home schooling drawing
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Home Schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic

Home schooling

Over the last few months, due to COVID-19, I’ve built a little experience with home schooling. I’ve had the children crying, refusing to work. I’ve cried as a bad mother unable to get them to work and I’ve stood back and reflected, this is temporary it will be okay. Their teachers will sort it when they are back in school. Then I start my cycle again, I’m mum, they need to work, we need to do this together.

As a working mum with two wonderful children I am grateful to their teachers for the timetables and worksheets. Every day I try and get my eight year old to do Maths and English. They are subjects that with worksheets from White Rose Maths and Oak National Academy he can do without my help. Though, there are things that he will still be confused with and this is okay, we try and discuss it later. Tuesday’s and Fridays are my days off, so I try and schedule the learning that he will need more of my attention, on these days.

My daughter age six is working with daddy. but will often refuse. So, Saturday’s she is working with me. Hence, I now work a six-day week. This last Saturday she reduced me to tears as refused to write about a beach. To me it was interesting, to her she just wanted to play. I’m hoping it is because it was still technically school holidays. Though she has Monday’s off, so it was a fair deal.

Last weekend we had a lovely lesson learning about soil. With the help of  You Tube  videos and then getting muddy in the garden, my daughter enjoyed it.

Reduced to tears

So, who else has been reduced to tears by a child or children refusing to co-operate with home schooling? The feeling of not being good enough. I’m not a qualified teacher but I’m working my hardest to support them. One problem though is I’m enjoying it too much. Yes, mum needs to get the balance right and step back from doing things for them. They need to make mistakes and it’s not a competition.

The frustration of having learnt something but the child can’t remember it. Or the need to write poetry but the child refuses. If you have read my blog you will know that I have a passion for poetry. So, when my child refuses to write words that rhyme I get upset. Helicopter parent steps in, and I know this is not good. I’ve told my children that we need to work on their poetry together. I’ve always enjoyed making words rhyme.

If you are a parent feeling overwhelmed by it all, maybe look at what the school have set and then print off the timetable or create one. After that set yourself realistic goals. For example, I know my son is still playing on the IPad between 9.00 and 10.00, so it’s after 10.00 that I will mention school to him. I’m sorry but we have not done any Joe Wicks.

The children doing circuits around the garden on their bikes, playing football and climbing the garden fence is PE.

Our schedule

Here is our schedule. It is set more by the children than myself, and it is flexible.

10.00 – 10.30 – start home school – Maths and English
11.30 ish morning break – toast and a drink
12.00 – home school
13.15 – lunch time
14.15 – home school – Science, Geography, History – Subject work set
15.15 – 16.00 – finish school

I try and get English and maths completed in the morning. Then the more interesting work in the afternoon. Today we were learning about oceans and he coloured in a worksheet. He was happy with this plan.

Useful websites – some you may need to subscribe to.

Twinkl – I created a free account to download worksheets
White Rose Maths

Oak National Academy

Time Table Rock Stars – I purchased a family account, which is currently £6.00 annually. We have this through school, but on the family account I can adjust the tables that are asked.  Their teacher changes the tables asked on the school account.  On my daughter’s school account the questions are very limited.  On the family account I’ve changed it to focus on the two times, five times and ten times tables.

Numbots – appears to only be available through your school at present.
You Tube – many educational videos.
BBC Bitesize
Pinterest for design technology ideas – art and craft

Purple Mash – we have it through school

Spelling Shed

Bug Club

I’m sure there are many more that I’m not aware of.  Please add others that you recommend in the comments.

To help consolidate work I have made videos of my children presenting their work with my tablet.  I can recommend video merge app and Video panda compression app these are essential if you intend to email them to school or / and family.  Video panda in my opinion is amazing.  Video merge I’ve had a few issues, but have managed to join video in the end.  The compression (and joining if necessary) might take a few hours but incredible results. For example, over 600mb reduced to under 20mb and still acceptable quality, (this is just my personal opinion).

Home learning essentials

(Please note the following contains affiliate links.  Anything purchased will earn me a small amount of commission which will help to pay for my blogs)

My son needed more exercise books, and we needed more paper for the printer.   We then needed Pritt Stick and more pens.

A few months ago I purchased two Amazon Kindle kids,  They have been worth every penny as both children will read them.  My son is unlikely to read a paperback book, but with the Kindle he can not see how long it is.  He is now reading his way through the works of David Walliams.

If you are needing a new printer I can recommend a Mono laser printer.  They work out less expensive as they do not need a colour cartridge. Mine is connected wirelessly across WIFI to my tablet.

Reflection

To all COVID- 19 home schoolers – Remember the time now with our children is precious. If you feel you are failing at home schooling then don’t beat yourself up. Your children are possibly learning other skills. Is your child reading more? Whether it’s a magazine’s or their kindle. Are they Lego building and problem solving? Maybe, playing in the garden or helping around the house?

My daughter is creative.  She refused to do her writing on Saturday but here is her cardboard box dolls house.  She is learning in her own way.

home schooling dolls house

Try and stay positive, try and not get angry and cry like I did last Saturday, it really isn’t worth it.  I’m sure however successful we are with home schooling, we are all trying our best.  All living with different situations and different stress.  I hope this post has been in some way useful.

For more see Quarantine poetry, looking back on today

10 Comments

  • Cheryl

    Hi Marian, I would never have managed home schooling back when my daughter was little (she was born in 1985). I would have been the laziest mum and she would have done only what she wanted. I remember one day for homework from school she had to write about something (it wasn’t poetry) and she sat at the table for 1 hour without writing a word. I gave up and didn’t insist further. As someone who loves writing, and has loved it from childhood, I couldn’t understand her ‘problem’. But now I do. We’re all different. I’m now an English teacher and a blogger and still love writing, and my daughter is a qualified electrician and does 3D printing. I’m so proud of her. Just remember, this is a very short period of time in your children’s lives, try not to stress about it and let them discover what they’re good at and what they enjoy. You’re doing a great job, don’t forget that! 🙂 xx

    • Just muddling through life

      Thanks Cheryl. Im doing my best to motivate my son because he will work hard. My daughter has today frozen washing up liquid. No school work achieved but green ice cubes.. frustrating but it’s all learning.. sounds like you and your daughter have done well. X x

      • Cheryl

        Well, I’ve never frozen washing up liquid so your daughter is already miles ahead of me in the field of science! Well done to you both, it may not be ‘school work’, but it’s learning about the world, so it’s even better. 🙂 Hang in there, your kids will be fine (mine is!). xx

  • debrapurdykong

    Wow, you’ve given some great insights as to what life is like to home school your children. Clearly, it’s been a huge learning curve for all of you, but I’m impressed with what you’ve accomplished. Kudos to all of you!

    • Just muddling through life

      Hi Debra, sorry it took me so long to respond, yes home schooling is hard work but I feel we are doing alright, Thankyou!

    • Just muddling through life

      Thankyou Marje. I keep reading that we are not teachers so we are not teaching, I honestly feel I am with the amount of time spent, most of the day. and the amount I have explained and discussed with them. Yes it is hard work and I’ve learnt loads.

  • Flossie

    Oh good Lord, I hear you!!! I AM a qualified teacher (albeit not of “differently abled” children and of students much older than my own), and I’ve still been pulling my hair out, even with (especially with?) daily lessons sent from the teachers for my 8yo and 10yo. Esp for the 10yo, who has ADHD and thus has required CONSTANT supervision/handholding to stay on task during these past several months. Thank you Lord that school is over for the summer here, finally!

    • Just muddling through life

      I’m trying my hardest to get everything on my sons sheet ticked off. He is working hard, average of four hours a day. My daughter just refuses to work, but she might manage 3 – 4 hours at the weekend. I’m mum but I’m also a complete nag so it has caused arguements but they are producing good work and their teachers are pleased. Both children have needed a lot of one to one time. Yes Home schooling is work… 4 weeks left to go…

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