Home School 5: Time to Bring in the Cavalry!

Whilst I couldn’t say that the last few weeks have flown by, they have passed in a bit of a blur! With another 10 weeks to go we continue to look to how we can improve, and so the Mollon home school roller coaster continues...
This article is part of an editorial series on Covid-19
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WhichSchoolAdvisor's annual school survey.
This article is part of an editorial series on Covid-19

Some days in the Mollon Home School we ace the phonics, the maths, the drum practice and do a bit of exercise too. At the end of those days I feel like a desert dwelling Mary Poppins (despite being mother and not nanny to the two young ‘uns in my house). Other days, there is an uneasy tension over the morning toast, a standoff at first pencil sharpening and we struggle on from there. On those days, I feel more like Miss Trunchball of Roald Dahl’s Matilda. Not the best feeling, not at all!

With ten weeks of home school still to go (yes, I too did a double take to see that we still have double digits ahead) I’ve decided that I need to lean on others a bit more and share my pain, AHEM, I mean...ask for more support.

Primarily that means my husband, of course. As the WhichSchoolAdvisor.com online learning survey clearly showed, it’s us Mums that are shouldering the vast majority of home education responsibilities.  I nearly added something facetious here, but I'll refrain - for now!

Like so many, my husband is working from home at the moment and his role is pressured and hectically busy at the best of times, and is even more so now. But, with a bit of careful planning, we’ve managed to bring him into the school day a bit more. He’s not necessarily ‘leading’ the Mollon Home School (Miss Trunchball aka Mary Poppins is very much still Principal), but he is doing more checking in, more checking work (yes, I throw all the maths his way!), more celebrating when they do well and more intervening when things are going haywire. Just these small actions have taken an immense amount of pressure off me. We still don’t win every day (not even close!), but it helps A LOT. Yes - #weareallinthistogethermollons

It was also great to have parent teacher meetings with our teachers this week. Our school isn’t one that has opted for too many live sessions. The boys both have weekly small group ‘well-being’ check ins with their teachers, but the rest of their lessons are pre-recorded. It was a mini novelty, therefore, to hear their teachers ‘live’ voices and see their smiles in the house.

Thankfully, the feedback was very complimentary on both boys (I BEAMED!) and we were able to set some targets for them which are think are both challenging yet achievable at home.

Although the school has been very good with communication, it was great to just have the ‘ear’ of both of their teachers and be able to ask some quite specific questions. (We are probably that family who made all the other appointments run late... I’m sorry. Mummy has serious issues with talking too much). This proved really helpful as, for example, while I thought I had some good strategies for helping 5-year-old Wilfred improve his pencil grip, the school had a whole lot more, and hopefully we’ll start to see some improvement soon (more on this and how I’m seeing the impact of our physical environment next week).

All in all, it was incredibly reassuring to hear some experts say that what we are doing is going well (they may have been being kind about my approach, not sure there) and that they are happy with the progress the boys are making (and just the fact that they are making progress feels like a real achievement too!). Moral of the story – we at WhichSchoolAdvisor.com are always saying how it’s vital that parents work in partnership with their school and really, there’s never been a more vital moment for that partnership to be absolutely A+.

Lastly, the WSA team chat has be full of own our stories of home schooling comedy, success, disasters, biscuits (mostly me, that last one) and lesson refusal for weeks. From talking to our readers, we know yours have been too! For that reason, we’ve decided to call in the cavalry and host a webinar with UAE Education expert Steve Bambury. 

Steve is an awarding winning ex teacher and school leader and he will join us on Saturday 2nd May at 3pm UAE (via Zoom). His advice will empower you (and I) to become a more confident, calmer home educator (which quite frankly can’t come soon enough for this household).

So please join myself, WSA co-founder James Mullan, WSA International Editor Carli Allan and of course Steve Bambury and develop the confidence to support your children’s lessons for the next 10 weeks!

To register for the session, click here and I promise I will do my best to stop my small marauders zoom-bombing us all!

Jenny Mollon, Home School Mum and WhichSchoolAdvisor.com Senior Editor

Home School Diary Week 1 - HERE 
Home School Diary Week 2 - HERE 
Home School Diary Week 3 - HERE
Home School Diary Week 4 - HERE 

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