Here is Louise’s story.
Louise works full time and has been home schooling her two primary school aged children with the help of her husband.
“It’s hard to balance work and everything else. In the first lockdown we could get out every day but now we have timetable clashes. Me and my husband are going for the non-symptom COVID test just to get out of the house!
Schools are a lot more demanding this time. They keep calling, emailing, and texting us (once I had five texts in a day). I feel like every time I start some work; I have to stop again to deal with something related to school. It’s hard to focus on work and then suddenly have to stop to look at how you halve a triangle.
The school aren’t doing live lessons and they send out a timetable with about nine different things on it for each day. One child sits with me, and the other sits in another room with my husband because they distract each other. We’re having to teach them ourselves so the “school day” often takes us past three o’clock. We also have to upload our children’s work of an evening, but it doesn’t get marked by the teachers.”
We asked Louise what’s the most challenging part of home-schooling and working.
“The most challenging part is managing my diary. You can’t block out a couple of hours because whenever you start something, the kids need help. It’s very unpredictable as the school timetable is changed around a lot, so some days they can be self-sufficient and others they can’t, it all depends on the lessons for the day. Often I’m having to teach myself before I can teach them."
Louise told us about the struggle of too much family time and how she’s looking after herself.
“We’re here all day long and lots of tension and nerves build up. My children probably aren’t enjoying being home-schooled. My son listed things in order of importance to him and he put friends quite highly, he’s missing seeing them and I feel horrid that he can’t do the things he values. By the time I finish work it’s too dark to go for a walk and I’m finding it hard to relax. I’m struggling with motivation and it’s hard knowing its going on for so long.”
Most children are returning to school next week, but what has the impact been on you and your family? Do you feel like Louise? Have there been positives? Are you worried about your children going back to school?