This COVID-19 crisis has radically changed our lives. Just a few months ago, we had no idea our ‘world’ would be confined to our homes! This crisis is a powerful reminder of how important freedom is – and how much we need human connection! Remember you are not alone.
Purple Mash is a creative online space from 2Simple. It hosts
an exciting mash-up of curriculum focused activities, creative tools,
programs and games to support and inspire creative learning every day. …
As Purple Mash is online, children can continue their learning
anywhere and anytime. A great resource that replicates the boys daily learning
Mathletics is designed to support teachers and parents to deliver
lessons easy to follow Maths lessons in our own time and way. There are
series of exercises and challenges which will allow our boys to get in with
learning and completing a variety of exercises. These are varied and
challenging too. Very handy when home learning. Mathletics provides
in-depth reporting that helps us see the progress of lessons, subjects and our
individual sons, helping us to assess and to plan future programmes of
learning. Students find engagement through purpose and reward.
I suspect there are a variety of similar platforms out there. Luckily, we
have all been familiar with the boys use of both platforms as they feature
highly within the school and as part of our son’s homework.
The day is broken up with breaks, playtime and dinnertime. My partner and I
build these into our days as best we can. Again, preparation is key. It doesn’t
always work, but we have found preparing snacks, sandwiches and lunch a day or
even a couple of days before is handy…keeping it simple is key too.
in and Easter coming and going, has meant that we have picked up a whole array
of tools and techniques, ideas and programmes. The internet is awash with them
as are your local
be they schools, neighbours, friends, WhatsApp groups and the like. Below is a
list of some of our favourites. Here’s what various celebrities are offering
you and your kids for free, daily to help with their education while schools
you found this interesting, this is what, my family, K and I have experienced,
and what other parents might be experiencing too. Parents remain the most influential people in
a young person’s life and despite some finding it really difficult on occasions
they continue to provide huge amounts of support both physically and
emotionally. If you have any ideas or thoughts, feel free to contact me. I’d more than happy to hear your points of
view and see what we can share and bring to the attention of the many currently
home learning, schooling and working.
Anyone who follows me or reads my blogs, will know I like a plan…”prior planning prevents p*** poor performance”. I’m one for a routine, not rigid but there to establish boundaries, needs, wants and goals. My achievements as a househusband have their foundations in my planning…room for improvement I’m sure. Home schooling has taught me lot and I thought I’d share with you some insights.
Routines It is important to keep to the children’s routines at home as much as possible. As a family we often feel much calmer and more in control when our brains connect with familiar patterns. With routine should be inbuilt downtime too. Only last weekend – we shared the meaning of the word ‘pragmatic’. There is only so much structured play you can have in your home with limited access to outside. I have had to relent on ‘gaming’ and allow greater time to computerised games (think how out of sync the kids usually are in the school hols). Luckily, we are a household of board games too…so for every ‘Roblox’, ‘Fifa’, ‘Minecraft’ and ‘Pokemon’, I get to play a game of draughts, chess or snakes & ladders’.
Establish Boundaries We try to start the day at the usual time. Our boys are early risers. It’s been hard but before we go to bed remote controls are hidden. The idea being the boys are more inclined to get their heads around ‘school work’ out or just play together before breakfast. We then set about having breakfast with home learning starting at 9am.
It does mean that my partner and I rise a tad earlier to get a couple of interruption-free hours of work in before the family starts their day. Being more pragmatic has meant that usual boundaries are relaxed and we are more flexible (e.g. gaming and more screen time). My partner and I have alternate responsibilities during school term (see below). This means we are both able to get some uninterrupted work time and the boys get some quality-focused time from us too…that’s the theory. In practice, it is hard work and needs the buy-in of us all.
Reward systems and consistency are important too.
Catch ups and game plans We use our ‘together time’s, e.g. lunch and dinner and down time to have a little catch-up on the day, days and weeks ahead. It helps to break down the monotony and look at what was good or not so good previously. It helps us to address our expectations, the use of laptops, computers, mobiles, a case in point and when we are working or schooling.
Before my partner became ‘furloughed’, we had to be honest we were not capable of completing 7-straight hours of work with all of us being home. Our current circumstances brought on by Covid19 is discussed, and used to help the boys to understand that there will be times when we cannot be disturbed.
sons are used to me being at home more often than not, as I often work from
home and as a househusband, they understand my need to be in “do not
disturb mode”. When working with clients from home, my office space
(corner of our bedroom) is totally out of bounds. A sign and mini clock on the
door makes the point.
We can choose to learn, grow, connect and evolve and come out of this difficult
time by doing all the above. However, it will be made much harder if we cannot
have some fun. So, although a stickler of discipline, plans, routines and
strictures, I have become more pragmatic. It will be different for us all.
Relationships are fraught with the unknown. Pressures and expectations during
these difficult times will be acute. Building in some fun, flexibility and time
to reflect has proved to create greater connectivity within our family home.
Without doubt, the boys’ relationships are stronger and more connected – still
fighting daily like cats and dogs, there is an element of fun and adventure.
After all, family life and the time we spend together is what holds us all
My partner and I are knackered. There have been more cross words used in and
around a full house. It has been hard, it has proved difficult, but there have
been so many positives too. We know more about each other’s work, pressures and
expectations – that means we have been able to share ideas and concerns and
coming up with solutions (that didn’t last long, she is now on furlough…but
you get my point).
Similarly, downtime means that we can share thoughts and plans for the days
ahead. Just hoping it’s not monotonous.
We have a timetable. It reflects the timetable the boys use at school which
they dictated to us. It shows the timing of lessons, breaks, lunchtime,
lessons, PE and the like. Before the Easter break, my partner and I shared our
own work timetable which incorporates the boys home learning. This allows us to
be sure and aware of commitments in terms of calls to be made, conference-calling,
reports, projects, networking etc al and downtime.
The timetable has in-built break-out sessions for both of us. Key to the above was
working a 3-day on then a 2-day off rota. You work three days as lead
‘home learner’ while your partner is responsible for breaks and dinnertime;
and, if you are on a day off, it means you were on cover. You were not the
one leading the lessons but you would be on stand-by. We have continued this
post-Easter and bveing on furlough. It
seems to work, adding variety, space and time to our days.
Hopefully, you found this interesting, this is what, my family and I have experienced, and what other parents might be experiencing too. Parents remain the most influential people in a young person’s life and despite some finding it really difficult on occasions they continue to provide huge amounts of support both physically and emotionally. If you have any ideas or thoughts, feel free to contact me. I’d more than happy to hear your points of view and see what we can share and bring to the attention of helping others during this period in terms of further positive change.
Back to school…well not
really. Easter has come and gone…much
needed and we are back to home schooling, learning and working from home.
Covid19 pandemic is proving to be an unprecedented event in our lives. It
continues to cause disruption across the world. Business, communities, homes
and everyday lives have been affected. The impact of which is being felt by
has been happening across the board. We have been asked to live ‘new’ and
‘different’ lives. Social-distancing, isolation and other restrictions have led
to a number of people being asked/ told to work from home and with schools
close – parents are being asked to undertake ‘home learning’.
some this is all very new.
have been many articles, news, information and signposting on support for
individuals and businesses. There have been some great contributions across a
variety of platforms, in this piece I want to share with you how my partner and
I along with our three boys, aged 8, 6 and 6 are coping with working from home
and home learning.
Working from home and providing home learning (not to be confused with ‘home
schooling’) all day has not been easy. Even as a fully pledged ‘househusband’,
my house husbandry’ skills have been pushed to the limits. I’m used to being
with the boys for long periods, the school-run, prep of tea, homework, play and
then dinner. Having to multitask and split my focus has improved with time.
This time is different. This time is proving to be more intense.
learning is can include almost anything, life experience- e.g. cooking- boiling
water, ice freezing, melting, dissolving etc, chalk drawings on the patio,
cycling/running/fitness etc, looking at nature- mini- beasts, flowers etc,
night sky, shadows from the sun, forces- pushes and pulls. Loads of stuff
some would say home schooling is trying to do as much of the curriculum as you
can- maths, literacy, reading etc homework or all the Purple Mash stuff from
school. Mixing it up with Lego and board games, lots of art painting and stuff,
sculptures, outdoor stuff where possible, e.g. the garden or on the pavement
with twigs and leaves and stuff. There’s plenty more as well.
Hopefully, you found this interesting, this is what, my family and I have experienced, and what other parents might be experiencing too. Parents remain the most influential people in a young person’s life and despite some finding it really difficult on occasions they continue to provide huge amounts of support both physically and emotionally. If you have any ideas or thoughts, feel free to contact me. I’d more than happy to hear your points of view and see what we can share and bring to the attention of others as we all deal with trying circumstances and work towards coming out on the other side with positive change.