With home schooling being commonplace over the past year, many parents have become more involved in their children’s learning and have experienced the (virtual) classroom themselves for the first time in decades.
As this school year draws to a close, we surveyed 1,020 UK parents to see what they had taken away from over a year of home schooling their children.
According to the study, three-quarters of British parents (75%) said they felt more knowledgeable now than before they started home schooling at the beginning of the pandemic, thanks to overhearing virtual lessons and giving a helping hand with their child’s learning.
Unsurprisingly, after grappling with teaching resources at home, over one-third of parents (37%) said they now felt better equipped to help their child with their schoolwork as they have a greater understanding of it.
The benefits of mums and dads experiencing the virtual classroom are clear as 30% of parents said they had been educated on subjects that they had long forgotten about, with more than 1 in 4 (29%) learning something new this academic year.
Lots of parents were found to feel inspired by teaching their children. In fact, 29% said they have been reminded of hobbies and subjects they used to enjoy, with nearly 1 in 5 (17%) investing time, money, and materials to take up these forgotten hobbies and subjects.
When it comes to parent’s favourite hobbies they’ve rekindled, cooking toped the poll, with 27% of parents reverting back to the childhood joy of cooking and discovering different recipes. Nearly 1 in 4 (23%) of parents also enjoyed reading a gripping novel, being inspired to do so as a result of home schooling.
With the gorgeous weather we enjoyed during the first lockdown, 21% of parents enjoyed getting their hands dirty with gardening once again. Parents also turned to expressing their creativity in the form of art, with 1 in 5 (20%) picking up a paint brush or pencil again. Finally, home schooling inspired 19% of parents to teach themselves maths in their spare time – as surprising as that may be!
However, not all former childhood hobbies were popular among parents after home schooling, with performing arts, design and creative writing being revealed as the least popular hobbies that parents have picked up again.
Childhood hobbies weren’t the only thing that parents picked up over lockdown, as, with their patience skills being put to the test, 1 in 4 (29%) said they felt like home-schooling had helped them to become better parents.
Whilst home-schooling has been challenging for parents, it has also highlighted the importance of teachers and their dedication to teaching children.
Nearly 1 in 5 (19%) of parents have felt inspired by their child’s teacher’s tutoring methods over the last year, with 18% saying they have integrated their child’s teachers’ methods into their child’s everyday life.
Although plenty of parents will rejoice at the return of the normal school routine as we begin to leave COVID restrictions behind, there are many lessons we can take away from the past year.
Home schooling has not only helped to reignite childhood passions in parents, it has also helped to renew our respect for teachers and the incredible work they put in to inspiring their students and making sure their learning is fun and engaging, even when they can’t physically sit in a classroom.