Hows homeschooling/remote learning going guys?
This time around, lockdown and homeschooling feels… different. I’ll be honest, for the first half of the initial lockdown I was thriving. It was real, genuine homeschooling – I was in control of what we were learning and when we were learning it. My printer was called up to active duty and every evening/night I would sit and plan for my three kids, stuff that I knew they would love. Then came the work from school, and it was still light and fairly easy, we got on ok and the kids were still in a good enough routine. Honestly, the homeschooling itself wasn’t the end of the world and we all coped well with it.
Fast forward to now and this time there seems to be more pressure and expectation (though not from the teachers themselves), not just on the children to produce a minimum of 3hrs work every day but on the parents themselves to actually support their child’s learning, upload it and liaise with teachers whilst maintaining their own work. As if all of that wasn’t enough, kids are still in holiday mode from the Christmas break with no back to school routine to jump them into the learning mentality.
We are in the fortunate position to be working from home so we have all three of our children aged 5, 8 and 9 years old, at home with us. That’s three children with different teachers, different set work and different abilities to work independently! Some days it feels like climbing a glacier with slippers.
At the moment our children are all being set work by their teachers via an online platform called Class Dojo, the work is flexible to be done at any time throughout the day with a rough guide of how long each section should take. We wake up and start our day by 9am, getting dressed, eating breakfast and preparing for our respective tasks. It feels like the monotony of every day life in lockdown is totally overwhelming this time, and I’m dragging myself out of bed to face grumbles, bickering and disinterest only to go to bed feeling like I’ve done battle that day and lost repeatedly. Whilst logically I know lockdown was the right decision and I’m a supporter of it, I’m finding it harder this time than last.
Communication has been key for us so far, be it communicating with the teachers that something isn’t working so we have moved on, looked for an alternative or abandoned ship altogether that day, or communication with clients/colleagues to be honest and upfront that there are small children in the house 27/7 and they may indeed make a cameo appearance on a conference call to ask for a snack.
I feel at this stage of the pandemic, participation trophies are in and high expectations are out. We are being set an impossible task where we are expected to be teachers for 3-6hrs a day, caregivers 24/7, workers 8hrs a day and do all of these things with 100%. It’s simply not possible and something, somewhere will have to give.