The coronavirus lockdown has been tough on pretty much all of us – we all know that. Many of us have struggled to balance childcare and homeschooling responsibilities with our jobs, especially when the need to work from home has brought all of these challenges together under one roof.
So, you might think that the last thing you’d want to do right now is read some homeschooling-related statistics gleaned from the period of nationwide lockdown in the spring.
But actually, the figures that have been reported lately have given us some very interesting insight into how families up and down the UK have coped with a situation unlike any most of us have faced in our lifetimes. In particular, they suggest that the nation’s dads maybe haven’t been going quite as far with their own homeschooling duties as they ought to have done.
What can we learn from the data?
One study into Britons’ homeschooling habits that has attracted much interest was undertaken by University College London (UCL)’s Centre for Longitudinal Studies, which found that women spent more than twice as much time as men did with their children on homeschooling and other developmental activities.
The survey, entitled Parental involvement in home schooling and developmental play during lockdown, looked at the differences in parental involvement based on such factors as gender and socioeconomic background as the UK locked down to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The relevant data was collected from more than 18,000 parents with preschool and school-aged children during May 2020. Such figures revealed that on average, almost two thirds (64%) of mothers homeschooled their children on weekdays during the lockdown, with this percentage falling to less than half (49%) for fathers.
The five hours that mothers of primary school children spent on homeschooling was two and a half times more than what fathers spent.
Nor was this the only study conducted during lockdown that suggested dads could be doing more to help to look after their kids at this strange time. Indeed, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently released figures indicating that women undertook more childcare duties than men while the UK was in COVID-19 lockdown.
Allow puppetry to lend a helping hand
Of course, there’s no single magic formula to getting homeschooling ‘right’ – but when it comes to keeping your little ones entertained, stimulated and educated during school times and the school holidays alike, it helps to have the right items to hand.
Our own latest educational book sets here at Puppets By Post, for example, combine books with puppets to enable you to tell the most captivating stories to your kids while you’re all stuck at home.
We have an extensive range of such puppet story books in stock right now at great prices for enthralling your child, baby or toddler – and don’t forget that they can also be delivered to you for nothing when you spend more than £10 on one order. That’s what we call making pennies go far!