"My biggest worry right now is the mental health of my children. They are online looking at a screen for too long everyday. The pressure is enormous and they can't get all of their online work done within the hours of the normal school day. They have also been threatened with negative behaviour points and not getting work marked if it's late! They are obviously not socialising or getting that mess about time with mates that breaks up learning in the school day, they barely stop for a break at all. We have not had time for exercise in their schedule and as there are 3 of them all learning at home even if there was space and opportunity to go for a walk and get some fresh air we couldn't go together as none of it matches up. I seem to have become a full time online learning facilitator, doing all of the jobs that they need in order to just be able to get on and plough through the work. The work and subjects are not joined up and they don't know until they start if they will have powerpoints or live sessions and so it's impossible to plan ahead or make space for other healthier activity other than screen time. I have become really worried about their progress and if they are just revising or able to learn new content or if in this bizarre year they even know what content has been covered and what has not. In order to support them and get some clarity and in the absence of support materials from school, I bought them study guides for their subjects and the full texts that they needed, just as I have lost the opportunity to work again and have no worked income coming in. I also bought printing ink as I know sometimes reading or working from the screen is not as helpful as a hard copy that you can annotate and refer to while typing rather than switching tabs. Ink is so expensive, it's the cost of the bulk of a weeks shopping, I'm sure it has gone up since lockdown-is there a shortage or are companies taking advantage of us right now? I feel really mad about this aspect of the pandemic as I think education can be a route out of poverty, my kids already missed so much at school that we couldn't afford, like trips and clubs but at least the basics were taken care of and the rest they could make up for with working hard and being smart. Now even the basics aren't taken care of, it's all on me and what I can afford to provide or what we can help each other with in the family. I know we are not even in the worst position, there are many who we know who don't have the resources even that we do but I think education during the pandemic is a massive disaster for low income families."

Howie P
Jan 8, 2021

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