My girls have now been off school for over two weeks and we are slowly getting used to being at home together. I have a slightly anxious seven year old who craves structure and routine and an irrepressible four year old that loves the excitement of not being at school and is bouncing around the room! The first thing that I did was to devise a little daily schedule for us all to provide some regularity especially for my eldest - thankfully their school sent home learning packs which involve small daily tasks of maths, writing, phonics and reading as well as little ideas for projects to guide us. This has been invaluable as the girls feel that they are continuing to learn what they have been doing at school. The home learning packs have been supplemented this week by the school also setting up an online classroom for each class so that the kids can have contact with their teacher, complete little tasks that the teacher sets them, listen to stories read by the teacher and interact with the rest of their class.
It’s not just school stuff on the schedule though, I’m just using those tasks as the basis of our day. When we’re not doing those tasks we are playing games, reading stories, watching TV and films, building Lego, going for our daily walk, playing outside in the garden (when the weather allows!), baking, doing Cosmic Kids Yoga (try it - it’s great for giving you time for a cuppa!), making train tracks, playing with their Lottie dolls, dressing up and of course doing lots of colouring, drawing and crafts! It’s been a useful time so far to revisit favourite games, puzzles and toys we haven’t played with for ages and to finish crafts left half done or start ones that we haven’t got round to yet. Our current projects include making a dream catcher to hang in their bedroom, an Artistic Patch collage set, velvet colouring and making beautiful rainbows to put in the windows for passers by to see.
It’s really important to remember that this isn’t home education, it’s a form of distance learning. I’m not a teacher, I’m simply following the guidance given by the school. Learning comes in all forms from something as simple as helping to put away the clean washing, tidy their rooms and clear the table after dinner to measuring out ingredients when baking cakes, getting the hang of zips and shoelaces or just learning to get along with each other. Children are like sponges and will soak up all forms of learning at whatever level they’re at whether they are set tasks or learning life skills. I’m also keen to give them space to get creative and occupy themselves without me directing them to do so as they shouldn’t be relying on me to fill every minute of their day. This is also a rare opportunity to spend a lot of time with my children that at this age I didn’t think I’d get - I’m going to be positive and enjoy it as much as I can. I will keep on with the daily schedule as it helps my children but I won’t be setting them tasks all day long - we all need a bit of fun right now and playing and being with the kids is a brilliant way to get it!