Archives for the month of: January, 2021

Hopefully this will be a more balanced post than last time- I will try and control the anger I am feeling about the whole situation. These posts focus a lot on my children and the effect this is having on them – that is where my world begins and ends- not in any gushing, my children are my whole world, type thing, but just because I’m a parent, that’s what we do.

My home-schooling issues – and actually I am going to change that to remote learning issues- aren’t about getting my two to do the school work, from what I can see they are happy to do that. Both schools have provided a morning’s worth of work everyday. They sit and read it, or listen to the teachers or watch the lessons- they do the work that is set. But there is no enjoyment or real engagement in it for them. I don’t home-school them for there is nothing for me to do- I think I am more of a hinderance than a help when I am home. They seem to be doing their remote learning perfectly ok, I sometimes cast my eye over what they have done, it seems ok, I suggest they do more- they look at me blankly.

My remote learning issues are the lack of engagement and joy they seem to have. School now seems to be something to get through- ( they both used to enjoy (or at least not hate) school before). For my daughter everything she is being set now is revision for some hypothetical exams, she has a very good memory and I think she would have revised a little bit for proper GCSEs and done pretty well. I am sure she (and the teachers) will run out of things to revise soon. My son is just easily distracted by phone and apps. The phone has to be available as when they have to do group work, or aren’t sure on something it is a quick and easy way to check with class mates. To take it away disadvantages him- this I found out in the first lockdown. Excuses- maybe- for me not introducing a rule that I can’t police as I am only here one morning out of 5.

So I am not sure I can do much about their engagement in lessons as I am at work. I have decided I need to change my viewpoint on this all. In an ideal world my children would be focussed and working steadily in every lesson, not looking at phones or listening to music. They would rise from their desks every break time and jog gently around the garden pausing only to rescue tiny baby birds fallen from their nests. In the afternoons they would engage in independent learning of such depth and breadth that I would store their work in the loft and they will use it as the basis of their PhD thesis’.

Hmm, so lets look at what they are doing- they are up and ready for school in time each morning. They are attending every lesson and completing the work. They are going for a walk every day. They are working in the same room and chatting and helping each other. We are eating a hot meal at the table together each day. We are chatting to and laughing with each other. They are obeying the lockdown rules, there have been no tears (yet), they have not complained. They are becoming brilliant builders on minecraft and experts on teams and excel and word and powerpoint.

We are surviving and this is not forever. If they ever read this I hope they realise- and remember that they were pretty good really!

There! a much less angry post…. x

Stay safe and stay home.

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So here we are, back to remote learning, staring at screens for hours a day and in quiet bits of lessons watching a you tube video. All the bad habits that were let slip in the last few weeks of June and July 2020 are already firmly entrenched in January 2021. I have had to tell my two children not to eat lunch and snack at the computer and to get up and move at break and lunchtime, not to have minecraft and you tube open when it is lesson time.

They are fine, they are working and engaging in lessons. It is just so, so sad this had to happen again.

There are mixed feelings at school about the amount of children we have in school There are a lot of critical key workers who are working from home. But they have to work, I am not sure teachers are best placed to judge how involved a lap top work from home job actually is. We have just under a third of our children in our school of the three Y5/6 classes. This is definitely more than in the first lockdown where we had maximum of 20 children in the whole school. It is a difficult balancing act. There is little doubt that the children in school are getting a more structured, better resourced day. They are getting help from a trained adult when they need it, they don’t have to share technology with brothers and sisters. Again, more unfairness.

Hmm, so our life at home is going ok. Children up before I leave for work, working until lunchtime on timetabled lessons and then ‘something constructive’ in the afternoons. I just feel so sad for them. It drives me crazy that people are still breaking lock down and shielding guidelines yet my children are only allowed to leave the house once a day.

Everyone’s feelings have changed so much since the first lockdown- acceptance has become irritation and anger. The warm fuzzy feeling of staying at home to let someone’s great granny stay alive has become annoyance when the great granny nips to the shop for a pint of milk. I am not sure how my children’s generation will grow up- (they are Gen Z according to my daughter), my son has already decided the old ones we are protecting may have had enough life already. If the first lockdown made us kinder, this one is making us crueller.

But there is little we can do about all this, we are all adjusting to the life we will live for the next few weeks. Amazing feats are being carried out, people are being vaccinated at an incredible rate, and as soon as enough are protected we can go out again and the children can go back to school. Never, ever let it be said that Gen Z are selfish, they are making a huge sacrifice- maybe without even knowing it- limiting their futures so that we can keep more people alive; maybe they also deserve some acknowledgement.