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New Year’s Eve was just 83 days ago. If you’d told me then that by the Easter break I’d be homeschooling my kids, I’d have laughed at you as it’s an approach that has never appealed.

Homeschooling, home school, home schooling, dad blog, uk dad blog, teacher, dadbloguk.com
Mr Adams the teacher. For the avoidance of doubt, that is my head superimposed on the body of a schoolteacher!

If you’d told me that I would be teaching my kids, the supermarkets had been stripped bare of everything apart from vegan pesto and I couldn’t even slip off to the pub for half an hour to decompress I’d have accused you of lying or being insane. I’m not going to tell you Covid-19 and the resulting chaos doesn’t worry me, but it’s happened so swiftly that I’ve simply had to accept the madness of this situation.

Even so, I do find myself blinking like a deer looking at the headlights of an oncoming car. I am now my kids’ teacher while doing my usual at-home day job of producing this blog while Mrs Adams is also working from home. Please someone, remind me exactly how we got here in a few short weeks?

Of course I’m not unsupported in my role as an educationalist. I am truly staggered at the huge operation going on at my kids’ school to support online learning. There’s a team of teaching staff providing daily online support for parents and children, a team of teaching staff lesson planning and a further team who are keeping the school open for the children of keyworkers.

Most schools seem to be operating in a similar way. Replicate this across the country and you can see just how much work is being done behind the scenes by teachers, head teachers, teaching assistants and all the support staff.

It’s not like I am on my own. I am grateful to these amazing people who are there to provide help and assistance. If anyone suggests this is like a long summer holiday for education staff, they should be swiftly put in their place.

I have, nonetheless, taken it upon myself to expand our home schooling curriculum to include subjects like French. With the help of a very kind neighbour who happens to be a teacher, I also have a plan to give my kids the opportunity to experience the SATs experience. I am going to get the kids to sit a few old papers and our teacher friend has very kindly agreed to mark them.

A lot of people will think the binning of SATs this year is a good thing. That’s how us adults think about the situation because many of us are uncomfortable with SATs as a concept. For the kids, it’s a different thing altogether. It’s a big thing for them, especially if they were going to sit Key Stage Two SATs like Helen, my eldest daughter. She was genuinely upset at not sitting SATs. If I can give her that experience, I feel I should.

The other thing that I’m going to do? I’m going to get the kids to teach me maths.

I’ve made no secret of the fact I want to improve my maths skills. Helen’s maths skills are far superior to mine. As we’re going to be around each other so much, I see this as a great opportunity to learn from her.

Here’s a message I recorded on Insatgram the other day for mums,
dads and the #ClassOf2020

I also think us parents who are taking this crash course in homeschooling should put the experience on our CVs. We’re demonstrating and learning a huge variety of soft and hard skills: Creativity, flexibility, negotiation, problem solving, quick thinking, learning new skills at phenomenal speed not to mention teaching.

We mustn’t underestimate the scale of what we’re doing.  Most homeschooling families have taken time to prepare their learning. Although we’re doing it with support from schools, we’re doing this rapidly, while socially distancing, while struggling to buy groceries for our families and while museums and other educational and recreational activities and opportunities are unavailable to us.

This is a big thing we’re doing. Recognise it and be proud of it and very best of luck.

How are you preparing for the homeschooling experience?  Are you nervous about it? Do you think it’s an exciting challenge? More to the point, how do your kids feel about it?

3 thoughts on “Our homeschooling adventure begins”

  1. Great post. Couldn’t agree more. I’m so pleased you have a great school supporting you. Sadly that isn’t the case everywhere. My children are just lucky I’m a home schooler because the 3 children’s schools barely sent anything home other than spelling and reading!
    At the moment I’m currently helping 18 parents who have reached out to me who are in the same boat. And aside from that I see so many parents moaning they don’t have enough work or support. It’s going to be a tough one for many parents and I really feel and worry for some of those children going forwards.

    Yet, for all those who are on top of it, are being supported and will be trying their best it will be such a great adventure for them.

    I love teaching and Home Ed produces soo many more opportunities than a classroom ever did. Especially when you have that freedom and wiggle room to do child led exploration and work without ignoring the child because your lesson plan tells you to do something different. Ideally keeping to plans is great but there’s always that one moment when the child says “what about xyz” and you can go and find out or turn that into a whole lesson later on. Makes the learning process for the children so much better. Or there’s something they struggle/d with and they overcome it and you know you’ve helped with that.
    So from my point of view I can give more to the other 3. Don’t get me wrong though….it’s very demanding on the parent/s who home educate. That day time “freedom” is non existent, some days learning is frustrating and you seem to always be switched “on” so it becomes hard at times. But when those little positive stuff happens it kind of makes it worth it. This.could really make learning great for millions of children.

    1. Glad to hear you agree. Means a lot to get a comment like this from someone who knows so much about teaching and homeschooling.

      Sad to hear some schools aren’t quite as well prepared as my daughters.

      I can also see what you mean about having more possibilities through hoe education. Smaller numbers, not so limited by resources etc. I wouldn’t say it’s an easy option but it sure has a lot of potential. Tjkas for commenting Martyn, really appreciate hearing from you.

  2. I’ve made a choice decision to homeschool my 6th grader. I’m determine to make it work. I’m looking for advise and tips so I stumbled on to your site. It was very helpful and soothing to read.

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