Monday, 23 March 2020

Homeschooling Day #1 | Sharing my experience as a single working mum | Stay home and help protect the NHS



As you should be aware all schools in the UK closed Friday 20th March 2020, this was government issued in the hope that as many families as possible would stay home to help slow the spread of Coronavirus. Those with parents who are keyworkers are able to continue going to school if needed but the recommendation is that where possible children stay home.

**Disclaimer, i have no idea if i'm doing this home schooling right! This is all new to me, i'm just doing it the way that works for us as a family!**

Today was day #1 of home schooling. None of us have been hit by the virus (that we are aware of) so far so we are all fit and well. I'll be honest and admit that i was terrified at first of the prospect of trying to home school and also juggle running my business.
After much research and talks with friends, family and fellow business owners i decided that the most responsible thing to do for our safety and that of everyone else was to close the shop down until the government advise us that it is safe to re-open. (people can still click or call & collect so i still have to keep an eye on things!) I already know my insurance isn't going to cover this so as you can imagine i'm worried and stressed beyond belief but i can't dwell as i have kids to teach!

So what was involved in day #1 of home school for us?

Lesson 1: Maths
Literally my worst nightmare! I hated math as a child and i still do. Strangely my children love math so they were happy to get on with it. I used some printed worksheets that i downloaded from the links the school sent me. They did ask me a few questions about fractions and decimal points (which i'll be honest i quickly googled!!)
They did the worksheets then played some math games. 


We made sure to have lots of short breaks and went out in the garden for fresh air. We have a tiny courtyard garden which makes running around a challenge but the boys made up their own games including the one pictured below using old plant pots and a ball! You can see them explain their game here on their YouTube channel. 


Lesson 2: Reading, Writing and Spellings.
We began with book reviews, i downloaded the review sheet from Twinkl which is a fantastic resource for home schooling, at the moment you can download lots of content for FREE! They had both read 'Hot Dog' recently so chose to review the same book. They really enjoyed this activity! 


We then did a spelling test, i had to make sure they moved apart so there was no cheating! It was a challenge with them being in different years (yr 3 & 4) but they both gave it their all and i'm so proud of them! We checked the spellings together and looked at those they got wrong and learnt about the correct spellings.


Lastly for this lesson they had some quiet reading time, they already love books so this was good for them. It also gave me time to get the washing folded and the dishwasher on!


Break
Spent skipping, playing catching and dancing around to music.


Lesson 3: Art & Craft.
Now this is my JAM! I had so many ideas of what we could do but thought that actually it would be better to let them choose. They opted for a mixed media activity creating large Easter eggs. They have filmed a short video to show you their creations here on their YouTube channel.  Yes it was messy and yes i let them take control rather than 'teaching' them like i would in my normal art lessons but i want them to enjoy home schooling.





Lesson 4: Gardening & Games 
We did a variety of things in this lesson, we talked about different plants and their names. We drew the plants and labelled them as you can see in this short video (please ignore the state of me! I'm aware i look a mess and that my camera work is appalling today!) 





We got the bubble machine out and made a bubble solution from washing up liquid after finding out there was no bubble liquid in the house! They really enjoyed this, it involved exercise & sunshine. 


Lunch 
We made noodles with veg sticks for lunch, eating together at lunch time was lovely. It was odd not having 'what happened at school today' to talk about but we discussed ideas for future lessons. I have a list of requests now of activities they would like to do. 




Lesson 5: Science 
I had to do a little research in order to find ideas suitable for yr 3 & 4 science projects. I came across this site  where i found ideas and downloads. We did a 'Liquids & Solids' lesson using items from around the home and discussing which category they fell in. We sorted through facts about liquids and solids, they guessed first then we check the facts using the downloaded chart. Next they wrote (and drew) which items (as seen on the table) were liquids and which were solids.






If you feel like a giggle take a look at this video review of the day (and of the teacher) by Reuben & Finley. 


There was lots of washing hands, cleaning surfaces with anti bac, music, dancing around, laughing, hugging the dogs and enjoying each others company. Oh and coffee, lots of coffee! (for me obviously!)

I have a new found respect for home educators, coming up with ideas isn't easy!

Overall i feel like we had a great day. There was no arguing, no shouting and no stress. I actually really enjoyed having them home! (i bet i won't be typing this on day 5!!) I managed to get a very tiny amount of work done during their lunch break but my MA studies have taken a back seat. I expect i'll have to do that in the evenings! I took lots of photos and some videos to record these days as memories for us, not unhappy ones but ones spent together feeling positive and happy about life despite everything going on out in the big wide world. 

Yes the sun is shining and we wish we could be at the beach or the park but right now that isn't the best thing to do for the safety of us or of others so we are doing our bit to help the NHS by staying home. Please please do the same. Staying home really isn't as boring as it sounds, there is so much you can do on a tight budget even if you only have a tiny garden space.

I don't know if i will feel up to writing a full blog of the day every day after home schooling them but i thought i would today just to share with you some of the things we did. I will let you know how the week progresses though! Don't forger to subscribe to both mine and the boys YouTube channels where we will share our experiences and activities.

I hope you are all enjoying home schooling. 
Don't forget to take time to have fun and enjoy each others company.
Just remember you are lucky to get to stay home with your children, some NHS staff are having to isolate away from their own children in order to be able to continue working and look after the public. I've watched some heart break videos by NHS staff. Please STAY HOME& STAY SAFE. 



Below is the routine we created together, i found having a routine helped us but this style of home schooling won't suit everyone. Some like to 'go with the flow'. I found that with my boys having a set routine and them knowing when lessons started and finished helped them to keep focused and on task without any question of 'when can we finish'  or 'when is it break time' 




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