Stressed Aussie parents struggle with home schooling

 

 

Exclusive: Many Australian parents still feel unprepared but they believe their children will adapt to the idea of home schooling as the coronavirus pandemic forces schools to close.

New data obtained by News Corp from 2200 parents surveyed by School TV, an online educational platform used by schools across the country, has revealed 74 per cent are daunted by the prospect of their children doing schooling at home.

Amber Smith with Campbell, 8, and Amelia, 4, at home in Brisbane. Amber has been home schooling both kids since the schools closed due to the coronavirus. Picture: AAP
Amber Smith with Campbell, 8, and Amelia, 4, at home in Brisbane. Amber has been home schooling both kids since the schools closed due to the coronavirus. Picture: AAP

Sixty-six per cent of parents who responded said they have not bought any extra resources such as desks, laptops and stationery for remote learning.

Twenty one per cent of parents said they are not prepared for the change, while 61 per cent are only "somewhat prepared".

While most children will be new to the world of "remote schooling" the survey found 20 per cent of parents believed their children would adapt "extremely well" and 67 per cent expected them to adapt "over time".

Children will adapt well as they have always lived with technology.
Children will adapt well as they have always lived with technology.

SchoolTV psychologist, Dr Michael Carr-Gregg told News Corp he is not surprised by the results as having their children doing remote learning it a new experience.

But Dr Carr-Gregg is confident children will adapt because contrary to their parents, they have always lived a life with technology.

"This is a generation of children who appear uniquely prepared for online learning because they have never really known a life without computers," he said.

"I am quietly confident about their ability to adapt and that Australian parents will be able to step up and take on the extra responsibility that is needed for everything to pan out well."

 

Dr Carr-Gregg urged parents to set aside learning space for remote lessons and provide a daily schedule that included time for lessons, lunches and even household chores to ease the transition.

"The reality is that the coronavirus will turn many caregivers around the world into home schoolers and our young people will take their lead from us and we need to let them know that while we are taking coronavirus seriously, we are not panicking," he said.

"From a psychological point of view, it is important, no matter your children's age, to provide structure and that young people don't see this as an indefinite holiday."

Dr Carr-Gregg said parents and carers also had to reduce the impact of common distractions.

He said they should ban social media during lesson times and watch for signs of anxiety and depression.

Home schooling can be an opportunity for families to spend quality time together. Picture: AAP
Home schooling can be an opportunity for families to spend quality time together. Picture: AAP

He also said they must contact their school counsellor if they see problems arising.

"While many young people have and will make a seamless transition to remote learning, some may struggle," he said.

"So, acknowledging it is a stressful time for them and offering reassurance around just doing their best is enormously helpful.

"With many parents also working from home, it is also an opportunity to spend some quality family time together."

 

 

TOP TIPS

1. Set aside a learning space

2. Provide a daily schedule

3. Ban distractions like social media

4. Watch for changes in behaviour such as depression

5. Speak to school counsellor if concerned

Originally published as Stressed Aussie parents struggle with home schooling