Dear parents and carers,
I repeat, dear parents and carers!
Yes, you! I have an important message for you so please pay attention. You are a parent or carer and not a TEACHER! I shall repeat it; You are NOT a TEACHER!
Even if you are a teacher or educator by profession, your role in relation to the young people currently in your care at home; is that of a parent or carer.
Please stop putting undue pressure on yourself and your children in the name of so-called homeschooling.
What some parents and carers are doing cannot be considered as homeschooling and they should not be penalised or made to feel guilty about it.
Some parents are trying to hold down jobs (working from home), attempting to educate their children at home, attempting to keep the home clean and tidy, struggling to remember to wash their hands and reminding the young people in their care to wash their hands frequently, attempting to cook healthy meals and so on; all in a day!
Some parents do not even have the opportunity to work from home as they are required to be at work due to the nature of their jobs. During this difficult period, some parents that have to work feel guilty that they are unable to spend quality time with their family. They do not need additional stress or guilt about their inability to homeschool their children.
Parents and carers that are required to work during this pandemic, my message to you are that you should focus on one thing at a time. Concentrate on your job, by all means, if you are able to touch base with your children/family whilst at work, please do so. If you are not, avoid the guilt trip. Your family and community appreciate all that you are doing to keep people safe and alive. In fact, rather than feeling downcast, pat yourself on the back as you deserve an award.
When time permits and you can safely spend quality time with your family, kindly do so and cherish every moment.
Now, back to the parents and carers that are at home multitasking happily or perhaps struggling…
Please, parents, take it easy on yourself and your children. You can only do so much and your children can only take so much in the current climate and homeschooling environment. If it is your child’s dream to attend Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard University or even the university of life, your inability to consistently and adequately home educate your child during the lockdown period will not stop the dream from becoming a reality.
What I am saying is: your current role is not that of a teacher. What you should be doing is to support your children based on the resources provided by the school. You should also empower older children by giving them the opportunity to choose the best way that they intend to handle the work that has been provided by their schools. You will, of course, need to be satisfied that the chosen methods and routines are achievable and meets with your approval.
If you and your children are struggling, take a break and avoid a breakdown and or resentment within the family.
The current situation certainly requires some adjustments including different methods of working, having a routine, schedules, creating timetables etc. In doing so, please be flexible and realistic.
Parents and carers should be working to build a good relationship with their children and spending quality time.
Keep safe, be active, eat healthy meals, try to build a positive mindset, follow government advice, rest and do fun things. It is equally okay sometimes not to do anything but don’t make it a habit to avoid negativity and anxiety creeping into your mind.
Be watchful and try to avoid the present situation you find yourselves veering into tumultuous moments. We must find the opportunity amongst all this to be thankful and joyful. Being alive and in good health is a huge gift and blessing.
Each day is likely to be different. This is not the time to compete with others. Stay focused on your family and priorities. Some parents may be able to breeze through home education with their children, that’s fine. If your case is different, it doesn’t matter. We are all unique.
If you are struggling, rest assured that you are not alone and it is to be expected. Do not beat yourself up.
When the boundary line between home working and other demands of life is blurred, it can be problematic. However, help is at hand. If you need help and happy to receive it, I am available. Feel free to send me a message.