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Surviving homeschooling with a feisty five-year-old in a lockdown

PUBLISHED: 11:30 25 March 2020 | UPDATED: 08:58 26 March 2020

Parents have been attempting to homeschool their children this week - but what is it really like? Picture: SUZANNE DAY

Parents have been attempting to homeschool their children this week - but what is it really like? Picture: SUZANNE DAY

Archant

Whining about snacks, snoozing in the sunshine and swimming lessons in the bath - homeschooling certainly has its highs and lows.

Many families have been decorating rainbows and popping them up in their windows to cheer people up Picture: SUZANNE DAYMany families have been decorating rainbows and popping them up in their windows to cheer people up Picture: SUZANNE DAY

Less than a fortnight ago, my little girl muttered the words: “That bug is coming quick mummy.”

Little did I know just how quickly her words would come true and that we had an uncertain future of homeschooling ahead of us.

As it became more inevitable that schools would be closing, I felt a feeling of dread creep over me - how on earth would I cope teaching my unstoppable, stubborn five-year-old?

But as the announcement was finally made in the House of Commons that schools would indeed be shutting their gates, I had a little shudder and actually got emotional.

I am in the lucky position that my daughter loves her reception class and I felt just so sad that she wouldn’t be seeing her friends for weeks.

Selfishly, I would miss hearing her excited - if sometimes very exaggerated - stories about her day.

Like the one about the assembly when 20 police officers dressed as Captain America apparently rocked up...

We are enjoying getting out in the garden as part of our homeschooling Picture: SUZANNE DAYWe are enjoying getting out in the garden as part of our homeschooling Picture: SUZANNE DAY

Day One

Bright and early on Monday morning, Rosie burst into my bedroom asking when we could start her ‘PE lesson’. It was 6.30am and I had a couple of hours work ahead of me before ‘home school’ began.

I knew from then on in it would be a long morning, especially as she insisted that from now on she would call me ‘teacher’ and I would call her ‘Rosie’ and nothing else.

In some ways I got off lightly - she is determined to call her step dad her headteacher’s name, constantly!

By 8.30am, Rosie was begging for a snack despite the fact her school doesn’t normally open until 8.40am and I am pretty sure snack time is around 11am.

The challenge of having limited food in the house made the constant whining for the elusive snack even more enjoyable.

When the PE lesson (Joe Wicks on YouTube) did eventually start, as well as initial enthusiasm, there were some sneaky attempts from Rosie to crack open the chocolates she had given me for Mother’s Day.

And in my first homeschooling failure she was munching on a chocolate before she had even got dressed - things could only get better, right?!

READ MORE: Joe Wicks’ PE classes see Suffolk children jumping with joy during crisis



Day two: lockdown

Day two started even earlier. Seemingly, Rosie has decided homeschooling is all about getting up at the crack of dawn.

Luckily, the demand for snacks was not so great and I had help in the form of the headteacher (the step dad one).

Good old Joe Wicks played his part again, keeping Rosie relatively entertained for 30mins - he is the only routine in our homeschool day so far, not that I am complaining.

Then Rosie had a video call chat with one of her best friends.

I think it is really important she stays in touch with her school friends, especially as they are definitely her favourite thing about school.

After taking the register (Rosie insisted) and a bit of singing, we made up some rainbows for our windows before soaking up the sunshine.

READ MORE: Rainbow trail brings ray of sunshine in bleak times



We of course played one of her classic favourite games, mums and sisters, which involved me spending a decent amount of time pretending to be asleep on a picnic blanket - dangerous.

As I write this, Rosie is having her swimming lesson in the bath and has managed to stand on her glasses, which just about sums it up.

I was prepared for the whining for snacks but not so much the constant mess and spillages - I feel for all reception teachers and teaching assistants out there.

On the positive side, I am quite excited about the amount of gardening Rosie wants to do and the fact she is still keen to practise her phonics.

Like many mums and dads across Suffolk, I am coming up with flexible plans about what we are going to do each day. However at a time when our children are all a bit scared and are going to be missing their pals, I think it is fine to cut her a little bit of slack.

Luckily, just like at her actual school, her enthusiasm is infectious - but Rosie is going to learn in her own headstrong little way, which means I am going to have my work cut out!

Send chocolate.

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