Updated: Mar 25, 2020
At weekends and school holidays we always have a plan. Nothing formal like a school timetable but I have a rough idea of what we're going to do at the start of each day. Today my kids started to develop this thinking for themselves...
We used a hula hoop with gaffer tape as a clock which the kids numbered and then they made activity cards of things they might want to do. After that they chose which of the activities to do today and arranged them around the clock as a rough guide for timings. This was a great way to refocus their attention towards an activity they had selected during any 'I'm bored' moments as well as reinforcing times, timings and structure of the day.
Usually I would just give them a snack but every opportunity is a learning opportunity... So today they selected, washed and chopped a healthy snack for themselves. We talked about healthy eating and 5-a-day, we compared portion sizes, counted pieces of fruits (the whole ones and the parts of ones) and talked about how many healthy foods we actually knew which led to the alphabet game...
Before lunch, with mother's day coming up, we painted pictures to put with their nana's present which we will post through her door tomorrow. Isla loved the free creativity and purpose to this and Harry enjoyed the colour mixing to see 'what would happen if...'
After lunch, they had selected computer time. My intention was to use some of the online education sites offering free trials. I very quickly realised that the ones I chose (which I found to be brilliant as a teacher) just don't have the same impact in a non-school classroom situation... So if you've tried these and found them tricky or your children have lost interest - you're not alone! I'm going to experiment to see which ones suit us - this is a learning curve for everyone!
Also today we started these diaries which they enjoyed writing, were easy to implement as a mum, not too time-consuming and I think will be special to keep and to look back on.
We also read a chapter of each of their books before bedtime talking about the story, characters, feelings etc like a little family book club!
Ensuring Isla and Harry are learning whilst fitting in my own working time is hard. They have done all of the above but they have also watched TV, YouTube, played outside and on their tech - they have to so that I can work too. This is not home schooling. It is making sure our children are cared for and happy and if they learn too, well that's great. We also need to look after our well-being and mental health as parents and carers. If there's anything these times are telling us, it's that happiness, safety, love and health are the things which really matter.