What is life like for homeschool kids in lockdown?
We are now into week 7 or is it week 8 of lockdown life during what has to be the strangest time, as a pandemic virus named corona rampages around the world.
Life shut down for us in the UK in March, of this year. Our teenager moved from being at school to distance learning at home, as her school shut, and all of our extra curricular activities stopped. For my son and I, as homeschoolers, life also stopped in part.
For many many families with children in primary and secondary school, or nursery, it was a huge shock and adjustment. Nobody knows when life for them will return to normal have heard many people who’re children were in full-time school, who have had to come home, say “well, this is all ok for you, you are used to being at home”.
To some extent, yes we are. We school at home. So a lot of our daily lessons are not in a classroom with a whole group of other children. His maths class is one to one with me, his English lessons are a mum and son session, etc. That didn’t change.
But, contrary to what many believe, homeschoolers actually have quite busy, active outside of the home lives and social lives. Part of my plan when I pulled our son from school was that he would be active socially and that he would have access to his peer group, activities and classes to help him interact and also take part in things that I can’t teach him effectively.
So for us, lockdown, also meant shut down and it was a huge shock and adjustment for us too. We are used to being at art class, French class, ballet classes three times a week. Swimming lessons, cooking classes, gymnastics, Cubs, Sunday school class at church, play dates with friends who also homeschool, meet ups with local friends, trips to places we like to visit to learn and enjoy.
So it is a shock for us, and it’s not the same as usual.
My small son has really struggled. Initially, he was ok and it was all a novelty. We managed. A lot of our “in real life” classes moved online and now we do Zoom ballet classes at home, we do video class French lessons and his Cubs group meets up once a week in a group video. It’s been great and helped us to keep up a community contact with the outside world. But it’s also just as hard for us. We don’t send our kids to school, but we do miss our life before lockdown. We have had some really bumpy moments, just like other families. Missing friends, missing learning we are used to, missing doing stuff we love.
This isn’t a pity party, feel sorry for us post. In many ways the adjustment to being at home in terms of education provision for us, wasn’t hard. We already homesschool, that bit was easy, but the curtailing of our daily life has been tough. We feel it too.
We are all feeling it. We don’t know when it will end. It will, of course, but riding it out isn’t easy for anyone, homeschooler or not.
But I want those of you to know that as a homeschooler I am not sitting at home smug, feeling superior, and coping beautifully, just because we already educate our kids at home. I have cried, I have felt frustrated, I have wondered when it will go back to normal. My son has had meltdowns, we have had work refusal and days where I have given up pushing him to work because I know that this is also not “normal’ for us. We are also having real moments of not coping too. I know from talking to other families. Our Homeschool kids in lockdown are finding this time really hard too.
All we want is to be able to go back to normal as well.