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27 March 2020, 15:46 | Updated: 2 April 2020, 09:40
Nadia Sawalha and her husband Mark have opened up on their decision to home-school their two daughters.
Last week, schools across the country closed their doors in an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus.
And as thousands of parents become teachers overnight, Loose Women’s Nadia Sawalha and her husband Mark have said they understand how daunting it can be.
After deciding to take their youngest daughter Kiki, 12, out of mainstream school when she was six-years-old, and eldest Maddie, 17, two years later, the couple admitted they had some reservations at first.
Mark told us: “I came from a very conventional parent, not wanting her to continue going to the school she was going to, but very attached to the idea of regulation, routine, the syllabus, qualifications and all that sort of stuff.”
Nadia went on to say the decision was “quite radical” at the beginning, continuing: “Initially what a lot of home educators do, for every year your child has been at school, you give them a month of doing nothing. So she’d been at school for three years so she had three months to just find her passions and to hopefully become a self starter and that kind of stuff.”
But the couple admitted it’s a “huge responsibility” being in charge of your kids’ education, adding: “It’s the most responsible decision to make so it’s full of guilt and worry and fear, and it’s not an easy choice.”
Kiki has since decided to go back to mainstream school next year, with Nadia telling us they’re “not hardened home schoolers.”
"It’s taken us six years with Kiki through home schooling to get to a point where she feels comfortable about making the choice for herself to go back to school," Mark said.
Nadia and Mark went on to give their top tips when it comes to finding your own structure with homeschooling during this tough time.
While the couple make sure their daughters are taught core subjects - such as Maths and English - they are not strict when it comes to teaching between certain 'school hours'.
Nadia revealed: “At some point through our journey, we’ve just done stuff at the weekends if we’re really busy and then they do self learning.”
Mark added that he likes to “inject fun” into the day whenever possible to make things entertaining.
He suggested: “You can find ways of being stupid in the middle of class, you could put a Whisper Gold in front of them and say ‘if you get this right, you can eat that.’ All these things that the strictness of school can remove.”
Want to hear more? Check our Nadia Sawalha's podcast - Confessions of a Modern Parent.