Lights On® Learning in Lockdown

Molly, 16, dreams of performing on the West End stage, and was due to sit her GCSEs in June. “Instead of stressful revision and exams, she followed her passions, singing and dancing her way through lockdown. 4 months following her dream rather than sitting exams. Her lights were blazing; she inspired us all,” writes Lights On Mum, Emma.

This has been a strange, challenging time with disruption to routines and normality, and the unprecedented closure of schools around the world. Without wishing to downplay the trauma of this pandemic, children have had a unique opportunity to learn outside of school, beyond the walls of their classrooms.

I asked Lights On families how their children engaged with learning during lockdown.

“Staying at home has done wonders for our learning!” reflects Aneka in Islamabad. “It reset our family connections. 

We spent more time learning alongside each other. It showed us how resilient we are, how we made the most of all being home. Missing our trips to the ice cream parlour prompted us to make our own ice cream. Not being able to shop for gifts made us create hand-made birthday presents. Staying home got our creative juices flowing.”

She is not alone in enthusing about the unexpected benefits of lockdown.

Suzy in Lincolnshire agrees. “Staying home has allowed us time to spend on creative projects and given us the break we didn’t know we needed from dashing around.” Like many parents, she is considering a different approach once life returns to ‘normal’. “We won’t be returning to so many activities and will be mindful of how we spend our time. The slower pace has enabled stronger bonds between me and the children which supports learning and growth.”

For Ruth, it was home schooling during lockdown which brought her to Lights On. “My boys were passive in their learning and weren’t asking questions or getting fired up by the wonders in the world around us. The whole Explorium experience has opened our eyes to what’s possible. This time has enabled us to take stock of what is important and how we want to show up in life.”

For many children, learning in the Lights On way has been a lifeline.

“I noticed how disconnected from learning my children were,” writes Susan. “My daughter was just going through the motions; my son would stare at the wall or get angry at the mention of schoolwork. Lights On helped me realise they are learning all the time, not just when sat at the table. We are reframing how we see learning.”

Claire in Dorset made similar discoveries with her sons. “Harry was finding school difficult; anxiety had become an issue. Lockdown gave the time and space to understand he was switched off from learning and this was affecting his mental health. I began to let go of old school thinking and saw a change in Harry and his brother. Our language around learning has shifted. Everyone is more relaxed, lights are on much more and we have decided to home educate. The future is shining bright!”

In school or out, Lights On learning with its focus on passion, mindset and time has transformed how parents like Jayne in Kent think about learning: 

“My daughter struggled with motivation and confidence in traditional school type education. She is better suited to child led, project-based learning. As a home-working parent I am learning to let go of guilt, frustration and focus on what she can’t or won’t do. My perspective has changed. My children have amazed me with their creativity, successes and growth overcoming challenges. When they return to school, we have excellent tools to bring out their best in learning. School targets will no longer bother me, we will set our own targets and dreams to follow.”

“Long walks and dinner times were filled with interesting conversations and debates. We started big fun projects, let our imaginations run wild,” recalls Claire. “We knew we had time, freedom to explore and support from the Lights On community to guide us when we stumbled off our learning path. We are proud to call ourselves a Lights On family who knows that learning is as simple as breathing and anything is possible.”

For Lights On families, whatever the future holds, learning will never look the same.

What has learning in lockdown looked like in your family?

Stumbling in the dark? The Education Evolution is here! Click below to view the FREE video series and start your family’s transformative adventure.


Alice Khimasia
Seeing her eldest son's lights go out when he was 7, Alice took action to ensure his freedom to learn. She has been speaking and writing about her family's learning adventures ever since and gave a TEDx talk in 2016. Alice is part of our Lights On® Academy and lives with her husband and 4 Lights On® Learners in the West Midlands.

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