Some people have been homeschooling for years and find it suits their families and their lifestyles and it has been a growing movement. For some it was for religious reasons, for others for a freer and broader type of education; sometimes it was because of bullying or to meet the needs of an individual child. It is a movement that has become more organized in catering to homeschooling families and helping them carry out a certain curriculum with courses, online resources, and books especially aimed at the homeschooling market.
When Covid lockdowns came into force in many countries in 2020, many schools were closed and teachers liaised with parents to keep up with schoolwork that followed the school curriculum. Many parents were working from home too. Some parents enjoyed the ‘family time’ and the weather was improving as summer came along. Families could get outdoors for practical lessons and exercise even if they couldn’t travel too far.
Of course there were problems with internet connections, families not having computers or iPads, and parents who may not have had enough education themselves to feel capable of helping their children.
In Ireland, schools reopened in September 2020 with very strict guidelines on social distancing, sanitising hands and rooms, wearing masks, and educational bubbles. As some parents returned to the workplace many parents breathed a sigh of relief and children were happy to be able to be with their friends again.
Other parents felt it was too risky to send their children back to school so came to some agreement with the school or decided to start homeschooling.
After the mid-term Halloween break, the number of Covid -19 cases started rising and the Christmas holidays came at an opportune time to take stock. Now we are looking at Lockdown again and schools won’t be reopened until at least the end of January. Some parents are despairing at the thought of it. Many wonder how they will cope when it will be hard to get out with the winter weather, they have their own work to do from home and their children won’t cooperate with what has to be learned. https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/arid-40199736.html
The parents that are suffering the most are parents with children with special needs.
“Our son just wails all day. He has nowhere to go…Jumping on the trampoline and crying, all day long in the cold,” Niamh O’Donoghue tells @joeliveline what lockdown has been like for her son with special needs. #Liveline https://www.thejournal.ie/special-needs-classes-norma-foley-5319991-Jan2021/
A long term solution needs to be found for maybe looking at more diverse ways to provide an education that suits all equally. Covid -19 is teaching us many lessons.