February 28, 2021

The cherry trees on Harrogate Stray are in bud, the birds are extremely busy nest building, and the morning song is deafening.  The parks are filled with children’s laughter and dog walkers. The snowdrops are out.

Dogs are learning to be with people. People are learning to be with people!

Everywhere you look there is hunger for a brief word, an acknowledgment.  

Zoom has been great, but it hides a multitude.  False backgrounds create illusions of holidays and faraway places.

Families are the foundations of any society, but they have been forced apart. The consequences are only too apparent.  Young parents are left struggling alone.. Elderly and vulnerable are lonely and let down.  

Working parents are the true heroes, they have been expected to run a full school timetable, set by outside bodies and imposed on them, with no notice, whilst continuing full time employment, cooking, cleaning, food shopping, food preparation, bed making, room tidying, meal times, washing and ironing, caring for husbands, wives, partners, neighbours, elderly relations and all this, whilst listening to children, sorting arguments, preventing violence, organising exercise and arranging outings for themselves and children with no where to go!   And all this, with no time allocated to these tasks by teachers,  so, it is little wonder some simply abandoned school altogether.  

We need to remember schools are run by teams of people – teachers to teach, administrators to answer phones, send and respond to emails, organise deliveries, receive goods, and organise timetables, cleaners, to clean, technicians to deliver internet, caretakers, caterers to provide breakfast and lunch, playground supervisors, after school clubs, and lunchtime clubs and specialist classes for choirs, music and other pursuits.  Parents have been expected to fulfil all these roles and to work their own 12 hour days! 

Hats off to the parents.  You are truly amazing! Not only that but every activity you might have planned for your children has been stopped, no swimming, dancing, football, or games.  Playgrounds and parks were closed in some areas. No play dates with friends.  How have you survived? Tell us when you have regained your sanity!  

Home educators know the reality. They choose to educate their children. They have time to plan their curriculum for each child.  They know one to one is intense, especially for younger children, so they only do small chunks split between other activities such as bed making, cooking, eating, sewing, music practice and playing.  It gives time for assimilation before going onto the next session.  Teenagers become self-learners, often helping to create their own curriculum, but with no library they have had to use the internet more and the home library has had to grow! 

Families have to work as a unit and school is only a part of the day.  The things that keep us clean and fed are just as important and are part of education.

So, now you are all ready for a holiday,  a time to catch up with friends and relations.  Weddings.  Memorial services. Where are you going to go? And what do you most want to do?  Where will you choose to visit?

Where will you take your break?