Cobar parents are suddenly facing a whole new world of homeschooling in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While Cobar’s three schools are still open for business, parents have been encouraged to keep their children home where possible.
For the past couple of weeks, Leah Le Lievre has been homeschooling her two young children, Hugh and Sophia.
Hugh, who is in Year 2, and Sophia (Kindergarten) are both taking it in their stride.
“Both are handling the transition well,” Leah told The Cobar Weekly.
“Generally, they are starting schoolwork at around 8.30am. They have their own space in the dining room, which has been rearranged and an extra table put in to suit our needs.”
Leah said the children follow a timetable which has been set by their teachers, for each day of the school week, with different activities for each day which meet the child’s needs within their stage.
“The activity sheet for the week is sent via email to each child’s email address.
“Some of the subjects are completed online such as Mathletics and Reading Eggs and others are the traditional, hands–on approach such as handwriting.
“I find this a great way to ensure that the kids are practicing their handwriting, which in this day and age of technology could very easily be lost,” Leah said.
“Hugh and Sophia attend St John’s so the first activity is morning prayer, followed by PE, where they follow their choice of two videos then they work in literacy, maths, reading, handwriting, religion, art and more.”
As well as juggling homeschooling, Leah is also working from home.
“As soon as the NSW Premier announced that parents who could work from home and keep their children at home to help reduce the likelihood of contracting and spreading COVID-19, I worked directly with my manager to do this,” she said.
“Working from home is not new for me so I find it quite easy.
“I’ve kept my morning routine; I get dressed as if I’m attending work and keep my hours and breaks to within their usual range.
“However my hours are somewhat adaptable if I need to help Hugh and Sophia with some of their tasks.
“I already work remotely from the rest of my team and we connect daily for meetings and general catch-ups via MS Teams or Skype for Business.”
Leah said Coronavirus is testing everyone but she said people need to remember that we are all in the same position.
“We need to work together to look after everyone and we can beat this by staying at home, only going out when we absolutely need to, washing our hands and when we think we have washed them enough, and then washing them again.
“The longer we ignore the advice from our health departments, the longer this will go on.”
Leah encouraged others to check in on each other with phone calls or video chat apps.
“But most of all, be kind to each other,” she urged.