Trying to take a team approach – Julia Stimpson, Operations Manager
What’s your situation?
My wife and I have two children. Our youngest is in Year 6 and was due to sit his SATs next term as well as have all his leaver’s celebrations from primary school. He is going to a local secondary school next year where very few pupils from his current school are going. All planned transition activities to help with this process are obviously currently on hold.
Our eldest is in Year 10 and is a worrier. He has to work hard for his grades and is worried about next year as a result of having to school from home.
Both my wife and I work full time and are currently working from home. This means they are having to be very self structured and independent in their learning.
How do you feel about your situation? How has your family reacted?
I feel worried and guilty (general parental feeling!) as am not able to “home-school” in the way that is often represented in the media. I also feel very proud as both children are sticking to a schedule and are showing great resilience and self discipline in their studies. For our youngest, it has presented an opportunity for him to stretch himself and he is flourishing with the subjects he loves as is able to learn beyond the limits of primary curriculum. I don’t think it has hit home yet that he may not go back to his primary school or see his classmates again. We will cross this bridge when we know more, but are talking to them both constantly about the situation and importance of staying home. We are also encouraging both to stay connected to their friends from school via whatsapp.
What are you doing to cope with the potential change in circumstances or potential disappointments?
We are focusing on what the kids can do. Offering help in areas they may need more support and planning activities for them for the next day so they can focus.
Physical exercise has been key for them both and we are very lucky that their martial arts school (BMMA Leeds) has really stepped up to the mark in offering daily group sessions, weekly 1:1s and even social quizzes. Having some form of structure, normality and connectivity has been wonderful for us all.
To cope with potential disappointments we are talking constantly (ensuring we have lunches & evening meals together away from TV) and trying to take a team approach as we are all in this together. Focusing on the skills they are gaining from this experience rather than what they are missing.