"I want to ask you, not to school at home" – a teacher's plea to parents struggling to home-school goes viral 2 months ago

"I want to ask you, not to school at home" – a teacher's plea to parents struggling to home-school goes viral

Feeling a little overwhelmed trying to keep up to date with your child's homework and school work during this lockdown life?

Please, parents – lower those shoulders.

Earlier this week, a UK primary school teacher took to Facebook to share an “important message” with parents.

Mr Hodder, who teaches Year 6 at The Cathedral Catholic Primary School in Lancaster, urges parents not to homeschool their kids – but rather take this time to connect and be their 'social support' during the coronavirus lockdown.

In the video, which was filmed in his classroom, the teacher begins his plea with the words:

“Mr Hodder here, big empty classroom. I just wanted to talk to parents. I wanted to ask you, not to school at home.”

The 6th-grade teacher then goes on to explain that children, including his own son and daughter, are “very upset” as they are now lacking social interaction

“They’re going to miss that social contact, they’re going to miss that interaction, that’s your job now."

He makes a point that so many of us might have missed in our stress to make sure our children's education isn't left falling behind.

“I’m really concerned, as all the staff here are, for the welfare of our children, they need you. They need you to not set up a home school, not set up a classroom, not stick to a timetable.

As for homework, here is what Hodder had to say:

“The children here, are playing and working together, so my homework for everyone out there at Cathedral is to bake a cake, build a lego model, set up a den in the front room, tell each other a story, do a jigsaw, play a game, make a card, paint a picture. Spending time being that social network, talking, listening, that’s really important now.”

Of course, he explained, the school would be updating the website with work for children, but this should not be your priority right now as a parent, he stressed. Instead, being your children's support network should take priority.

“Just be what they need. They need love, they need reassurance, we can’t control the situation but we can control how we react to it.”

Here is Mr Hodder's speech in full:

"Mr Hodder here, big empty classroom. I just wanted to talk to parents. I wanted to ask you, not to school at home.

I know that during these uncertain times it’s really difficult and we’re all trying to get some kind of control.

I also know from my own son and daughter that they’re really upset, it’s a huge change for them.

If you think about it your child is used to coming in and seeing 30 people in their class, 200 people in our school, 30 staff, every day and they’re going to miss that social contact, they’re going to miss that interaction, that’s your job now.

It’s very tempting to want to get them to complete schoolwork, it’s very tempting to print out worksheets.

Think about my kids, I’ve got all the books, all the plans but I’m not turning my house into a school room.

Yes they’re still going some purple maths, and yes they’re still doing some work from school, but it’s an extra, it’s a side thing.

I’m really concerned, as all the staff here are, for the welfare of our children, they need you. They need you to not set up a home school, not set up a classroom, not stick to a timetable.

The children here, are playing and working together, so my homework for everyone out there at Cathedral is to bake a cake, build a lego model, set up a den in the front room, tell each other a story, do a jigsaw, play a game, make a card, paint a picture.

Spending time being that social network, talking, listening, that’s really important now.

Yes we’ll update the website, yes there’ll be more work coming, but it’s only day three. I’m hearing parents on Facebook asking for more resources or logins for tests or Twinkle - don’t do it.

Just be what they need. They need love, they need reassurance, we can’t control the situation but we can control how we react to it.

So because of that year six I’m not going to read the book today, but I will tomorrow. It’s a beautiful day, step outside the front porch, play in the garden if you’re lucky enough to have one, open a window, breathe deeply, relax."

Needless to say, the video soon went viral, with many parents finding comfort and reassurance in the teacher's words.

One parent commented on the video: What a wonderful person you are, this is a one time opportunity for a lot of parents to spend quality time with your children - I fully applaud you.”

Another one wrote: “Amazing great teacher. Have to admit made me tearful."

So there you have it, parents – lower your shoulders. This is not the time to worry about homework. Dip in and out of it, make it an activity, not a chore. And last, but not least, use this time to connect.