How is home schooling going?

‘ I can’t work, I’m hungry!’

‘Mum, no offense, but I need a professional to teach me!’

‘No, I can’t do it today, I’m rubbish, I don’t get it.’

Sound familiar? We’ve heard from many parents during this period about the ‘joys’ of home schooling. From the ups of discovering new arts and craft activities to the downs of having to Google what a fronted adverbial is.

Did you know that it’s not just your child and family having these conversations? We all have basic needs that need to be attended to first before we can even think of home schooling. Abraham Maslow famously wrote about the hierarchy of needs that underpin everything we do – children and parents alike.

Physiological needs – there is such a thing as being ‘hangry’. Kids are unlikely to engage if they their basic needs are not met. This is why schools have breakfast clubs. Likewise, as a parent you are not going to be able to concentrate if you need the loo, or are tired.

Safety needs – your child is unlikely to be ready to learn if they have just been yelled at. Home schooling needs to feel supportive and an environment where it is safe to make mistakes. Likewise you probably won’t be able to give home schooling your best shot if you are worried and thinking about how you are going to pay the bills or what will happen after the furlough scheme ends.

Love / belonging needs – We all need to feel part of a team to perform at our best. To be loved and feel belong is a basic human need. So your sulky pre-teen is going to need a bit of time to readjust after being sent to their room. And as a parent, you are not going to be your home schooling best if you have had a row with the other half.

Esteem needs – Children need to believe that they have capability. Plenty of praise and encouragement helps. Likewise, when we scroll through parenting groups it’s hard not to feel in competition with other parents on home schooling. Be kind to yourself, and know that you are doing your best.

Self-actualisation – all of the magic comes together at the top of the pyramid. When all of the basic needs are met, your child is ready to learn, and you are in a position to give home schooling your best shot.

Remember the occasional INSET day is OK, and your job in this situation is to parent, rather than teach. We are reliably informed that baking a cake on an off day counts as Food Technology and Maths, and that gin is the answer to home schooling.

Please get in touch if you need any help.

We also run free group support through our facebook page


01744 604947