Teacher urges parents to ditch homeschooling timetables and lessons and make dens, play with lego and bake cakes instead

A TEACHER has begged parents not to homeschool their kids and encouraged them to act as their social support during the coronavirus lockdown.

Mr Hodder who teaches year 6 at The Cathedral Catholic Primary School in Lancaster, took to Facebook to share an “important message” with parents.

Filming from his classroom, he said: “Mr Hodder here, big empty classroom. I just wanted to talk to parents. I wanted to ask you, not to school at home.”

He goes on to explain that children, including his own son and daughter, are “very upset” as they are now lacking social interaction

Mr Hodder says: “They’re going to miss that social contact, they’re going to miss that interaction, that’s your job now.

“I’m really concerned, as all the staff here are, for the welfare of our children, they need you. They need you to not set up a home school, not set up a classroom, not stick to a timetable.

“The children here, are playing and working together, so my homework for everyone out there at Cathedral is to bake a cake, build a lego model, set up a den in the front room, tell each other a story, do a jigsaw, play a game, make a card, paint a picture.

“Spending time being that social network, talking, listening, that’s really important now.”

The teacher was quick to mention that the school would be updating the website with work for children, but acting as a support network should take priority.

He added: “Just be what they need. They need love, they need reassurance, we can’t control the situation but we can control how we react to it.”

Mr Hodder's speech in full

Mr Hodder here, big empty classroom. I just wanted to talk to parents. I wanted to ask you, not to school at home.

I know that during these uncertain times it’s really difficult and we’re all trying to get some kind of control.

I also know from my own son and daughter that they’re really upset, it’s a huge change for them. 

If you think about it your child is used to coming in and seeing 30 people in their class, 200 people in our school, 30 staff, every day and they’re going to miss that social contact, they’re going to miss that interaction, that’s your job now.

It’s very tempting to want to get them to complete schoolwork, it’s very tempting to print out worksheets.

Think about my kids, I’ve got all the books, all the plans but I’m not turning my house into a school room.

Yes they’re still going some purple maths, and yes they’re still doing some work from school, but it’s an extra, it’s a side thing.

I’m really concerned, as all the staff here are, for the welfare of our children, they need you. They need you to not set up a home school, not set up a classroom, not stick to a timetable.

The children here, are playing and working together, so my homework for everyone out there at Cathedral is to bake a cake, build a lego model, set up a den in the front room, tell each other a story, do a jigsaw, play a game, make a card, paint a picture.

Spending time being that social network, talking, listening, that’s really important now. 

Yes we’ll update the website, yes there’ll be more work coming, but it’s only day three. I’m hearing parents on Facebook asking for more resources or logins for tests or Twinkle – don’t do it.

Just be what they need. They need love, they need reassurance, we can’t control the situation but we can control how we react to it.

So because of that year six I’m not going to read the book today, but I will tomorrow. It’s a beautiful day, step outside the front porch, play in the garden if you’re lucky enough to have one, open a window, breathe deeply, relax.

The video has since gone viral, having been shared over 83,000 times and receiving thousands of comments from grateful parents.

One wrote: “Well said. Learning doesn’t have to be structured and academic, thank you.”

Another added: “What a wonderful person you are, this is a one time opportunity for a lot of parents to spend quality time with your children – I fully applaud you.”

“Amazing great teacher. Have to admit made me tearful” wrote a third.

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In other parenting news, this headmaster sent a brilliantly frank email to parents telling them to ignore the homeschool schedule.

And this mum created an epic obstacle course for her toddler to keep him active during the lockdown.

Plus this four-year-old girl had a meltdown after learning that McDonald's and Nando's are shut.

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