This is my home school guide – I am not pretending to be an expert on home schooling, but I’ll give a shot at sharing what we have learnt so far after nearly 2 weeks.
It may come as a huge surprise to some of you that I wasn’t the best at concentrating at school… So you would have thought that when it came to Archie and Jack’s schooling that I would be the driving force behind it, desperate to not let history repeat itself and to see them become the great academics I never was. So far, and they are still young so anything could happen, I haven’t managed to pay much attention to what goes on at school, I am of the opinion that their teachers are extraordinary people who care far more than I do (we are particularly lucky at DESS to have such amazing teachers) so really I should let them have the space to do what they do uninterrupted. So far so good….
Brace yourself, the zombies are coming
So now the dreaded Coronaviurus has struck the world and we are lucky enough to be home-schooling the children. The whole Middle East is on a lockdown (Qatar, of course, is rather good at being in isolation, so panic levels seem to be under control) schools have now been closed for weeks, shops, restaurants, and borders are all firmly closed. No one has a clue what is going on, that much I think we all agree on but as the lockdown spreads West across Europe homeschooling is becoming the new norm for everyone, below is my simple guide to getting yourself ready for what could be a very long haul to the summer.
Incidentally, I thought home school would be a bit like stealing at the self-scan in Waitrose, driving over the speed limit, or lying to insurance companies about underlying health issues or smoking – I had assumed it would just mean we would all collectively tell little untruths about what our little cherubs had been up to and have a lovely holiday. How wrong I was.
I certainly don’t have the patience to be a teacher, in fact, it turns out I don’t even have the patience to be a parent most of the time, but Lexi has been a saint and taken on the mantle of Inky Swot and is gradually becoming a qualified primary school teacher to a school of one. It has not been easy but they are both now doing so well I am immensely proud of how they are getting through this extraordinary time.
A Home School Guide – The 4R’s
The more stuff you have, the more prep you can do and the more like a teacher you will seem to your child. Shuffling papers and waiting for printouts whilst trying to download things off an iPhone 4 just doesn’t give the impression you know what’s going on.
- A working printer, with ink and paper
- 1 x iPad/ screen per child (preferably with a stilo)
- Paper/ pens
- Cardboard boxes (For making stuff)
- Plenty of wine
Kids love a routine, even if it means rushing out the kitchen to not be late for school, try and build a routine that works for you all. Build in fun stuff, outdoor stuff and stuff you want to do. Share the load and make sure you are both involved where you can be.
- Sport/ activity
- Dad days
- Don’t be late for school
- Lots of short activities seems to work best
This is super hard, it’s such a new experience for everyone it’s bound to get a bit mental at some stage. Take it easy on your child, yourself and your school – It’s a team effort to make this sustainable.
- You are not a professional, so you have to learn this as well, give yourself a break.
- You need to find a groove for everyone to enjoy the process or it will fall over.
- It is different, so let it be. Don’t fight what you can’t win, your way is the best way.
- Don’t compare yourself to anyone, do what you can to make your children happy, if someone says they are nailing it they most likley have been sniffing glue.
Sometimes this will be hardest as the little sh1tbags will often not deserve anything, but we all know that bribing children with chocolate and fun things works. So do it. But don’t forget yourself, that is what the wine is for.
See you all 28 days later.
Lex is clearly a natural, not so sure about you Tom but you’d be pretty good at Duke of Edinburgh!!