Home schooling during COVID-19: week 1

What strange times we are living in at the moment. If you’d said to me a year ago, even at Christmas, possibly even a few weeks ago that parents across the UK, across the world, would be homeschooling their children, in a bid to support social distancing and limit the spread of COVID-19 – well, I’d have thought you were crazy.

Our home school experience began mid-week prior to the UK-wide school closures, after our older children’s school had to close suddenly due to staff shortages and low student numbers.

In my head I was planning for the week after but this did take me by surprise. Here is a brief summary of how it went.

Day 1:

Only the two high school children were off today – a juggle in itself, two in and two out. Started with PSE videos about asylum seeking on BBC Bitesize. These are really well done and create good talking points about a range of issues. I’ve linked to them above so you can take a look.

Went for a walk in the countryside around our house and discussed the issues in the video.

We went on to music, singing and piano practice for their upcoming grades. We are always trying to squeeze this in around other commitments, so it was really good not to have to rush through stuff.

We spent some time in the garden flattening mole hills and preparing a home-learning outdoor area. We sat in this area and completed 4 pages of their home learning books, which was mainly maths related.

They made their own hot lunch, they also spent some time washing and preparing the fruit I had bought. They enjoy being in the kitchen. That worked really well.

They spent an hour on their own projects – they’ve each chosen a subject they want to learn more about and we plan to spend some time on this each day as we can cover reading, researching, IT skills and writing with this. This seems to be going well also. They are engaged because they are writing about things they want to learn about.

They did some times tables practice and sorted out an area inside for learning.

Once little ones were home from school they lit the chiminea and roasted marshmallows then two went for a run around the local fields and two built Lego.

One of the children then helped make dinner and prepare dinner for tomorrow.

They have new BBC bitesize videos to watch before our walk tomorrow and we will discuss the issues on the walk.

Finished with a large gin. Me that is.

Day two:

Today was the same juggle, with two school runs still to do for the younger boys, this was a little disruptive but the big kids covered music and project work and we fitted in a walk to discuss the issues they had watched videos on.

We went on to talk about continents, countries and capital cities. This is something else they are really engaged in so I think we will include this with the little boys next week as well, as I have this really helpful pin board and some sticker books I had saved from Lonely Planet.

They logged onto school and completed some biology work, before tyre flipping in the garden.

We also fitted in some more pages of their home learning booklets and did some of the spelling tests they had been set.

They helped to clear an area of the garden from brambles and after the little ones returned from school there was more running.

Next week will no doubt have many challenges but at least everyone will be in one place.

How are you doing? Have you started homeschooling yet?

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