Taking the positives from home schooling challenge

Published: May 6, 2020

Telford College hair and beauty technician Natalie Dodd has been speaking about the challenges – and benefits – of combining part-time work with home schooling her two children.

Natalie, 35, from Lawley, said despite the challenges, it was nice to be able to spend more time with her children Freya, 11, and Oliver, 10, in a home environment.

She said Freya, who is in year seven at Madeley Academy, was able to get on with her work quite happily, but for Oliver, who is in year five at Lawley Primary School, it was understandably harder to stay motivated.

Online resources have helped with learning, but Natalie said she wished that schools had had

Natalie Dodd art home with children Freya and Oliver. Photo courtesy of the Shropshire Star

Natalie Dodd art home with children Freya and Oliver. Photo courtesy of the Shropshire Star

more time to prepare before lockdown was announced.

“I am employed part-time as a technician in the hair and beauty department at Telford College, so it does give me some time not committed to work to be with the children,” she told the Shropshire Star.

“Freya is doing really well and she is quite a committed person in terms of homework and school. She has been using open resources online for different subjects and will happily go off by herself to study.

“Lawley Primary School are in constant contact with parents and are on hand if we need anything, but Oliver is not so interested in doing school work, so is slightly harder to motivate.

“However, he has really enjoyed working on BBC Bitesize where a lot of the work is interactive. But to do this, he likes to use my laptop, so then we end up sharing and it’s harder for me to do work as well.”

Natalie said one of the biggest benefits to come out of home schooling was the life skills that her children could learn from spending more time at home.

“I believe the positive out of all this is the children getting involved in what I would say is basic life skills – things like doing a bit of baking and helping out in the garden,” she said.

“However, it is also hard when your kids used to be part of clubs and sports teams – Oliver is a very active child and is managing to get out and do bits of exercise with his dad thankfully.

“It is just a different environment at home for them to get used to.”