Another Day in the Life of a Home Educator (with 12 yr old, 10 yr old, and 7 yr old) – Lockdown 3.0 edition

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This week is a bit of a reset because I was unwell with a stomach bug most of last week, which turned into a week of books, crafts and stories for children, and gave them the space for self led achievements like my 10 year old finishing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (#transrights). Having gone from finding pages of text intimidating and boring to reading HP 6 and 7 in about a month, I am reminded again that self motivation is a powerful tool. 

(Also see as I re-frame last week in a positive light – less for you and more for burnt out me who has been yelling at herself for the last few days about having the audacity to get sick.)

My husband has walked the dog in the dark, my son is curled up in bed playing Pokemon Sword, the girls are asleep and I’m about to make breakfast. 

7.45am There is definitely too many things on my to do list today. Let’s see how many I can actually get done. First thing is breakfast and making liver cake for the dog before the liver goes off. 

9am Everyone has surfaced for breakfast, and eaten breakfast. I’d love to tell you there is a long pause between breakfast and Monday sweets, but there isn’t. 

I do basic Latin dance 2 from fit2b while the girls have their game time. 

10am The 7 year old wanted to make a recipe from the cupcake cookbook she got for Christmas so we have done that and they are in the oven. She also wanted to move her tiny pond into a bigger ice cream carton that we emptied yesterday, so we transferred everything across – 2 tiny snails, 2 woodlouse-y things that we need to look up in one of our nature books, and surprisingly a couple of leeches that we debated over but ultimately decided to keep. Plus all the pond weed. I made holes in our old breadboard making air holes in the lid with a nail and a pin hammer. But better me than her. 

Everyone has gone to get dressed, so I’m giving them 15 minutes to get themselves sorted before morning time and I’m writing an email to a podcast guest. 

After that I have 5 minutes to read a couple of pages from my book. (I want to be a better reader of books for myself this year, not just a collector of books so I am trying to carry a book around with me in the house with varying results.)

Now time to get everyone back downstairs to do morning time. 

This morning we finished the buns, and the ate them while I read today’s poem, finished our current readaloud, read some nature, some global studies, some science and did some work on emotional literacy. The nature study includes bullrushes which is a great excuse for us to sing a song about them that we learnt on tiktok (and which has been living rent free in my head for the last week.) Then my 10 year old showed me how to make an origami rocket she had been working on. 

It is now time for lunch.  Right now lunch is a time for the kids to watch what they want. Sometimes I eat lunch on my own and watch stuff or do some work, and sometimes I have lunch with my husband. Today I listen to some bits and pieces on youtube and clear out some of the backlog of emails that piled up last week. 

After lunch we do table work. My 10 year old completely homework she needs to do for her online Japanese class and then we do maths and do some cultural studies about Japan. We learn about the four main islands of Japan and listen to a Japanese folk song about Cherry Blossom. Then she goes online to do her Japanese class. 

My 7 year old comes to do maths, and we are finishing the last units of Ready 2 Read. We talk about how different letters sit on different parts of the line. We correct some sentences and work out if they are statements or questions. The statements all get exclamation marks, which she thinks is hilarious. We are starting the next book in the geography curriculum she is using and so we learn a bit about how rivers form.  Afterwards she wants to try a thing in Minecraft so she quickly gives me a tour of the area she has been making, and then she makes her thing based on the Minecraft graphic novel she has been reading. 

Now it’s time for table work with the 12 year old. We finish up the latest chapter in his maths curriculum, read from What’s Physics all About?, and review where various countries and seas are in Europe as part of a new geography curriculum we have just started. We back this up with a couple of videos from the new Crash Course series on geography (which is better bang for your buck to be honest.)  

Unfortunately my husband is not back from the afternoon dog walk in time to start the Minecraft server for the 12 year old’s weekly online Skype with one of his besties. But this gives them the chance to try playing Dungeon Mayhem over Skype (which works pretty well, assuming both homes have a copy of the game, or one of the add-ons.)

I do a bit of tidying up and make dinner. After dinner we have started a kitchen disco/washing up/clearing up time. My husband picked some house music, I picked an early Fat Boy Slim track to compliment it then the kids segued into the Trolls soundtrack. We got the liver cake into the freezer, and the washing up done, and a load of washing in the washer. 

The kids have gone up, the husband has taken himself off for a walk and I am doing a bit of work, before I go read to the kids – a new readaloud. And then I’ll come down, check my email and think about a plan for tomorrow. And then I’m going to read in bed and get some sleep. 

I didn’t get the three bags of washing that have been sitting by my side of the bed since before I got sick put away. Nothing got cleaned and there are piles of books that need to be put away, and I didn’t get my outdoors walk in. But we are stepping forwards a bit at a time and I’m doing the best I can.

Lockdown is really hard. This pandemic is really hard. I am really tired. We are trying our best, even when from the outside it doesn’t look like much at all.

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