I never thought in a million years I’d be homeschooling my children!
I never really paid that much attention in school when I was younger!
So when I heard the news that the schools will be closing ready for lockdown, I honestly felt my body fill with dread! Oh crap! I’ve actually got to teach my children things, important things, how to read and write and calculate math problems. Aargh!
After spending last weekend in full panic mode, attempting a food shop, finding online resources to help with school work, printing, printing, more printing, getting prepared for the “lockdown” and stay at home children. I was ready!
Well, ready – ish!
Now, I don’t know about your children, but if I give my girls free reign, no real structure or routine – they will go berserk and all hell will break loose! There will be screaming and arguing and no playing nicely together, then there’s the I’m bored, I’m hungry and arguing over the tv channels … ugh! It just gets too loud! Constantly screaming “mum, mum” my sisters done this, my sisters done that…*insert eye roll here!*…. uuuugh, my life! You get the picture. I’m sure there are households up and down the country in the same situation, screaming daily at the kids!
Well, not this time kiddo’s! Mwuahahahaaa!
Momma has a plan! and she’s sticking to it!!
Who knows how long we’re going to be locked in the house for, it could be weeks, months, a year? … well hopefully not a year. Crickey!
There’s not enough gin in the world for that, ha!
Anywhoo, so we need some kind of structure! We need some kind of organisation, we need projects to keep us all busy and so that the kids don’t eat me out of house and home (can I have a snack, snAck, SNAAAAACKKK!)! — seriously how much food can two small girls eat!!
So this was our plan for the first week. This was by no means set in stone and we are unbelievably flexible, I also didn’t run through my plan with the girls, I simply just sat them down and said that, this isn’t quite a holiday we still need to keep on top of things.
Monday was a good day, we got our “school station” (i.e, the dinner table), ready for class and we had a little giggle about mummy being the teacher. We sat and spoke about what’s happening in the world right now and why it’s important to share some positivity. We brainstormed words of encouragement, kindness and hope. Took to the street and coloured in our pavement. We’ve had so much happiness sent our way with the lovely comments by passers by and on social media. My girls are so proud!
Tuesday was p.e day with Joe Wicks online, and we were ready for our 9am lesson sharp, very excited – then we all laughed about how unfit mummy is, ha ha! Next was snack time (or as I liked to call it – wait for mummy get her breath back time). I had previously planned today’s lessons on the Monday, so next up was dreaded maths. I taught my youngest about telling the time and by gosh I think she got it! There was a sense of achievement here, I’ll be honest. We had space themed questions and she even designed her own planet too! My eldest was quiet happy revising her perimeters and areas worksheets on her own, alls I had to do was mark them! Ugh! Lunch time came, sandwiches and fruit. And to finish off the school day, a colour by number … but the maths problem had to be solved to reveal which number to colour! Sneaky mummy!
and we’re still on track! Smashing this homeschooling – I did think I’d of given up by now but the girls are really enjoying “miss mummy”! Wednesday was handwriting practise for the little one and subordinate clauses for the eldest … whatever they are – I swear, I’ve never been on google more in my life! We wrote letters to the thank the NHS and also sent a letter to the local nursing home, sending positive vibes. Early lunch break and then we were back for an online history lesson, which they both seemed to enjoy. Completed the worksheets and booom! End of the school day. There are so many free online resources available right now, you should really make the most of them!
Well, we were meant to have our second p.e lesson of the week today, but we happily scrapped that and played a game of monopoly instead. We had a slow relaxing morning – although, they were both asking me “when will school start?” Over and over again. So we got ready for some spellings revision and a fun English lesson. I found this online, it was basically a reading text that’s like a game of Cluedo, so we (not me) had to read all the text and then answer a series of questions to find out “who dun-it” and complete the worksheets. They both absolutely loved it! Who knew, learning can be so much fun!
On Thursday evening, we came together with the rest of the nation to clap and show our support for the NHS. It was an amazing experience to be part of. All of our neighbours were on the street clapping and whooping … there were even fireworks! Afterwards we went into the back garden and watched a satellite fly over our house, we sat and looked for constellations in the sky and we even spotted the planet Venus. A pretty amazing night all round!
It’s “Fun Friday! …. apparently! According to my kids, ha!
It was a fairly lazy morning, we watched tv and ate our breakfast then spent the rest of the morning learning about what plants need to survive. Into the garden we went to pot our seeds of micro-cress, radish, chilli peppers and forget me nots, we wrote down our predictions and it was soon time for lunch.
I’ll admit, I’d had enough of schooling by this point so after lunch it was FaceTime with the grandparents and other family members, den building in the garden and reading magazines! Phew, pass me the vino!
It really isn’t all work, work, work in our house, nor am I saying it should be. Our children need us more than ever right now . Our days are revolving around the school hours of 9-3, this is where we get our “work” done and then the rest of the day is theirs. We don’t spend every second between these hours sat at the dinner table with work sheets either, our “lessons” are short, fun and enjoyable. I am trying to be creative with our work, such as writing letters of thanks – great for handwriting practise. Chalking the pavement – that’s an art class right there surely! Colour by number – gotta do the maths! Planting seeds – that’s horticultural, see, they learned a big word on Friday! I really do believe that a bit of creativity can go a long way, keep them active and keep their minds learning.
The internet is full with fun activities right now, more than ever. We had online dance classes – as their actual dance classes can not happen – they were so much fun! We made a pop up stall on the driveway giving away our tomatoes to our neighbours as not to waste them, we painted rainbows and hung them in our windows, we played games in the garden, enjoyed the sunshine, had a bbq, had fun with the online 3D animals, we star gazed, spotted a planet, sat around the fire pit, toasted marshmallows, made an ambulance to sit in out of cardboard box … I even managed to do the daily housework, laundry, painted the walls of the house, a spot of gardening and relaxed!
I really do believe that a little bit of forward planning, creativity and actively thinking can really help you out. The internet is a fantastic place full of ideas for your children. Get creative. Think outside the box. Stay calm. Use a planner. We’re all in this together. There’s no right or wrong way of homeschooling your children. If your kids are happily playing on the PlayStation and giving you a break, that is absolutely fine. Do what feels right for you. We’re all stressed out and half of us aren’t even teachers. I am not saying my way is the right way and you must adhere to our rules, not at all, I am merely sharing my ideas of our homeschooling life as we see it. If we can share some positive thoughts, ideas and help other families out, then that’s a bonus!
My daughters mental health is very important to me. They know what’s happening in the outside world, they’ve seen the news, I can’t hide them from it. We’ve discussed it numerous times and I have answered as many questions as I possibly can. They’re allowed to be worried and have anxiety, it’s normal behaviour. Just like everyone else. My job as their mum is to help them through it – I know what my kids like and by keeping some kind of normality in the house and keeping their minds active, I am clearly helping them, “best teacher ever!” Ha! They’re happy, loved, safe, spreading positive messages around our community and I couldn’t be any prouder of how they’re behaving during this terrible time.
Stay Safe, relax and enjoy the homeschool life!
nay nay x