I have decided to write a weekly diary of our time through the Coronavirus pandemic. To keep for the future. It’s such an unprecedented time and full of so many mixed feelings and events we have never encountered before it is hard to process it all.
I think last week may have been my hardest week in lockdown. It was our 6th week, the 5th week for the rest of the country. I have said before but lockdown is very much a mental challenge. A challenge of finding things to keep yourself busy, focussed and positive when you have no idea when or how this is all going to end.
Last week saw the return to home schooling and back into stricter routines. I had really enjoyed the more carefree time the Easter holidays gave us. Free to be creative, watch the children play and do craft and not worry about sit down learning. Getting back into ‘school’ has been really hard work.
The school have launched a new online learning platform. Of course the school are trying to do their best in an impossible situation, like the rest of us. 3 months ago where we are now would have honestly seemed unfathomable. They’ve had to move and adapt incredibly fast. But I felt completely overwhelmed with it. The tasks need to be downloaded and printed for each child and then scanned back in when complete.
I felt like I gave one child something to do and then looked for the next child and as soon a I finished one task with one child, the other child had completed their first task ready for my to upload and my toddler had demolished a vital piece of household furniture in the time. Whereas when I was planning the activities I gave them both something at the same time then I could get on with something myself. As although my work has reduced, I do still have work to do and a toddler to entertain. So I made a decision to take a step back last week and do more activities still based around what the children are learning at school, but less worksheet focus and more creative interpretations and focussed on teaching both of my older children at the same time.
The impending weather change is affecting my mood too. We have been so lucky with the glorious sunshine to date. It has made it easier to keep the children entertained, given them a place to burn off energy and made us feel less confined. I have been teaching all of us to try and grow things and given us projects outside. I know we are privileged in that there are many people confined in flats. But the idea that we are going to be stuck indoors in the next week with lots of rain forecast feels like oppressive and it’s not even happened yet.
There’s lots of speculation in the news again. Mainly about schools and how and when they are going to go back. How social distancing is going to have to continue a long time after lockdown finishes. I can see this and how shops and restaurants are going to need to be adapted. What I can’t fathom is how schools and social distancing are going to work. How can you teach young children that they can’t hug or play with their friends? That a teacher cannot hug a child if they hurt themselves? Keeping everyone apart at the school gates. I just don’t know. As with everything I guess we will just have to wait and see.
The weather change has come as expected and it’s gloomy. Aria slept until 8.30am this morning which is unusual. She’s not quite her usual bright and bubbly self either. This morning I reminded myself that this isn’t home schooling, it’s emergency schooling and we can break from the mould if it’s needed for mental health. So instead of going ahead with our usual daily plan I asked the children if they were in charge today what they would do. Aria chose painting and Logan wanted to learn to program a computer game on Scratch, so that’s what we’re doing. Tomorrow we will get back to the schooling programme, but I felt like this was needed today. Tomorrow is a new day.
In the news, Boris returned to work yesterday. We’re still unsure if we have reached peak in the UK or not. Concerningly a new complication has been identified for children similar to Kawasaki syndrome which is really alarming. Other European countries are starting to relax their measures so at least we can learn from their experiences.
Who knows what our world is going to look like when this is all over. I think our world is going to be a different place, it’s hard not knowing what that will be though.