Why I’m choosing not to homeschool during Lockdown


We are now 3 weeks down and heading into the 4th week of Lockdown, I think we can all agree that it’s been a slog.

If it wasn’t bad enough having to stay inside with your family all day, we have been expected to be not only mum but also the teacher. I’m talking about homeschooling here and how little I have actually done.

We have all seen it, splashed all over the “gram” and other media outlets. Parents are providing the colour teaching schedules, endless resources and looking like they have their shit together. I can’t be the only one thinking “eh?”.
When the lockdown was announced, and they closed the schools, I didn’t really think about the education my daughter would be missing out on. She is only in P1, and as far as we know, she will only be missing around 6 weeks of teaching if you include the summer and Easter break.

wood playing colourful bricks

There seemed to be a big push though that “WE MUST HOMESCHOOL” our children during this time. Though I could see some benefit (fills the endless time inside), I couldn’t help thinking this was adding stress, pressure and unnecessary panic during the pandemic. In the last few days of school I received letter after letter of all things I SHOULD do and what resources I would need. Endless links to online site that would help. If I wasn’t already overwhelmed by the lockdown, this was surely going to send me over the edge. I didn’t sign up for this.

So, I have chosen not to homeschool my daughter during the lockdown.
For many children, that means there’s a lot of free time. Many parents are working, don’t have their husbands/partners or help at home, have been tasked with becoming instructors and activity directors.

egg dipping

At one time, education was my job. I worked with nursery children, and I was pretty inventive with my learning approach. I liked it, and I would happily go back and do that job, but that was teaching other people’s children, not mine. I can hardly get CC to do her once-weekly homework without a fight, how am I going to get her to do daily lessons without turning into an alcoholic.

It’s such an uncertain time right now. Our kids are going through this change, to add the stress of becoming my daughter’s teacher – that was not something I was wanting to take on.

boy playing football

Some schools are offering remote online learning events, but many aren’t, or haven’t yet organised them. For children in preschool or nursery, online learning is limited to 30 minutes a day, if anything at all.

Some parents have been able to take on this new role on with ease, sharing colour-coded home school timetables and lesson plans on social media. But others like me are refraining from teaching my children. I just don’t have the time with everything else going on.

My husband and I are classed as essential workers, we are still working outside the house as usual. I have also found that many also feel that it’s unrealistic to suddenly expect a parent to become an educator without any warning or real prep.

I feel all we need is to just get through the day at this point, being on top of my kid’s teaching and trying to do my own workload – something’s gotta give.



So what am I doing instead? I’m giving my children some freedom to choose how they spend their time, this is learning through play which children of my daughter do anyway in class. We are doing a lot of puzzles and playing board games, mark-making, and drawing have been a winner. I’m trying her best to limit their screentime, but I’m also trying to be kind to myself. If the children are having a little more than usual, I couldn’t care less as long as we are all happy.

I’m aware that my children may fall behind. Still, I also realise that once school starts back, teachers will have to deal with children who have had different learning experiences at home.

At this point, I’m more concerned about the outcome of pushing my child too hard when the whole world as they know it is upside down.

I feel like fighting with my daughter, bribing her, or punishing her for getting her to do schoolwork just isn’t worth it. I don’t see any benefits to doing it, and I think it could do a lot of damage to our family’s mental health.

My days are made up of watching the kids, doing laundry, cooking, working, and taking care of every other little detail in my families lives. There isn’t much time left for much else.
Each day, my children do art, read countless books, and bake with me. And I always make sure my children get outside for an hour at least.

boy in red jumper

We have an Ipad set up, so the children only have access to educational websites, math games, and science videos pretty much anytime you want. Still, I will take it away if I feel they have been overdoing it and NO YOUTUBE!

Children can learn just by living, playing, reading.

Nows the time to think about what they are interested in learning and doing, give my daughter some pens and paper and watch her imagination go wild. The best learning experiences can happen by providing the kids some time to go outside and build a fort, a random box of crafts and some glue or some music and some fancy dress. If you just observe for a moment, you can see that they are covering a lot of learning bases without you

My children are keeping busy by crafting, football in the garden and reading— on their own. They take walks, play in the garden, and analyse the stock market(jokes).

boy in an ipad

So many of my teacher friends have reassured me that it isn’t realistic to expect all parents to homeschool under these trying times.

My friend sent me a text to say that if homeschooling was causing stress, that it’s OK to bin it and focus on being a happy family.

I agree with that one hundred per cent.

So don’t worry your little heads, they are learning through everyday experiences, and I believe the most important thing is a happy, healthy family.