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Home School: Heaven or Hell?

Updated: Apr 22, 2020

School starts tomorrow, well in varying degrees of virtual form. It was my neighbour who bought it up and when she had asked if my if its was next week that my boys were starting back I must admit I had thought,“What school? Doesn’t she know we’re in lockdown!" Seeing my obvious confusion she had added, “Well....the school term anyway.”

After a brief pause I had said, “Yes,” but really thinking she must be wrong because we seemed to have only just started the school holidays. But that retired lawyer was clearly more switched on than me, a mum with three school age children, because she was right. The thing is it wasn't that I was in denial, more that I had lost track of all time.

I could imagine those neurons in my brain, the ones responsible for keeping track of time, as well as those from the future planning department sitting up and scratching their heads, chattering to each other rather confusedly. The word 'school' would have rather rudely have awoken them.

But it’s funny how once alerted to something everything suddenly seems to be about that same theme, because after that, school talk was everywhere. The year 5 Whats App group had stirred and were starting to chatter and when I mentioned it to my highly organised independent oldest son he had said in a slightly exasperated voice, “Yes, I do know that mummy,” as if I should obviously have known, which of course was probably true.

But in all reality, given the current situation, it’s hardly surprising the boundaries have blurred, after all there have been no uniforms to get ready or haircuts to arrange in readyment for the new term. The days and weeks seem to have taken on a new form, no longer are they distinct entities, but a gentle continuous flow. Time just hasn’t seemed important. We have done whatever we have wanted, whenever we have wanted, and it has just kind of worked.

But we haven’t been lazy either, we have been doing lots of things both together and separately, it’s just that there has been no need to do anything at a particular time, just when it felt right. It has been fun to learn in real time and I have made a point of using every opportunity to do that. In general we are not really a 'timetable' family.

But for obvious Covid-19 reasons, the lines between the holidays and school have blurred, none of us really knowing, nor caring what day it is. And just now, time isn't so important.

So it did throw me into some confusion because I am torn between carrying on our way, or the schools timetable way. So I thought I would see how my boys felt.

When I broke the news to my middle son about school he had paused slightly before saying to me, “Mummy, I’ve got it under control and you are distracting me from my game. Please shut the door on your way out.” His brain had probably gone into scramble mode at the mention of that word ‘school’ just as mine had, but his neurons had clearly just turned over and gone back to sleep, or at least pressed the snooze button.

I will read the 40 page ‘Remote Schooling Parents guide 2020: Summer Term” and we will start off by going back to school in the way that they have instructed us to. But really we are all winging it now, no-one knew this was going to happen and so there is no tried or tested model. But we'll work it out one way or another.


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