Covid 19 coronavirus: Auckland parents ‘gutted’ about another week of home learning

“Gutted,” “stressed,” “frustrated” and “concerned about the long-term effects” – those are the words that some Auckland parents are choosing now that the city’s schools have been closed for another week due to Covid-19.

Parents expressed to the Herald a variety of views – mostly negative, but also included those who said things like, “But it’s the right thing to do.”

Auckland parents, here we go again! How are you feeling about lockdown and home-learning this time? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below. Stay safe!

Auckland Primary Principals’ Association president Stephen Lethbridge acknowledged that this fourth time that schools have been closed since the pandemic began a year ago is stretching many families’ patience.

“You can do one lockdown, two lockdowns, with three lockdowns you start to get more people who might be frustrated,” he said.

“I think we can sense that this lockdown is a surprise for everyone, because we thought like we were getting on top of things, so this does come as a surprise.”

One mother said on the Herald’s Facebook page that she was “pretty gutted as my son has started a new school and is trying to learn a new school system”.

“He’s a visual and practical learner so finds online a lot harder. So far he has only had one full week in school,” she said.

Many parents commented that they are “terrible teachers”.

“I’m a good mum but a useless teacher, my son also hates being home, he loves school,” one mother said.

Another wrote: “The disruption to their education is getting to be a bit much. Especially for kids that already struggle and are behind. I am in no way a good teacher!”

Katie Vroegop, who has three sons aged 10, 7 and 3, said: “I’m concerned that the long-term effects of our children missing out on so much school seems to be completely overlooked. Yes, we’ll do the home schooling that is supplied (and in some cases, more) but I’m not a teacher and my kids will not learn nearly as much as if they were in class!”

Tarsh, who has an 11-year-old daughter, said she was so angry that she is thinking of moving to Australia.

“Today I’ve been on the phone and online seriously looking at heading over the ditch, and when. Because it’s a joke living here (not just because of this but housing too). It was only because of this lockdown it’s really opened my eyes,” she said.

However Loren Duly, who has children aged 11 and 8, said: “I stress about it all. But it’s the right thing to do – actually think it should be two weeks. We will get through it fine.”

Claire Stuart, whose children are aged 8 and 7, said: “It’s stressful. I’m not looking forward to it. I feel like I can’t give my two primary school aged kids the attention that they need with their learning because I’m so busy with my fulltime job. That being said, I am grateful to be a New Zealander dealing with the pandemic and I feel we are doing the right thing to keep our people safe.”

Iosefa and Melikiola Peni-Lopati wrote: “We have amazing support from my daughter’s school and their home learning isn’t over the top… it’s pretty easy and could be done all in an hour through Seesaw, she also gets a half hour to an hour Zoom call with her teacher and classmates!”

Some parents misunderstood the rules for alert level 3.

Emma Wiltshire posted: “Well it sucks because my son is 8-months-old and goes to daycare so my husband and I go to work fulltime to pay for our family to live and now I have to keep him home which, yes I love spending more time with my baby boy, but not making money because my son needs my undivided attention is just horrible.”

Wiltshire said she could no longer send her son to daycare because she and her husband were not “essential workers”.

But other parents pointed out that parents can send children to daycare and schools in alert level 3 “if they need to”.

Finally, Joanne Tromp, whose son Jacob will turn 7 in the lockdown, said she had found an answer to her children’s questions.

“We as parents finding it really difficult to try and explain to and 8-year-old and 6-year-old why we can’t do our traditional things,” she said.

“But it’s Jacob’s birthday. We have come up with a temporary solution crazy hair day which involves hair chalk lol, and promised them once lockdown over we will go to Butterfly Creek.”

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