Sometimes you really have to be careful what you wish for. A number of times in previous years I have toyed with the idea of homeschooling and now thanks to Covid-19 it has become a reality. I may not write our homeschool diaries every day but as I have said to my children, this will become an important part of history so I feel it is important that we document it.
Feelings on Homeschooling
Regular readers of Mummy Matters will already be aware that we have four children. Albie is 7, Ollie is 9, Lillie is 11 and Will is 18. Unfortunately, we will not be seeing my stepson Will until the lockdown has been lifted as he is with his Mum and his sisters in a different town. We will ensure that we speak with him regularly.
From the moment I realised that the schools were due to close my feelings changed daily. Initially, I had a few moments of panic; ‘how would we cope?’ ‘what if they dropped behind?’ ‘what about all the arguing they would do???’
Pretty soon I realised that actually, with the right preparations we could do this. I planned ahead, bought lots of printer paper, topped up the ink levels and found a daily schedule online which we would follow to give structure to our day. Something the Beans were already used to from school.
Today was our first day of ‘homeschooling’. I had resigned myself to the fact that I would be unlikely to get lots of work done myself and that I would work on my own business during the evenings. Just making this decision in my own mind reduced my anxiety greatly, without having to worry about my work, my focus could be the children.
As we put the children to bed last night we reminded them that it was the start of ‘Home School’ tomorrow and they needed to be awake, ready for PE and have eaten their breakfast by 8am so that their food had digested before we started our PE session with Joe Wicks at 9am.
PE with Joe Wicks
I have a couple of Joe Wicks DVDs which the Beans have completed with me on several occasions so they were quite excited by this. We came together in the lounge just before 9am and cleared the floor space. I’m pleased to say that our PE lesson went really well, everyone joined in and we were all suitably energised by the end of the session.
Whilst I went for a quick shower and change, I gave the Beans 15 minutes downtime to play or do as they wish. My only instruction is no TV until ‘after school’.
To give the Beans a giggle I put my hair up and wore a pair of fake glasses and told them that Mrs Greens class was about to begin. They thought this was hilarious but strangely enough, continued to call me Miss Green throughout the ‘school day’.
The boys had both been sent emails from their respective teachers with the days’ schoolwork detailed. Ollie’s homework had been set on Education City online whilst Albie’s needed to be printed off. Lillie had received her homework via the Connect App and was mostly projects for each subject.
All three of my Beans worked like troopers, Albie had a maths paper to complete first and only needed a little help when he got confused with one question, Ollie completed all of his online homework and I’m pleased to say got 100% in all areas – what I like about this method is that his teacher is able to see his scores straight away. Lillie completed half of her history paper really well, she needed help a few times but once I had steered her in the right direction, she was sailing.
Arts and Crafts
This was perhaps the part of the day the Beans were looking forward to the most (after snacks times). I had seen online a suggestion that homes place a rainbow in their window to bring colour and happiness to the streets. Something for children to spot when they were out for their daily exercise with the family. Each of the Beans coloured a different style of a rainbow and we stuck these in the windows around our house for all to see.
The schedule which I found online included a session for home chores to be done. I thought this might prove difficult but actually the Beans truly rose to the occasion. They asked what chores I needed help with and divided the jobs up amongst themselves. Lillie emptied and reloaded the dishwasher, Ollie sorted a laundry load out and set it going in the washing machine and Albie used the cordless vacuum to clean the floors downstairs.
To prevent the children from snacking every 15 minutes I reminded them in the morning that this was ‘school’ so there would be one snack time in the morning, a ‘packed lunch’ and one snack time in the afternoon. When we reached lunchtime the Beans each prepared their own lunches and tidied away afterwards.
After lunch we had a quiet time, this was an opportunity to read a book and make a note of their reading in a reading record which I have provided them. When they have read 3 or 4 times they will write a paragraph about what they have read and draw a picture to depict the story. When they have read for 15-20 minutes they could choose a non-tech activity. Lillie and Ollie chose to play Bananagrams whilst Albie completed a puzzle or two and this gave me the opportunity to catch up on some work emails.
During the afternoon lesson, Lillie chose to finish off the history paper she had been working on during the morning, Ollie chose to complete some maths worksheets I had printed off and Albie completed his English and PSHE homework which had been set by his teacher.
Once the Beans had completed their schoolwork set for the day it was free time to do as they wished. I fully expected them to head straight to a screen so imagine my surprise when they went straight out to the garden to play football – they didn’t even argue?!?! Who are these children???
Once they had tired of playing football, they came in and disappeared into the lounge. I assumed, again wrongly, that they were going to watch TV. Nope, they had collected a plethora of figures, vehicles, animals and buildings and played together (again without arguing) for over 45 minutes.
With the sun shining brightly and two dogs desperately wanting to stretch their legs, we decided to hit the fields and take the dogs out for a walk. It was the perfect end to our first day of homeschooling and whilst I’m under no illusion that every day will not run as smoothly as today, I don’t feel half as daunted by the prospect and I had previously.
Come on Great Britain, we can do this!! We are all in it together xx
Are you keeping homeschool diaries during this time? If so pop a comment below, we would love to have a read to see how you are doing things xx