I came up with a new plan in regards to motivation today. The only thing that they really want to do is play on the xbox so I made a list of learning tasks they could do and how many minutes each one would earn them and suddenly they were sat at the table asking if there were any extra tasks. Why did I not think of this at the start? I didn’t push it, they probably spent only about an hour each doing learning activities but it was without a battle and I will call that a huge win. We all stayed in today but whilst the boys were having their well earned screen time, Cora and I redrew the hopscotch out the front of our house along with various other obstacle courses that she drew up and made me complete. Having one on one time with them is harder than ever (pretty much impossible during the week) so it was lovely to play with just her. My self challenge this week is to find ways to do something alone with each of them, even if it is just for half an hour. Wish me luck!
I tried the same tactic as yesterday but it didn’t work quite as well. I think that is the problem with all this, everytime I think I have found something that works, it stops working. I have a lot of appreciation for how hard it must be for teachers to keep them engaged everyday when each child is so different. I am still struggling with the guilt battles around doing enough in regards to home learning and I can’t see that ever disappearing, much in the same way being a parent comes with a constant guilt. We did something and they all played well.
We had made some bracelets before from a small kit but I had ordered some more beads and today we sat down and they all made them. I want to say it was all about the fine motor skills but really it is seeing them enjoy things and be creative that I want to encourage and this was a relatively cheap and easy activity. I hadn’t really taken any photos today and this one is far from perfect but here they were, making, creating and using their fingers. It poured with rain most of the day which oddly meant the children spent more time in the garden than usual. They got absolutely soaked and then traipsed it through the house but they loved it.
By Today I had lost all motivation when it comes to home learning and if I am not putting in the effort then they certainly aren’t either. We had a ridiculously early lunch and then set out for a walk. We bought flour from a little zero waste store that still has it, fed the donkeys and had a wander through the fields. The bigger two are still really resistant to the idea of leaving the house, not because they have anxiety about the virus, but because they can’t go anywhere they want to or see their friends, the little two are not much more keen and ask to go out more often. This is tough to balance as I am on my own with them all week whilst Ed works so I need to come up with a better plan for this.
There was minimal school work done and we quickly moved on to printing out pictures of their favourite gaming characters to colour instead. I am putting this down as pen control and calling it educational. I realised that my 3 year old spends more time with a pen in her hand than any of the others and I think I could happily home educate her! I can’t believe it has been six weeks of this already. It feels both like it has flown, and like this has always been our reality. I am torn between a desperation for them to go back to school so I can be reassured they are learning and a love for this ‘new normal’ that gives me so much time with my favourite people without all the pressures and running around to schools and clubs. I don’t know how or when we are going to come out of this situation but it is going to be hard for all of us when we do.