Here in England we have gone back into lockdown, which means our schools are remaining shut after the Christmas break. Once again parents, or grandparents, or carers, are being asked to don the teacher hat. The thing is, many parents and caregivers are unable to do this. There are a variety of reasons as to why they can’t and understandably they are angry at this latest closure of the nation’s schools. Not everyone is able to teach. Not everyone is able to step in and act as a teacher. Let’s face it, it’s a hell of a job to do; requiring patience, compassion, passion, a sense of humour, to name but a few of the attributes our teachers posses.
I home educated my younger daughter for her last year at senior school, and my son for his five years of senior school. It was hard work. It was exhausting. The difference is I chose to do it. I would be able to keep my own kids educated during this pandemic if they were still in school. But what about people like my younger daughter? Her daughter has special educational needs. How do you, an unqualified person, step in and educate a child who needs different lessons?
I believe schools are sending workbooks home and are insisting parents have their children do the work set out. But what about children who can’t do the work? What if the complex needs cannot be met at home? During the first national lockdown it was agreed that provisions would be made so that schools could remain open in the event of another major lockdown. It seems that hasn’t happened.
Enough with the political slant.
If you find yourself unable to help your child with their school work during the latest school closures you could try engaging their minds in a different way.
- Research a topic that your child/children are interested in.
- Read and review a favourite book – or a new book.
- Check out YouTube for a craft activity, or any activity for that matter.
- Check out BBC Bitesize. The resources they have are invaluable.
- If able to do so go out into nature and take photos.
- Learn about your local area.
- Go on a treasure hunt. Even at this time of the year there are plenty of items you can collect.
- Watch movies and write reviews.
The law states that a child has a right to a suitable education. This law requires that a child receives an education that is suitable to their needs. During these unprecedented times the educational laws should reflect that not all caregivers are able to provide the education that a school can provide. Therefore any caregiver who has not been able to get their child to do the work their school has sent home should not be berated by school for having their child/children engage in other educational activities.
We keep hearing the slogan “We are all in this together” and maybe we are. But we must remember that these fast-moving changes affect our children too. Uncertainty can make them anxious so the last thing they need is to be fretting about work they cannot do.