I think, I hope.
It’s hard for him though. The first lockdown homeschooling was more me finding some resources online and just doing a bit here and there. We had firefighter day, farmer day, giraffe day. I could tailor his learning to the things he liked and if we didn’t fancy it one day it didn’t matter. Plus it was sunny, that helped immensely. This time round he is expected to work as if he was at school, surrounded by his toys and home comforts yet not allowed to use them. It’s not fun. Not fun at all.
I need some time during the day I can write or get housework done and he needs some time during the day to have fun but still be learning. That’s where Busy Things comes invaluable, he can play on his tablet for 20 minutes or longer whilst I get some stuff done but he’s also learning. Winner.
He is genuinely having fun too, he’s found some games he loves and asks to play again, again. Racing games, colouring, even a map with volcanoes of the world that he has to label correctly and some really fun coding games. He loves it.
When you set up your child’s profile you can select the appropriate age for the games and how they progress. We opted for automatic progression, starting easy and getting harder so he could learn the game.
Busy Things is for children aimed at children age 3-11 as it covers Early Years and Key Stages 1 and 2. There are games and printable resources for all subjects. There are 100s of activities to choose from, some are quite obviously educational but most are just fun and he has no idea he is learning and stealth learning, is quite frankly, my favourite learning.
It’s really rather good value too, only £34.99 for the year and that can be for up to five children!! At the moment you can get one month of access for £1 which is fab and just a little something they’ve done to help during the lockdown.
Busy Things works best on a big screen, a few games will work on a phone but it is definitely designed for 7 inch tablets and up, the bigger the screen the better. We’ve had the best user experience on my laptop, but for many reasons I don’t like L using it. It’s good on his tablet though, I just think an app would be easier for him than the browser, which he can navigate away from accidentally. In fact that’s literally the only thing I would like to see from Busy Things, an app. I feel that would aid the tablet experience.
Having Busy Things at home has been really helpful. Fun for L. A bit of time for me. I love the downloads to add on to his home learning and make that a bit more fun too. I’m really quite impressed.
Disclosure – we were gifted our subscription to Busy Things. All thoughts, opinions and images are my own.