The thought that someone is having an even harder time dealing with quarantine is rather brutal, yet pretty soothing. I mean, we are all on the same boat, trying to survive the pandemic storm in the ocean where the horizon is visible, yet it somehow keeps getting away from us.
And parents with kids who’ve been distance learning on and off for the past… what feels like an eternity now, have really had enough. While the US districts are now weighing whether to reopen schools (and only 4 states have ordered reopening, so far), for many moms and dads, having their homes turned into schools is not going anywhere.
Luckily, the memes, aka the internet's fave support system, about struggling and red-eyed parents in times of a historic disruption of education are in, and they’ll either make you feel better about yourself, or trigger your inner empath. In both scenarios, they should crack you up.
For many parents around the world, balancing parenting, household chores, personal life, and work under one roof is a serious and daunting task. And with on-and-off quarantines, many households are being pushed to the brink of insanity. After all, there’s a limit to how much we all can take.
So Bored Panda reached out to Martin Whitehead, the director of communications at Homeschool Association of California, who agreed to share some insights into how exactly families are dealing with lives in lockdown.
Turns out, that the situation is not one-sided. Incredibly, while most parents feel an enormous weight on their shoulders with homeschooling their kids, they nevertheless see education from home as beneficial. Martin commented on the matter: “I hear that many parents are stressed, but many are also favorably viewing educating their children at home.”
In fact, there are so many variables that decide on how parents are feeling about finding themselves and their kids in times of pandemic. “It really depends, I think, upon whether the parents still work, and if that work is in or out of the home, whether there are one or two parents, income level, resources available, etc.”
Martin said that essentially, we are not only dealing with a scary disease, “but also economic and societal upheaval at a level we’ve never experienced, and then parents are also responsible for educating their children. That’s stressful.”
Parenting in lockdown is not the same as it used to be. Thus, Martin suggests starting from lowering expectations and doing school when it’s convenient for your family. “That may be evenings or weekends, etc. Both parents should make a concerted effort to be involved so the responsibility is not only on the woman in the family,” he commented.
He also suggested seeing this time as an “opportunity to spend unstructured time with your kids, and let go of rigid expectations of what this should look like.”
Martin also believes that parents shouldn’t try to recreate school at home.“Involve the kids in taking care of the chores, meals, etc. Learning doesn’t only happen at a desk, and too many kids head off to college not knowing how to make a meal or their bed.”
This time is excellent for teaching them these precise skills. “This is an unprecedented situation and it calls for new ways of dealing with it,” Martin added.
Martin recommends that all parents “involve their children in the running of the household in terms of chores according to age and ability and deemphasizing academics, especially if they’re being given uninspiring worksheets or are doing rote assignments with little meaning or relevance.”
“Not just homeschoolers, but teachers, are saying that families, for the sake of family harmony, surviving during a pandemic, and coping with the stress of the moment, should do what they need to do to get through their days and manage everyone’s stress as needed by adjusting expectations and being realistic about what can be accomplished during any given day,” the director of communications at Homeschool Association of California concluded.