AN OTLEY parent has been talking about the challenges of home schooling during the coronavirus lockdown.

Many parents across the country have found they are now in charge of their children’s day-to-day education following the closure of their schools.

While older children are having work plans set for them by their schools and are able to work on them from home, the challenge has proved tougher for families with younger children more used to the interactive side of learning.

Thirty three year old Ewa Gorska had already been schooling her son, six year old Buckley, from their home in Otley before the COVID-19 pandemic began as she wanted him to spend as much time amongst nature, and being physically active, as possible.

She said: “I also wanted to decide what he was being taught and that this was relevant. Things like human rights and knowing how to set up a bank account or a business.

“I love it – it’s easy for me to say because I only have one child, so it’s just one to one care.

“Sometimes we get on each others’ nerves, but we generally enjoy each other’s company and we get to learn together.”

The rules on social distancing, however - and the closures of everything from museums to sport clubs - has presented fresh difficulties

School teachers spend many hours per week drawing up their daily lesson plans but home schooling sometimes demands a different approach.

Ewa said: “Most of the time you find that a child’s interest is the best in the morning – so that is when we do English and maths.

“After lunch we would normally go to a museum, to the park, or to socialise: but we can’t do much of that at the moment! Right now we are going on a lot of walks and getting exercise.

“Buckley is not going to music lessons or football every week like usual.”

For parents who are having to oversee their child’s education for the first time, meanwhile, Ewa recommends taking advantage of the many useful free resources, like Khan Academy, that are available online.

She added: “Some children have to attend classes online but if that is not the case my advice is not to push and to try to make learning fun.

“Learning should not be a chore, it should be a pleasure. I think above all this is a beautiful opportunity for people to spend more time with their kids.”