I feel like I’m dreaming a horrendous nightmare. I’m pinching myself but I’m not waking up. Is this really happening? Are we really living in a world faced with a pandemic? I’ll admit I’ve been concerned about Covid 19 since January. I’ve been harping on at anyone who will listen, or not listen to me, about it. But I never really allowed myself to believe that we’d end up facing the realities of this dreadful virus.
So here we are. We are nearing the completion (can I call it that?!) of 1 week in isolation. We took the decision to self-isolate last Thursday evening. I suffer from viral asthma and I’ve lived with asthma since the age of 10. It doesn’t affect my everyday life. I wheeze most days but it only becomes an issue, as such, when I contract a virus that goes to my chest. Our son has also suffered in the past with viral asthma. I was cross when Boris Johnson still wasn’t closing schools. I didn’t want to go out in public and my husband felt the same.
I am writing this past weeks diary on the 7th day of isolation as now schools are finally closed to most pupils I feel now is the right time to start sharing more of what we are doing at home. Next weeks diary should be a bit more detailed.
Day 1 Friday the 13th March – unlucky for some
On day 1 we were in a panic we didn’t know what to do. We knew we shouldn’t be taking our son to school but we didn’t know what to say for the best. I rung up and left a message in a panic saying he was feeling sick. That bought us some time and we began our first day of isolation.
I decided early on that we would have a daily schedule for a typical school day. Mostly because at his last parents evening we were told how much he loves routine. I think it’s essential to do what is right by your child. If they like routine set one, you don’t have to be too strict by it. I’ve seen lots of memes saying to let your child do what they want to do. Initially, this would be a good idea but long term I know that I want to see my son thrive in a home setting.
We set out a schedule for Friday and have followed a similar routine since. There are lots of schedules floating around online and I haven’t seen many similar to ours but I’m sharing it in case you are feeling a bit stuck. I appreciate not everyone has their kids at home still during the week. If you are still working, thank you. Our son is in primary school but this timetable could work for most ages.
8:55am Wake-up and Shake-up (we started with a song a day but we’ve since been recommended
YouTube for wake-up and shake-up videos)
9:00am Letters and sounds (I was a bit confused by his explanation of this so I’m printing out
English exercies from Twinkl which currently has a free 1 month subscription)
9:45am Snack time with free play
10:15am Maths (we are choosing age appropriate exercies and focusing strongly on 1 times table a day)
11:00am Project of the day (think something crafty, fun or learning about a subject)
11:45am Free time while I make lunch
12:00am Lunch and garden play time
1:00pm Continuation of any unfinished projects from the morning
2:00pm Play time
2:30pm – 3:30pm Core subject such as science, PE, RE, history
3:30pm Games until tea time.
Our son was sad to be missing Beavers the night before as they had been working towards their gardening badge. His lovely group suggested projects for home so we set to work on earning his badge for when they return. We have found a few ideas on their website for projects. Even if you’re not a guide or scout it’s a good place to find things to do. Scouting badges, Guiding badges. We have planted some cress seeds and he drew trees in different seasons.
Day 2 Saturday 14th March
We aren’t going to stop going outdoors and we will be going out in our back garden every day. Our back garden is pretty small though so we headed to the beach on Saturday. Considering it was a Saturday it was really quiet and no-one came near us (and vica versa). We are lucky to have two beaches to choose from and we can park at one without having to use a parking meter. I appreciate we are very lucky to have the beach nearby. If you don’t have a beach it might be an idea to find public footpaths across fields and other remote places.
Day 3 Sunday 15th March
Baking and movie day today. I’d bought in a brownie mix so we made a start on his cooking badge for Beavers. We can highly recommend the Cadbury Brownie mix (if you can get it). He then made us all a cinema ticket and we pretended we were turning up at the cinema. He gave us drinks and made some popcorn and we then settled down to watch Free Willy (as you do!).
Day 4 Monday 16th March
Still no sign of the schools being shut. I had intended on speaking to the school today but one of the dinner ladies answered and couldn’t hear me very well so I panicked and just said he wasn’t going in today.
Today’s project was finding out about a healthy balanced diet. Looking at the availability of food at Morrisons I’m not sure how long we can maintain that. I let him use my laptop to research the subject and he cut out pictures of healthy meals and answered questions I’d set.
If you are looking for activity books I can recommend Amazon, The Works and The Book People. Maybe we can help the Book People not go into administration?
We got the chalks out in the garden and made our ‘net’ more fun for football practice.
In the early evening Boris announced that the elderley and those with underlying health conditions should self-isolate. That evening I sent a letter to my son’s headteacher outlining our concerns with our asthma and that we were self-isolating.
Day 5 Tuesday 17th March
I heard back from the headteacher of my son’s school and that she was going to mark our son’s absent with a Y. Which basically meant his absence was then authorised. This was a huge weight off our minds.
I signed up to Twinkl which is a great resource. It’s currently free for the first month to new subscribers. It is set out in education stages and you can also search for subjects. I can see this keeping us very busy. Not everything is written work. There’s plenty of prompts for ideas of things to do around the home that don’t involve sitting at a desk.
We also visited the beach again with our metal detector. We walked a long way and hardly saw anyone. No one came close to us and we also kept a distance.
Day 6 Wednesday 18th March
I think I did too much with him. He seemed tired by the evening and I made the decision that the next day was going to be a day off. Boris also announced he was closing schools on Friday which I really hope makes a difference for the greater good. Our son was really emotional over nothing at bedtime. But I think it was his way of letting some of his emotions escape. I hugged him until he had calmed down and the tears had subsided. It’s going to be a tough balance keeping our children happy while looking after our own mental health.
We can highly recommend Wake Up and Shake Up videos on Youtube in the morning. They’ve been putting a smile on our faces. It’s essential you all join in.
Day 7 Thursday 19th March
A day off worrying about what we will do today. Today we played a new Minion Monopoly game that we’d bought him. Luckily there were no Monopoly type arguments and we filled a good couple of hours having fun.
I’d seen on Facebook about a little girl that had painted a rainbow to stick on their window in Italy. We decided to do the same and after Monopoly, the little one drew and coloured in a large rainbow for the window. I’ve shared about this on my page and lots of people seem to be doing the same. It would be lovely if you could do the same. It’s a nice idea to show we are all in this together. To quote ” Let’s cover everywhere with rainbows, until we can all celebrate together reunited and safe.”
He spent most of the rest of the day chilling watching Netflix and we spent a good length of time playing in the garden.
My Morrisons order is now due to be delivered and it’s frightening. Over half of it is missing and what we are getting is far from what we really needed. We will make do though and it will be an interesting week of meals until our next delivery. The other half is panicking about lack of bread but we will make do. There was next to no fruit available to put in my basket and next to no veg. We hardly got any of that and there were no bread or eggs, let alone fresh meat.
Stay safe everyone.