Cornavirus Kent: Parents face weeks of home schooling as coronavirus outbreak shuts schools for most pupils

From Monday thousands of parents across Kent will be faced with the prospect of home schooling their children.

Among them will be My Kent Family senior reporter Lauren Abbott who is preparing to share her experiences in a new blog starting next week...

Lauren and daughter Liv, 6.
Lauren and daughter Liv, 6.
  • Name: Lauren
  • Occupation: Journalist.
  • Offspring: Two children, Oscar, 9 this week and Liv age 6.
  • Hobbies include: Chief taxi driver, football kit washer, dance mum, avid theatre goer, National Trust member and lover of the Kent countryside.
  • Additional information: Good at English. Maths definitely requires some improvement.

It's not a CV that really screams supply teacher is it. But from next week that's what I'll need to try and be - of sorts - along with thousands of other parents in Kent.

I think most families have been expecting for some time that school closures would be announced eventually as part of measures to slow down the spread of coronavirus, but I'm not sure in reality how many of us had given any more thought to it than that.

Until this week, when instead of instructions for dress-up days, Easter egg hunts and school trip forms falling out of school bags, it was now home learning books, extra reading material and timetables, in readiness for when the government instructed headteachers to close the gates.

Liv and Oscar who will be learning at home from Monday
Liv and Oscar who will be learning at home from Monday

And from Monday school is now closed to all except key workers and my pair along with thousands of others will be learning from home for weeks, potentially months. I'm suddenly far more responsible for their academic education than I ever have been.

We've (thankfully) been given lots of information and resources by the school to get us started.

The children's teachers have sent them home with workbooks, exercise books and accounts for online platforms and some apps we were already relatively used to using for small amounts of homework.

Supplies in readiness for Monday
Supplies in readiness for Monday

Whilst individual class blogs will now be updated more regularly by their teachers who will hopefully guide us into the unknown and show us parents what needs to be done each week as best we can.

As someone who will also be trying to juggle working from home, I'm hopeful that if we can find some sort of gentle routine Monday to Friday, we can muddle through those days.

Less clear perhaps is how to consistently get them out of their pyjamas and their teeth cleaned before 9am Monday to Friday whilst also reminding them that just because we own a fridge, the door to it does not need to be opened 300 times a day.

But how we're negotiating home schooling, what we're doing for fresh air and exercise and how we're breaking up our days, finding some personal space and keeping in touch with school friends are all things I hope to share with you from next week.

And if ANYONE in the meantime has a solution to the extremely pressing snack request/fridge opening issue then please email me because I'm all ears.

Read more My Kent Family news here

Emotional last day at Kent schools

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