So… I never imagined I’d be writing this blog post! As the girls slept in their indoor tent last night and watched movies until midnight they are still asleep giving me the time to write this blog…
It has been 6 weeks since lockdown began and we have been all doing our best at home with our children trying to stay sane and also teach them too.
I know this is a difficult time especially for those who are trying to work from home or juggle shifts whilst also keeping their little ones busy. I thought I’d share the way we are managing our time and I would love to hear your experiences of homeschooling too.
The girls school has been fantastic at keeping in touch and providing us with work to complete. Initially I wrote out a timetable with subjects and times… this went out the window within the first week as this just caused me stress trying to hurry them along for the next subject.
I thought I’d share some websites and programmes that we are enjoying too as some ideas for those who are not so well supported by their schools. 6 weeks in and our day looks a bit like this:
Breakfast: Reading over breakfast and following this the girls take an online test for comprehension that the school provide if they have finished their book.
English tasks: These are provided by school with a focus for the week.
Maths tasks: We use Hamilton Maths sheets, White rose maths sheets and their favourite The Maths Factor which includes videos, tests and games which the girls are loving!
Science, History, Geography, Language: Both girls have activity ideas set by the school and we try to do one for each subject each week.
Music: The girls are both learning to play the guitar and usually have lessons at school, we have been learning from Youtube videos as and when they fancy it (not very often! I think I want to learn more than they do).
PE: We started off with Joe Wickes’ daily youtube workout however the girls got bored quite quickly. We have been mixing it up with doing something every day : basketball, cycling, long walks with the dogs and playing Just Dance on the Nintendo switch. Katie has also been learning some Ballet from Youtube. Both girls like to practice their gymnastics moves and create dances to their favourite tracks, which certainly gets their blood pumping! We have been sent log in details for a PE lessons from school but at the moment we have just been doing our own thing.
Lunchtime: We love David Walliams and have been listening to his audiobooks each day whilst we eat our lunch they are free and he posts them daily on his website: The World Of David Walliams . We are also using Audible to listen to Harry Potter at the moment and listened to Fantastic Mr Fox last week.
We try to get most of our work done by lunch time as we are early birds we are often sat eating breakfast and ready to start English by 8am although as the weeks go by our sleep pattern is shifting slightly later!
Afternoon: We try to have some fun in the afternoon, there are so many people sharing ideas on facebook, pintrest, blogs etc.
Some of our favourites include:
- Painting, junk modeling, craft etc.
- Playing board games
- Reading books or online magazines at Readly which is great for children’s magazines and adult magazines too ( if you sign up with my link we both get a month for free! – Ready – Sign up )
- Electronic time
- Playing in the garden.
- Watch nature documentaries or a movie on Disney Plus
- Making dens
- Gardening – We are useless but we are trying!
- Pampering – Soaking feet, face masks and painting nails.
Cooking: We have also found a new love of cooking, both girls have been learning to cook simple meals. It has been a real bonding experience and lovely to see them helping out in the kitchen and being excited and interested in baking too. We don’t usually have much time to spend in the kitchen with after school clubs and work etc. but we have really enjoyed baking yummy food and meals.
Mental Health: We are very aware that we need to protect all of our minds at this difficult time and that we should be putting too much pressure on ourselves to succeed right now! We talk daily about how we are feeling, Coronavirus, identify things that we miss and our talk about possible plans for when we are able to see friends again. We find this a good way to keep us uplifted and motivated to enjoy our time together. We enjoy getting out for fresh air on our daily walk with the dogs and recognise this as being very important for our wellbeing.
Connecting: We have found it really important to try and stay connected with family and friends during this time. Each day we try to Facetime, message or write a letter to someone we care about. We have started doing family group calls once a week, where we have played bingo and created our own family quiz.
Reality: Whilst this all sounds great….. we do have ups and downs like any family. The situation in our country changed so fast and suddenly we found ourselves trying to adjust to teaching children at home. On the whole we doing okay and having good days, trying to make the most of our time together. However one day last week it just wasn’t working so we binned off homeschool by mid morning and just vegged around the house. It is a massive change in everyone’s lives to be at home all day together for weeks on end.
Websites we recommend:
Twinkl – Lots of free printables to support learning
Mrs Mactivity – More free printables
BBC Bitesize online lessons Lessons and activities completable online
The Wellbeeings – Wellbeing Diary – Free printable
The Shows Must Go On – West end performances to watch
Duolingo – Learn a language online, which is fun for children too.
Stop Motion App – My friend told me about this app, it is great you can create your own movies using animation techniques.
Look at Zoo facebook pages many are doing watch online feeding times or meet the x animal videos.
For grown ups there are lots of online quizzes also advertised by individual businesses on Facebook.
I hope this post provides you with a few ideas or if nothing else it killed 5 minutes of your day!
Take care and stay safe!
Bex and The Allum Family.
He looser approach is working for us too. My older kids just revel if I try and tie them down to a timetable too much. Mich X
Our school has also been amazing at providing weekly timetables for my kids. It’s a struggle to get them to do more than the English and Maths but I’m happy with that, I’m not a teacher!
English and Maths are the subjects they’ll definitely do exams in as they get older so every little helps as the saying goes.
This is so helpful. Jack has been doing a lot of the work set by teachers as well as Times Table Rockstars and Purple Mash.
We’ve also been encouraging him to login to Reading Eggs and do activities on there as well as doing other stuff like cooking, growing food from seeds and so much more. Will definitely be checking out some of the links you’ve suggested.
Oh yes I’ve heard of Reading eggs. I might take a look.
This is great! Me and my daughter loves to play piano. This is a good time to practice together.
Aww playing music together is great such a collaborative joy.
Great list and ideas, thanks for sharing! I love the idea of incorporating reading into breakfast time and having an audiobook playing at lunch etc, a great way to get some extra reading and story time in! Your right, so many great resources are being sharing and I think its lovely how everyone including big companies are coming together to ensure our children can still learn even from home!
I can’t wait to try some of these fun ideas!
This is such a lovely way to have the week days running – such a great mix of routine with the ability to be flexible!
Thank you for the list of websites, we have been doing various things but after 6 weeks they are getting bored so finding these new websites suggestions such as Twinkl and the BBC Bites sites is going to be helpful
Wow you clearly have everything in check here. You seem really organised and have lots scheduled and planned which is great xx
These are good ways to stay busy during quarantine. We are off for the rest of the school year, and it is nice to have ideas for keeping the kids busy.
It’s great to see what others are utilising for homeschool resources and I can certainly always do with a few more to help ensure the children are occupied and learning.
I am so glad that you included mental health in this post! I think that the mental wellbeing of our children is being overlooked. Parents are so busy trying to cope with a different way of life and not always being as considerate of our children’s mental state as they should be. Great post!
My kids love David Walliams books and have devoured the entire series whilst on lockdown. We have done some garden camping too which has been fun
How interesting! We struggled at first to figure out ways to stay active with the kids home.
These are all great ideas. I have been trying to keep homeschooling fun for my kids.
Thank you for sharing! My daughter’s school has been great throughout this whole thing.
Such useful information. We are homeschoolers so this wasn’t such an adjustment for us. We kinda just keep keeping on.
while my kids are teens, i know i can use so many of these ideas.. and we do have a bunch of shows to watch, and a list of foods we want to prepare and eat.. 🙂
These are great ideas! Kids need to be entertained because this is affecting EVERYONE. Not just adults.
wow really a great activity & idea shared by my naughty baby girl is also enjoying the lockdown i will try this my princess