• Kerry Leppier

Why You Should Stop Home Schooling

Parents around the world right now have taken on the role of home-educator, many of them are also combining this with their usual work activities -- at home.

Needless to say that many parents are also pulling their hair out, feeling deflated, exhausted and like they're letting their children down.

First off allow me to tell you something... You're doing great. Seriously, read on.

(Disclaimer: this post is not written for those who are enjoying a more academic approach to home schooling, or those studying for exams. This is for those who have primary aged children, for those who are finding it stressful, though it may apply to more)

THIS IS NOT NEWS: We are currently living alongside a global flu pandemic like the world has never seen. It's brought more fear, worry and anxiety than anything known to this generation.

Our children are missing their friends, their grandparents, cousins and others that they're used to regularly seeing. Even our two year old keeps asking for "Paydoop" (playgroup) and the friend that we see most often. They're confused. My 5 year old keeps asking when we're going to Grandma's house, when we're going to go on holiday, telling me she can't wait to see her friends. And we're only on week two.

But here's the mistake that we're making: We think that we need to replace that which they are missing. 

We believe we need to be their teacher now and step up to providing them with educational tasks each day. We think we need to be their friend and play with them more to account for the sudden decrease in their social interactions. We feel we need to take the place of grandparents and allow more treats and TV (that's what my 3 girls say they miss about Nanny's).

Let's not forget that we are also their nurse when poorly, their hairdresser, their personal trainer, their care-giver 100% of the time. We have to manage working around them, shopping without them, cooking and cleaning with them.

THERE'S NO DOUBT ABOUT IT, THIS IS HARD: But it doesn't have to be as hard as we're making it. We don't have to be all of those things above, we simply have to be their parents; just as we have always been.

SO STOP. Stop trying to be all things. Stop trying to teach them; and let them lead their own learning. Stop feeling like you have to entertain and stimulate them; let them guide their own fun. Stop feeling bad for them; they don't need our guilt or pity.

THEY ARE LEARNING. Their imaginations will be working overtime. If you have more than one child then they're learning the art of sharing, kindness and working in a team (who am I kidding?! But they are working out how to deal with conflict. A lot).

My middle child has developed a love for drawing that I might never have noticed. My eldest has started a research project of her favourite author Roald Dahl completely off her own back. My youngest is having the best time copying the behaviours of my older two and her language is developing daily - and amazingly.

WE NEED TO STOP HOME-SCHOOLING. That isn't what they need, and it definitely isn't what we need. We have an opportunity to just be with them, to cook and eat with them more often. To watch what subjects they naturally gravitate to. To help them grow emotionally and accept the weirdness of what's happening right now.

TRUST THEM. They are already smart and wonderful. They know what they enjoy, what they are good at and what they need (aside from food every few minutes).

TRUST YOURSELF. You are doing great, don't change who you are just because the world has temporarily changed. Stay as you are, show your children that you trust yourself and them. Show them that you are enjoying their company and allow them the freedom of exploring this beautiful life with you right by their side; where you belong.

We're in this together. Need a friend? A listening ear? E-mail me, I'm alongside you too.

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