Home-schooling was stress hell for parents

Farid Farid |

Parents who home-schooled children during the COVID-19 pandemic experienced significantly higher levels of distress than child-free people during lockdown.

An Australian National University study asked more than 1200 Australian adults to rank their psychological well-being during the first wave of COVID-19 restrictions in March and April of 2020.

The results validate the feelings of those who struggled through home-schooling hell.

It found that those who were home-schooling experienced greater disruption to their work and social lives. 

Lead researcher Alison Calear, from ANU’s Centre for Mental Health Research, said parents who supervised their children’s school work were “so stretched”.

“They were often trying to do their full-time job, as well as keeping their kids on track, as well as still doing everything else they have to do around the house,” Professor Calear said.

“In addition, most caregivers couldn’t rely on their usual social networks for support.

“You couldn’t have grandparents helping out for example, or take your kids to a friend’s house.”

The analysis was carried out during the first wave of the pandemic.

“My suspicion is the distress levels would be even higher now,” Prof Calear said

“It’s important for employers to be aware of this toll. I think there’s a lot we could do to better support parents”.