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The Lockdown Diary – Chapter 1

Well, isn’t this all rather interesting…. and frustrating! As parents we always dream of having some quiet time, some downtime where we don’t need to constantly worry about getting up and dressed on time, school runs, getting to work on time, cooking tea on time, getting to bed on time and everything else in-between. But we didn’t think the introduction of that “easier life” would come in the form of a lockdown!

We are now on week 3 of the big UK lockdown, and all the worries of getting things done on time are pretty much nil and void. So much so, I’ve pretty much lost all track on what day of the week it actually is!

Lockdown Diary Chapter 1

How We’ve Been Filling Our Days

At the beginning of the kids being off school, I pretty much hit our days with as much gusto as I could drum up. I was intent on keeping the kids occupied, educated and their days fun. I previously blogged sharing an idea of the outline of what I hoped our day would include, including a timetable and I am pretty pleased the kids loved it and have pretty much stuck to it. Although I over dreamt the fact that the kids would be happy to sit for a couple of hours in stints during the day. For example;

Our initially Daily Routine - Lockdown Diary Chapter 1
Our initial routine for Lockdown

The mornings home learning for an hour can just about be met with the kids home packs set from school. Usually at around the 45 minute mark they are becoming a little irritable and spend the last 15 minutes day dreaming or planning their 10.30am break time.

After the break, I usually spend this time fighting the kids to concentrate on their English/SPAG work. I’ve been printing worksheets of Twinkl for the kids to complete which they do, but they’ve usually finished them well before the 1-hour mark. This session usually lasts about 30minutes max. They really don’t seem to enjoy English.

After lunch they work on their Maths, I usually get about 45 minutes again out of them for this session. Only because they both LOVE maths, but I’ve been mixing their maths sessions up with maths colouring sheets, CGP books and worksheets from Twinkl again. They think Math’s is much more interesting.

From 2.30 for the home learning activity, we’ve sort of let this massively slip. Only on the basis that the weather has been absolutely glorious so the kids have wanted to they disappear into the gardens, harass the chickens, play in the hot tub or on the trampoline. I haven’t stopped them or got in their way of this. We’ve also taken this time too if need be to go on our one-day outing, enjoying a walk, scoot or bike ride around some local country lanes and picking sticky weed for the chickens.

From here I’ve pretty much let the kids be kids and haven’t pestered them to work as they are usually playing together lovely and enjoying each others company.

All in all we are coping very well, trying to keep the feeling of isolation to a minimum for the kids but they miss their school friends dearly.

Contact

We don’t live close by to our family so thankfully the kids don’t feel like their missing out on too much family contact but it has been hard for them not to speak to their class friends. We’ve so far set up contact for Leah with 2 of her class friends whilst also writing letters to another friend and Lewis has established phone contact with 3 of his class friends too.

Things I’ve learnt so far

  • I am NOT a teacher! – Initially, I thought I could play teacher, but I can’t and Lewis’s school work taught me that on day 1! Swiftly stumbling on many subjects that I couldn’t help Lewis with so opted to use to power of google to help me or ask Lewis to teach me.
  • My printer needs a lot more paper and ink – The kids are LOVING print out activity sheets, worksheets from Twinkl, colouring pages and random word searches that I stumble across. This has massively taken a hit on my paper and ink supplies which I have just topped up thanks to the Cartridge People.
  • Set my standards low. – I started this with days so fully planned and thinking they would just breeze by but they aren’t easy. The kids bicker through work, I can’t help like as much as I’d like or they just lose interest. How on earth teachers keep kids locked into their learning is beyond me.
  • Time to work on my blog is pretty much non-existent. – Having to help the kids through their homework means I haven’t been able to blog like before as I just can’t concentrate on multiple tasks. As I type this I have a rare hour to myself as Sam has taken the kids on a bike ride. I’m now missing my outing for the day to work.
  • I can no longer weekly shop and buy enough in! – The kids are eating me literally out of house and home, they are just non-stop eating through boredom and frustration. Lewis is the biggest culprit in this equation. Thankfully in week 1, I set up the Monopoly Money Shop. The kids can earn Monopoly Money for completing chores and then spend their money on treats, sweets and fruit. This has helped keep their eating low as they don’t have enough pennies or don’t want to spend them.

Keeping Spirits High

Obviously this is easier said than done, but I am being as lenient as possible with the kids during this. If they opt to spend a bit more time than previously allowed talking to friends then I am letting it happen. They need their contact with friends now more than ever and their friends (and parents) are lovely which is a bonus.

When it comes down to their school work. If they don’t feel like completing a certain task for the day I am not forcing them to do it. But instead encouraging them to go back to it another day.

But most of all, and a massive thank you here goes out to our local Police Department. Over the past week they have come up with a fantastic initiative for getting the kids to be creative. Asking kids in my local town to decorate their windows as much as possible. In return, police will leave bags of sweets for kids in return. This has seen a fantastic response from the kids and families in our town. Even Lewis and Leah couldn’t help get involved.

https://twitter.com/NewportCops/status/1246717451359969280

The business

You may or may not be aware of our family business. We own dry cleaners here in our local town which has subsequently been made an essential business by the government. This means we are allowed to stay open and operate during this time. Initially, this hadn’t gone down too well with me. I had strived so hard to protect myself and my family during this time and remaining open just felt too uncomfortable for me. We’ve since massively limited our opening times to around 12 hours per week. Instead of our usual 52 hours which has been fitting to footfall from public and the severe drop in work that has come in. We are intending to review this frequently but for now, we feel the hours are fine. There’s only Sam working in the shop as everyone else has taken leave so it reduces his contact a lot.

Let me know how you’re coping with lockdown in the comments.

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