Home Schooling: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Home schooling can be a great way to spend quality time with your kids.

Most parents in the UK just got a new job: home-schooling tutor. With all schools closed until at least mid-February (except for children of key workers and the vulnerable), we’re in it for the long haul. As with most things in life, though, there are positives and negatives. Here, we round up the Good, the Bad, and the downright Ugly sides to home-schooling.

The Good

On the plus side of home-schooling.

We all want to spend quality time with the kids. What could be better quality time than sharing their headspace and nurturing their learning?

You might learn (or relearn) a thing or two yourself. Can’t quite remember your Pythagoras? Unable to tell your fronted adverbials from your verbal adjectives? What is the capital of Montenegro anyway?

School will probably send plenty of exercises to work through, but you also get the chance to shape your child’s learning and try a few things they wouldn’t get in the standard curriculum. 

Your child will get much more one-to-one time with “teacher” than they would in a class of 30 or so kids.

You can set your own timetable. Not a mornings family? No problem… start the school day at 11 and finish at 5.30. Everyone’s an early riser? Laptops out at 7.30am, and finish in the early afternoon. Want to have Monday off? Switch it to Sunday instead. 

Educational TV is ramping up to meet demand, and can be very good. If you’re having trouble explaining tricky concepts, chances are there’s a TV show or YouTube video that’ll do it for you.

“Oh look, it’s another grey, miserable day.” Well, at least you’re not going to get wet on the school run.

The Bad

The downsides to home-schooling.

Obvious one: you’ve got a full time job to do, and you’ve also got several hours of lessons to plan or oversee. Looks like someone’s going to be working through the evening again. Can we have Hermione Granger’s Time Turner, please?

Not everyone can afford the extra equipment or data costs of full-on home schooling, especially those with two or more older children who both need laptops.

You have three school-age kids all with different educational needs. Better change into your superhero costume again.

School dinners are a perennial target for jokes but they do provide a daily hot meal with plenty of variety and (hopefully) nutrition. With so much else on your metaphorical plate, the literal plate can easily descend into “whatever I can throw together in 5 minutes”. If you can find a little more time, then try these simple lockdown lunch recipes.  

You’re going to hit patches of stress and tiredness at some point (or perhaps many points). It’s a lot for anyone to handle. 

They’re not going to see any of their friends or classmates for weeks on end (other than virtually). That really sucks. 

Home-schooling can be educational for parents too!

The Ugly

When home-schooling can get very messy.

A pre-school sibling is intent on trashing the ‘classroom’, disrupting the lesson and eating the elder child’s laptop.

You’ve no space for a desk in your poky 2-bed flat, let alone a separate study. The sofa or dining table will have to do as the ‘classroom’.

You don’t have a garden in your poky 2-bed flat, so outdoor playtime is a quick turn around the balcony.

The printer ink runs out, the supermarket has sold out, and all non-essential shops are shut by law. 

All this switching around of laptops can furnish some embarrassing mistakes. Your 8-year-old uploads your monthly accounts to the school interface, while your head of finance inadvertently receives a delightful picture of a unicorn farting rainbows.  

See Also

Home-schooling resources for parents.

Lockdown: How To Balance Your Job With Your New Teaching Role



At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.

Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.

Sponsorship & Advertising Policy

Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.

We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.

Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.

We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.

Read our Sponsorship & Advertising Policy
Get The Kidadl Newsletter

1,000 of inspirational ideas direct to your inbox for things to do with your kids.

Thank you! Your newsletter will be with you soon.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
No items found.