A Whole New World – Week One

Week one of Home School and things have gone great.

I’m proud of how we’ve got on. I know some people do this all the time but they usually choose to do so and take the time to prepare, research and learn how to make it work successfully and harmoniously.

I am also acutely aware that as someone with a partner who ensures the bills are paid, a roof over our head and a garden, we are approaching homeschooling from a very privileged position. I also am a stay-at-home Mum so I’m not juggling work and schooling.

Teddy and Posey have adjusted quickly to this real life episode of Black Mirror we find ourselves in. Teddy loves learning, this is what he said he would miss most about school closing, so we’ve been starting our school day as early as 7:30 am sometimes because he’s that eager. Sounds like a nightmare, I know, but it works well for us (this week anyway) to start early and be done before lunchtime, with the remainder of the day being free play.

My biggest concern about lockdown, aside from The Bearded Manc being self employed, was what I would do with 3 year old Posey while trying to help Teddy do school work. I need not have worried because she’s been a superstar. Starting early means Posey has time to wake up and ease into the morning, by the time she’s ready to start the day properly, Teddy has usually finished one or two pieces of work.

At night, I’ve been setting up the easel with things for Posey to complete, along with activities and free play resources on the table, so that there’s something to occupy her until Teddy is finished. It’s worked surprisingly well and has taken minimal effort. I’m not great with crafts and play activities, so everything I’ve done has been so basic and easy to set up, yet it has still kept Posey quiet (not literally, she’s never quiet, she even talks in her sleep) and allowed Teddy and I to concentrate on his learning.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s been the odd hiccough, as is to be expected, and outside of homeschooling it hasn’t been the easiest week but we’ve survived. We made it. This might go on for longer than we care to admit and I’m sure I’ll feel differently about it in three weeks, but right now I am glad for this time with my kids. We won’t get it again.

I know the cool Mum’s will say ‘give me a break, nobody is enjoying this’, but if there’s one thing I know it’s that I’m not cool. Never have been, never will. The reason Teddy is such a geek for learning is that he’s my son. I was the same way about school. Still am. So, please ignore us while we geek out and enjoy playing schools for the next few weeks. I’m not trying to judge or shame, I’m just happy as a ‘pig in sh*t’ to be living out my dreams of being a teacher.

If you’re not relishing this moment, don’t worry. We’re weirdos. You’re in the majority. You don’t have to play teacher for 6 hours a day, most of you probably can’t even if you wanted to because of work. Don’t feel guilty about that. You are just one person, you can only do so much. As long as they’re reading, making a bit of ‘art’ and getting some fresh (socially distant) air each day, you’re winning. That’s about as much as you can expect in this sureal time.

We are all dealing with a very unusual, new reality as best we can and we must do whatever it takes to get through the day mentally in tact. If that means the math homework goes in the bin, who cares? What’s more important is that everyone goes to bed happy and healthy.

Stay safe dudes and good luck with week two.

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