I have so many things I want to be blogging about at the moment, which in relation to a global crisis all seem rather menial really. I don’t in anyway want to take away from the intensity of it all, but never more than now has it being clear to me how one thing can consume us and how it becomes our entirety.
It is all we are talking about… Joking about and posting about.
It has us on edge.
It is scary.
It is worrying.
We are all unsure of how this will play out in our lives, families and countries. And the stats seem terrifying.
The future feels so uncertain and many are panicking.
I have never been more grateful for both my faith and the good ol British banter!!
I’ve gone back and forth on what to say at this time, or if I should just stay quiet for a while? I have never been good at the latter and so I have decided to share a quick post that I hope will be helpful – it is a simple home schooling schedule that I have devised for our family for when (and if) this is where we end up in the near future.
I decided that I wanted to be as prepared as I could in the areas I have control over.
I am no stranger to home education; my sister already home schools her 3 boys and for a while, when Ethan was small, it was something I considered myself. It is something I often talk about to her and others and whilst school has been a wonderful thing in my children’s life, I have had in the back of my mind that it would be something I would be happy to do – should we ever need to.
Well, with the way things are with COVID-19 and in the world generally, I can’t help feeling like it would seem that that need is quite paramount now. It almost feels inevitable that sooner rather than later, our school (and others around the UK) will be closing; like others around the world have. And with that, we will be given the responsibility to educate our children for the foreseeable future.
A huge but exciting responsibility.
It is a responsibility I embrace and look forward to; a slower pace to life, an opportunity for more bible study than day to day allows us. Time together and opportunities to be a part of their learning journey together. But of course it is a massive responsibility that I anticipate at times will be hard. It will be very different to life now and will take some adjusting to for us all. It is not an extended holiday or time to rest on our laurels (unless you’re sick of course!!). And, I appreciate that for many, balancing work and schooling for their children in the home will feel like a massive burden and headache to face.
COVID-19 Home School Plan:
Last night, as I thought of all of this and ways we can better prepare for lock-down, I decided to write a family home school schedule. I’ve sent it to a couple of friends since too, who have found it super helpful and suggested I share it with others. So here I am…sharing it here with you and whoever you think might want to make use of it. It might both ease your worries and help you better plan your time when the schools close. Or at the very least give you one less thing to worry about at such an uncertain and weird time.
Our school have already said they are currently working on packs to send home with work in for the kids, which I think is amazing! So it will be a case of fitting that into the allotted times, as well as using other resources that are age appropriate for the kids. We love routine in our home and we all function better with a bit of a schedule!
You will see first thing daily is “Come Follow Me” – this is our churches daily bible study programme for families and can be found here. You can also find some lesson plans that we recently started using on this site. I felt it important to make this our daily priority first thing.
From there I have ensured all main subject areas are covered – focusing on Maths, reading, writing and spelling more regularly. I added in a topic once a week, which I have edited from the original plan. This will be “Who are my family”! The idea is that each week they choose someone from their vast family to call and interview and do a piece about them in their book. This will help them get to know aunts and uncles better and keep contact in a social distant time.
And then, I also added in fun things like baking, dancing and games for some (educational) fun.
On the days we can have a walk in the fields we will – if lock-down or quarantine doesn’t permit then we will do a yoga or exercise/PE video on YouTube. For dancing I have a play list of cheesy party and action songs that will be fun for all ages (think YMCA, Cha-Cha Slide, Macarana, Agadoo, Music Man, Baby Shark etc).
Art/Creativity will be anything from drawing, colouring or painting to junk modelling, crafts, STEM or even Lego.
For science we may do experiments, but honestly, it will most likely be watching planet earth or bird watching in the garden/nature walks!
Our schedule covers most of the National Curriculum, as well as some fun little extras and scripture study each morning. They will also be expected to help over lunch to keep the house in order – 5 of us for even 30 mins will get loads done! And then I will plan each Saturday or Sunday evening (or the night before) with Nathan the specifics that will go in each slot. This plan is only for Monday – Friday in Term Time. For weekends and School holidays it will be very much a chilled/no schedule; watching Netflix and DVD’s, building dens and snuggles and of course, lots more play!!
I know many aren’t too worried about having such a schedule, but for me and to structure our day I like to have a plan and some direction. On some days I won’t mind if they want to stay in PJ’s and we don’t get going until 10 am. Or if on one day we are not feeling it and decide to just play that day for the morning, build a den for the afternoon or snuggle with a movie for the afternoon – it’s fine. But, where possible, in term time, I do want to maintain some structure to our days and provide learning opportunities and a schedule like this helps me see what that would be like.
Life is experiencing massive changes and adjustments for us all. You are not alone in this and I hope we can all help one another and share ideas we might have. As different as it is though, I can’t help feeling what a special thing it is to be able to have school and church at home for a little while together. It is sure to be nuts making our home a place of fun and relaxation as well as church and school, but it is a simple life too and so far my experience has been that this simplicity and worry in the world has helped us feel closer to God and each other.
EDIT (June 2020)…
Since lock down has eased somewhat and we have tried home learning for several weeks now, we have updated and adapted our schedule. We have learnt firstly that having a schedule for “school time” works extremely well for our family and have also found that the kids get engrossed in things so we have taken some things out and given more time to those subjects to do them justice. The kids work better outdoors so we have incorporated that too to offer variation and other learning methods.
Here is our newer version of what home learning looks like now – we are still enjoying it (mostly) and have picked areas together we want to learn about in coming weeks until the Summer – these include spotlighting artists for ART, Natural disasters for Geography, diversity and careers for PSHE, Prehistoric Britain for History and farm to fork for our project!