We homeschool, tum bhi Corona!
It sounds absurd, doesn’t it? Because it is.
Two days ago, two incidents made me think about the general human absurdity, even during a pandemic. By we, I mean, we parents! The schooling authority in Mumbai had the foresight to decide to shut down all the schools in Mumbai and call off the exams for specific grades.
Coincidentally, on the same day, the person who used to come to clean my class said, “School bandh kar diye hai” (The schools have been shut). Retorting with what I thought would be an obvious response, I said, “That’s good!” But his reply shocked me to my core when he said to me, “Arre kya sir, humare liye toh taklif ho gayi. Ab teenon bacche ghar par rahenge.” (It is a problem for us though. All three of my kids are now to stay at home).
As soon as I heard of other schools following suit and shutting down, I found the most absurd reaction from SOME parents: “Send the study material home.” Furthermore, tuition teachers were starting to get requests to teach online.
I perceived the situation differently than almost all of my counterparts.
To me, the question seemed to be this: Why don’t parents look at this as an opportunity to be with their kids, take it as a golden chance to make them kids wanted, and take this time to be together and know more about them?
Imagine the educational institutions opposing the status quo, for once, and taking a call against the very dogma on which the system is based.
Please support them. Don’t pressurise the authorities to:
I believe that we all must be grateful that our children go to organisations that dared to take such a bold call without waiting for an intimation from the State authorities. For those whose schools have already shut down, please don’t start searching for classes to keep your kids “occupied”. There are lots of meaningful activities that you, as a family, can indulge in, whatever be the age group of your child.
And for all the parents whose kids are in a playgroup, a preschool, or in primary classes, for whom are you waiting? If your kids don’t have exams, don’t send them to school. You cannot wait for the state authorities to take a call for your child’s wellbeing. Being the parent, you should be able to make that decision.
Unknowingly, you are, in many ways, supporting the state authorities. They are already burdened with several problems on a national level to tackle; don’t add the baggage of your lack of decision making on their shoulders. Imagine how no one could do something that a mere virus has done – getting us to stay at our homes.
Relish this beautiful time of togetherness and family time. We have been debating the idea of homeschooling for a while now. While we comprehend the perks of homeschooling, and yes, there are only perks, this pandemic provides us with an opportunity to experience it. For all those parents who have always been craving to know what homeschooling is all about, Coronavirus has given you an excellent opportunity to have the first-hand experience to understand what it is like to homeschool.
Present a paid holiday to your household help if you can afford one. Their kids deserve to be safe too. As a family, cook together or do the daily chores together, addressing your kids to learn some life skills also, and not merely to fill up mugged answers on empty worksheets. Apart from watching some excellent content being served on various television platforms, you may even wake up late and laze around with them.
It’s been a while now that they’ve been stuck at their homes. So talk to them; make them feel that they are precious. Start today. And yes, keep washing those hands. But don’t wash your hands off your responsibility as a parent.