6 Tips and tricks to help with lockdown and homeschooling

It's been 4 weeks? Has it? I know its been 3 weeks of Easter holidays, that haven't been holidays for me.

Frankly, I don't know what I'm doing, but the day before school returns I will share some things I have learned to make my life easier, especially the last week because there have been some perfect moments of stupidity and fun.

1. Its your family, enjoy their company (if you can)

Combining routine and novelty- we have introduced 'Cakes on a Sunday'. Pick a theme of your choosing and bake it.

Week 1: Dragon theme by my 16 year old daughter Bored teenagers? Make ‘em bake  was an outstanding cake that no one else in my family  can live up to.

Week 2: Tiger theme- so who better than- you guessed it - Joe exotic - I baked this classic.Yes the tiger is a lion- perhaps a liger, with a tiny, tiny head.

Yes it was so shit, once assembled I literally couldn't stop laughing  for about 10 minutes. Krispie with marshmallow fluff  to make up Joe, the sponge 'tiger' was made with marzipan and buttercream.

The buttercream on the icing was so sweet it was yucky so I had to wipe it off. The food colouring in the cupboard was out of date and tasted disgusting, so we had a limited palette. It. was. something. else.

IMG_9587

Joe exotic masterpiece

Week 3: Theme: Haribo theme- picked by my 6 year old.This was a delicious chocolate cake. We had ordered some food colouring at this point.

Haribo cake

The aim is to have fun. It's not a competition - or it could be; the shittest, the tastiest, the funniest, the most colourful, but it's about trying to do things as a family, no matter how poorly they turn out.

2. I maintained a daily  routine - for my boy until 12pm then I have to 'go to work'.

Despite kids holidays, I still have to work, so I have incorporated this into my routine for the moment, as best I can. My biggest obstacle to working is that my 6 year old can't be given a task and 'just get on with it'. So we have been working a little every day, so he has a structure to his day, and so do I. That way he knows I'm busy and  that I'm unavailable.

 3.  Build your children's confidence to tackle the basic tasks 

It was never about prescriptive 'you must learn maths, you must write' but more about increasing my child's confidence to go it alone, so I could then work and get on with my stuff. Once he has that (bribery with a weekly chart, Superzings, whatever it takes so they can go it alone) I am hoping that slowly he will start to engage into this  new and different system to his normal school routine.

4. Look after yourself- because you are the most important person- believe it or not.

Sitting down and working and homeschooling is buggering my back- so I am pushed to do something so I began to exercise again in the  past week. I will be useless and grumpy if I'm in pain and immobile.  For me (not the most exercise-healthy type person) it involves sometimes literally falling out of my bed and doing 30 minutes of easy peasy yoga- I wake up properly after about 15 minutes, when too many downward dogs let the blood rush to my head. I use a yoga  app- it straightens out my back (talked about it here: Things to do for yourself). I also started Nintendo Ring Fit. This exercise  game  is worth a review in the future because it's so bizarre and I actually  enjoy it, and my 6 year old can spoon about the room while I am kicking ass with imaginary trolls.

5. Keep going, you may not see the point,  but may be one day you'll see it. 

As bleurgh as I am feeling most of the time, I am aware that plants continue to grow and tadpoles are developing.

tadpole gif

tadpole swimming along

It's a blessing and a curse that small children keep dragging you along- you never have time to yourself, but also you never have time to think about things too deeply- so there are a couple of videos of science stuff I did with my boy  that you can find here (Tadpoles get hungryPlanting peas). If he wasn't here frankly I wouldn't do it.

How do you celebrate in lockdown?

6. For celebrations, make it different, make it memorable, so whatever is normal- don't do it. 

Sunday lunch.jpg

There was both Easter and a birthday- so how do you celebrate?

Well, I was thinking that it has to be different , it has in these times  to be extra. So to up the stakes, the Easter meal was full on best dress. Yes it was ridiculous- I was in a 50's dress I found in a charity shop and haven't worn since 1991, but it was memorable, and we had fun and will  remember it. Barely breathing (that dress was so tight), we then had pudding. For those of you in Britain will you understand that I found a Christmas pudding in my larder (the spare in case the one at  Christmas blows up- that has actually happened in the past), so we ate that for dessert. Seemed appropriate.

We doused it in brandy and set it alight.  I had to have a good nap after that lunch.

Some days are good, some days are awful. That was the Easter holidays, school starts tomorrow.......

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