Firstly, let me reassure you that globally we are all in the same situation. As parents we want the best for our children. We work hard to enable our children to attend the best possible schools and receive the best education. We are more than aware of the competition for the best place at University and the best job vacancies. Although your children might be at nursery you will be already considering their future. Five or six months off school is a major worry to parents and carers. But we are all in the same place-home! It isn’t just your child missing out on a crucial part of their education. It isn’t just your child who is playing in the garden or finger painting to their hearts content. It is every child on the planet at the moment. I have received hundreds of emails and been involved in numerous webinars to help and support parents in home schooling. I have written resources for teaching staff to share with concerned carers and parents in home schooling. My message to you all is STOP!!
Parenting is one of the hardest jobs that you will ever do. If you saw the job description, the qualifications and skill demand in addition to the working hours you would never consider it as a career let alone apply for the job. In addition to this you are probably trying to work from home. Working from home is a weird concept that has taken me years to adjust to. I work from home but during lockdown it has been challenging for me. The Internet is running slower, my mobile is less reliable and when I ran out of ink for the printer I was in a blind panic. So, one minute you were sat at your desk with all the technology you could wish for and an endless supply of consumables and suddenly you are working from your kitchen table. You had a team of people around you who you could bounce ideas with or just have a moan with and now you are surrounded by the people you probably moaned about. On top of that you are now a teacher. It is likely that your children are not in the same class or even key stage so you are actually several teachers. If you have secondary children you are now a specialist in all subjects. At primary you are an expert in teaching language, phonics, reading and maths. Even if you are a skilled and experienced teacher you are not the teacher of your child! You are a super hero! You are holding down 3 skilled and demanding roles in addition to the usual work of running a household and feeding everyone without the convenience store, takeaways or a full stock cupboard and freezer. Once again, I say STOP! It is impossible to fulfil all of these key jobs. Something will break and it will be you. Imagine you are on a plane and the safety video begins. Who do you place the oxygen mask on first? You or your children? If you collapse the whole show collapses.
Relax! Your children will look back on these times fondly. They will remember everyone at home all day, bedtime stories and playing games and having fun. They will remember baking together and not that you had to bake as you had run out of bread. You will have the opportunity to get to know your family and build the most precious memories. Leave the teaching to the teachers. I promise you we will nurture and make sure that all children in our care are ready for the big and exciting world ahead of them. Because that is what we do. If 6 weeks ago you had been told to “Go home and enjoy your children’ you would have run for the hills singing and whooping all the way! Do it now!