• home schooling drawing
    Amazon,  Kids,  Parenting

    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

  • son my kindle
    Amazon,  books,  Poetry

    My Son, reading and life poetry

    End of January

     

    We are nearly at the end of January 2020,

    Kids back at school and work has been busy.

    Working on my life and working on my reading,

    With my writing anthology, I’m finally succeeding.

     

    With thanks to my writing group, the story is done,

    A demon, a hospital, ghosts, the lives that are gone.

    I’m hoping it’s liked enough, to be printed in a book,

    Where people will read, drink tea and have a look.

     

    Now as I sit here, my son is not at school,

    With a sore tummy Wednesday, he’s nobody’s fool.

    I was hoping that he would be back at school today.,

    But rules say no, so he gets to quietly play.

    Son unwell

    He has done some reading, he read some Harry Potter,

    But very soon he wanted to be back on the computer.

    I thought we could cuddle up and maybe watch the film,

    But he’s happier driving cars around a little screen.

     

    Taking my daughter to school they like to run around,

    I stood with my Kindle trying to stand my ground.

    This last week I have travelled with  Debra Purdy Kong,

    Her Casey Holland books have got me, you can’t go wrong.

    My reading

    Casey and Lou, Summer, Stan the buses,

    Mainland transport, the drama, the losses.

    Book six is released on the 12th February,

    Pre-order today, for Casey’s life and rebelry.

     

    The continued balance of writing, work and life,

    Ensuring that I read, adding to my strife.

    I like spending my day off alone,

    Safe in the knowledge it’s just me at home.

     

    As I sit here, typing on my bed,

    I have things racing around my head.

    Frustrated with the noise of the computer,

    The roar of cars, I need to be a better instigator.

     

    Maybe after dinner, we can do some work together,

    His fingers are typing quickly on the computer.

    Years ago, I wrote poems on a typewriter,

    Back then we didn’t know that computers were our future.

    Life

    Life has changed over the years,

    We have all evolved along with our peers.

    It’s not just the youngsters enjoying online shopping.

    I met a ninety year old, for his Tesco order, online he is hopping.

     

    So, today I’m going to go and make some tea,

    Maybe take my son downstairs with me.

    Enjoying his sick days, he is making the most of them,

    Watching him relaxing, he isn’t unwell often.

     

    I’m lying here trying to stay awake,

    The house needs a tidy, my sanity’s at stake.

    The washing is racing around the washing machine,

    The pile of dishes is bad but really not obscene.

     

    So back to the life of a working stressed out mum,

    I know there are jobs I need to get done.

    Hope you have all had a good week,

    The weekend is here, now fun to seek.

     

    (Please note anything bought through my links will earn me some commission that will help pay for my blog.

    Other blogging authors that I’ve read.

    Include the work of Stevie Turner

    Ritu Bhathal – Poetic Rituals

    Ritu’s – debut novel – Marriage Unarranged is available for preorder – for release on 9th February

    Lucy Mitchell

    Graeme Cumming

    Dan Malakin

    Janet Gogerty

    Esther Chilton

    Darlene Foster

    There are many others that I still need to read.

    Kindle Paperwhite

    Kindle for kids – I have ordered this today for my daughter’s birthday.  My son has said he doesn’t like reading.  I’m hoping that seeing his sister read will make him want to read more.  She has set up a book corner in her room.  I’m wondering if a Kindle will be easier to read then a hard back or paperback.  She had a load for Christmas including Nevermoor.

    If you have tips for getting a reluctant reader to read, then please do tell me in the comments.

    For more see, My life and my family poetry

  • year Christmas tree
    Amazon,  blogging

    The last year, 2019 and Christmas

    January 2019

    I was going to do a post reflecting on this last year, with my favourite posts. I then realised that this would be a long list.

    So here are some posts from January. Here is my first post of 2019 – New years day poetry

    The mannequin and the slippers poetry

    Friday and a day at home – reading this I can see that the children have not got any easier.

    Other months

    The New York Street End Café  – Written for Writers Unite – July 2019

    New year poetry – December 2018

    What have I achieved this year?

    I’ve added many stories and poems to my blog.  I’m hoping that my writing is improving.  I have had two stories published this year on Spillwords.

    Featured Christmas day poetry

    The love of a mother

    I am now writing a Paranormal story for an Anthology.  I scared myself a few night ago reading about the ‘Lake of sulphur’. I needed to know what Demons smell like.  The answer is Sulphur.  The smell of rotten eggs.

    My novel is at about 70 000 words and I’m  struggling with it.  For now I have taken a break.  I started it in March, so I have a very long way to go. I’m guessing I have many redrafts to write.

    In June I started my second blog www.marianwood.com and soon after I started my monthly newsletter.

    Friday and Christmas

    So, how has your Christmas been? Mine has involved the usual Christmas stress and the best bit was seeing the children enjoying their presents.  I’m glad that its now Friday 27th.

    However it did include profiteroles and cream, which were lovely.

    profiteroles

    The Christmas tree has lost some baubles, every year it looks more unwell. The kids rooms need their new toys tidying away. I spent most of boxing day cooking and I have most of a turkey in my fridge. Todays dinner was turkey curry.

    Christmas presents

    (Anything purchased through my affiliate links will earn me some commission which will help pay for my blog).

    Rainbow Science

    We now have food colouring on the kitchen table. Put newspaper down before your child plays with it. Both children are loving these.
    There are other experiment sets in the series.

    Sewing kit
    My daughter was sewing Christmas night. She loves being creative.

    Scalectrix
    Providing hours of fun as the cars race around the track.

    Barbie
    The doll that girls of all ages love.

    Star wars Pyjamas
    As a star wars fan, my husband wanted these from the children.

    Slippers
    Always an essential.

    Books (Train to Impossible places)

    I have bought these for my daughter, but I intend to read them as they look good.

    Today we have been puzzle building. However, the children quickly got bored of finding border pieces. Leaving me determined and alone to carry on. We have tested out the  puzzle roll mat and it does seem to actually work. Maybe the children will unroll it themselves tomorrow and carry on, I can hope.

    My six year old was taking baubles of the tree today. She told me that Christmas is over and it’s time to take the Christmas tree down. If she had said that this morning I would probably have taken it down.  I’m being told that we need to buy a new one. Reading reviews I’m not sure if there are trees significantly better to justify binning my poor tree.  I bought it years ago., (possibly 2003, yes it is old)

    Christmas holidays

    Just a few days left, back to work on Monday.  Tomorrow if I get motivated I might make the effort to finally walk to the town and return the library book.  Both children have loads of reading after Christmas.

    The year is almost over, what else can I fit in to the last few days?  2020 is just around the corner.  My next blog post for just muddling through life will be next year.  Time is going to fast!

    For more see, A time to look back over this year – December 2018

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