Homeschooling in lockdown was a challenge, say 60% of Manchester parents

The majority of parents in Manchester and the surrounding areas struggled to teach their kids from home, research by Matalan has found as a second wave of homeschooling becomes more likely. 

The fashion and homeware company conducted a national report into the challenges of homeschooling during Covid-19.

Many many pupils were off school from March until the end of the academic year and the study found that 60% of parents in Manchester found it challenging, and 86% of those experienced specific difficulties such as trying to keep their child motivated and focused. 

On the back of this research Matalan has launched a ‘Perception vs. Reality’ campaign based on the findings that many parents also felt the perception of at-home-harmony displayed on social media doesn’t paint the full picture. 

The campaign statement said: “While many images might have shown parents teaching their children as looking easy, we wanted to show the truth behind the pictures and let people know that it’s totally normal to feel a little overwhelmed by those new responsibilities.”

The most common problem that arose in the survey of over 1,000 parents was keeping up the child’s concentration on work, as well as other concerns such as feeling that their child struggled to see them as a teacher and were less likely to take education seriously when lessons were delivered by parents. 

Parents found that balancing teaching their children with working from home or doing other essential activities was gruelling. 

The pressure to find time to dedicate to homeschooling left many parents struggling, with many surveyed expressing feelings of stress and guilt for not doing as much as others may be doing or they were letting their children’s education fall.

A spokesperson for Matalan said: “For many children, home is usually a place to relax and switch off from school, but during lockdown, it became the classroom, breakroom and everything else in between.

“So it’s perhaps not surprising that parents felt there were too many distractions and home comforts around for their children to stay focused.”

Only 18% of parents found homeschooling fun and overall boys were more tiring to teach than girls. 

More than 300 schools across Greater Manchester have now been affected by coronavirus cases. 

The figure is increasing each day and means that more and more pupils are being asked to study from home. 

This comes with increased responsibilities for parents and a stressful change in dynamics for the whole family. 

A spokesperson for Matalan urged: “If school closures and whole year group isolations are to become the norm it’s clear that parents will need more support from schools to keep their children motivated and focused.”

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