How a love of learning began to develop in lockdown

Small girl with laptop learning through internet indoors at home, Corona virus and quarantine concep

I started a free online group to support parents through the ever-complicated mine field of home-schooling - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

March 2020 saw a huge change for every single one of us. Schools closed and thousands of parents suddenly were expected to become educators.

It was during this time that I started a free online group to support parents through the ever-complicated mine field of home-schooling. 

“Am I doing enough?”, “How do I teach this?”, “They don’t want to sit with me and do it,” were just some of the comments I would receive daily.

I decided to do short maths and English sessions to help for just 20 minutes a day.

This was as much for my teaching sanity than it was to help parents and students.

This was, of course, not without its trials. My phone losing storage halfway through a live-stream class, learning that my phone was showing the whiteboard backwards and having to change camera position part way through were among the few teething problems of transferring my teaching online.

I found myself in the position of a learner and I somewhat embraced this as I wanted to get better and improve to continue with helping as many families as I could.

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It was then a simple inquiry that changed everything. I was asked whether I would teach 1:1 just twice a week to help keep on top of where the students needed to be according to the National Curriculum.

One inquiry became two, four, seven and suddenly I was tutoring children from across the globe during a pandemic and so ‘Jolley Tuition’ came to fruition  - pardon the rhyme.

I was already an experienced teacher and private tutor with over ten years of working in primary schools, but this required something else.

This required bringing enthusiasm and engagement to the online world. An experience that not many teachers, educators were used to, but I saw it as an exciting opportunity to develop my skills as an educator.

Now, this is not to say everything went swimmingly, of course, we were in the middle of a global pandemic, I was working under the same roof as my partner and trying to help my stepson with his home schooling. 

“You are a teacher; you must have this under wraps?” - I had this a lot - and in all honesty I did not.

The first lockdown was a completely new experience: home became work, workdays moulded into each other and what it made us realise was that if it felt like that to us, it must feel even harder for children.

The line between parent and educator was blurred and relationships became harder to define.

We decided as a family to be a little more relaxed about it, what we did not realise at the time was that was the best decision.

Learning became child-led and questions were asked and we could investigate them and in turn academic work followed. The love of learning began to develop.  

Over the last year, I have learnt so much about the resilience of children but more importantly, how parents are in fact educators in every sense of the word.

It may not be within the traditional way but I have seen some brilliant things being taught and shared through home education communities and my own page on Facebook.  

What a lot of people have learnt is that learning can take so many different forms, but the important part is igniting the love of learning first.

But most of all it is about their ‘whole being’ and the fact that learning pervades every part of children’s lives .. and ours too.