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  • Writer's pictureSteve Henigan

The rambles of a home schooling parent

It has been almost 12 months since many of us entered the world of home schooling for the first time and I am sure like many, I am hoping that next month brings the news that our children can safely return to school.

Back in the spring of last year the weather was great and despite the very obvious and real negatives associated with the pandemic there was an almost novelty value to this new experience of lockdown and home schooling. There was a real sense of “in this together” with the Thursday night claps and over the fence beers with neighbours. At this early stage the cracks hadn’t started to form. Or at least they were less visible as the economy and society quietly crumbled beneath us.

As a business we found ourselves incredibly busy during the first lockdown with our return to the office programme and existing project commitments. Come the summer and on reflection I felt that I had perhaps neglected my home schooling duties and perhaps even responsibilities as a parent as I personally struggled to find a sensible balance. After a week back at her new junior school in September my youngest daughter was then sent home again for 2 weeks isolation and I see this as an opportunity to make up for what I had lost the first time round. After trying to dedicate numerous hours every day I found myself mentally and physically exhausted; trying to hold down a full time job, be a teacher and then in between that a Dad and Husband - I remembered why I wasn’t very good at this the first time round.

Now I am lucky in that my wife does more than her share of the home schooling but as we work though another lockdown I feel this constant cycle of guilt. Guilty that I am not being the parent I should and want to be but then guilty when I am spending time during the day home schooling when I should be working. This guilt is all self imposed, my team, our clients and others we work with are all very understanding and supportive and so it would seem it is really just a personal feeling imposed on myself. Or is it?

Unlike many of my other blogs this one doesn’t have a conclusion or recommendation. There is no top tip or ideas but just a humble acknowledgement that like most working parents I talk to I am really struggling to get the balance right and am looking forward to going back to a time where I can just do my job and be a parent without the overlap of being a teacher.

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