The end of home learning

Home learning is finished (for most of you) and lots of you are optimistic that you won’t have to do it again (at least this academic year).

We know that – like home learning itself – some of the questions we’ve been asking have been a bit tedious, so thank you for sticking with us! The information you have shared has been so important, it’s been used by The Guardian, The Times, Channel 4 News and by the government in their Roadmap Out of Lockdown.

If your school has been participating in The Big Lockdown Learning Parent Survey some headteachers (with 60+ parents per school responding) have also received reports about the daily findings.

Next our academic team will be analysing all the Big Survey data and writing a report that will be used by the people who now need to decide what happens next in education (you can see what they have discovered so far here).

So, what have we found out?

Home learning has been stressful…

Home learning has caused tears, pushed you into survival mode, and this week we found it has also been putting a strain on your relationship with others in your household.

…But schools have provided the right level of support

Last week you have told us that schools have broadly provided the right amount of work for the children, and this week you told us that they have provided the right amount of support for parents too.

Time spent on home learning has been reducing…

At the start of lockdown, the government announced that children should be receiving between 3 (for primary school children) and 5 (for secondary school children) hours of schoolwork each day.

We’ve been asking you how much work took place each Wednesday during lockdown. The results show that the government’s threshold was met more often in the first month of lockdown than second, and more primary kids were doing the (admittedly smaller) mandated amount than secondary.

…But you don’t think kids are getting much worse (or much better)

Apart from knowing how much time the kids are spending on schoolwork, it can be hard as a parent to know exactly what learning is going on. But on the whole, you don’t think your children are getting much better or much worse.

Overall, your feelings about home learning haven’t really changed!

Every Monday we asked you how you were feeling about home learning. We asked you to rate your feelings on a 10-point scale, where 1 was “I cannot do it at all” and 10 was “certain I can do it.”

We have put all your responses into a chart of the term showing who was struggling (the red lines) and who wasn’t (yellow lines).

If the yellow line is high and the red line is low (as we see on the secondary chart) it suggests parents are generally feeling good about home schooling. When the lines are closer together (as we see on the primary chart) it shows things are tougher, but at least the yellow line is still on top!

Apart from a few little blips (week 4 for primary-school parents and week 5 for secondary) feelings have been remarkably consistent. Unsurprisingly, there was quite an up-turn in the final week!

Coming up next week

There will still be a small number of questions asking you to reflect on lockdown learning (and the Big Lockdown Learning Parent survey continues for one more week). But we’ll also have more space to ask some of the questions you’ve been submitting.

As always,  don’t miss a question… Download the app and set your notifications to PING every day!

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