J U L I E  M O R L E Y

PERSONAL PSYCHOTHERAPIST

Julie Morley
Psychotherapy & Counselling
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30th June 2020

Home Teaching Thoughts During Lockdown

30th June 2020

One of the biggest issues affecting women's lives at the moment is Home Teaching which was sprung upon us when lock down was announced.


If I remember rightly, at the start of the week it had been suggested that we might be locking down, by Wednesday it was confirmed that the school was ending on the Friday and by Friday, the teachers said goodbye to the children in school.


For us parents, initially many had assumed it might be for a few weeks and were imaginning something a bit like the summer holidays, but suspected that maybe the school would perhaps send home 'a school pack'- things to do that were educational.


Great! we thought... For our family, the 'pack' was sent on email and this was basically in form of some kind of... lesson plan ?!  Hang on... us parents thought... this isn't what we imaginned where we could hand over a 'pack' to our kids and get on with our 'working from home', this was a ... lesson plan?.. No wait!  This wasn't a lesson plan, this was Monday's school work-load to be made INTO a lesson plans and then completely delivered- by the parents.  For primary school age children, this literally meant continual structuring of a school day- at home.


Within 36 hours, parents all over the country had quickly come to realise, that they had to learn the stuff, and then teach the stuff and then... wait for it... mark the stuff. I thin kthis is where I began to feel sick.


Within an extremely short amount of time, we had realised our days were to be full of working out how to persuade primary age children to learn the curriculum and very soon after we realised this was not fo a few weeks, but also for a few months.


This harrowing realisation came at the same time as the sense of feeling a little bit safer came from not sending the children out into the community while there was a potentially deadly virus circulating and so stress levels dropped a little, it was suddenly raised again by the dawning of becoming a teacher but in completely the wrong environment to do so.

There were many questions.  How do I work, even if I can work at home, how can I work. If partners have to work from home, how do they manage to do this with a bunch of kids around?  How will the kids focus with TWO parents in the house.


But still there was nothing that could be done and so many flung themselves into it.  A good day structure was put in place by some and others struggled completely.


For myself, I thanked god (and still do thank god -even though I don't have a faith or believe in a god) that I only have one child at home, as the other two are grown up. I am not sure how I would have coped with the older two at home in lock down as there has been just me and my 8 year old son, every day since March (it is now June and the schools are still not open) and luckily (thank god thank god) he actually LIKES learning.  How lucky is that?!


Over time I have mastered the art of doing all the work within 1 and a half hours what originally took about 3 hours, and I even remember quite enjoying it at first and even considering home schooling forever.  I have 100% done a U-turn on that by the way.   We have done it in various forms including a school room idea in the dining room, togther on a laptop on the sofa and now its as bad as this- its together on a laptop in bed before we even get up!


This is roughly how our 'school day' looks.


730am (or whenever I feel ready and significantly caffienated) I have a look on the internet platform SeeSaw for yesterdays school work. I say yesterdays as the work doesn't arrive until 9am sometimes and my son can clear much of it before we even get out of bed.


8am I have deleted any Spanish, Music and  PE (gotta be realistic here).  And we verbally explore the exercises that can be done verbally and I write and we post them in.


9am By this time we have the 2-3 main subjects to work on and through.  I print the maths and we watch the maths Powerpoint together and delete them off the list and the more interesting things (from my point of view) are done in lesson plan format- in bed.


I begin my client work at either 930am or 11am but I can now only see 2 clients a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon because if I do any more, my son would be on his own for the majority of the day.  So two hours is it.  Shrug *


So if my first client is at 930am, we will complete the remaining main subject work after that client. If it is at 11:30am then we will have completed all the school work before I start work.


While I see my morning client he plays computer games.

Then we have lunch.

While I see my afternoon client he plays with toys and listen to whichever story book he was on at school (or fall back on the Harry Potter audio books) , watch TV while dong acrobats around the lounge and after my client we then squeeze in some out door activity sometimes, weather permitting before I cook dinner.


He gets outdoor exercise too. Various ways and times.


Its boring. Repetative and tiresome now. Its June and Im fed up with it. 


When they didnt open the schools in June, I lost interest in doing the best that I could do as a home teacher-parent. I do it now because we have to.  And he's needing other kids.  How boring to hang out with your mother and no siblings when you're 8 years old.   I can't imagine how all this is going to affect the children.  I guess, as a therapist, i will find out in around 20 years time. (if I survive covid of course)!



I feel lucky I only have one at home.  Some people I know have 2 or 3.  Hats off to them.  And a serious hats off to the teachers who also have children at home who they have to home teach PLUS provide the lessons for the adults to learn to then deliver to the children!  How fast did they turn that around?!