Week 8 of lockdown and, according to social media, we should by now have learned a new language, become a master banana-bread-baker and reached our physical peak through daily circuit training in the garden. Actually, balancing two months of work and home schooling is a far more impressive achievement! However, with little clarity on when children might be returning to school, parents are beginning to wonder how much longer they can keep all their plates spinning. Dividing their time between the demands of work and home schooling takes a toll as parents rush between Zoom conferences and the home ‘classroom’, then stay up late to make sense of challenging schoolwork. Parents are overstretched, overwhelmed and worried that, despite their best efforts, their children’s education is suffering.
This intensity of physical, mental and emotional toil is unsustainable. You cannot be the best parent you can be, never mind teacher, when you are so overburdened. Here we give you our advice on how to juggle the pressures of lockdown whilst helping your child to learn happily and effectively.
Take Time for Yourself
As a parent, you tend to make yourself your last priority, yet you cannot give your child the best of yourself if you are drained. Parenting requires a great deal of patience under ordinary circumstances, let alone when trying to work and home-school during a pandemic! Keeping going when you need some space and rest will only lead to tension and frustration, and a sense of guilt when you snap. A little time out can make a world of difference – take a walk, sink into a bubble bath or indulge in a good book.
Protect quality time with the family
With the whole family trying to do everything from home, it is difficult to separate work and play. Ideally, you would each have a dedicated ‘work’ space that you could leave when it was time to relax. A set finish time each day is also helpful, as is preserving your weekends. For your children, it is important that they spend time with you as their parent, as well as their teacher. Let your child choose the activity and set the rules – you will both enjoy the change in roles after a long week in the ‘classroom’!
Use a timetable or go with the flow!
If you feel having a structure to your child’s learning day would help, try a timetable. The crucial thing is to draw up the timetable together, rather than impose one on your child. Giving them the choice of when to learn what lets them direct their day, allowing them a sense of control at a time when the future feels uncertain. On the other hand, a more relaxed approach may be what you need right now – letting go of schedules, taking a deep breath and only picking up schoolwork when you and your child are in the right space can make time spent learning more effective.
Make use of online resources
The internet has a wealth of resources for learning from home, including the BBC’s ‘Learning in Lockdown’ pages that cover everything from coding to magic, dance to sign language! Plus, through Bitesize Daily, children can access lessons with the likes of David Attenborough, Liam Payne and Professor Brian Cox. As well as learning resources for the children, there are many online resources for parents to help them cope with the demands of being a Covid home-schooler. At Flying Start, we are offering expert help through our Virtual Learning Support and Advice group on Facebook – pop by and ask us a question!
Consider our Lockdown Online School
There are some things that you and your child will inevitably miss while out of school: the reassurance that they are in expert hands, the social benefits of being in a class, the clear guidance on schoolwork and the space to work while the kids are occupied. Here is where Flying Start Tuition can help! For a group of up to six friends, we will set up a mini-school online – just for them! All you need to do is find a suitable time(s) each week, forward us the schoolwork you would like our tutors to cover and we will do the rest. – All this from only £7 per child. You can find out more here.
Avoid the temptation to compare yourself to others. We each have our own unique set of circumstances and you need to find the balance that is right for you and your family. And most definitely, if someone has managed to take up baking, commit to daily exercise and learn a new language whilst in lockdown, they don’t have kids!
Need a little help?
If you’re finding the home-school-work-life juggle all a bit much right now, then come along to a Free webinar for parents on Thursday 21st May at 6pm.
These Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques can be applied to school, home, and in fact any area of your child’s life!
To register, click here.
Flying Start Tuition is an award-winning tuition centre offering classes for children from year one through to GCSEs, including their popular Eleven Plus programmes. Classes are currently running online in their interactive virtual classrooms.
For further information, contact:
t: 01494 772 898