Today is 20th March 2020. I have just collected my youngest children from school. This is to be their last day at school for who knows how long. Certainly until after the Easter holidays which is 4 weeks. News reports are stating that normal school activity won’t resume until September.
For one of my boys, the one with ASD, this is a wondrous thing to be celebrated. He often asks why “school” had to be invented and wished he could just learn at home. Interestingly his twin is devastated and wants to still go to school. My eldest has been off school anyway so this does not really impact him as much from one perspective. However, his school is issuing out plenty of work to do so, at long last, he will have some specific tasks to work on. This is a great thing as it should mean he stops falling quite so far behind having missed so many weeks of school. It gives him a bit of a chance to catch up and get his head back into a working mode…hopefully.
Plans for Staying at Home with the Kids
From my own perspective, I am filled with grand ideas and plans to homeschool my children in all sorts of things both set by the school and of my own making. Of course, this is whilst somehow working from home for a company I really hope still exists after months of economic disruption.
I have visions of my boys learning to play the piano/keyboard, learning to programme computer games, become digital artists, learn to plan, shoot and edit videos, become excellent table tennis players, and unleash their inner chefs. Of course, this will all be done with enthusiasm and with bags of self-motivation. TF also wants to do an hour of exercise every day.
The school has sent many emails with attachments of things to do: maths, spellings, reading, topic work, and probably more. The boys have also come home with workbooks, exercise books and logins for online platforms. The SENCO at school also sent me a pack regarding dealing with my ASD child and possible emotional reactions resulting from being at home. In reality, I think he will be the happiest of us all.
However, I know from experience how hard it is for myself to keep a routine going for one of me, let alone four of us. I have no idea how this is going to pan out but I know I want my children to keep learning and I want to have them start to experience and, hopefully, enjoy interesting and useful extra-curricular activities. TA wants to programme a game on the computer. TF wants to start a youTube channel. Both of these activities require so much to learn and achieve on the way to these goals. I just hope that I can help, encourage and inspire them…whilst feeling trapped in our own little bubble. I can see youTube and Minecraft being banned during weekdays.
As an aside, it occurred to me that I should stop pouring money into my childcare-voucher scheme. I have built up quite a stockpile and it looks as if I won’t be needing any for ages. Typically, I was just too late to change the amount for this month’s payslip but I have reduced the amount to a trickle from April onwards. This will mean a little bit more money in my pocket when needed most. If you do this be careful not to stop it completely as once you are out of the scheme it is pretty much impossible to get back into it.
Missing Family and Loved Ones
I am thankful that my boys and I are all safe together and will get to spend a lot of time with them but it does already feel very difficult being and knowing I will be away from others I love. My parents were going to visit me this coming week but are now staying away and any plans to see my friends are vague at best or impossible at worst. Being away from these people is hard at the best of times but, in a time of crisis and isolation, it is particularly heartbreaking when you really want everyone you love to be around you making your little bubble a better place and you can look after them and know that they are ok. When you have no idea when you will get to see your loved ones it is hard on one’s spirit.
Good luck everyone out there. Whilst the time ahead presents many opportunities to have special time with one’s children I think this is going to be rather tough.