THINGS I HAVE LEARNED - WEEK ONE
It's been a week since school was cancelled and we were all sent home. I obviously read all the posts from various head teachers and other wise leaders across the country saying things like 'this is not home school, this is crisis school'; 'homeschool is a decision and a plan, not a response to a catastophe'; 'don't worry about all the worksheets and give your child freedom to explore learning'; 'this is never going to work if you have children of different ages'; 'you can't be a parent, and a teacher and also do your job' - but what the hell is the other option? Do you know how nuts my children can be if you don't keep them busy? Some semblance of a school timetable seemed like the most sensible option. And thus started Monday.
So, what have I learnt? Aside from that it is all bloody hard work?
That my instincts were right. That it is easier for both my kids and for me if there is a timetable to follow - it's changed every day, and I learned to plan more things for the afternoon as otherwise everyone gets bored.
That it actually hasn't been as hard as I thought it might be. Two significant caveats. 1. It's only week one. 2. The weather has been amazing so they can play on the trampoline and Katie can crawl all over the grass (she also loves the trampoline).
The kitchen floor needs to be swept four times a day.
My kids are really nice. I did already know that, but I've actually been spending time with them at the times of day when they want to be happy and engaged and there's no pressure to get to school on time or get the laundry sorted. It's been nice - they're all pretty cool.
My kids are nice to each other. I did already know this too, but this week it's been pretty important.
My (slightly panic) buying of random 'educational' toys like magnetic tiles, counting blocks, magnetic words and maths workbooks two weeks ago was completely well timed.
The kitchen science experiements really work.
BBC's Muzzy is still hilarious and my kids love it.
I've drunk less gin than I was expecting.
The kids have watched way less TV than I was expecting.
I kinda miss my parents.
My husband is a very good partner.
Microsoft teams is only marginally annoying and teaching over the internet is not as sensible as doing it in a classroom, but it is easier to track who's handed their homework in late.
That I am lucky. That I am safe and my family is safe. That I have a nice house and a garden and that we are safe in it. That my job isn't going to disappear and I can still go to the supermarket and feed everyone. It's a bit of a pain being in lockdown, but we are safe and that is a lot more than many people across the world.
Here are some photos of the week - it all looks fairly pretty, but let's not pretend... I did shout, I did lose my temper at the kids and feel like crying into the washing up a couple of times. But overall, I think I'm going to count week one as a win.