If there is one thing I'm not stressing about during this pandemic, its bloody home schooling.
I have one child who loves school, she simply excels at school, she love reading and reading and so hungry to learn and has absolutely no issue following the rules.
The other hates school, he is a maths genius but struggles to write, he can write, but he struggles to capture the ideas in his head long enough to get them onto paper, because he is constantly coming up with new ideas and jumping from one to the other and then eventually just gives up. It's not how he is wired.
So anyway, yesterday I spent the afternoon, creating an interesting outdoor learning area, I painted an old farmhouse table, put some flowers and pot plants on it, made a little deck out of old wood I found piled in the corner and made a mini sensory sandpit. Because who wants to learn inside? Not me.
Anyway the kids were pumped, they made themselves lunch boxes, they decided to call me Mrs B and Dan Principal B. We obviously need to do some more work on feminism over here.
They excitedly sat down and I gave them their first task. Which was simply to write a card for their aunty, just to get pen to paper for the first time in weeks.
Annabelle was straight into it, drawing hearts, writing sentences.... Seb started and got upset about the bumpiness of the table, he didn't like the pencil and he didn't know what to write. I gave him prompts and cards for spelling, and he started to get some words down.
He then looked over at Annabelle flying through her design and he visibly deflated and gave up. No amount of encouragement or redirection could get him back on track, I let him have a meltdown and recess (after a full 3 minutes of class time) I got him back and gave him a Grade 3 math sheet which he did easily.
Then we did PE (walked to the local cafe for milkshakes) came home and made scones from scratch.
Ate a few, and then took some across the road to our neighbour.
After cleaning up the kitchen together, which after making scones is a job in itself.
Annabelle asked what lesson was next? I told her school was over for the day and she cried.
In our house there will be a little reading, a bit of writing, a math worksheet or two, some science experiments when we can be creative enough, lots of life skills and lots of exercise.
Tomorrow we will try typing Seb's ideas, or me penning down his thoughts, we will try lots of different techniques, but if we fail, cool, we'll try again tomorrow.
They are children. Their whole lives have been turned on their heads. Suddenly, there is no cousins to play with, no friends over for playdates. Their sports have stopped, there is no trips to the movies, no visiting the beach, hell they can't even come for a drive in the car!
Their routines have been thrown. Many parent - us included, are wondering how to proceed with their lives when their employment or businesses have been put on hold indefinitely due to corona. Children pick up on that stress, no matter how much we try and hide it from them. Let's not be stressing about remote learning as well. Particularly our special needs kids. We are their safe space, we can guide them gently and we should be, as much we can. But their life will not fall apart because you didn't teach them enough punctuation for a few months when they are 8 years old.
So what can you teach them? What are your skills Mumma?
I can teach mine to bake some kick ass scones, to look for opportunities to be kind to others, to rap like a boss, to run, to meditate, to garden, to not take any shit (they've got that down pat already to be honest) to talk to their spirit guides, to renovate, to paint, to just fucking live.
Our kids will remember this time, and we have the choice whether we make it memorable for the right reasons.
Release the pressure. We are in unprecedented times - fuck I'm sick of hearing that. But it's true.
There is no rule book for times like these. Bake some scones, build some forts, kick the footy, plant a garden, write letters to family, make cards for the neighbours. Teach them how to live.
We are running an online meditation event to get you through this, next Thursday. Link below:
annnndddddd scroll down for scone recipe.
Kick Ass Scone Recipe
4 cups self raising flour
300 ml thickened cream
300ml diet lemonade
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Add flour, cream, slat and lemonade into.a large bowl, mix with a butter knife, in a cutting motion.
Mix until just together.
Dump onto a lightly floured bench
Knead for like 5 seconds (no longer or it'll get tough)
Cut your scones out with whatever you have handy - we used a glass.
In the oven for 12 mins.
Cut in half and serve with butter, jam and cream.
** We use St Dalfour Strawberry Jam. It has no added sugar and is made of simply strawberries and date juice concentrates.
* We also use diet lemonade to keep the sugar content low, but you can use whatever.