Virtually Speaking Recap: Remote Working and HomeSchooling

Monday 11th May saw the third in the #VirtuallySpeaking event series from Assenty in response to the #COVID19 outbreak and the move to remote working for the majority of businesses.

We spoke to our community about the topics that were most important to them and this time we addressed remote work and homeschooling.

We invited along an ‘All Dad’ panel including Matt Price, Business Development Leader for Oracle for Startups and Dad to Georgia, Age 7 , James Heggs, CTO of Tech Returners and Dad to Eoghan aged 5, and Gary Aubin, Head of SEND at Future Academies and Dad to two children aged 2 and 6 who shared their advice on home-learning, juggling remote work, parental guilt, managing expectations and much more.

We heard from Matt about finding the fun in home-learning and what’s he’s learned himself about prioritising and managing his schedule.

” I’ve learnt during this time, that it really is about being kind, I’m a very focused and driven person but it is really important to give yourself and those around you a break. It’s good to have a schedule and some routine but there is a difference between routine and rigid structure and it’s important to realise that.

I’m pretty good at managing my schedule, I’m not as good at communicating it to my wife and child! but I’m learning to schedule time that is exclusively for work and time that is exclusively for building bug houses in the garden and it doesn’t all have to be book-learning either have fun with it and use the resources available but don’t get hung up on doing ‘all the things’ every day. Find a couple of things that work, do those things and forget about the rest”

We spoke to James about running a business and home-schooling and the challenges he’s faced.

“I think the important thing to say is that juggling IS hard, this is tough, one example which I shared on Twitter was my little boy coming into the room whilst I was delivering a live training session to announce he needed a poo – and these are the real things that parents are dealing with right now. Now whilst that’s a funny example it’s moments like that, that I think are anxiety triggering for a lot of parents, I’m taking part in this event and my little lad is in the other room he’s on his gadget – and he’s not bothered, but I have that parental guilt anyway.

If we bring in the teaching aspect of parenting now, thinking are they falling behind because I haven’t done phonics today? There’s no rule book for being a good parent but it’s really amplified during this time.

And finally, we heard from Gary and the professional educational view on making the best of home-learning

” Firstly it’s not homeschooling, that’s an active choice that a parent makes, and no one has made this choice, it’s home-based learning – you’re not expected to be a teacher so take some pressure off yourself as a parent”

Schools and teachers should be providing the work and leading the curriculum and if you are not getting the support you need then you must ask.

In terms of real practical steps for success, set a timetable with your child and be prepared for that to be flexible week to week, our timetable now looks nothing like our Week 1 timetable, it has evolved over time, focus on the basics reading and writing, mathematics and really try to get the measure of where your child is at, focus on the positives and do take advantage of the resources available to assist with home-based learning

And finally don’t expect it to be perfect – it won’t be and sometimes it will be an awful day. Own that moment, review it and move on.

Resources From Today’s Session

Access all of the resources from today’s session here.

For all the insights from Matt, James & Gary you can check out our Twitter Feed.

What’s next? 

We’ll be announcing the date of the next #VirtuallySpeaking very soon so watch this space!

The conversation doesn’t have to end

Why not join the #VirtuallySpeaking community and keep in touch with the community, share tips and advice or just have a chat and keep each other company. We’d love to have you!

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