I’ve been very quiet on the blog recently, this year so far has been like no other. Like many other people, the Covid-19 Pandemic has affected so many areas of my life.
Working from home/Furlough
Our office tried a few different approaches to this. Firstly there was a health assessment, then the office was reduced to 50% in office and 50% working from home. There had been a rumour that a person on a higher floor in the building (different company to ours) had been diagnosed with the Coronavirus, their whole floor had been emptied so naturally people’s anxieties were high. This wasn’t discussed in any management meetings but instead was office discussions so I’ve no idea of the truth behind it.
Within a matter of days the 50% changed to all of the office working from home apart from the very low number of 1 or 2 people. At the time, the schools were still open so working from home was easy, our office adjusted really well. Tragically numbers started to rise in cases and the schools were closed by the end of that first week from working at home.
It was a lot more tricky with a 5 and 8 year old here but I got by. I had to get up at 6 to try and get some hours in then stop to do school work before picking up my own work again. It did mean that some evenings I would try to catch up, which to be honest wasn’t too bad. I could stick a film on and layout magazine pages in peace.
Then we received the news that a number of people within the office were being furloughed. This was a mixed bag of emotions, I partly expected it but was also concerned about what this meant long term. We have been reassured there will be jobs to return to and it’s essentially what needs to be done right now. I’m still currently furloughed. We are lucky that this is an option in the UK, although it still brings a feeling of unease as nobody has experienced this before.
This has been interesting!! I started off like a lot of parents, drawing up plans of how this would go and visions of keeping them busy all day. It. Is. EXHAUSTING.
I’m fortunate that the schools have provided work for both children to carry out. Scarlett gets bored very quickly with being so young so I’ve found I have to use a few different tactics. If the provided work isn’t something of interest, I will find something similar that means she still gains the learning exercise requested.
George’s is a little bit more straight forward however some days he can complete his work within an hour! All of it. I have tried to provide extra things for him to do but he knows that’s not from his school so refuses. I’ve now stopped doing this.
This has meant that some days I will find craft projects for the kids and other days after the normal school work I will lose the will all together and do nothing! It completely depends. George will play Minecraft in the afternoon, he has it timed from 3pm-4pm or if he’s been good we will extend it for another hour. Scarlett on the other hand wants constant attention, she can play on her own but it rarely lasts more than 15 minutes and she wants guided play again. Do not misunderstand me, I love being with my children but by the time they finally go to bed at night (they are usually hyper as we can’t burn off the energy they would at school), I rarely have time for myself in my own headspace.
Although it’s tiring I have seen a lot of things I wouldn’t normally see with my children. It’s been lovely learning with my son about the different topics the teachers have set. I’ve helped my daughter with her Phonics and Maths, it’s so important so we’ve really kept up with it. Sites like It’s Learning, Twinkl, Oxford Owl and Phonics Play have been a life saver! I know so much more now about working with my little ones than I ever would have done.
The amount of paper we have gone through is….not great. However they have drawn so much over the past few months, Scarlett’s drawing skills have really improved. Her imagination is endless, although any box that enters this house does not make it to the recycling. They all become one of her monsters. George has been learning about Antony Gormley and with this he has also started to produce drawings to explore shapes and the use of space. I think of everything I’ve enjoyed seeing, I enjoy their art the most.
The other side of homeschooling for us has been Scouts work. We have had a few virtual camps, which the kids have really enjoyed and has provided something a little different for us.
We were originally trying to have weekly Zoom sessions with the groups but it was difficult and chaotic. Instead they are now being set badge work to get on with. This again has provided something different to do with the kids and has kept them entertained.
Recently Scarlett has created an eat-well plate and designed her own superhero. George has worked on his fire safety badge.
Well who knows! The Government have decided that some of our children can return to school on 1st June. These are only certain age groups and one of those is Reception. This would mean for our household that Scarlett would return and George would not. They would then close for summer. Personally I don’t support this decision but each to their own. We are awaiting news from Scarlett’s school to see what will happen. A lot of northern councils are rebelling on this decision and a close friend has told me that her child’s school will not open. We have been told we will not be fined if we choose not to send our children back. Although I of course want them both back, I do not feel it’s the right time. As it stands, Scarlett will not be going back just yet.
I anticipate that working from home may start up again, we’ve done this, it’s hard but we get by. Personally I would prefer it that either Daniel or I return to the office before we experiment on our children. Even if we alternate weeks between one here and one at work. I hope that by at least September the kids will be going back to school, I guess all people can do is hope right now.
I won’t say much on our Government itself, all I will say is that I did not vote for them and I never will.
Planners and my life!
I did actually film a video a little while ago for my planner setup during whatever this lockdown has been. I would say this was setup before I was heavily into the full on childcare whilst my other half works. I am still using it however to provide some structure for our days.
When I do get a break I am playing Animal Crossing, it’s provided a complete escape when I’ve needed it. The drawback is that I’m quite a hands on person when I create. By this I either need to have something I’ve physically created with my hands (like a creative art page, sewing project, crochet, baking….even though you can’t buy/find any flour right now!) or something I have digitally drawn or written. I know that Animal Crossing is a game. I’m still creating and slowly building my fictional island but I don’t get the same sense of accomplishment with it. I do very much enjoy the game but I still need something to fill that other creative part of me. Even writing this blog satisfies that.
I have managed to finish a quilt during the lockdown and I’m working on a Minecraft crochet blanket for George. These are things I have done in the evening. I have also made a face mask, it’s a little big but it does the job.
I mentioned other planners in the video, I haven’t had a chance to write these up. I’m not using them so it may also be why I’ve had no desire to discuss them. Instead when life changes again and I am using them, that’s when I will write a post. I don’t really feel like right now it will inspire anyone.
So that’s it really, carrying on for now until things change which they slowly are starting to.
For now, stay safe and take care.
Where else you can find me: