This is a little diary of our fifth week in social isolation, home learning, and with both himself and me working from home.
See what happened in week 4.
Right well, back at it then I suppose. Awake early in anticipation so at our desks in very good time.
Our first week with actual specific work set by school. When it all arrived by email it seemed overwhelming. But I picked and chose the bits that suited us better.
Small boy did a great job recognizing and ordering numbers to 20. Large boy did fractions of 10 and decimals. Later small boy did his ‘ou’ RWI sound and learned a phrase using it. Large boy learned about the Romans and made a time line. For science and topic, large boy read about mammals on OpenLearn and small boy learned about spring then coloured his mini beasts book.
I dealt with 500 emails and started working through the ones that needed something doing. I blocked out three 30 minute blocks in my days all week to make sure I have time to support the boys. Himself did their lunch and took them on a walk.
I had a little chat with my manager who was reassuring about the arsehole and gave me my annual review pay results. A pay increase and an in-band bump up which is great because I only had a promotion last year.
I had to drag myself from bed and down to my office, so sleepy. Got a big chunk of work done first thing, then reorganised the boys’ learning plans to fit around meetings – switching screen time and literacy or topic because both parents had full afternoons of meetings.
In the morning, the boys impressed me with their super maths again. Large boy decided to divide 21 by more numbers than its usual factors to give decimals. Small boy needed no help ordering numbers to 20. But at RWI time, he was grumpy and not very engaged again. He can do all the sounds and read the words, he just doesn’t want to.
After lunch it was lego and screentime while me and himself dealt with 8 meetings between us. Small boy did some RWI spellings and large boy did French. We managed to finish before 5pm and went for a walk to hunt for mustard garlic as small boy’s topic was to paint a flower and that’s what he wanted to paint. When we got home a quick splash of green paint on the stem and some leaves, Tipex white flowers and we were all done.
Slow cooker sausage, bean and chick pea casserole for dinner – I thought it was nice. Himself pulled faces, small boy took forever and large boy shrugged.
Himself went to check out the scalextric car (yes another one) that arrived, only to discover that they boys had walked on the track and it wasn’t connecting properly in a bunch of places. He spent half an hour fixing it.
After the kids were in bed I settled down to watch the new series of Grey’s Anatomy that I’d somehow missed 6 episodes.
I set my alarm for 6am, but woke up at quarter to, so I got up and went for my run. The sunrise was stunning, the air chilly and the run not quick, but pleasant.
Excellent lie ins from the boys, I had to wake small boy up at 8am. They did maths first thing and then literacy late morning. Small boy’s RWI sessions looped back to the first set 2 sounds do he found it more familiar so was less truculent.
Mid-morning my friendly and clear email requesting changes, got an inscrutable one line reply from the arsehole, possibly refusing to do it but hard to tell. I refuse to let him bother me this week.
At lunch time, I put chilli in the slow cooker and hung the washing out while himself did lunch.
It was a nice quiet afternoon so we did some great spelling and large boy did some coding on Scratch. They built a lego town and small boy made some actions up for spring animals.
I did a whole load of scheduling at work and then had a lovely quiet sit in the garden while himself took the boys for a walk.
Chilli for tea and a chat with my parents. The boys’ lie ins resulted in them being awake much later though.
Another long lie in for the boys, doubtless due to their late night. Thursday is horrific meeting day for me, I hate Thursdays. We shuffled learning around to make space.
Large boy polished off two days of maths in half an hour and small boy did his dot to dots in 5 minutes to we printed some more with higher numbers. He grumped his way through RWI again as large boy interrupted every 2 minutes with questions about noun phrases or some other junk. The first time in a while he’s found something challenging and he didn’t take it well.
The afternoon was full on work (cos it was Thursday so of course). During which the boys had some sort of full blown argument that neither of us could deal with while we were presenting. They built more Lego race cars and had screen time while we finished up. Then a walk before fry up for tea, satisfying small boy’s new fried egg obsession. During the walk himself apparently noticed how much effort getting the kids to learn at home takes: “I really appreciate all the stuff you’re doing with the boys at the moment”. Yep, I think I’ll keep him.
I persuaded small boy to read aloud which went better than expected. Come bedtime we had a slight problem – small boy’s bedroom floor was a lego race track and he couldn’t really get to his bed. So a major tidy was needed before story time.
Nice little lie in for me as it was my day off. When I got up I found small boy singing in his bedroom so I got in his bed for 10 minutes. We had a lovely cuddle and chat about his teddies, we didn’t want to get up. I thought large boy was asleep at 8am but instead discovered him reading his book and insisting on finishing the chapter before coming for breakfast. Echoes of my little brother.
Since it was my day off, there was plenty of time to do messy, hands on maths with small boy. We built a lego tower 10 segments of 10 blocks high, made a hopscotch in 10s and drew a snake with 20 boxes for him to number. Large boy, meanwhile, did a maths test from a work book we had as he’d finished his school activities.
Mid morning was time for the supermarket shop. Pretty successful, had to queue to get in and at the checkout but I even got fresh pasta! Unloading the car I pinged something in my lower back, it’s not super painful but sending messages not to move in certain ways.
After lunch the boys did their literacy and then we walked to school to pick up next week’s work packs. Back home badminton and ice creams in the garden, then sorting through the massive pile of print outs from year 3! Fronted adverbials, heaven help me!
Himself made chicken burgers and garlic bread for dinner, the boys don’t like garlic bread apparently. I’m not sure these are my children any more.
At 8pm we have a mummies Zoom meeting, chat, video whatsit. I opened the cider at 5pm, so I was at risk of dozing off before it was over. It was a wonderful hour and a half, six of us with tipples of our choice, catching up and comparing stories of our 4 year olds. But I was starting the yawn inexcusably so I was the first to say goodbye. I can’t wait for a proper night out with cocktails and hugs.
I woke feeling all sorts of motivation to tone my arms and core. I have no idea how, but decided to try to do plank before going for a run. I did a minute which seemed enough, then some of my old physio exercises. Large boy and I ran 2km, then I did my 10km loop as well. That was my longest run so far, my left knee was complaining by the end but it was brilliant. I loved it out on the lanes by myself, sun on my face and a cool breeze keeping me from getting too hot.
After lunch, small boy and I planted up the hanging baskets and some pots for our back garden – he was impressed by the size of the root bundles. I hacked back two ancient and rangey lavender bushes and himself dug them out completely. We replaced them with some salvia and bedding plants for cover. Himself scrubbed and power washed the barbecue because the weather’s been so lovely. The boys played with their dinosaurs in the mud – I love that large boy is still happy to play with toys he’s had for 6 years.
It was a beautiful afternoon and the boys were getting a bit warm and tired so they took their tops off to chill on the patio chairs with me. We video chatted with their Scottish grandparents and eventually came in because large boy was looking a little pink. He started building a Hot Wheels pull back car. Chinese takeaway for dinner, our usual one reopened and had started a collection slot system. Large boy had thirds of sweet and sour chicken. I tried to get small boy to read a Biff Chip and Kipper book, but he decided he couldn’t and wouldn’t try, probably too late in the day.
Once the boys were in bed, I discovered that my left knee had been inexplicably filled with glass shards. I medicated with gin and we settled down to watch Yesterday. Lovely feel good movie, so we followed it up with Afterlife for a bit of contrast.
Bit of a disturbed night, I took ibuprofen at 5am and got back to sleep. When I got up I found the boys watching Lego Ninjago, small boy laid across the tops of the sofa’s back cushions like a cat.
Small boy tried again with the book from Saturday night and he did so much better. We covered up the lines he didn’t need to worry about yet and he started off with a better attitude. Loads of praise to try and convince him that he can do this.
Large boy finished building his Hot Wheels car, which worked really well. Then he got out his Sphero and made a proper STEM morning of it.
My knee was still bothering me after gardening on Thursday so I spent the afternoon with my leg up on the sofa, playing Lego Harry Potter. Himself took the boys for a walk as usual. Then, just as we were about to barbecue for dinner, the rain came on. Seriously, I don’t know why we own a BBQ. Every time we want to use it, it rains. 30th birthday party, rain. Le Mans party, rain. Housewarming, rain. Lockdown, rain. Bah. So we grilled and ate indoors.
That’s week 5 all wrapped up. Hope everyone’s ok. What have you been up to?
Stay home and stay safe. Xxx
See what week 6 brings.