Feeling shit about my parenting now I'm home schooling

(31 Posts)
Deinosavros Thu 07-Jan-21 11:15:52

Does anyone else feel like this?

Last lockdown I was working so my kids (10 and 8) went to school (I'm an NHS HCP). This time around I'm on maternity leave so I'm home schooling instead whilst looking after my 3 month old.

My kids don't seem to be able to do a single thing without my input. They can't access their learning platform, they don't seem to be able to navigate it once logged in (it's fairly straightforward). My eldest (now 11) hasn't got a clue how to use her Outlook, even to check for new emails from her teachers. My 8 year old can't read a single question set by her teacher without looking to me to explain it to her. Her reading comprehension is basically non existent.

I feel like I've failed them. It never occurred to me that I need to teach them basic IT skills. My youngest's grasp of maths, in particular her times tables, is awful. Which I don't understand because she spends so much time on the Times Tables rockstars learning platform she loves. I've let everything slide and assumed the school would teach them everything.

I'm currently hiding in the living room breastfeeding the baby to see if my presence is making them more dependent, but they just keep coming through asking the most basic of questions. I haven't let on to the children how I feel, I don't want to destroy their confidence so I've been so patient, but inside I just want to cry at how much I've let them down. And now I feel like I'm drowning in responsibility between them and the baby who has been basically ignored the past couple of days in order to focus on basic school work.

OP’s posts: |
Sceptre86 Thu 07-Jan-21 11:45:46

Are you a single parent? If there is another parent where are they? You seem to be taking on all the stress yourself. They are still only young at 10 and 8 and because they weren't homeschooling the less time probably haven't had much practice with the platforms they are being asked to use. You are being supportive. Maybe ring the teachers and explain your situation so that they can be understanding and are aware. Also re your eight year old the teacher can maybe explain the work themselves or maybe reach out to other parents in your child's class and see if their kids are struggling too. You have a small baby to take care of aswell and are probably still hormonal, please don't be so hard on yourself. No one person can do everything, seek support from school.

PearlescentIridescent Thu 07-Jan-21 11:48:21

OP I have a different situation but wanted to offer some sympathy. I am WFH and am really struggling to fit in my DDs (reception) school work. School are being fantastic with what they are offering but I'm struggling to find the time to fit it all in and feeling so guilty. sad

Jinglealltheway22 Thu 07-Jan-21 11:51:59

Mine are very self sufficient in live lessons by as soon as it is work sheets you'd think they were written in Japanese

Home schooling is weird an alien to all of us.

Don't stress and just do what you can x

Allispretty Thu 07-Jan-21 11:54:10

Op I feel exactly the same today and I only have one ds. He's also 8 the home schooling packs are huge and we have no printer so it's really disengaging for him looking at a screen then writing answers out...it's taken us 2 hours to do maths and English and I feel like just giving up for the day 🤦🏽‍♀️

I may resort to what I did last time and do bite size

PearlescentIridescent Thu 07-Jan-21 11:54:29

And OP I also have an 11 month old and 3 year old at home (who wants to join in with all lessons!) So it is really tough

borntohula Thu 07-Jan-21 11:55:24

There is a reason for children generally being taught by trained professionals. 🤷‍♀️ I am also a terrible substitute, when I was 'home schooling' I made them do the bare minimum tbh.


minipie Thu 07-Jan-21 12:03:33

Yup this is what home schooling is like. It’s shit.

Don’t beat yourself up about their abilities though. It’s not necessarily that their IT skills are terrible but it’s a way of learning they’ve never done before, so it’s going to take them a while to figure it out. Mine have much better IT skills after the last lot of home school (silver lining I suppose!). Hopefully after a week or so they will be more self sufficient and know which button to press etc.

If the school thinks their ability at times tables etc is ok then it probably is. FWIW I think my 8 year old’s times tables are poor but school says she’s doing well...! Maybe they are taught them later these days...

FreakinFrankNFurter Thu 07-Jan-21 12:03:55

Op you’re not on your own. I’m meant to be working from home. It’s almost midday and I have so far done nothing except set up a laptop riser which was sent to me by work over the holidays.

DS is 7 and can navigate minecraft like a demon but cannot sort his schoolwork or do his schoolwork independently. He’s a clever little thing but needs me to help him locate the work on google classroom etc, wants reassurance every step of the way with his school work. Even though I know he doesn’t need this at school, taking him away from his school environment and his peers means he then craves that interaction and support from me.

It’s day 1 of homeschooling here and i’m ready to cry already.

I have a DH but his employers won’t let him work from home. They are twats.

FirstPost99 Thu 07-Jan-21 12:05:33

OP I have a 5 and 8 year old and they are far more capable at school then they are at home! My 8 year old often even attempt to read the instructions before moaning he doesn't know what he should be doing and he can watch a whole lesson on teams, come off to do the work and look at me blankly! Also, I don't understand half his work so I'm not much help blush

The five year old moans her hand hurts after 2 words and looks at me for the answers for every.single.letter. - phonics who??!

I've got firm shouted more then once so now we try to do 9-30 til lunch time of work (which is mainly maths and English) and then relaxed stuff like screentime puzzles, drawing, painting etc in the afternoon. Reading at bedtime.

I'm also 5 months pregnant, and desperately hoping things are a bit more normal before I have this baby. I can't imagine how had it is homeschooling with a tiny baby! flowers

RB68 Thu 07-Jan-21 12:07:50

Well all of that gives you some pointers doesn't it - dont sweat it just focus on what they need to be self sufficient. So email and IT skills, story telling and timestables

ChilliMum Thu 07-Jan-21 12:22:45

It's really just because you are home, my dd is 14 and apparently completely incapable of finding socks in the clean laundry pile hmm but I am sure if I wasn't here she would manage.

I had the same with ds in the last lockdown and I was trying to work so set bitesize tasks with rewards eg log in and find your work then come back to me and we will go over it together, then once you have prepared they can work alone for 30 minutes finish x questions and come back for a drink and biscuit etc.. it's not perfect but you can build on it.

Mostly I just used bribery so if we are finished by 3 and you have written something for every question you can have an hour of screen time etc..

BogRollBOGOF Thu 07-Jan-21 12:52:09

It takes 2 hours of simmering meltdown, mainly time stomping an wailing in his room to get my 10yo through about 15-20 mins of bitesize work, with me copying and pasting everything and reducing content to make it as accesible as possible.

Meanwhile my 7yo needs to snuggle up to me in order to function.

A PGCE and a decade of teaching teenagers was scant preparation for this.

They beed the peers to learn. It's that simple.

SydneyCarton Thu 07-Jan-21 13:08:14

Another one in the same boat, you’re not alone. I have two girls in reception and year 2 and a two year old running wild and it is hard. Work are very good (civil servant) and are saying just do what you can, but that adds to the guilt of putting extra work on colleagues, it’s all just.... ugh.

Today we’re doing a story map of Jesus life, which I suspect will be manger, cross, job done 🤣

Deinosavros Thu 07-Jan-21 13:48:38

Thank you for all the support, glad to know I'm not alone! I just hate the feeling that I've failed them and made the assumption that school can teach them everything when they can't possibly!

Their Dad and I are divorced, and unfortunately he's not as educationally focused as I am. I know for a fact they won't be doing any home schooling on a Monday or Tuesday when they're with him, despite him having plenty of time as he is unemployed. My current husband is the exact opposite, is more than willing to help the girls and shoulder some of the responsibility, but he is working full time so most of it falls to me.

I think a few if you are right, this isn't normal for them either so I guess we have to learn together and once they get the confidence and routine going it may not be so bad. It's understandable they'd want the interaction from me as they're not going to get it from their friends!

OP’s posts: |
Luckystar1 Thu 07-Jan-21 13:55:20

OP, I have a 3 month old and a 4 & 6 year old too.

You will all get used to it, but if there are areas that you can identify they are struggling in, now is the perfect opportunity for you to try and work on those with them 1:1. Just a little bit every day, I mean even 5 mins at a time in times tables or something.

That’s what I’ve been trying to do too. Use this opportunity (and the previous lockdown too) to really focus on basics to underpin their broader learning.

midnightstar66 Thu 07-Jan-21 15:22:29

I agree with @BogRollBOGOF that they need their peers to learn. We had a very similar scenario to you last lockdown. My now 11 year old was the worst. It improved marginally once I let her start video calling her friends and they sat and worked through tasks together.

samlh Thu 07-Jan-21 15:35:46

I have my 15 year old brother living with me at the moment to focus on his school work (our mum has passed away and his dad is a key worker).

All his reports from school were that he was engaging and enthusiastic in lessons and he is a keen student.

Trying to get him onto google classroom again has been a nightmare. I literally have to stand behind him and point to where he needs to go.

I am sure at 15 I had a good grasp of IT and computers and could at least access emails and things online, but it's like he's has a kick to the head and he has just forgotten how to do basic things!

I know if he was left at home to his own devices then nothing would get done and his dad would be pulled in because of it.

You are doing the best you can, and this is definitely not a normal situation so please don't be too hard on yourself! x

PearlescentIridescent Thu 07-Jan-21 16:58:29

Has anyone thought about switching home schook days? I'm thinking of doing Wednesday to Sunday as school days so that at least I have Saturday and Sunday without work to really focus on it. Especially as we have received an email today saying that it's now law to provide 3 hours a day of work confused

midnightstar66 Thu 07-Jan-21 17:19:56

@PearlescentIridescent to be honest that's a great idea. The one bonus of home schooling is the flexibility of times and days, however that won't work if schools are insisting on attendance of live lessons

LongBlobson Thu 07-Jan-21 17:35:00

Mine are the same OP - same age as yours, do well at school, apparently can't do a thing by themselves at home! It's just what it's like. Older one at secondary is a lot better when they provide online lessons. If they just send worksheets and PowerPoints I have to be there for the whole thing...

elfycat Thu 07-Jan-21 17:51:00

DD1 is Y7 and this week has needed a lot of encouragement to fucking get on with it apply herself to the online work. From next week they'll be having live lessons to her normal timetable and hopefully the teacher can take over the encouragement.

DD2 is Y5 and is struggling with the change in teaching platform. I've also realised that she'll always pick the easy option if there's a choice in difficulty level for answering questions so I'm getting her to attempt the next level up which requires a little more input from me, but she is capable of. Hopefully as she gets used to it I will be able to do other things as I'm self employed and not adding products to my online shop. I'm supposed to be getting Valentine's Day and Mother's Day sorted and I'm getting behind after 3 days.

On the bright side her IT skills are good and she can use GoogleClassroom, GoogleDocs and submit her work. Thank goodness we upgraded their laptops at Xmas so they both have ones that work and don't switch off if the charger wiggles loose.

I never wanted to homeschool. Some of my friends thought I might years ago when they were preschoolers because I like education and learning, and would drag them off to museums, zoos, stately homes (they're both life members of the NT) etc BUT I know that I'm not interested in teaching them everything on the curriculum. I'm muddling through and hoping it gets easier for all of us once we get into the routine.

unlimiteddilutingjuice Thu 07-Jan-21 18:04:22

I could have written your thread last lockdown OP (minus the baby).
Mine are 8 and 5 and the only way either of them do anything is with me sitting right beside them giving encouragement.
I'm resigned to it now. I sit with one till thyre flagging. Then I sit with the other one. The "spare" kid just messes about with my phone or watches TV.
What with this arrangement and the fact I also need to work and cook dinner and tidy up and (God forbid!) have a little down time for myself occasionally..they get about an hour each.
I also noticed all the gaps in my 8 year olds knowledge. I knew he was behind but it was a shock to see it up close.
I sacked off the stuff the school sent him and just had him on Reading Eggs.
The good news is that he made progress and will even read for pleasure now. So don't worry if you can only manage a little each day.

nimbuscloud Thu 07-Jan-21 18:07:28

What devices (if any) does your 11 year old have? Does she do online gaming with her friends? Or download games or apps?

Getitdonesharpish Thu 07-Jan-21 18:16:20

Another word of reassurance. Our eldest son is at school this lockdown as he has an EHCP. When he was at home self isolating (for 4 weeks), I crippled myself getting all the work done with him. Tears, temper tantrums, the works. At school he is getting barely any of the home learning done and that is in a class of just 12 with two qualified teachers. The format is really confusing, unfamiliar and tricky to access. Our daughter’s primary platform is way easier. It’s really, really tough. I can’t imagine how much harder it is with a new born in tow.

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