We’re currently on day 978 or so it seems, days, time, months all seem to be blending into one! I have no concept of what day it is, what the date is or anything. My calendar that sits on my kitchen wall, which keeps track of what each of us is supposed to be doing on any given day, is currently blank. I could add things like when the bin needs to go out but that needs me to be aware of what day we’re actually in! And so it sits unused for its actual purpose, I have been noting down when we do baking, or anything fun at home, just for something to look back on.
We tend to work from home about 80% of the time anyway, so for that it hasn’t been such a huge transition. Now working from home is great when the kids are out of the house and safely tucked up at either school or at Nannies, but right now they too are also working from home on school work. I’ve gone from being a stay at home Mum, who spends her time working on Photos, videos, access support assistant to Kris, doing the housework and dropping / collecting the kids to and from school, to doing all that whilst also homeschooling a six year old and two four year olds!
Once upon a time we considered Home education, but the nature of our business meant it would be a hard task to juggle, so we opted to send them to school. They’re at a lovely little school where they all feel loved and part of a big family, they’re missing their friends and teachers immensely. The teachers were just as upset as us at having to say goodbye on March 20th, with them not knowing when they would be seeing the kids they’ve looked after day after day again. Our school stays in touch with us daily, and phones us once a week to check in and to chat to the children, so they know they’re ok and the children know that they are still very much a part of the school, or as our school likes to say they’re all puzzle pieces to the schools jigsaw.
Like with traditional home education we don’t spend 6 hours each day on school work, we focus on spending the first part of our day before lunch on school work, PE with Joe Wicks, and focusing on one area of a project Draven’s been given on his eschools account which we all get involved in. I have to juggle between Dra’s year one work and the twins being in nursery, their main focus is letter forming, phonics and rhyming. The twins often spend their time in class on craft, painting, building and play. We mix it up so they aren’t expected to stay sitting for long periods of time, they write their names in the books the school sent along with practicing numbers, drawing pictures of their day / things they look forward to doing again, and drawing pictures about what ever Dra’s project is involving. Recently we’ve been looking at habitats so whilst Dra spent time writing about Antarctica and the various animals that inhabit it, the twins drew pictures about it.
We’re also using this time to focus on Buddhism and the kids are loving watching Jataka stories on YouTube, and learning about Buddha, the importance (for us) to meditate, and how we can use these teachings in our everyday.
I’m grateful we have the three and that they are close in age (21 months between) because they have each other to play with, make up games, talk to and just be with. I cannot begin to imagine how hard this situation would be having only one child or not having a garden etc. The thing we can say for certain here is yes we’re all in this together but by no means is it equal or comparable. Our situation of being work from home parents with our own business, with a garden and children that don’t need every second of our attention, is by no means comparable to someone who is new to working from home, with one child and no garden, or a single parent on low income who depends on free school meals, key workers etc the list goes on. Every single person going through this will come out with a different perspective of what their time was like.
For us we’re trying to maintain and also alter how we work and build a better business for us, whilst also focusing on making sure the kids are happy and trying to limit the mental health implications of this horrendous situation for them and for us. Not everyone will have that as a choice, and we must remember that. Mental health problems are going to no doubt hit an all time high after all this, there will be children going back to school having not had the best experience of all this, suffering with more anxiety. I’ll be honest I’m nervous and apprehensive about what it means when they do go back, the twins are due to start Reception in September, and I really don’t want them held back as they’ve already done a year in Nursery, being September babies they were due to do 18 months in Nursery. And Draven works so hard at school he will be heartbroken if he gets held back.