Reflections on Homeschooling

A guest blog by Liz Mould, Primary School Teacher

Liz Mould is a teacher and a parent who has been teaching in primary schools for 11 years. We invited Liz to reflect on her experience of homeschooling now that the academic year is drawing to a close.


Back in March 2020, when schools first closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, I wrote a blog called Coronavirus - Homeschooling Advice For Foster Carers.


At the time, I never could have imagined that over 16 weeks later, schools would remain closed to the majority of children. Neither could I have foreseen just how challenging homeschooling would be for both myself, my husband, and my two daughters. Whilst my advice at the time was well meaning, on reflection I can see that much of it was unrealistic.


Like many, I have found the lockdown experience incredibly challenging and not at all how I imagined it to be. I feel it is important to write this new blog as a means of being open and honest and reflecting on the experience of homeschooling and the challenges that I, like many other parents and carers, have faced and are continuing to face.


“Like many, I have found the lockdown experience incredibly challenging and not at all how I imagined it to be.”


Despite being a school teacher, homeschooling has been an incredible challenge for me. I think the biggest lesson I have learned is that it is not homeschooling, it is trying to teach your children at home during a pandemic. Many parents and carers are also juggling the demands of their work alongside this. This is huge. For many, myself included, it really has been about survival. So the first thing I want to say is: You are amazing to have just kept going. To have battled on despite all the fear and uncertainty. You have looked after the children in your care as best you can, academic achievement is not a priority. The absolute priority has always been, and should continue to be, the mental health and wellbeing of the children in your care. Your own wellbeing is just as important too. Nothing else matters. Forget time-tables, schedules, to-do lists, all the pressure to fit in Maths/English/Topic work every day. That can wait. The teachers will be there when the schools are open again, ready and eager to get your children to where they need to be academically. You have permission to give yourself, and the children in your care, a much deserved break.


“You are amazing to have just kept going. To have battled on despite all the fear and uncertainty. You have looked after the children in your care as best you can, academic achievement is not a priority”.


As the academic year draws to a close, my advice would be to enjoy the school holidays with your children as best as you can.


Try not to worry about all the missed school and the work that hasn’t been done; and try to enjoy the precious time together that you have left. Have fun and create some happy memories. Life skills are equally as important as academic skills, and now is the perfect time to help develop some of those skills. You have so much to give; so share your passions, hobbies and interests with the children in your care. Find out what their interests are and explore them. Have fun, and try not to worry. School can wait.



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