Home ed has changed too

Millie enjoying drawing.

By convener Ally MacDonald

‘Home educators aren’t affected by lockdown,’ and ‘you do this already, you’ll be fine.’

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard these statements in the past few weeks. The answer is, as I explained on Radio Scotland last week, we are all in this together. Home education, as people regularly need reminded, does not look like hours spent at home ‘at the kitchen table’.

The only thing that makes this easier for us is that we are used to spending the majority of our time with our children, and many of us don’t need childcare, though many home educators work, fitting it in while children are at activities, or using grandparents, both of which are now largely unavailable.

So how has this affected us as a home educating family? My daughter has lost all her activities overnight; brownies, musical theatre, several sports clubs and music sessions a week. We have lost access to the community in which the bulk of our learning takes place – castles, museums, shops, parks, sports centres to name but a few.

My job, working as a childminder from home, stopped overnight too. We have both lost face-to-face contact with friends. We, like everyone else, are settling into a temporary new normal. So, what does our new normal look like?

After a couple of weeks floating along and seeing what happened, which wasn’t a lot and included a lot of arguing, we have both written to-do lists for the week, which we wouldn’t normally do, in an attempt to stir us both into action.

We are suddenly spending much more time together — my SVQ course has fallen by the wayside — and we have signed up to several new online learning programmes, which means far more screen time than normal. It is not all bad though — we have been able to catch up with friends overseas who we usually struggle to speak to due to conflicting schedules and time zones.

We are both falling into our natural pattern of getting up late and staying up late. We have completed several projects we haven’t had time to get on to, our garden is tidy, and the dog is well walked.

Millie having fun.

Lockdown
by Millie, aged 8

H ome workout
O. W.L.’s (lots of Harry Potter reading and activities)
M aking my own fun
E asy days

E very day
D oing Night Zoo Keeper and Prodigy

I n my pyjamas all day
N o one cares

L azy days apart from walking Rocky
O n Facetime with friends
C rafts and cakes
K neading pizza dough
D uolingo and French on Skype with friends
O n the trampoline
W orking on Pawprint badges
N o usual activities, but it’s not all bad

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