laptop and pencils for homeschool

And Here We Are Again

And here we are again. In a national lockdown. 

As we’re in Birmingham, we have been in high tiers and living under restrictions since the first lockdown last March. We don’t really go anywhere and we haven’t been able to meet with friends and family for some time, but the biggest difference with this lockdown is that the kids are off school again.

As has been the case since this all started, the Husband is still going to work as he can’t work remotely. He’s been one of those people who haven’t felt the lockdown as keenly as the rest of us, with no furlough, no working from home, no homeschooling, no end to his commutes, no huge changes, aside from working with less people as many have been furloughed at his workplace at various times throughout all of this. He has not been bingeing on Netflix, eating banana loaf or getting various DIY jobs done around the house! 

The kids have settled back into it all quite smoothly, so far. They have been here before, albeit with significantly nicer weather and more time spent in the garden. 

Their school is better prepared for remote learning this time round, of course, so that is different and they are getting used to logging on to Teams and getting their work done.

They ‘meet’ with their teacher every morning and have their day and work outlined for them. They then have various assignments to complete throughout the day.

We then tend to take Herbie for a walk, they read while I catch up on work and a few jobs, and we lunch. So far, we’re finding that that’s most of the school day gone. 

The kids then tend to have some gaming time before they disappear and play together. Never have I been more grateful that my kids get on well with each other than over the past twelve months. 

laptop and pencils for homeschool

It’s the first few days so who knows how it will all continue, but I am trying not to think about how this will play out and how long this could be our new normal. Instead I am celebrating the fact that we are through the first week and we are all still OK! 

I am managing to work around them during the day, writing content at breakfast time, emails over lunchtime, and then newsletters, products, social media and memberships of an evening and at weekends. It can be done, and I know that I am fortunate to be able to work from home around them in this way. Hats off to parents working from home who have to keep set hours and schedule meetings in around supporting their kids school work too. 

I can’t think too much about the inevitable drop in work and income that lockdown will cause again, as with the kids at home, I simply don’t have the time or head space to do much about it. 

Unlike the lockdown in March, support bubbles now exist and I am very aware that we are my mum’s support right now. She lives alone and whilst there have been moments I have envied her her solitude and peace!, I can only imagine how that must feel day in and day out. We will do what we can to spend time with her whilst working and homeschooling. She adores the kids, and Herbie means the world to her. 

This lockdown already feels different. Easier in some ways as we have gradually got used to the restraints so they are not such a shock to the system. But then harder in that I think we are all just so tired of it, drained from months and months of it. And then there’s January weather compared to warm spring and hot summer days. It’s tough, it’s early days, we will just keep on going. 

I have been looking for positives to being in this situation again – I know, I am ever the optimist, though believe me when I say it can wear thin some days! It’s not been an easy task, but I have found some:

No school runs means extra time in bed each morning. It is minimal, the kids very rarely sleep until after 7am, but it’s still nice to be able to lie there and cuddle them without being aware of the ticking clock. 

We are taking Herbie for longer walks than he normally has during the week as I want the kids to get outside and have a good break from their work. We are all appreciating this.

The kids are home to help me eat all of the treats we still have from Christmas. Hmm, benefit or drawback??

I have a HUGE to be read pile. Huge. Maybe when we’ve settled into a new routine, I can read more? Certainly at the weekends, as we won’t be going anywhere.

We are still here, still healthy and still safe. And that’s not something I take for granted. 

We have been here before. We know how this thing goes. We made it through last time and we can do it again. 

How are you doing this time around? 

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12 thoughts on “And Here We Are Again”

  1. It’s hard isn’t it, I’m lucky that I only have a small amount of work that can fit around the home school day, I can’t imagine how parents who need to be present at work during the day can manage it all. I’m also grateful that my children are a bit older, it must be so hard going through this with babies and toddlers and without the support network of childcare help, friends and baby groups. So I’m trying to look for the positives too, and for me the lie-in, not having to brave an icy school run twice a day and not having to make packed lunches are definitely good things! I also have a huge reading pile, I’m very grateful that our library is still open for click and collect with free reservations.

  2. We’re doing ok here too. Not much different to how I’ve been acting since March anyway, except for N being at home now. He’s now got to be on Teams all day, and they work alongside the kids in school with the teacher dipping in every so often. It worked well, but with me having to be in the same room as him while online for safeguarding, it means both of us are distracted while in meetings or the teacher is talking. I’m certainly not going to be as productive and N’s finding the prescriptive timings hard – usually breaktime on the farm is 10, but now he has to do 10.45 in line with school. Although luckily lunchtime does match up. It means he doesn’t have enough time to do a lunchtime dog walk, so only gets out at 3pm. He’s also still getting homework which is a bit harsh. But we’ll get through it – even though my online 2 day event I’m running while he’s doing school work will be ‘interesting’!

    1. Yes, I think I’d find the timings tough. My two have a morning live each and I try to float around to listen in on both of them a little, and then my daughter has one at the end of the day, and that’s restrictive enough. They then get on with their assigned tasks at their own pace and teachers are about at drop in sessions and on chat if needed. Best of luck with that online event!

  3. I can’t imagine being locked down as some parts of the world. In the US, I’m in a state that has stayed open pretty much except for a few weeks last spring.

    And goodness, how are families coping that have children….so much to think about. Our son & his family have been in our bubble since last March. So that means I watch my 3 yr old grandson 40 hrs a week. I am finally getting used to the change….we spent last summer dropping naps & potty training. I felt much too old to be dealing with that again on a daily basis. But I’d much rather do that than be totally separated from them…too much together time is much preferred over none at all, which is what most grandparents are experiencing.

    Since your mom is in your support group, can your kids do a sleep over with her? I don’t know what’s allowed but that would give you a little break.

    1. It is hard for families and grandparents. My kids have seen my in-laws at less restricted times since March, though can’t at the moment, but even then they had to stay distanced from them. With my mum in our bubble, they can hug her and yes, they can stay at hers. It just keeps going on and on here, I think most of us are just focusing on the day to day and not looking forward as we seem to be in it for the long haul again.

  4. The one ‘perk’ has to be the lie ins instead of rushing around in the morning trying to organise our son. He’s a lot more organised with his what he needs to do each day now x

  5. It’s hard but at the same time, it is somewhat nice to have my son home all the time, which means we can spend more time together. I live in Ontario, Canada and they just announced harsher restrictions like what we had back in March, except the schools are remaining open in most areas. I chose to have my son do remote learning this year and I’m honestly glad I did with everything. Honestly though, I’ve never been more grateful in my life to be an introvert because it has certainly made staying home all this time much easier.

    1. We weren’t able to choose remote learning, schools are either open or closed here. This time round the remote learning is a lot more structured and they have more online contact with their teacher and class. We will just have to keep on going!

  6. Being an introvert and a person that mostly went out for doctors appointments, the restrictions have been okay-ish except for when the doctors closed shop. Now life is a bit more open, and we have one family that is in our support bubble. But, yeah, this introvert has discovered their own people minima needs. I don’t think I ever thought about that there could be too few people in life. But I just miss being in the presence of others besides those folks that I live with.

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