How parents can prepare for ‘crisis home schooling’

A year ago, no one could have predicted Covid-19 and the “new normal” that’s taking over the world. As a parent, the biggest concerns are the safety of your child and an abrupt halt to their everyday learning. This is where Brainline comes in. 

Home education provider, Brainline, knows firsthand how important it is for parents to prepare and equip themselves for what it terms “crisis homeschooling”. 

Brainline is hosting weekly information sessions with a registered psychologist to help parents and learners address challenges brought about by the impact of the coronavirus on education and families. 

Consultant clinical psychologist for Brainline, Tanya van de Water, says the Covid-19 pandemic and its subsequent lockdown, which has affected the education of hundreds of thousands of learners, has placed many parents in a crisis situation. 

“No one could foresee the current situation at the start of the 2020 academic school year. Covid-19 has overwhelmed many and turned parents into stressed home schoolers. At times, the pandemic feels like waging war against an invisible enemy,” says Van de Water.

Consultant clinical psychologist for Brainline, Tanya van de Water.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), most governments around the world have, at some stage, temporarily closed educational institutions in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus. 

These nationwide closures impacted more than 60% of the world’s student population. In South Africa, schools closed in the middle of March and reopened for only Grades 7 and 12 in early June, while other grades are being gradually phased in. 

Van de Water adds that it’s normal for parents to go through an array of emotions, including anger and uncertainty.

“Parents are currently going through many emotions such as sadness, anger, anxiety and uncertainty. It is important to appreciate that we have not been confronted with this situation before. There is no simple right answer.” 

Van de Water says the current status quo has resulted in parents engaging in responsibilities they previously outsourced. She adds that parents, and society in general, have needed to juggle multiple roles at home, like being a chef, cleaner, employer, employee, parent and even the teacher. She says it is of the utmost importance that parents put measures in place to help them cope in these unchartered waters.

“As a parent, the onus rests on you to ensure that you provide a clear and decisive direction for your children. Although overwhelming, these three steps can help. First of all, think clearly and do not act hastily. A crisis presents both danger and opportunity, so choose what you are going to focus on. 

“Secondly, do not be afraid to ask for help. There is no need to suffer alone; reach out to family, friends or your home-schooling organisation. 

“Lastly, it is important to take care of yourself, physically and emotionally.”

Brainline CEO, Coleen Cronje says they are still experiencing an influx of new learners due to parents not being comfortable with the notion of sending their children back to school. She says Brainline has put in place several measures to assist parents during these uncertain times.

“Our curriculum is structured in such a way that learners and parents can regularly engage with teachers if they are struggling with a certain subject. We also have a dedicated mentor on hand to assist learners on a one-on-one level should they experience anxiety or depression.

“We also engage with the parents during our free online session every week, where they can ask questions and get feedback on issues that are troubling them. We want to make sure that our parents and learners know that Brainline cares about their well-being,” says Cronje.

Brainline is IEB recognised, which means that learners follow the South African National Curriculum (similar to the curriculum offered in South African schools) resulting in the National Senior Certificate (NSC) on successful completion of their matric exams.

 For more on Brainline, visit