As we approach the final weeks of the 2019/2020 academic year, we have to acknowledge that this has been a year of two very different halves! While a mathematical impossibility – the halves were definitely not even.

The school reports summer 2020 are out, but only for students. What about their parents?  Shouldn’t their hard work be recognised too?

Challenges for Parents

There is a saying that ‘no-one knows what goes on behind closed doors’ and this is true of each household. Everyone has experienced this pandemic differently. For some it has been nothing more than an inconvenience and for others it has wrought devastation. For parents of school going children it has brought new challenges.

Even within this demographic, parents have experienced home schooling differently.  My son was in 6th year, so I was not as hands on as parents of children in primary school.  Had he been in 6th class, I would have had much more of a teaching role.

Parents of students set to sit the state exams had to ride the rollercoaster of emotions and changes that the postponement and eventual cancelation of the exams brought. They had to support their children through the usual stress of a state exam, coupled with the stress of the pandemic and the additional stress of near constant changes to the exam timetable.

The eventual cancellation brought its own set of challenges, as parents. teachers and students grappled with the concept and realities of Calculated Grades. For now, this has been paused but it will resume as the results day in August approaches.


Since March 12th there were parents who were working in essential and frontline services, doing trojan work helping their children with their schoolwork. There were parents hiding their financial worries from their children as they helped them study while laid off. Other parents were dealing with the loss of loved ones, while all the time doing their best to ensure that their children’s learning didn’t fall behind. Parents who struggled with literacy themselves, were doing their utmost to help their children keep up with their schoolwork.

Many parents were grappling with limited technology, patchy broadband and having with children in different classes and schools.


Every single parent who did what they could to help their child academically during this pandemic is a hero. 

Nobody did everything perfectly. Nobody! But what was the perfect way to do this? There is no template. We have never experienced school in this way before. We are all on a steep learning curve and we were all making mistakes. Its ok not to have finished every or any textbook. Your children have been learning throughout the past few months and not just academically.

Once your child knows that they are safe and loved, you have taught them the most important lesson of all!

When I was in Low Babies and High Babies (as we called infants & senior infants), the best thing that could happen was to come home from school with a gold star that the teacher, Miss O’Shea, had licked and stuck to our foreheads. It meant that we had achieved something special that day.

Parents of 2020, I am metaphorically sticking a Gold Star to your forehead – wear it with pride. You earned it and by god you deserve it!

To learn more about how Hummingbird Learning Centre can help with the study skills needed for blended learning, contact Elaine on 087-2996054 or through their website

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