A safe community for parents with Karen Wespieser
In today’s episode, we are talking about an app that might be super valuable to you!
It is called Parent Ping and it will help you learn how other parents are dealing with life and education.
Karen, the founder of ParentPing, is here to tell us about her journey, and share with us some interesting facts she learned these past few months. She even was awarded an MBE in 2020 for her services to special education.
Get the app: https://bit.ly/parentping
More about Parent Ping: https://parentping.co.uk/
The Parent Ping Summer Survey: https://parentping.co.uk/summersurvey/
Hope you will enjoy this episode!
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00:11:02.700 --> 00:11:13.920
Karen Wespieser: How parents felt that they were coping so when parents were homeschooling we asked the same question every Monday and every Friday so Monday we asked how you feeling about the week ahead.
00:11:14.250 --> 00:11:31.440
Karen Wespieser: and on Friday we kind of asked how's it been and, and so we were able to look over time how people were starting to feel and you certainly saw as the engineer, and the government announced the date when kids will be allowed back to school parents started to feel quite a lot happier.
00:11:32.580 --> 00:11:34.440
Julie Pabion: Yes, no wonder.
00:11:36.570 --> 00:11:40.140
Julie Pabion: yeah, I think, as you said earlier it's a it's not.
00:11:40.740 --> 00:11:56.760
Julie Pabion: A when you're a teacher it's not your job right, and even if you're a teacher is different it's teaching a classroom rather than teach young kids at home and not like necessarily the right setting so it takes a lot of energy and especially for parents are also working on the side that.
00:11:57.810 --> 00:12:00.660
Julie Pabion: I don't know how they did it so it's magical.
00:12:01.080 --> 00:12:22.320
Karen Wespieser: nurse very difficult we looked into it really closely at been and we've just published a report about how parents experienced the lockdown and and actually everyone like say everyone found it hard and the types of parents that found it most challenging with with single parents.
00:12:23.520 --> 00:12:25.590
Karen Wespieser: Parents with big families.
00:12:26.910 --> 00:12:38.100
Karen Wespieser: and parents with the youngest children so parents, whose children were in the reception, yes, so the four year old five year olds that that was where it was hardest.
00:12:38.370 --> 00:12:52.260
Karen Wespieser: And, but the challenges were quite similar across different households, so not having enough technology, you know, like not having a laptop or a phone to do the work on and.
00:12:53.160 --> 00:13:03.840
Karen Wespieser: but also about parents understanding of the work that was set parents felt that it was going a lot better if they could understand what they were meant to do.
00:13:04.170 --> 00:13:11.040
Karen Wespieser: And if they found it confusing if the work was not set in a kind of a clear way or if the work was just kind of.
00:13:11.730 --> 00:13:20.220
Karen Wespieser: tricky parents found it harder, but what I found most interesting about, that is, it didn't make a difference, what the parents education level was.
00:13:20.490 --> 00:13:32.370
Karen Wespieser: They could have all the degrees and they still might find it hard, or they could have not finished high school and they still found it hard the parents education level didn't make a difference to this and.
00:13:32.520 --> 00:13:42.480
Julie Pabion: Right, so we wonder how kill kids fill in for the homework, then, because if if even you know parents thing that its complicated sometimes.
00:13:44.250 --> 00:13:54.060
Julie Pabion: But it's true, I mean I remember when my my mom would to hallmarks with me or my siblings and it's like she had to dive back you know, two.
00:13:54.660 --> 00:14:06.900
Julie Pabion: Lessons and be okay like I need to learn again, which is also good, because you keep learning as as you go, which, like education doesn't stop doesn't start and doesn't stop at school.
00:14:07.440 --> 00:14:26.010
Julie Pabion: that's so I guess it can be also beneficial ever know but it's interesting that people would find it hard and I mean we also heard a lot of kids you know drop out and just it's not equal right for everyone.
00:14:27.270 --> 00:14:30.990
Julie Pabion: Not everyone has the same family engagement.
00:14:31.500 --> 00:14:43.080
Julie Pabion: And you know help from parents doing homework and unschooling and some kids I am sure we're just watching TV all day and that's probably the best that the parents could do it as well.
00:14:43.440 --> 00:14:52.890
Karen Wespieser: yeah i'm sure that everyone tried their best, but when you look at the kind of averages, which were able to do with hoping, on average, most people kind of.
00:14:53.550 --> 00:15:08.370
Karen Wespieser: We coped okay Okay, and there are also stories this isn't coming through in the data, but this is like what I hear from from other parents and from teachers, there are some kids who absolutely thrived in the lockdown in this style of.
00:15:08.370 --> 00:15:19.320
Karen Wespieser: Learning So if you think like if in a normal class of kids you all have to work pretty much at the same pace, but if you're a kid who likes to.
00:15:20.130 --> 00:15:37.200
Karen Wespieser: delve into the detail and really spend a long time on a big piece of work, or if you're a kid who just gets over with writes their essays in two minutes and it' a good essay and then that's fine too, but in a class of 30 whichever type of kid you are, you have to wait.
00:15:37.620 --> 00:15:39.420
Karen Wespieser: For the other 30 kids to finish.
00:15:39.690 --> 00:15:46.980
Karen Wespieser: But when you're home learning and there';s a lot less of those distractions about what all the other kids in the class are doing.
00:15:47.310 --> 00:15:55.530
Karen Wespieser: So there is an ability to kind of focus and to work at your own pace that that some kids really loved and really did well on.
00:15:55.890 --> 00:16:04.110
Karen Wespieser: So I didn't think we can kind of right everyone off and say it was terrible for everyone, I think, for some kids I don't want to.
00:16:04.680 --> 00:16:08.640
Karen Wespieser: say this is for all kids and obviously some kids did have a terrible time.
00:16:09.000 --> 00:16:15.000
Karen Wespieser: But for some kids they had a great time and I think there's a lot that educators, will be taking away from Max they've seen this.
00:16:15.270 --> 00:16:26.130
Karen Wespieser: And so they might think of different ways that they can start working in the classroom and having this kind of flexible approach that that might change the way that some education is done in the future.
00:16:27.150 --> 00:16:32.100
Julie Pabion: yeah no for sure I think school is great it's not adapted for everyone.
00:16:33.300 --> 00:16:41.190
Julie Pabion: So for sure it's some you know every setting will always be more beneficial to others than you know so.
00:16:41.880 --> 00:16:56.370
Julie Pabion: I guess it's great and even for for us adults, you know we've seen it all working from home for some people, it works for some people horrible, and so we will adjust a different way and yeah it's been definitely interesting.
00:16:57.840 --> 00:17:12.600
Julie Pabion: That so you said the other day guys anonymous, how do you how do you use it after who has, for example, access to simply build reports non people, but more on you know, drawing conclusions and so on.
00:17:12.930 --> 00:17:25.440
Karen Wespieser: yeah so the data, you get to see it yourself as an APP user the next day, and in that that anonymous format and each week I write a blog.
00:17:26.100 --> 00:17:32.940
Karen Wespieser: Where we break down and look at the differences between different groups, so we look at the differences, for example, between mums and dads.
00:17:33.420 --> 00:17:39.060
Karen Wespieser: On some areas that they parent really quite differently, we also look at the differences between.
00:17:40.020 --> 00:17:49.410
Karen Wespieser: Parents who've got younger kids who kind of a primary school age and who've got older kids are at secondary school and again the opinions that those two different groups have.
00:17:49.920 --> 00:17:58.710
Karen Wespieser: And can be really quite quite different so whilst we're kind of trying to give parents, a voice through this APP it's also about saying that.
00:17:59.220 --> 00:18:16.530
Karen Wespieser: we're not all the same, when it comes to parenting and there are some quite distinct groups within it, and but it's also been quite useful the data that we've provided has been used by the government in England, it was quoted in the government's roadmap out of lockdown.
00:18:16.980 --> 00:18:21.900
Karen Wespieser: And it's been in the press quite a lot so really trying to change the narrative where.
00:18:23.160 --> 00:18:37.890
Karen Wespieser: Politicians or journalists would would write their stories or their speeches, based on their personal experiences apparent and actually give them data about what everyone who's a parent thinks, rather than just their own often quite.
00:18:38.910 --> 00:18:40.350
Karen Wespieser: Isolated fuser.
00:18:41.550 --> 00:18:55.410
Julie Pabion: huh no that makes complete sense, and so I imagine correct me if i'm wrong that the more people are using like if more people use the APP and answer the questions regularly, then the more.
00:18:55.860 --> 00:19:07.770
Julie Pabion: Accurate the data is so, how do you promote, you know how do you push for engagement and adoption from many families.
00:19:08.070 --> 00:19:12.630
Karen Wespieser: ya know that that is exactly my challenge so we've been running for about a year now.
00:19:13.890 --> 00:19:30.450
Karen Wespieser: We have each day about 1500 parents answering which is fantastic it gives us enough that we can start to look at some of these differences but, as you say, we really need lots more so that we can unpick the data even further.
00:19:31.140 --> 00:19:37.770
Karen Wespieser: And what the other thing that will be able to do, once we have more people using it is to target the question, so if.
00:19:38.190 --> 00:19:47.790
Karen Wespieser: We know that you've got an older child who's like 14 will be able to make sure that we're asking questions that are most relevant to them, you know about mobile phones or about.
00:19:48.360 --> 00:19:59.610
Karen Wespieser: Some of the challenges of homework in secondary schools, but if you've got a four year old and then you kind of need some different questions again more about kind of learning to read learning to use a knife and fork.
00:20:00.000 --> 00:20:12.330
Karen Wespieser: And you know more more simple stuff so, the more people, we have the better the experience on the APP will be and, like you say, the better the data will be so we'd love more people to join up.
00:20:13.320 --> 00:20:36.600
Julie Pabion: yeah no that makes sense and well, I encourage anyone who's listening to download the APP and start using it consistently, you can say it in order to get notifications to remind as a reminder to to fill out the questions, so what is your hope for the future what's your next goal basically.
00:20:37.200 --> 00:20:45.630
Karen Wespieser: yeah I would I would love more dads to be using the APP we have a we have more moms and dads using each day.
00:20:45.990 --> 00:20:59.910
Karen Wespieser: and which, as I said that there's differences that we see in the answer, so we really need more more dads to be using it and, and then we would like the data to be more used to inform government policies.
00:21:00.840 --> 00:21:12.480
Karen Wespieser: and policies in schools as well, so one of the findings, that is, is my personal favorite is we asked parents, when you go to school.
00:21:13.320 --> 00:21:18.690
Karen Wespieser: How does the teacher address you want named as the teacher use when they're speaking to you as the parent.
00:21:19.260 --> 00:21:26.850
Karen Wespieser: And and loads of them said that they get called by teachers, they get called mom or dad and obviously not the teachers mom or dad.
00:21:27.300 --> 00:21:39.330
Karen Wespieser: And their child's mom or dad and and parents really would like to be called by their name, you know whether it's Karen or Mrs Wespieser or I don't mind I don't want someone else to be calling me mum.
00:21:40.770 --> 00:22:01.230
Karen Wespieser: So we found that out, we had the data and it got picked up a little bit in the press and the teacher magazines, and so I hope that by people kind of writing about our data and discussing our data that changes happen, and so, when parents go into school they don't get just called mum.
00:22:01.740 --> 00:22:12.870
Julie Pabion: hmm yeah because it raises awareness and so yeah teachers might not even think it was a an issue and then this feedback is very valuable because we don't want to upset anyone.
00:22:13.440 --> 00:22:36.210
Julie Pabion: So, no, this is very, very great I think it's amazing, and if you can, as you said, really, you know, use all the data and maybe make more informed decisions in terms of politics and so on, that would be amazing so well done on that, is there any last advice, they would like to share.
00:22:37.620 --> 00:22:46.170
Karen Wespieser: And so, if people are interested in downloading the APP you can get it in the play store and in the APP store and it's called parentping.
00:22:47.040 --> 00:23:04.470
Julie Pabion: Nice, we will leave all the links in the description, you can also follow Karen and parenting on social media and yeah Thank you so so much for joining Kara new is very interesting and well done on everything that you are doing, it sounds super amazing.
00:23:05.100 --> 00:23:05.790
Karen Wespieser: Thank you Julie.