The unexpected revelations of home schooling

As the UK entered a third lockdown last month, our design correspondent Daniel Benneworth-Gray found himself as his son’s teacher: a process that has proved educational for both father and son

Locked down. Again. The new normal. Except it isn’t new. Just plain old regular normal normal. Crappy, entirely precedented normality.

OK, so one thing is slightly different for me this time around: I’m homeschooling the boy. Last time it fell upon my other half to fill that educational void, but due to the fluctuating workloads of a double-freelance household, this time I’m taking on some of the strain.

Most of it happens on-screen, the whole class connecting on a big video chat with the teacher. It’s wonderful to see him in school mode. Those few hours each day are a usually a complete mystery for both of us. (Oh sure, he tells us what he’s done, but eight year-olds don’t make the most reliable narrators. Destined for a career in the creative industries, he’s exceedingly adept at peppering reality with convincing fantasy. I once lost an hour of my life being really excited about the existence of “shadow penguins”.) And it’s nice for him to see what I do during the day too. I think. Or maybe it’s incredibly boring? Best not to ask.