Saturday 21 March 2020

The Start of Home Learning

It still feels a bit too normal, like a quiet weekend at home.  We didn't go out today but I kept busy cleaning, tidying and rearranging things in the house to hopefully make the coming weeks of home learning a bit easier.  I have seen people talking on social media about the best way to approach it with a divide between those that are going for full on routine and those that think focusing on survival is where we are at and anything else is a bonus.

I am someone who likes to be busy, and I am happiest out the house and with friends so I know that it might be me taking the longest to adapt to our new normal.  Because of this, I have made us a daily schedule which we are going to try and follow for the next week.  I am sure by the end of the week there will be changes, either it is too rigid or maybe they thrive better with more structure - who knows? I do know that this is going to be a learning curve for all of us though and I will make sure that all 6 of us have an input in how this social distancing looks for us.

I am going to be looking after my three year old who is usually in nursery two days a week and the three boys who are currently in Reception, Year 2 and Year 4 so there is quite a wide range of learning abilities but all of them are too young to be off working on their own like many of the secondary school children might be.  With that in mind, this is how our plan currently looks

We are going to start the day with some family yoga or other physical exersize.  I have been recommended Cosmic Kids on youtube and also The Body Coach is doing live videos at 9 each morning.  We usually walk to school and I like the fact the children stretch their legs before being asked to sit and concentrate so it is something I want to continue.

Between 10 and 11 we will be doing paper learning.  The boys all have some worksheets from school, we will write stories, look at books and I will be encouraging them to write letters to their friends as well.  I have a few wipe clean work books if Cora wants to join in, otherwise I will leave her to play with her toys quietly.

Between 11 and 12 we will be doing practical learning.  I want to teach them to bake basic recipes and I have lots of porridge oats so we can try some snack bar recipes.  We also have vegetables to grow in the garden so we will have days where we focus on that and I will (reluctantly) do crafting and art with them too.  I think I might see what mood they are in each morning before I choose which!

Between 12 and 2 we will have lunch, have quiet play and I am going to encourage them to help out with some chores too.  I am hoping this quiet time might be a good opportunity to introduce them to Blue planet and other educational programs.

Between 2 and 3 we will be doing more home learning but online.  We have enough laptops and computers for them to have one each and there are loads of online resources and websites.  Dylan already has log ins for TT Rock Stars and Spelling Shed and all three have maths sites they can use.  We have tried Reading Eggs with them before which we all loved and I know that starts quite young so I might encourage Cora to get stuck in with this too.

Being outdoors and getting exersize is so important to us all so between 3 and 5 we will go out, either to emptier parks or quiet beaches.  At the moment we are socially distancing rather than on lockdown so we will make the most of local spaces.  If things change then it will be done in the garden or via videos to encourage energetic play.

From 5 it will be the same as a normal school day.  Free play, screen time, dinner and maybe a film night if it is a non-messy dinner!

And finally we will do quiet time in their bedrooms before bed where I can go round and read with each of them.

I am sure our plans will adapt but having something in place makes me feel happier and they are used to the routine of school so it shouldn't be hard to adjust.  Ed will be working upstairs during the days so it will be just the four of them and I and I am both excited a little at this new challenge and terrified of how I am going to keep them all entertained. We will fit in some face-timing with their friends and family where possible too and hopefully we can settle into this new pace of life.  I will hopefully continue to write about what works for us and what doesn't and how we are all adjusting. 

How are you approaching the coming weeks? Are you more of a structure or free-play parent?

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