Let me put on my serious hat for a moment. Most of Australia, and in fact, around the world, parents will be facing school closures. And because I am a parent- I know the worry and panic that sets in when you want nothing but the best for your child.
Spread the word to all the other parents please. Because I personally believe the parents haven’t been told anything and are currently sending themselves into an anxious tailspin.
1. DON’T DO ANYTHING YET! Don’t buy $100 worth of resources, don’t stay up until 2am Google searching programs to print off. There is too much out there at the moment praying on your insecurities.
2. YOU CAN STILL WORK FROM HOME, YOU WON’T BE ‘TEACHING’- Homeschooling is the wrong phrase. Your school will email, send packages, whatever way needed. You will just be supervising them completing the work. If you or they don’t know what to do, contact the teacher. They will explain to the child, or provide alternatives to help them. You don’t have to be a teacher, just a supervisor.
3. BE REALISTIC- You do not have to ‘set up a classroom’. They don’t have to be working ALLLLL day. Look at the chart below. That’s what hours they need. The teacher will be checking off who is working, by gathering physical or digital evidence. It will not be all up to you.
4. GIVE YOUR CHILD’S TEACHER A MINUTE- When you ask a question, it may take 24 hours to reply. If you can’t do something until they explain it- DON’T! Just use it as an excuse to chill out. We teachers are not going to be critically analysing every piece of work. We will scan for issues and problems, as we do walking around the classroom. But we are not expecting 100 percent correct answers and a 2000 word essay from a 9 year old.
5. DON’T GET CAUGHT UP IN ‘MUM SHAMING’- There is already a lot of it. People showing perfect houses, setting up enriching and engaging activities they are doing with their children. Which leads you to feel guilty, because your kid has been eating biscuits and watching TV. ‘My child will be left behind, I am a terrible parent ruining the future of my baby’. Don’t fall trap to the ‘SOCIAL MEDIA’ lives people are portraying. They have taken a still frame image of a 10 minute section of their day, applied filters and over exaggerated their words in their status.
Do what you have to do mamas and papas. Yes, things are going to happen in the next few months that normally wouldn’t. They will probably have too much screen time. Screen time may not even be bad- look below for ABC’s educational TV that will be playing. Your house may look messier. You may have a night where you eat waffles and ice cream for dinner. Give yourself a break.
Your little ones are scared. They may not show it, but they have lost their routine. They are hearing big words that they don’t know how to comprehend. They need hugs, not being yelled at by a stressed mum or dad, who is doing things that are not really needed.
Their education will recover. Their mental health may not. I know which one I will prioritise. Look after yourselves xxoo