Can parents teach their kids in COVID-19 lockdown?
Parents are likely to find teaching school subjects to their own children quite difficult. A child may resist participating in an unfamiliar role. From my experience as a teacher of distance education and as a parent, here are some orienting comments.
Long ago, parents worked in the home, or nearby on farms or in mines. Children could be with them, learning life skills by imitation. When work moved into factories, youngsters were excluded and minded in schools. Education was by paid teachers. Learning was by cognition.
In 2020, with schools closed and parents off work due to coronavirus restrictions, it is possible for parents to home school their children. Individualised adult attention is different from sharing and comparing with age peers, requiring children to adjust.
Schoolchildren accustomed to professional teachers will have expectations about how learning and teaching should be done. A child could be disconcerted by a parent trying to teach them, departing from their familiar role as authority, rule enforcer, food provider and friend.
If schools are sending work home online or by correspondence, the parent role could be defined as supervising and possibly also tutoring student responses. Teaching traditionally requires curriculum, pedagogy and evaluation. Ordinarily, when the child can go to a school, home schooling has to be approved by the education authority. A parent could teach in one or more of the various teaching styles, between authoritarian and student-centred, finding a locus of control that works, depending on the age and ability of the child.
Every student and every parent is different. Until the student and teacher have developed a productive rapport, not much learning is likely to occur. They need to respect each other and be flexible. When the situation is far from ideal and uncertain, as it is with COVI-19, the teacher has to create a safe, relaxed place for learning to occur. Students want success from every task they attempt.
Persistence is needed. Teaching a child effectively will be a wonderful experience for both.