‘For us, it’s getting worse’: Single mum from York reveals the strain of prolonged home schooling

26 Jan 2021 @ 5.51 am
| Education

A single mum from York has talked about her experience of home schooling two young children during a third lockdown.

Charlie Bingham is a single mother to two sons, George, four and five-year-old Jack.

She is also completing her final year as a mature student, studying archaeology at the University of York.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday England’s schools will reopen “as fast as possible”, with lockdown restrictions being reviewed on February 15, but could not guarantee that pupils would return to classes before Easter.

Charlie said she sees both sides to the argument on reopening schools, but fears for her children’s ability to re-assimilate when lockdown measures eventually lift.

“For us personally, it’s getting worse,” she said. “The longer they are off school, nursery, the more lonely they are getting, the more fractious they’re becoming and the harder it will be to get them back into the swing of school full time.”

‘Hard to know what’s best’

Boris Johnson hopes to reopens schools as soon as possible. Photograph: PA Wire

Charlie, 28, said: “As a home schooling parent trying to finish my own degree from the kitchen table, it would of course be brilliant for them to be back in school. And better for the kids.

“But obviously the benefits need to outweigh the risks of spreading viruses. So it’s hard to know what is best.”

Ms Bingham added that her sons’ school, Elvington Primary, has been “fantastic and supportive”.

“The head teacher, Andrew Buttery, has made sure each and every family feels supported and informed every step of the way. I can’t thank him enough.

“The online classes provided have been fun and engaging for the kids.

“And the work to complete at home is carefully crafted by the wonderful teachers to keep the children interested and focused, with crafts and physical activities keeping in line with the national curriculum.

“I feel homeschooling is being made slightly easier by having a network of supportive staff and other parents to call on.”