Motherhood & Parenting

Back to School

Behind every amazing child, is a proud and slightly fried adult!

This week is the last week of homeschool.  Many parents are breaking out the wine, counting down the days and sprinting to the finish line; with a sense of accomplishment and relief. 

It’s been a trip!  

No one could have predicted that March 2020 would change everything for us all.  No one knew that a little known virus was about to change everything, for everyone in the entire world but here we are.  One year later.

Normal services are on the cusp of being resumed.  It is estimated that in a few months, everyone will have received the Covid vaccination and although social distancing measures will be with us for some time yet; some semblance of a normal existence will have finally landed.

As a result of the progress made by lockdown, testing, tracing and vaccination, the schools are now able to re-open.  We are emerging from lockdown step by step.  Seeing family and friends again is on the horizon.  Having the freedom to come and go as we please is in sight. 

Despite enjoying the challenge of home schooling my daughter.  I won’t miss the morning Zoom calls with her and her class.  If a hangover had a sound, it would be the chatter of 30 four and five years olds, talking over each other on Zoom.  The mute button is a necessity!  That said, the muted picture of my child’s presence on screen, doesn’t quite cover the shit show that is occurring in reality!

To the left of her perfectly presented self, is a strung out mummy whispering and in some cases begging:

  • Please listen darling. 
  • Look at the screen. 
  • Write that down.  
  • Join in with the prayers. 
  • Clap! 
  • Stop fidgeting. 
  • That’s not nice sweetheart.  
  • Sit still. 
  • Pay attention. 
  • Shhh please listen. 
  • Put your food down. 
  • You can’t wander off, it’s the morning register! 
  • Really, you have to go to the toilet now??

I’m convinced she’s got worms!  Constant fidgeting and climbing.  Why can’t she sit on the chair properly!  Every day the children are asked to draw a picture of themselves, to show how they are feeling.   In a sea of smiling faces, my kid is drawing…well I don’t know what that’s supposed to be!

“What is that darling?  Can you draw your little happy face?”.

“No.  I’m drawing a carrot”.

Whyyyyyy!  Just draw a smiley face like all the others have managed to do!!!

I don’t think she realises or cares that people can see her attitude.  Mute may shield her teacher from her less than eloquent groaning and constant requests to leave but the screen can’t blur the eye rolling, yawning and sour face from my grumpy child.   She doesn’t want to do any of this.   She wants to sit on the floor and draw vegetables!  Or better yet just watch TV.

30 minutes of trying to appear like we are enthusiastic scholars is challenging.  I will be glad next week, when I don’t have to take part in registration.  I will be at home after the school run, in peace with a hot coffee.  No more word bingo or scavenger hunts, no more hours spent at the table covered in Pritt, making some word or number based game.  Homeschool is closing.

My evenings will not be filled with lesson planning and YouTube videos from the teachers, enjoying the process of imparting a gem of wisdom to us knackered parents.   

“…and if you want to challenge yourself further you could do more…” 

“Over the next week we will have loads of fun activities you can do with your grown ups”

It’s hard to be irritated when it’s all delivered with a smile.  I’m trying to focus on the big picture, while cutting up 26 little pigs cards, to put in a makeshift muddy puddle!  It’s an alphabet game involving upper and lowercase letters…or at least it will be.  What’s the time?  9.30pm.  I’m 15 hours into my day and flagging.

During our time at homeschool, we have baked, made slime, built volcanoes, made dinosaur ice eggs, Chinese lanterns and dragons, made farm yard scenes, drawn animals, made road safety posters, lent posters, made animated movies, egg box monsters and painted daffodils.  All against the backdrop of the traditional daily phonics and maths.   It has been a very packed term and I have spent many a night feeling overwhelmed. 

That said.  I will miss it.  I have had so much more time with my baby girl.  I have had the pleasure of seeing her learn, progress and gain new skills.   I have also found some new and unearthed some old skills of my own.  Schooling my daughter gave me more purpose.  It has made me feel valued again and less invisible than I have felt in years.  It has been fun too.  The craft, the painting, dancing and the impromptu welly walks.  I have enjoyed the little team we make and the new routine we have.  The routine that I will probably feel a little lost without for a bit too.  I’m so grateful to have been able to witness what happens in a classroom and really immerse myself in the experience.

I feel that way now, after a nap.   I didn’t feel that way earlier, when I was cutting cards into egg shapes and laying out Set 2 sound cards for tomorrow’s phonics activity!

I hope my daughter is looking forward to running back to school to be with her friends and her teachers.  I also hope she will miss home school just a little bit too.  I know I will.  


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