With many parents across the world currently homeschooling their children, we are exposed to the great responsibility of teachers; this is to provide a high standard of education to our children and young people. While touching base with my daughters school teacher over the phone, the delight of speaking to a fellow adult had never been so prominent! I’d been waiting for this moment, the moment to confess… that in fact, my homeschooling knees had given way by day 4. Like a deer in the head lights I was stunned by the fantastic array of activities that were to be completed, all were socially, ethically and academically sound. But wait, where are the books full of mathematics and handwriting practice that would occupy my inquisitive six year old while I sat with heavy eyes, bagfuls of postnatal anxiety and a luke warm cup of tea. This was never going to work.
After my brief confession, I covered for my daughter as her teacher complimented how enthusiastic she was to engage and learn. Well, let’s just say she is fully engaged with a bunch of cheesy Netflix series and has learnt an extremely irritating game called the ‘pause challenge’. The truth is, my beautifully unique daughter is indeed enthusiastic but her Mother is not. Thankfully I was reminded by her school teacher that “they won’t remember how much work they did or why they did it, but the positive memories we make with them will be something they keep forever”. However corny that may sound, it’s completely spot on and should be the motto for parents worldwide. So thank you Mrs Google, Miss YouTube and Mr Netflix, you have yet again saved this millennial Mums arse. While this experience is both challenging and frustrating for all of us, we can’t underestimate the importance of the education we can give our children. By sending them to school, extra curriculum clubs and by creating a safe home environment we can be sure that they will have a positive start in life.
Among my rumbles about having to home school, I’ve become so much more aware of how fortunate we are in the UK.
We are able to offer many opportunities and options when it comes to our children’s (even our own) education and social life. I recently watched a TED talk by human rights protector Rabiaa El Garani, who described her story of investigating the atrocious crimes committed by ISIS against the Yazidis, a community of people based in Northern Iraq.
The way she described the experience of these people was vivid; although I don’t believe words could ever describe the devastation these communities face. Delving deeper into this, the individuals who are involved have no control over their destiny, education is just a dream. As a Mother in one of these communities the unimaginable emotions and anger that must weigh over them would bring any one to their knees. Children are born into corruption, where having options in education, career prospects and life choices are extremely limited/non existent.
Every child has the right to an education and in many countries it is a given that no one falls through the net, but not everywhere. The mental and physical pain parents and children go through just to fight for their communities and lives is relentless. So, before we question our governments “when can the kids go back to school?” why not treasure the endless supply of educational resources we have, this is more than just books; it’s the people around us and the opportunities that are there for the taking; opportunities to speak up and be heard. Let’s be zealous about what good may come of this pandemic, whether it’s by personal growth, a new found love for community spirit or just recognising the importance of being able to connect with others. Pray for those communities around the world, where freedom is being wiped out. Pray that they never give up the fire that keeps them pushing forward every day. Finally, let’s be consistent in reflecting on the fact that uncertainty or certainty of peril is an everyday feeling for these beautiful individuals. Whatever ‘pray’ means to you, we must unify in thought and action to hold up the weak; a true international community.
Our words may be small and may even be over looked but someone somewhere is listening.