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How home-schooling scarred my kids The disruption caused by closing classrooms will remain with them for years

(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)


March 8, 2021   5 mins

In weather stations up and down the country this morning, I fancy, the anemometers will be going berserk as hundreds of thousands of parents breathe a collective sigh of relief. Schools have gone back. The natural order of things is restored. We are at last able to hand our children over to someone else who will educate and amuse them during the working day.

We will have the hours between 9:15am and 3:15pm entirely undisturbed. Rather than prep, cook, and wash up three family meals a day — or sometimes more if one of your brood is fussy or vegetarian — we will once again be able to get away with a lunchtime cheese sandwich. We will be replying to urgent emails in silence and on a proper keyboard; not by jabbing crossly at a mobile phone in between shouting at our children that, no, fifty-six take away eighteen is not sixty frigging four. And when, at nine or half nine of an evening the children are finally pacified, we will be settling down with a beer to watch WandaVision rather than angrily starting our working day.

It has become a clichĂ© to say that homeschooling has given parents new respect for teachers. But it’s the truth. Since schools shut, my wife has been squirrelled away in what was once my home office, working full-time, and I’ve been homeschooling a seven-year-old, a nine-year-old and an 11-year-old. I’m fit to break. Children are a giant pain in the teeth. Imagine trying to command the attention of 30 of these creatures at once, all day every day, and educate them to boot.

Yes, of course lockdown has brought unexpected bonuses. We eat together around the same table every day. We are — makes pious face — closer as a family. We have shared a staggering number of beany curries (vegetarian 11-year-old) and vegetable stir-fries. We have baked together, gardened together and explored the Marvel Cinematic Universe together. We have treated Joe Wicks as a household God. And we have trudged, day after day as the sun grew low in the winter sky, to play listlessly on the swings at the park near our house — noticing how, as the weeks have passed, the discs of ice in the churned mud have given way to the faint warmth of spring.

I’ve been more aware of my children’s progress at school than I ever would normally be. I can tell you, for instance, that my seven-year-old can’t punctuate for toffee; or, at least, that he knows where capital letters and full stops need to be but that he absolutely can’t be arsed to use them. That he’s capable of spelling the word “which” wrongly two different ways in two consecutive paragraphs. And that at least once a day, usually when his blood sugar is on the low side, he will throw a violent tantrum, declare that he’s quitting home school and have to be physically dissuaded from sending his teachers disrespectful private messages on Google Classroom.

I know that, left unsupervised for more than three minutes, the boys will start looking up superhero Lego sets on the internet, exchanging scholarly information about Minecraft or exploring YouTube’s unimaginable wealth of videos of fart noises. And I also know that, when the mood takes them and their powers of concentration come on stream, they are capable of wonders. We have built Tudor houses out of cereal packets, designed supervillains, made Arcimboldo collages out of old editions of The Week Junior, written long illustrated stories, and wept at the WiFi as we try for the fifth time to upload a piece of work that needs turning in. That yellow exercise book, years from now, will be a treasure-house of memories.

Look, I don’t like to moan (that’s a lie: I love to moan; moaning is the only thing that keeps me going). I’m aware that I’m one of the lucky ones. We can afford lockdown. I have a job that can be done, just about, in discontinuous bursts at random times of day. I have (relatively) biddable children. I am not struggling with bereavement, single parenthood, sudden joblessness, a child with special education needs, marital breakdown or any of the other issues that have made homeschooling, for many parents, more than a series of affectionate jokes.

But there’s something serious here about what comes after. What will it mean for the generation that will have had their education disrupted for nearly a year and a half? I’ve done my best — but I know that even with all their advantages, my kids aren’t as far ahead as they would have been had a professional been in charge. What of those with a parent unable to dedicate even the attention I have, struggling to feed their children properly or unable to access home learning?

We rejoice, as adults, at the return to school — as will most of our children. But the effects of this disruption will be felt for many years to come. It will be a little demographic ripple, another slight widening of the inequality gap — and like all ripples it will likely grow steadily wider as it travels forwards from the source. What, too, will it mean psychologically? Children are not just little bundles of economic potential to be groomed as efficiently as possible for deployment on the job market when they turn into adults.

Those children without siblings, or whose relationship with their siblings is uneasy: how have they coped without seeing their friends? Where do they get the affirmation of their individuality, the sense that they fit into a diverse patchwork of social hierarchies, when the only social hierarchy they have known since last spring has been the one in the four walls of their home? A year, when you’re under ten, is a hugely long time.

Even in my own home, where we all get along, it worries me. It haunts me that my daughter — 11 going on 15 — spends all day by herself, working away at her Zoom classrooms (if that is what she’s doing: a lot of those open tabs seem to be Depop and Billie Eilish videos). She sees a local friend, perhaps, once a week for an hour’s walk. Her brothers play constantly with each other but she’s isolated, too old or proud to join in their childish play. “I’m fine,” she says. But is she?

Is it coincidence that for weeks now my seven-year-old and my 11-year-old have refused to sleep through the night? That they appear at our bedroom door, infallibly, between one and three in the morning, complaining that they’re scared — and won’t go back to sleep until they’re in our bed and one of the adults is rehoused in a child’s bed? Perhaps it is. In the scheme of things, it’s no biggie. But I think that a little extra anxiety, a little extra loneliness, a little extra sense of disconnection from the world now comes as standard in households everywhere.

Beneath the laughs, beneath the showy competitive moaning and the great yelps of relief on Friday night Zoom drinks, then, there’s a real breath of sadness. Many of our children will barely remember this Covid year — but it’ll be with them, one way and another, for the rest of their lives.


Sam Leith is literary editor of The Spectator. His forthcoming book, The Haunted Wood: A History of Childhood Reading, is out in September.
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Meghan Kathleen Jamieson
Meghan Kathleen Jamieson
3 years ago

It’s really lack of being able to go out in the world that’s been the problem – being home educated is really not meant to be isolating.
While it’s been a very difficult period for children at risk, there are also quite a few for whom it’s been quite wonderful, children for whom school is terrible, who the social environment of school is oppressive, or whose educational needs are neglected. I’ve heard of several children able to stop behavioural medications as a result of being out of school, for example.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago

Always exception to everything. Poor students never recover from missed school and a vast number are doomed to unemployability, or at least a lifetime of reduced incomes. That is why just the year prior it was illegal to take a child out of school to go on a family trip. How is a child who is doing poorly ever to catch up? Never could there be such a way to seperate the haves from the have nots. Remember, the government is your enemy, not your friend, as this event has shown.

Lockdown has more collaterial damage exponetionally than just letting people manage their own response.

Chris Eaton
Chris Eaton
3 years ago

My wife and I, and I should say my wife did most of the work, home schooled our 3 youngest children. The youngest never set foot inside a school building unless it was to play a basketball game on his home school basketball league.
We started home schooling because our second oldest son was having a hard time, socially and academically in school and no one there seemed to care, and if they did they didn’t say or do anything about it.
They are all well adjusted men now and all have good jobs.
We wouldn’t trade that part of our lives for anything.

Nick Faulks
Nick Faulks
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Eaton

All fine and dandy, but what does that have to do with the question?

Chris Eaton
Chris Eaton
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Faulks

What question? I wasn’t replying to a question. I was simply pointing out that home schooling is a perfectly valid way to educate your own children. If there is a question, then please state what it is.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago

“Many of our children will barely remember this Covid year — but it’ll be with them, one way and another, for the rest of their lives”

O for God’s sake pull yourself together man! I’ve never heard such arrant tosh. Eton should give you your money back.

Wartime children went through far more ‘disruption’; Evacuation bombing,rationing, and killing, and most found the whole experience sheer nectar! Yes they will never forget it, how do you forget the sight of a Spitfire chasing a Messerschmitt across the Sussex Downs, or hear V2 explode in a nearby street having come hurtling out the sky without a sound?

Sadly, one of the palms of Victory was the ‘Welfare State’, the source of all evil, and now we are “reaping the whirlwind”, as your essay so pithily demonstrates,thank you.

Last edited 3 years ago by Charles Stanhope
Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

It’s not only wartime children that experienced far worse. Some of us were children during the Lib-Lab Pact. But we survived.

Angela Frith
Angela Frith
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Some of us were children during the Thatcher administration. With 17% unemployment and our police force being used for the first time as an arm of the state. Yet here we are – voting Conservative.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Angela Frith

Now you’re making me all nostalgic.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

Children are children, man. That wartime kids had a bigger disruption is immaterial. This, too, was a disruption and it was for less worthy reasons than war. The mental health fallout is going to happen.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

But the wartime children did not have the schools closed. Also they were tougher by 200% than today’s fearful phone clutches, and took it as best as could, during that NOT SELF INFLICTED DISASTER, which lockdown and school closings were.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

The political establishments inflicted war on people.

Maria Bogris
Maria Bogris
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Exactly, at least during war peo0le had each other and could pull together…unlike this absolute madness

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Don’t get too carried away. The teaching unions will soon have them back in your educational care. As for your son misspelling ‘which’ in two different ways in consecutive sentences, he is no better or worse than millions of adults and will probably find employment as a Labour MP.

Last edited 3 years ago by Fraser Bailey
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

The teaching unions made the most of this national psychosis to mess up the children, and you can be sure they are now thinking of new ways to continue their crusade of damaging the children, it is their mission. I am confident by next year they will have some cause of critical race guilt curriculum to accompany the decolonization of Maths and gender suppression studies to mess with them.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Did you see that video of the teaching union leader in CA dropping off his own child at pre-school while doing all he can to ensure that all other schools were closed? These people are evil beyond all belief.

Christopher Wheatley
Christopher Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

The race/guilt theme is already there – for 7/8 year-olds.

Samuel Gee
Samuel Gee
3 years ago

I think there are definite drawbacks for some kids, serious damage for others. However, apart from the “on the other hand” bonuses which Sam mentions of more time spent with parents and the like for some (those with likeable parents), there may well be a cohort-benefit for the majority, in terms of increased resilience.
Yes there are figures that say that overall lifetime earnings may be dented. But in the words of Ronald Reagan to Jimmy Carter “there (they) you go again”. In this case, only looking at life and society through the prism of GDP.
But we will have a generation not just of school kids, but also a younger generation, that will have been through a pandemic, perhaps lost a job, not found a job, had a reduced or eliminated social life, will have been bored, felt isolated and otherwise been challenged. For some that may be too much especially if parents and others tell them that it is) but for most that will be a unenjoyable life experience that will in future enable them to look at whatever bad times will afflict them personally, or society generally, straight in the eye and know that the bad times will come to an end. That they have done it before, seen worse. That there will be a better day.
So yes, hard and challenging times can damage some people, they can also make others stronger. I don’t know where the balance is for net benefit but maybe the trajectory towards the catastrophisation of issues we have seen in recent years will have less impetus in future.

Last edited 3 years ago by Samuel Gee
Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Samuel Gee

There’s a lot of wisdom in this. Yes, lock down has been awful, but experience has shown that nothing is ever as bad as it seems (or as good as it seems) and usually sooner than expected, things always revert to average. However, there is an underlying lesson. The lesson I personally take from this is that we are not free, any liberty you have can be removed at a moments notice, and voting is pointless. I have no doubt that whoever won the last election the last year would have been the same.

Ferrusian Gambit
Ferrusian Gambit
3 years ago
Reply to  Samuel Gee

I have lost count of the number of people who have told me the travails of the last year given them the time to reflect on the direction of their life.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Samuel Gee

rather like chimney sweep’s helpers in the old days.Totally messing up children makes them strong, even though it messes them up. Good logic.

Samuel Gee
Samuel Gee
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Sanford Artzen wrote:

rather like chimney sweep’s helpers in the old days.Totally messing up children makes them strong, even though it messes them up. Good logic.

This is a great example of how to operate a straw man argument. That’s when someone takes another person’s argument or point, distorts it or exaggerates it in some kind of extreme way, and then attacks the extreme distortion, as if that is really the claim the first person is making. It’s a dishonest way to argue.

Michael Dawson
Michael Dawson
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Children attend school for a minimum of 11 years and often 12 or 13. That’s a long time. When you look at the end products, questions about home-schooling during the lockdown are really rather beside the point. A bigger question is how could so much time and money be spent on education when the general result is so unimpressive?

David Uzzaman
David Uzzaman
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael Dawson

I joined the army straight from school in 1968. There were boys in our section who couldn’t read and write. They had received at least ten years compulsory education. If they passed the basic training they were sent to a army education centre where they learned these essential skills in three months.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

A small nit – don’t blame this on “homeschooling” because that was not the culprit. Home-schooling occurs by choice; what we’ve gone through is the result of force. Kids schooled at home have parents who are vested in the process and who prepare for it. What has happened for the past year was nothing of the sort. Kids were forced into an environment that was half-cocked at best and they’ve been left to flounder.

Darren Stephens
Darren Stephens
3 years ago

“Where do they get the affirmation of their individuality, the sense that they fit into a diverse patchwork of social hierarchies,”
Given that some of those social hierarchies can be incredibly toxic and scarring in themselves, forcing a reset on them may not be an entirely bad thing. Schools are not universally benevolent and safe places for some kids; let’s not romanticise that.

Jennifer Britton
Jennifer Britton
3 years ago

I would have loved having had the chance to be home for extended time when my children were in school. I did not have that chance.

However, lockdown cane and The opportunity to care fir my grandson arrived. I have been taking care of my grandson three days a week during lockdown. It’s been wonderful, at times exhausting, and unforgettable.

I’m a retired school teacher. I pulled out everything I had learned during 30 years in the classroom and put it to good use.

Thank goodness I didn’t have the additional strains of trying to work from home, nor did I have more one “student” in my charge. I will be sorry when he returns to school.

Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
3 years ago

Most children will be happy to go back to school? Don’t kid yourself. Probably the only thing most kids hated about there being no school was not being able to play with their friends, and how much free time playing and socializing do kids get to spend at school these days, anyway? But maybe having been one of those children for whom at least 75 percent of school (basically everything other than English, art, music, and recess) was torture, I’m somewhat biased. As for home education, no doubt a lot of parents found it very trying, but probably a lot also realized how inadequate. if not outright toxic formal schooling actually is.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago

Spot-on. I hated school as a child, there was no way I would have missed it.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

This is a point that people like me (teachers) fail to take seriously.
I know most will disagree but the teacher’s job is to “amuse” young people while they grow up. In my case, I try to amuse them with the joys of mathematics.
I’m pleased to be getting close to retirement before we all get found out.

Anne-Marie Mazur
Anne-Marie Mazur
3 years ago

The fear mongering about COVID and the state responses to it are what frightened children, not “home schooling” since millions home school and their children are FINE. Seeing adults who panic like lemmings and are unable to grasp basic mathematics and science is what is going to scar children.
I home schooled both my daughters from K-12. They participated in all sorts of other activities beyond school and had friends. My older daughter is working on her PhD in biomolecular engineering and my younger one attends school for medical sonography. Schools in the US are terrible with the usual state propaganda and low quality and now are pushing anti-science “gender ID” and “critical race theory”. They were much better off at home learning critical thinking skills and how to identify logical fallacies than going to those purposely decaying public institutions. Helped them know the BS going on about viral virus and the science denial of the masses.

Margaret Donaldson
Margaret Donaldson
3 years ago

This article was very reassuring. I loved the paragraphs describing the spelling and punctuation following by the ‘scholarly’ discussions about Minecraft and looking up fart sites on YouTube. These boys are delightfully still boys despite lockdown. They will survive and in fact may have gained a lot in the way of self-discipline and fortitude. They may even appreciate school more as a place of education and not just somewhere you HAVE to go. It’s too early for the writer to treasure these long days but he will. Just wait till those boys become teenagers!

Daisy D
Daisy D
3 years ago

Sam Leith, in seeking to replicate what he thinks of as his children’s babysitting services (what he calls school) has sadly mistaken zoom schooling for what’s called home schooling.
Home based education is a far cry from children sitting at home numbly plugged into a computer for hours on end w/parents frustrated out of their wits. Most basically, home schooling families understand, and take advantage of the fact, that learning is happening all the time and children are eager to learn; the parental role is to provide the resources and guidance for this most natural phenomena of children.
Children who have been homeschooled pre-pandemic (and through the pandemic) have had an educational leg up during this awful time, as have publicly educated children whose parents adopted more of a hybrid combo of broader education and zoom. All children, all people, have suffered from various degrees of curtailed – yet vital – social connection. We all know the list by heart. But families who have been used to homeschooling, and families who have adapted to some combo of zoom and actual education, have not done what the Leiths have done: resentfully battening down the hatches, increasing social isolation and decreasing educational opportunities.
Finally, I don’t quite understand why Mrs. Leith couldn’t pop her head out of her office, and, at the very least, visit w/her children during the day. I also don’t get why the parents couldn’t figure out how to get together w/other families w/children on a regular basis – or, at least make playdates for the children – so that some sense of social normalcy could be maintained and the children’s vital needs met.

Last edited 3 years ago by Daisy D
ralph bell
ralph bell
3 years ago

I am still flabbergasted by the damage being inflicted on these children by Teachers Unions, despite no other European country closing schools, for most, like they have here. Even now this largely evidence-less need to test children twice weekly and for them to wear masks. Its a disgrace and I think many will long remember this as what society is capable of inflicting on others in order to save themselves.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
3 years ago
Reply to  ralph bell

I’m ashamed of these people and no longer belong a teaching union.

Alison Houston
Alison Houston
3 years ago

I wonder why you and your wife decided to reproduce? It must have been an act of pure narcissism. You don’t seem to question the system that means you both need to work, so perhaps you both choose to work, in which case you can hardly complain about it. You take it for granted your children are someone else’s responsibility and it is you who is merely standing in loco parentis.

Your offspring will not be scarred for life educationally by this period, they will look back at the time they had a bit of their parents attention with fondness. .

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Oh come on Alison, that’s a bit mean, and I write as one who generally agrees with you.

Alison Houston
Alison Houston
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Yes, it is mean, but it is true. People do not appreciate that having children is a full time responsibility and that legally their education is also their responsibility. His wife should not be squirrelled away in a home office ignoring her children. But if she is the bread winner then he ought to have full time care of his children and take it seriously. Unless we fight back against the awful system that demands we are all atomised wage slaves working all the hours God sends, that everything is empty and meaningless, transactional and utilitarian, we will never be free of the system. Feminism and Communism which is where this attitude towards giving up your children to the state come from are evil, harmful ideologies. They must be rejected and that includes being rude and mean to people who champion that ideology and the system put in place that enables it, publicly.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

The giving up of children to the care of the state was the result of industrial capitalism as is the wage slave economy and monetisation of relationships. A Universal Basic Income would be one way to start making more options available to people to choose how to spend their time. I don’t know if you’re a UBI supporter, Alison.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

capitalism existed back in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, too, when a single-income home was hardly unusual. It’s curious how the only “solution” some folks offer is one more govt program. It’s not the role of the state to dictate one’s choices and create options. That’s the individual’s job.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

The reality now is that in most cases a household requires two incomes just to get by, whereas in the 60s and 70s one wage was sufficient. A large part of this is down to housing costs which are have risen to reflect to reflect the fact that 2 incomes are now the norm.

Ferrusian Gambit
Ferrusian Gambit
3 years ago

Not really, for most of history working class families struggled to get by even on one income, and many working class women had to do odd jobs from the home to get by. Buying a house was a pipe dream before the 1930s even for lower middle class people and for working class people before the 1950’s.
What happened is middle class jobs expanded and lost their salary premium but people still wanted middle class lifestyles and expectations, so had to take on double the work to get it.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

But that’s not the fault of capitalism as the original poster suggests. In fact, the middle class as a feature only occurs in a capitalist system; every other means of organizing an economy has a small, very wealthy ruling class and a far larger population that’s getting by.

Ferrusian Gambit
Ferrusian Gambit
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

This of course explains very well the Tony Benn phenomenon.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Yes. This is the objective of The Great Reset. It has been the objective of the mainstream Dems and Reps in the US for about 30 years.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Wealth inequality in capitalist countries fell from 1918 to 1980. The result of two world wars which were caused by crises in capitalism. Since 1980 wealth inequality has been rising. Piketty, Capital and Ideology, 2020.

What I was trying to point out was that state provision of education occurred at the same time as industrial capitalism required a literate workforce and more labour in factories (as opposed to home workers). Alison said it was down to feminism and communism.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Fertility rates fell from 2.4 to 1.7 from 1950 to 1980 – contraception and education had a role to play, too.

Angela Frith
Angela Frith
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Speaking as an ardent feminist, and mother of two, I think you are absolutely right

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

I think in this case, the result was a forced condition. People who homeschool usually choose to do it. They prepare for it and make whatever household adjustments are necessary. This round – and it is wrongly labeled as homeschooling, was forced on people with no idea how to teach their kids. I sometimes get the idea that few of these folks know a thing about their kids and some barely seem to like the children.

Christopher Wheatley
Christopher Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Exactly! But who should we blame, the lockdowns or the individual parents? On the one hand the parents want the state to take over (their children) but then, maybe the state shouldn’t take over and order them to stay at home with those children.
As you say, parents who didn’t know how to teach their kids couldn’t handle things. Why is that?

Basil Chamberlain
Basil Chamberlain
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Rather than “feminism and Communism”, surely the situation is the result of the collision of feminism with the logic of the free market. Once married women, on feminist principles, began to remain in the workforce in large numbers, house prices rose until it required two full-time salaries to support a mortgage.
I’ve often wondered what the Western world would now look like if, in the early days of feminism, married couples committed to the idea of equality between the sexes had decided to opt for two part-time jobs (which would then have been enough to support a household), rather than being sucked into the modern norm of holding two full-time jobs.

Daisy D
Daisy D
3 years ago

Interesting (and wonderful ) thing to wonder about … do you think this could become more possible post pandemic?

Basil Chamberlain
Basil Chamberlain
3 years ago
Reply to  Daisy D

Not really, alas; I think the die was cast a long time ago.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago

Actually you have omitted to say how frightfully greedy we all became after the War.
The opulence of the Americans had been a major shock during the War, and after it, with the advent of the ‘wonderful’ TV aspirations quickly got out of control.

Enough was never enough, and soon only a ‘double’ income could satisfy many in their headlong rush to the ‘consumer society’.
Will it ever stop?

Last edited 3 years ago by Charles Stanhope
Claire D
Claire D
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

I’ve upticked you. I do wish they would bring back the seperate likes and dislikes function and knowing who ticked which.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

I agree Claire!

Basil Chamberlain
Basil Chamberlain
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

Don’t we all!

Peter Kriens
Peter Kriens
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

We’re watching Grey’s Anatomy (a.k.a. the chicken hen). In season 8, Meredith & Callie give birth to a baby. So two ‘excellent’ and ‘brilliant’ doctors (they say so themselves all the time) have the insane idea that you can be a full time surgeon and raise children at the same time. Now Grey’s Anatomy is so over the top medically that it is often more like a comedy when they shake & stir the intestines than the intended emotional drama, but I think on the childcare they are are seriously trying to blame the world how women have it so much harder.
Raising children is a full time job. It should be the most prestigious job in society since everything else is secondary. So if you’re indoctrinated by feminism: don’t have children or get a full time caretaker (m/f). You can’t have it both (and neither can men).

Angela Frith
Angela Frith
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Kriens

Feminism isn’t rejecting women’s work as meaningless. It is actually demanding its recognition as important and necessary in a healthy society. Many women work at caring for their families out of love. True feminism respects love and parenthood.

Christopher Wheatley
Christopher Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Angela Frith

Unfortunately I am a man. (Why do I feel the need to say this?) I am semi-retired and have spent my time during the lockdown reading about various things, including feminism. I also discuss this with my wife, who does not call herself a feminist.
I have come to a general conclusion. Woman are not equal until they get to a certain age, when they usually take over the family as the matriarch.
Every day I go running along a lonely path and enjoy every minute of it but I have spoken to women runners who would not go alone on that path. That is not equal.
Men have generally a larger physique and a louder voice and, consequently, are more physically threatening… BUT they don’t realise it because it is normal to them. That is not equal.
There are many examples in work and play where men take over because of their physical presence and they don’t realise it. However, men don’t live as long and they become enfeebled at an earlier age – then sometimes women get their own back.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

We’re getting past the physicality part with the advent of the trans movement, which seems bent on erasing womanhood as a biological reality.

Christopher Wheatley
Christopher Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

True. But as I have said on another post, some ‘woke’ things are here for the next 50 years and some may be a passing fancy.

Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Kriens

I babysat for a professional couple (a doctor and a university professor) for years, when I was a teen. They had produced three children, very close together, without, apparently, ever really sitting down and figuring out how they were going to manage to care for and raise them while the two of them were working at very demanding jobs. Two attempts at hiring live-in foreign nannies failed miserably (the first left after less than a month; the other stuck it out for about two months). They enjoyed a six-figure income but their home life was chaotic. They managed mostly with teen part-timers like me or daycare centres, which the kids hated (I once applied for a pat-time job at a daycare centre and was surprised to find the younger two kids of that family there; the little boy almost tearfully begged me to babysit them more so they wouldn’t have to go to that place, and I had to gently break it to him that I couldn’t because I had to go to school). The idea of one of them quitting their job to stay home and focus exclusively on raising the children and managing the home never seemed to have been in the cards. But what would have been so wrong with that? I guess it would have meant they wouldn’t have enjoyed the same standard of living, but they certainly could have managed on one spouse’s income.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago

Your Quislinton couple were obviously just plain greedy, they thought “there were worth it” and wanted it all.
Incidentally some salaries have remained much the same in real terms.
In 1945 a High Court Judge could expect to ‘trouser’ £5000 pa, today it is between £200-250,000, as it should be.

Christopher Wheatley
Christopher Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

Fraser, below, says that he generally agrees with you but doesn’t in this case. I almost always disagree with you but today you have a great comment.
My own theory is that today parents (women) choose to have babies because babies are fashionable with their friends, babies are fun and can be shown off to everybody, babies are like upgraded versions of dolls; but then they see the downside – the babies become children. Luckily, schools come along just in time and save a lot of the work.
However, I am a man and that could invalidate this post.

Angela Frith
Angela Frith
3 years ago

Only problem with your view is that one in two babies are still an accident. Welcome, but not deliberate. Mother Nature can trip up anybody.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Angela Frith

What involuntary ejaculation? No Roman Magistrate would believe that.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

His children will not be scarred for life as you say. However, children whose parents do not speak English or who cannot afford the electronic equipment used for home schooling will mostly be disadvantaged.

Kathy Prendergast
Kathy Prendergast
3 years ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

I’ve been managing to teach Zoom lessons with an old clunker of a laptop computer; who can’t afford that, nowadays? And if that many parents in the UK really can’t speak English, that’s a whole other problem.

Jed Hughes
Jed Hughes
3 years ago

What is all this talk about laptops etc.? Surely better results could be achieved with textbooks? And as for infant school and junior school stuff, that is just the three rs, perhaps with a bit of drawing and plasticine thrown in. Who needs a computing-set for that? In fact, even a senior school pupil could do a lot worse than concentrate on the three rs for a year, being taught at a pace suited to his own individual ability, with a bit of top-up tuition from his parents in those other subjects which interested him or in which he showed talent: the parents’ own understanding of the subjects could be refreshed and enhanced as they themselves read the textbooks, so that parent and child would be learning together. (Imagine the sort of conversation: “No, son, I don’t know how to tell a masculine word from a feminine word in French, and I have an O Level in it. I went to a comprehensive school, too, I’m afraid. Does it tell us in your textbook? Well now, so it does…”)

Dorothy Slater
Dorothy Slater
3 years ago
Reply to  Jed Hughes

I have a friend who has cared for her now four year old grandson since he was a baby so his doctor parents can work part-time. . She is exhausted at the end of the day but it amazes me how she teaches math, science, ecology, etc all from the yard or kitchen using simple things like banking soda and eggs. Of course, she does have to focus on him and not be distracted by work or emails. This is not to disparage those who are not so lucky or who do have to work. the point is home schooling can – and should – be done Covid or no.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
3 years ago

Perhaps now the author will henceforth pay some attention to what his children are actually learning at school instead of seeing it as state-subsidised childcare.

Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
3 years ago

Alice Springs School of the Air 
The world’s largest classroom, covering more than 1.3 million square kilometres (502,000 square miles).
1944
It was in 1944 that Miss Adelaide Miethke, a member of the Council of the Flying Doctor Service (FDS) of South Australia, suggested the idea of using two-way radio to give educational talks to children in outback regions of Australia. Discussions between Mr. R.G. Pitts (Director of FDS in Alice Springs), Mr. L. Dodd (Assistant Supervisor of Education in the NT and Headmaster of Alice Springs Higher Primary School) and Miss Adelaide Miethke set in motion the School of the Air – the first of its kind in the world.
1950
After a long wait for special communications equipment, a trial program began in 1950. Teachers at Alice Springs Higher Primary School volunteered to teach the radio lessons. A landline was laid from the Flying Doctor base to the School (at Hartley Street). Teachers took turns to present the specially prepared scripts to the outback children with the help of radio staff at the Flying Doctor base.
1951
On 8th June the School of the Air was officially opened at the Flying Doctor Base. Mr. Kissell of Alice Springs Higher Primary School was the leader of the broadcasting team. Initially lessons were a one-way affair, but soon a question and answer segment was added to the end of each broadcast. Sometimes a microphone was taken into one of the classrooms at the school and the remote students could listen to specially prepared lessons or dramatisations. Three half-hour sessions were broadcast each week

Makes one wonder what the hell some parents are going to do if something really bad ever happens.

Last edited 3 years ago by Walter Lantz
smargalicious
smargalicious
3 years ago

test

Tony Taylor
Tony Taylor
3 years ago

Conversely, as grown ups they’ll vividly remember 2020/21 and have something different to “back in my day” about, instead of war, depression and 80s fashions.

Last edited 3 years ago by Tony Taylor
Dawne Swift
Dawne Swift
3 years ago

In terms of the “inequality gap” being widened, this will only be the case between state school -v- private school.
Based on my experience of my childrens’ schooling and my own years working in both state and private schools, those state school parents who have been manfully trying to keep their children working at the curriculum will simply have been “filling the hours”. Many children have done absolutely no school work at all during the periods of home schooling and state schools will simply bring all pupils back to that level and start the education syllabus from there. Private schools on the other hand have had effective distance learning in place for virtually the whole period.
Prepare for more privately educated “leaders and politicians” in the future – in all parties and spheres. Closing the schools has been an unnecessary and almost criminal act.

Maria Bogris
Maria Bogris
3 years ago

Yeah, great world you’ve left us, and once this bunch of even more dysfunctional people take over, goodbye world…if we are lucky…