How we juggle home schooling with working from home- Mummy and Maurice
Hello to all of the Woke Babies family. I hope you are all well and staying safe. In this piece I would like to share with you how I cope with home-schooling whilst simultaneously working from home.
In my introduction blog I told you about my current situation at home. Like many of you during this time, I am at home trying to keep my 3-year-old son Maurice occupied all day when he would usually be at Nursery.
However, my partner and I are both working from home. He is an IT professional working 9-5 at his desk and as you already know I am a secondary school teacher.
I teach at a very large school which has over 2000 students. We are currently setting work online for all students via pre recorded and live lessons. Much of my time has been spent creating new resources. I must mark all of the work that gets handed in. I teach 8 classes at the moment. 8×24= 192 students, plus my form group which is another 30. The first thing I do when I get up is check my emails and I have to be available online until lunch time. My form group also weekly wellbeing messages from me via our online learning platform and make numerous phone calls to parents. Very soon I will have to start planning my GCSE courses for September. It is a heavy work load.
How do I do all of the above whilst home-schooling a very active and inquisitive 3-year-old you may ask?
It is all down to planning and team work!
In the early days of lockdown, we wondered how it was all going to work, but with some careful planning we have found a routine that works for us. Of course, life with a toddler rarely goes exactly to plan. If you have some idea of what you intend to do that day and you share your intentions with your child before hand. If things do not go to plan it is not the end of the world. There is always tomorrow.
I love lists, if in doubt make a list!
The first thing we discussed was our work loads and how we would navigate those whilst maintaining an environment conducive to learning for Maurice. I made a list. Get up, get dressed, brush teeth, breakfast, lunch, dinner, bath, bedtime. Then I divided the day into chunks much like it would be at nursery. Maurice is only 3 but he has a huge thirst for learning and is due to go to primary school in September. I wanted to be able to do things with him that would be appropriate, fun and challenging.
How did I know what to put on the list?
The EYFS guide (early years’ foundation stage) is a document which all nurseries use. By looking at this, I was able to plan a variety of activities covering different areas of the curriculum. I do feel lucky that I am a teacher, but I teach teenagers, which is very different to teaching toddlers.
My experience in teaching Art has helped greatly though as it allows me to come up with creative activities quite quickly. I like to blend these with literacy, numeracy and other key skills to create my own resources, some of which I will be sharing on here. There have also been some fantastic resources available for free on educational websites such as Twinkl and BBC. I printed some of these and divided them into different subjects and put them into folders. Maurice may want to show his teachers when he starts school. I also got a lot of plastic storage boxes with labels and made a “school” corner so that all our resources and stationery is to hand.
We aim to do one main focussed learning activity per day and a mixture of shorter tasks. Then lots of play. We make sure that Maurice plays a part in things around the house such as cooking, gardening and tidying his things away. Maurice has ample screen time. He uses the iPad to play games and loves watching YouTube. Ryan’s World and Kidz Bop are very popular in our house. It is essential sometimes if we need to make a phone call, do washing, take a shower etc without a toddler in tow. If you feel guilty for allowing your little ones to have screen time then do not worry. Maurice knew the alphabet by 14 months old. I’m pretty sure YouTube played a big part in that!
Workin’ 9 to 5, or is it 5-9?
At about 5 pm when Daddy has finished in the “office” Maurice usually plays a bit of football/basketball etc. We eat together, then Daddy gets him ready for bed and has story time. Then it is my turn to do my work. That allows me to get 4-5 hours in before bed time. Now, bedtime is something which I haven’t quite mastered for myself yet but it is something that I am working on.
There really aren’t enough hours in the day and if you are anything like me, you will not sleep until everything that needs to be done is done. Needless to say, my hair has been neglected. I have promised myself that I will go to bed by midnight then I will find those early mornings a lot easier. My promise has already been broken because it is 1 am. It must be time to log off.
I am looking forward to sharing some of our activities with you soon.
I really hope this blog inspires you in some way. If you have any questions, would like to chat about it further or share your ideas and experiences with me please visit my Instagram page www.instagram.com/mummyandmaurice
Love and Light from Mummy and Maurice
Quote of the day ” The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery”