Disney is the babysitter for when parents are exhausted | Blaise Tapp

Depending on when you find time to read this, you could either be just starting or finishing week two of what threatens to be months of juggling conference calls and kitchen table lessons.

Friday, 3rd April 2020, 4:44 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd April 2020, 4:45 pm
Disney's Lady and The Tramp

The vast majority of us did not bank on having to juggle the combined roles of crust earner and school teacher.

The carnage of Covid-19 has thrown curveballs at every single one of us, especially parents of those school-age children.

There are those who painstakingly draw up lesson timetables in a bid to replicate the structure of formal education, while others cook up incredible new ways of learning, which usually involve making homemade slime or chalking phonics on the Indian Sandstone patio.

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Then there’s my way – which largely involves me starting the day in a cheerfully optimistic manner before finishing wearily at teatime, longing for an urgent appointment with Dr Malbec.

If I was under any illusion before, this past week or two has taught me that I am not cut out for teaching under any circumstances.

My approach to administering rudimentary education is haphazard to say the very least, with the only constant being the start of the day when we try to keep up with the nation’s PE teacher Joe Wicks. After that, the day generally goes downhill.

Don’t get me wrong, we are getting some work done but it is costing me a fortune in biscuits and other treats, which in itself causes a problem as getting to the shops for a restock hardly constitutes leaving the house for ‘essentials’.

When basic bribery fails, I unashamedly turn to the babysitter in the corner of our living room, convincing myself anything made by Disney must be vaguely educational.

At the very start, I set almost impossible goals, all of which were missed in spectacular fashion.

The turning point came in an email from my children’s headteacher.

They shared a simple message, reminding parents that we aren’t teachers and the secret to surviving the coming months is ensuring our children are kept as safe as they are busy.

Like all parents everywhere, I will make it up as I go.

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