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Posted by Pete
10/06/20 05:48 PM

How have other parents found home schooling over the last few months? Any useful tips and ideas? 

Posted by smegal
27/06/20 08:20 AM

Hi - I don't know about you but we have found home schooling challenging for both our deaf son Joshua (9) and hearing son (12).  I think it requires a sense of discipline and self motivation that children generally of this age (I note there are some exceptions) have not yet developed.

The school has provided IPADs and are pretty IT literate - with teachers available on Teams.  They are following a similar. albeit slightly shorter, timetable and the lessons are online with written instructions, voice notes and videos - supported by access to the Teacher.

We've agreed with the school to change some lessons for Josh (such as music!) to focus on his weaker areas such as handwriting, and he's also been given a 121 with his form teacher to 'mop up' any areas, such as the difference between climate and weather in Geography.

Josh finds Teams difficult because the children interrupt and talk over each other, and it's hard to lip read over video - so sometimes I can see him 'giving up'.  Both my husband and I are working full time so are finding the juggling quite tricky.  Josh also doesn't like working independently, he likes to work along side someone / have some one there - which is frustrating as it's a psychological need rather than based on his ability but I guess it's still a need.  And then there are the lessons or days that he 'just doesn't want to do it' which generally, I'm ashamed to say, disolves into a shouting match.  He has said that he sees home & parents and school & teachers as separate, which is understandable.  The blurring of home & work is something that we are all trying to get to grips with.

The good news is that he's going in to school for 3 days over the next 2 weeks so I'm hoping that will pep him up - he says he wants to see his friends.  Again, Zoom calls seem to just emphasise the distance to him.

So no magic bullet here I'm afraid, we're muddling on having good days and not so good days - how is everyone else coping?

Posted by solero
28/06/20 09:07 AM

Yes, very true about Zoom calls emphasising the distance. Our daughter (Year 9) had a week (when the pandemic was at its grimmest), feeling very overwhelmed by how her life had changed. Although she still frequently laments, often tongue in cheek, that 'it's no time to be a teenager', she is now more comfortable with remote learning and being able to meet up with friends in recent weeks has also helped her days feel more balanced.

Our daughter really misses the community and buzz of school but has also appreciated being able to work at her own pace in the quiet of home, and the break from the social pressures of school. She's sent assignments from her teachers and attends various check-ins via Google Meets. It's going well but the days can feel very samey so we try and mix it up where we can (a favourite meal, exercise, film night etc). It's so uncool doing so much with your mum and dad at this age though - poor kids!

September feels a very long way off and we are a little anxious as to how to fill the long summer holiday with so many activities still off limits - any suggestions welcome.

Posted by az16
30/06/20 12:30 PM

I agree, we've found it very challenging. My son is only 7 so a bit younger so I imagine the school work pressures are a bit less for us, but most things descend into him yelling and crying and shouting how unfair it is that his (4 year old) sister doesn't have to work. Zoom has been a no go for us with any more than one other child, he gets so awkward and it took me longer than I would like to admit to realise how hard it must be for a deaf child to try and follow a zoom chat with everyone shouting out. There are no plans for him to go back until September as his school is so small they don't have the space to meet requirements, so a long summer for us!

Posted by smegal
04/07/20 09:06 AM

So summer activities - we're making the most of 'what we've got' and then looking further afield.  We are lucky enough to have a large garden so are going to use:

The army camp - for water pistol fights

The trampoline, swing, activity bars and some relay batons to create an activity station HIIT (they don't like Joe Wicks)

The grassy area - rounders / football etc.  We're thinking of buying a big paddling pool (I've already bought 2 sunbeds, selfishly!)

The beach - we live within walkable distance of the sea so bodyboards are the name of the game, and we have a friend in our bubble who has a kayak and paddle boards.

Cycling park - day out at Bettshanger

Water sports - at a lake (another day out as it's a bit of a drive)

We're members of English Heritage and National Trust - the buildings might not all be open, but the grounds are.  It'll be picnics all round!

Hiking - in the hills, along the coast etc

Family film night / BBQ's (they prefer to baking 'we're boys!')

Playdates with one (carefully selected) family at a time (one a week)

And I'm afraid to say, when I've run out of ideas, computer games..... although my husband now joins in!

I hope this helps?  Any more ideas would be more than welcome.  Our boys break up on Friday - I have 8 weeks to fill......

Posted by solero
06/07/20 01:48 PM

These are great ideas. Thanks. Let's hope for good weather.

Posted by Pete
06/07/20 02:32 PM

Thank you for all the replies.  There are some great ideas on this thread and it's good to see how other parents are managing during these interesting and challenging times.

Posted by amyfisher
10/07/20 11:23 AM

Some great idea's on there that I shall be stealing!! 
I am worried about life at school in September. My son has gone back to school for the last five weeks. At first with the distancing we thought it would be too hard for him but then when we found out he has a pod of 12 we thought it would be worth giving it a go and he has never been happier! He isn't dog tired when he gets back from school, his friendships and playtime  are great and much more fun and he is excelling in his work! September he will be going into year 6 with 30 children! To add to that there are some bad behaviours happening that make it so difficult for him. They have a much older experienced teacher in the class in September so hopefully the behaviour will be better. He is worrying about september and how different it will be. I've got a end of term meeting on Monday so will express my worries but there will nothing we can do about class size.

Is anyone else worried about the change from a pod to a full class?

Posted by umm_muhammad
14/08/20 09:37 AM

Just reading everyone's comments and really you all are a force to reckon with. 

Tthe fact that there is soicj concern is wonderful. As a mum of six I just felt overwhelmed. 

Sooooo many zoom meetings, online learning, this and that opportunities..... Just a lot

To take in. On top of that I work full-time so does hubby.

But a lot of kids time have been watching TV! Feel like a failure seeing how exhyi feel even though

I am at home. There's just MORE TO DO. cleaning cooking then Cleaning AGAIN

I have read other posts and their life's are so fruitful and engaged with their children

it puts me to shame. I know I should do more. But honestly mustering the strength to do all that is did online learning all through the lockdown. Teachers were constantly available. But my daughter who is a twin just her behaviour went down, more needy, emotional, crying constantly, not eating when it was time, having more tantrums. 

Anyway hats off to you all !!! You are amazing

Posted by smegal
15/08/20 07:01 AM

Now Umm_Muhammad - as a Mum of 6, and working full time - how can you be ashamed?  You too are damazing .  What do you do as a job?  I can go one further than just leaving children to watch TV - my 2 boys are addicted (and I don't use that word lightly) to their computers.  Seriously, the effort required to get them off and do something else is immense.  I'm studying for Finance exams at the end of the this month, and my husband is a CFO so our time and attention has been elsewhere too.  

Have you managed to get away for a holiday or a break at all?  What does your husband do?

Don't foget, many of us 'only' have 2 children to manage - what are the ages / genders of yours?  Possibly the older ones could look afer the younger ones and create activities - pocket money for the most creative ideas perhaps?  It might take the load and guilt from you, and you could 'delegate' it?  Do you have friends or family that could help you?  Perhaps create playdates when you do have time (weekends / annual leave) and then your kids could go to them on days you need some peace?

And hats off to you too!