Diary of a self-isolator - Day 9

Working from home is productive but can be lonely Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Working from home is productive but can be lonely Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Archant

Like the majority of workers in the UK, Charlotte is having to work from home during the coronavirus crisis. She is documenting what life is like.

A ransacked kitchen after a 'game' Picture: Charlotte Smith-Jarvis

A ransacked kitchen after a 'game' Picture: Charlotte Smith-Jarvis - Credit: Archant

Day one (proper) of this home-schooling malarkey. All happy days, and organisation, and smug justification of my carefully drawn-up plans.

Day two. Today. Yeah, so most of that’s gone out the window. The kids took my 30-minute team conference call as a cue to stay in bed longer. And the lovely lunchbreak we had yesterday? That’s been replaced by ‘mum, do we HAVE to have this again?’ They’re not much taking to the ‘eat what’s in the house’ ethos.

Yesterday I felt like supermum. At the weekend I’d ordered gold dust-like copies of KS3 books and other source materials. I’d planned the course of the week for each child, and managed to threaten them sufficiently (no phones or Fortnite) if they didn’t stick to the list.

Working with the timetables each of them have from school, I blended set pieces of work, with revision on current topics and a few ‘out there’ options.

PE while keeping our social distance during our one permitted journey out a day Picture: Charlotte

PE while keeping our social distance during our one permitted journey out a day Picture: Charlotte Smith-Jarvis - Credit: Archant


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PE has included a Joe Wicks workout (thanks Joe) and running. For DT this week, as well as set work I’ve asked them to investigate Norman Foster. A huge map book is in the post, so they can spend geography time learning more about the world they live in – mostly so they can help me out with pub quizzes. The weekly cookery lesson will be set at dinner time, and I’m asking them to budget and plan meals for four so they can get a grasp of what running a household is like. For art, this week I’ve asked them to produce drawings inspired by artists such as Rothko and Monet.

Set language lessons are being supplemented by learning on the free app Duolingo.

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In addition to set history work I’ve found multiple documentaries supporting their learning on Netflix.

And, phew, for drama, I’m asking them to watch an Oscar-winning film, writing me a review.

I actually found it quite fun ‘lesson planning’ but it’s far removed from what any teacher I know has to do, and I bet by next week I’ll be sick and tired of the process and it’ll just become another thing to string on my growing ‘to do’ list.

The highlight of my kids’ week so far has been our friend Joel’s brilliant Whatsapp treasure hunt for our friendship group’s children. Basically they are all on the group together and he asks them to find and photograph an item in the house. Whoever does it the quickest gets a point and the winner a prize – yesterday 1kg of sweets. Clearly my kids have my competitive streak because as I sat here working, they ravaged the house like a murder squad looking for evidence!

After all that madness, devoid of motivation to exercise properly (I’ve lost my gym mojo) I walked to my parents to collect some rhubarb dad had grown.

At just 6pm, our usually thriving, buzzing little market town was eerily deserted, showing that where I live (at least) social distancing is being, for the large part, adhered to.

The Adnams shop, usually ripe for window shopping, is ‘boarded up’ with cardboard. All the restaurants, pubs and even the kebab shop (usually thronging until midnight) are closed. Signs line doors informing customers of closure. An inevitable and vital step, but not one without a tremendous deal of sadness. I, for one, hope when this is all over, we’ll be able to re-open our high street with a bang.

This morning, to lighten the mood, I asked my team to have a joke or a fact ready for our conference call – did you know honey lasts indefinitely? And it certainly seemed to lift my guys’ spirits for a spell. Have you got any good jokes or facts I can share with them? How are you coping home schooling? Got any hints and tips? Email me.

Charlotte’s daughter’s home school timetable

Monday

9am Joe Wicks PE

9.30am 30 minutes of reading

10am 30 minute break

10.30am maths

11.30 Duolingo French

12noon lunch

1pm English

2pm documentary

Tuesday

10am documentary

11am maths revision

11.30 ICT

12noon PE

12.30pm lunch

1pm English poetry homework

1.30pm reading

2pm science

Wednesday

9am reading

9.30am science

10am documentary

11am maths

12noon PE

12.30pm lunch

1pm geography

2pm Duolingo

Thursday

9am documentary

10am reading

10.30am food tech

12noon PE

12.30pm lunch

1pm English

2pm art- drawing a flower from the garden in the style of Monet and producing five facts about the artist

Friday

9am drama- watching an Oscar-winning film and write a review

11am PE from school workbook

11.30am French

12 noon PE

12.30pm lunch

1pm science

2pm geography - find out where the 5 biggest lakes in the world are and write information about them for a presentation

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