Second national school closures and home schooling: How are feeling about teaching your children from home again?
Many are once again juggling their careers with childcare while working from home and everyone is taking time to adjust to the difficult way of life for the second time in less than a year.
When Boris Johnson announced the first school closures back in March 2020, local mums and dads came together via social media to support one another share laughs and offer tips, ideas and advice.
During the first lockdown 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 her two children and partner Jordan.
Back in March last year, 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.
“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.”
The group changed as the restrictions were eased over the summer and included recommendations on countryside walks with children. It changed its name to Parents Rock!
However, when the announcement was made on January 4, 2021 for the second school closure amid the third national lockdown, Frankie posted to the group calling for businesses to offer their services once again. She has asked people across the county to provide live online events to include baking, dance classes, storytelling or any other educational resources.
On Facebook, she told the group’s followers, “It needs to focus around children and then potentially something to help us parents stay focused and happy also.”
Teachers across Sussex are currently working hard to put learning packs and resources together. Many are working on Google Classroom and some teachers are making doorstep visits with home learning packs for those children without IT equipment.
Children will be out of school until after February half term when the situation will be reviewed by the government.
How have you been getting on? We would love to hear your home schooling tips and see your photos. Email [email protected].