Parents across Sussex come together in spirit to support one another on home schooling journey

Parents have come together in spirit over the past two weeks to help and support each other in the unprecedented home schooling journey due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tuesday, 31st March 2020, 5:18 pm
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Parents across Sussex became teachers overnight when the schools shut their doors to the majority of pupils on Friday, March 20. Many have also been juggling their careers with childcare while working from home and everyone is taking time to adjust to this unexpected new way of life.

There have been mixed results among families but all parents now have a new found respect for teachers. Teachers and experts have reassured overwhelmed parents they need not recreate the school environment at home, because children, as well as adults, will take time to adjust.

When Boris Johnson announced the school closures, local mums and dads came together via social media to support one another share laughs and offer tips, ideas and advice.

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Sussex mum-of-two Frankie Penfold set up Parents Rock during Isolation on Facebook and it gained 12,000 followers in around a week. Frankie wanted the group to have a really positive vibe in these anxious times and it seems to have gone down well with parents from across Sussex and beyond. She lives in Hove with Kaci, 10, Jaxon, six, and her partner Jordan.

She said: “I actually work from home and I have my own business called I Am Inspiring and it’s all about helping children with their mindset.

“I always want people to learn about how to help themselves through their mindset. I know myself how much it’s helped my family and I.

“I wanted people to within the group to just gain something small about mindfulness from my posts.

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“I knew a lot of parents would want ideas on how to keep our children entertained but I also thought about how we could potentially all struggle mentally through this tricky time.

“I wanted to be able to share ways to help everyone through creativity and through mindfulness.

“I actually only added around 10 people to the group and within 48 hours there were 4,000 members. I was honestly so gobsmacked by the response and completely over the moon that so many joined.

“I decided not to attach my Facebook page to the group, purely because I didn’t want people to think I was doing it to gain business. This is far from my intention so I just decided to do it through my normal profile and it’s worked perfectly – beyond what I ever, ever expected.”

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The group has featured a range of resources and actually has its own schedule on Facebook Live each day. It includes activities from parents ranging from arts, dancing and yoga.

Teachers across Sussex have put together home learning packs and celebrities have also come out in force to offer free help to parents trying to home school their children throughout the crisis. They have been offering a break from the more traditional pen and paper methods of teaching and giving mum and dad a break by streaming lessons online.

Here is a list of online classes from famous faces:

n Get them jumping around in PE with Joe Wicks at 9am every weekday on You Tube. It is streamed live but available any time.

n Wildlife with Steve Backshall takes place everyday at 9.30am on Facebook and answers all your wildlife, biology, conservation and exploration questions.

n At 11am weekdays, Maddie Moate from Cbeebies will be doing science and nature via You Tube.

n At 11.30am everyday, you can get your groove on with Oti Mabuse on Facebook. The classes are available to watch at any time.

n Carol Voderman has allowed free access to her maths website: log on to The Maths Factor.

n Myleen Klass is doing music lessons twice a week on You Tube. They are streamed live but available to watch at any time.

n At 11am everyday, popular children’s author and comedian David Walliams will be offering a free story time at: World of David Walliams.

How have you been getting on? We would love to hear your home schooling tips and see your photos. Email [email protected]

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