Updated: Apr 21
I lightly touched upon the topic of home-schooling in our previous entry (Lockdown Entry 1), but thought now that the kids are "back to school" since the Easter break it would be a good idea to check in to see how you're all doing with it too?
With 1 Panda attending secondary school and the other 2 in primary it's no surprise to hear that me more so than Papa (as he's still going out for work) has taken a while to adjust to the new set up of home-schooling.
I feel lucky in one aspect that our secondary schooler is quite confident in getting stuck straight into it. He works independently really well and has only asked for guidance a handful of times. I know this isn't necessarily the case for everyone and don't get me wrong those few times that I had to put a teachers cap on drove me INSANE! 1. Because it was math (and I'm super duper bad at math) and 2. The way children are taught these days are different to the methods we were taught when we were at school - which lead to a debate into "what's the correct way of working it out".
Surely it doesn't matter how you do it - as long as you get the same result right? (riddle me that one please teachers!)
On the other hand I have found it challenging navigating most of my time between the 2 younger Pandas. With one currently in year 5 and the other in foundation (reception) both need supervision in certain subjects and so I found myself swinging back and forth between the two (literally on a rolling chair) quite a lot as one was set up by the desk by the window with the other on our small, groovy orange table.
The first week was definitely a lot harder with us all coming to terms with having to stay home together for longer periods than we were used to, so I focused much of my attention on getting organised and setting up "work stations" for all.
The second week we utilised our white board to which I would put a daily "rough" timetable. We soon scrapped writing the times of some of the things on the list as we realised having a strict schedule didn't suit our family set-up and felt like it added another unnecessary pressure. And so we started to lay it out more as a family "to-do list", which Sienna (pen master) would check off after each task was completed. (she really enjoys doing this)
Oh, and another thing we decided to do as a fun home-school thing was create our own uniform. We decided to go with the name Panda Academy and got some tees and jumpers made. Thoughts? Fancy being part of the Panda Academy too?
As you may have gathered from our last blog post (Co-parenting During Lockdown For Separated Families) our Shayne and Sienna are currently spending some time with their father and East London family...
With the kids now having to study again it's a nice opportunity for me to concentrate that 1 to 1 time with our youngest Benji Panda. I'm hoping to get him more comfortable with doing more tasks independently so that when his siblings are back he isn't expecting me to constantly sit with him (that's the idea anyway).
We've just been sent a new homework pack from the school and Emil (Papa Panda) and I have been getting ready to start work with #TheBenji tomorrow. Yeahhh... That's right ;) we didn't do any work today (Monday) but we're not rebelling by doing so. We just had other things to do today, like catch up on sleep - because we've been sleeping so uncomfortably the past few nights (Benji has taken up residence in our bed because he 'feels lonely' :( in his room), did a post office run for our TLP shop and a grocery food shop too!
Our mission to finding a balance generally between it all (work, home, school, kids, relationships) still continues... the most frustrating thing is once we find it something else happens to swerve us off course, like someone falling sick (or like a global pandemic).
What I find super strange is that prior to us being in lockdown "I'm bored" were the dreaded words we would frequently hear from the kids. However, since we've been home I can't recall an occasion that I've actually heard those words muttered (apart from myself saying it to Emil lol). What's up with that?
I'm 50/50 in how I feel about doing school work with the kids.
I believe that there is A LOT we can teach the kids in our own way (patience, good self hygiene, manners, how to cook, be creative, do basic math, speak another language perhaps - key skills like being kind to others and how to problem solve and more - of course this is in no particular order - ha!) but I also worry that I cannot teach them to the same level our wonderful professionals can.
I think this situation has definitely raised our level of appreciation towards not only the NHS and front line workers of all forms, but for this post I dedicate to all the hardworking Teachers and school staff that continue to work whether it be from home or actively in the school environment for students of key-workers.
I firmly believe that our children's safety is paramount. However, I do also worry about the prospect of and pressure some children may experience when they return in the new school year if they feel they have fallen behind in some way.
Most schools seem to be very understanding to the fact, I just genuinely hope when the time comes it's still the case.
Have you got children of school age? If so how are you getting on?
Let us know!
Papa Panda and I are toying with the idea of setting up our own podcast where we can continue to explore and talk about different parenting/adult topics at better ease. What do you think? Would you tune in?
Until our next blog..
All our love