Ive been thinking about what I will do if my job doesn’t survive the shutdown. The longer this goes on then the little company I work for will struggle. What’s hurting it is not the lockdown but it’s the lack of a national plan. What’s going to happen whenever things are safe to reopen. Currently the Government is clueless. Lots of words but a complete lack of willingness to think things through. Wearing a little NHS badge, slagging off the money footballers make and a smug smile DOES NOT COUNT AS EFFECTIVE PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT. So like many people we just don’t know if it’s May, August, November or 2021 when the company might start operating again. We don’t know what the regulations will be when we open. We don’t know what changes we will need to make. My head is telling me that I will stay furloughed until the end of June and then the reality will hit the company and it will have to fold.

So if our company is killed off by Government incompetence (not the virus) then what do I do next. Because of our Son it will need to be a largely home based, part time role. So what can I do? Well how about this as a niche market. The first Yorkshire home based wildlife photographer with a hint of Muppetry. I won’t be using any expensive photographic kit, just my very old iPhone. I can see a hit TV series to rival the excitement of Bear Grylls. Today’s action shot is an out of focus bird. That’s enough bird excitement for one day now. So it’s time to get back to homeschooling.

It’s week whatever of the enforced school at home project. Apparently it’s Friday. Only know as the school timetable is telling us that it’s Day 5. It’s been another mixed bag. Some subjects working well and some not so well. Some teachers are really embracing new ways of delivering the subject. One request – can we provide health warnings for parents trying to do some of the PE exercises – our bodies don’t naturally bend like those of our kids. A number of teachers are finding ways to build confidence and reward effort. Others sadly are still focusing less on the positive and more on wielding a giant stick. Consequently a clear pattern is developing on which subjects Son enjoys and which fill him with dread.

I have noticed a couple of clear strands underpinning our particular schooled at home process.

  • Where he does his work makes a huge impact on its outcome. Some subjects like History he actually thinks better by pacing about the house. He finds reading easier when he’s lying on the sofa rather than sitting up. Science works better for him when he’s outside in the garden, while Maths works best when he’s sat in the Lounge. Setting, room layout, wall patterns, temperature, space, background noise can have such a huge impact on concentration and mental wellbeing. It’s about what works best for each child and each subject.
  • He is benefiting from asking more questions. He feels constrained in school. Teachers have such big classes that they struggle to field the questions from the class. At home he can freely ask his Dad or look it up on the internet. In the classroom he is reluctant to ask any question which relates to not being able to read. At home he will ask for help.

These points are all pushing the virtues homeschooling offers in terms of flexibility and security. Virtues which have been sadly lacking in the current UK school system. As a household we need to find a sustainable way of maintaining those virtues. Sadly I suspect that can never be within the confines of our current school classroom setup.

Stay safe and happy my friends.

67 thoughts on “Week whatever of school at home

  1. He is obviously doing better in the comfort of his own home, and confident to either ask questions or look things up himself. I think this is wonderful, and something school cannot duplicate.
    I am sorry about your job though. Financial uncertainty on top of an already worrying time. Hang in there.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Don’t worry too much about the work situation. It won’t help you and will be transmitted to your son as you guys are very close. Hope the homeschooling gets better and then you can see it as a viable option. All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is at times like these when I say to myself that one should “explore other avenues.” I say, as well, that “walking somewhere is sometimes better than standing still.”

    Though, I suppose that during a crisis, and when all you know is placed at risk, one cannot simply choose a destination and follow it.

    I’m guessing you feel lost. The important thing is to recognize what is still meaningful to you. Your son, obviously. Consider him, and perhaps only him, in this state of the world. It’s like divorcing parents. Do they consider their children during their quarrels? Most of the time, they do not.

    How many battles does it take to win? That’s an important question to consider. Your blog is, from first glance, a place to express a life of a bereaving man. You’ve been through battles, hard ones, and I believe you can certainly face this one, and win it.

    Sorry… I don’t have much specific advice to help you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so relating to your son not wanting to ask questions at school. I was the same way. I love to learn, but I was a bit closed off and shy in the school setting. I really struggled with everything.

    I wish that teachers could take more time to understand their students and what works best for them. I was often tossed into a learning assistance class. I don’t remember it helping much. It was very similar to how they make your son write out the words he misspells three times. I received a lot of that repetition too. However, I learned so much more after I graduated from high school. So, don’t worry TOO much about his education. He is so bright, and I know that God will be looking out for you both, as he has for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I really feel for you with financial pressures and concerns. It’s one big additional stress you could do without right now.

    I tell you what, you can have sole rights to the idea of the balancing on one foot challenge. I’m sure it’ll make millions!!

    R 23
    L104

    Don’t even ask!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The lack of coherence, too many being thrown under buses. and the witless witterings of those in charge is causing beyond belief suffering unless you are some comfortable arsehole, with everything paid, no responsibilities, house paid, income and adult family there.. the time to dress up and put this on facebook along with all the silly I am secretly Julie Andrew’s games — well unlucky you, but maybe her medicine cures corona— –I’ve played today cos it is Friday, etc..etc.. . I just hope in this WHO and gov created mess you find and get an income. I would worry less re the home schooling cos you can do this.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That’s interesting to observe. I make all the kids sit where my computer is but I wonder if they would do better (and some maybe might be a little nicer) if I let them find the area where they would learn best. Some teachers are being turds with the online process as well. Bobby turned one thing in late by a few days (in an elective course) and the teacher won’t count it. Honestly, I am missing half of the assignments as well because they are all in different places. Turds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At our school virtually all the assignments are placed daily in an online directory call online learning. Sometimes you look at the stuff and think, am I missing something.

      I remember one of sons best medics talk about this. She would go into schools and houses recommending changes to wallpaper, seating arrangements, carpets. She worked with one girl who could not read at all. They tried many changes then they as an afterthought squeezed into a dark, plain room under the stairs. Within minutes she was reading. At school it was the only place she ever did read in. In the end she worked quite a bit of the time in there.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love the way you’ve identified which rooms/settings for each subject based on sensory input and so on, really shows your attention and care. I do hope you end up home schooling, you will be fab! And think of the fun you’ll both have designing your own curriculum!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I received official notification of a temporary lay off a few days ago. I’m not surprised. And if I am it’s that it hadn’t come sooner. I am not terribly concerned (just a little bit). I hope you get news about your company one way or the other so you can plan for the future.

    Sounds like your son is doing a lot better with his studies at home. It’s so good that you are so attuned to him. God bless you both. Stay well and safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. As a fellow pacer, I’m with your son. I actually prefer to read while pacing, to work in various rooms of the house–ugh, I hate being confined, where the kids have their little corners where they like to work and that’s that. To mix things up seriously aggravates them.

    There’s currently a huge hulaballoo here in the states because a fancy pants Harvard prof is saying homeschooling should be banned. Yes, she said that now. When EVERYONE HAS TO DO IT. Her article was crap, and basically everyone, from religious to atheist and back, are calling her an idiot for it. The media feed on this has been my mental snack food for the week. You don’t have to read, but I’ve found it fascinating on how many different kinds of people, with all their creeds and backgrounds, can FINALLY join together on something. 🙂
    https://www.google.com/search?q=harvard+homeschooling&oq=harvard+homeschooling&aqs=chrome.0.69i59l3j69i60l4.2742j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

    Liked by 2 people

      1. The reaction makes it pretty clear she is, but that’s not stopping her from having an anti-homeschool conference at Harvard in June…oh and you can only attend if you’re invited, soooooo so much for diversity in discourse.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Could you learn to write grant applications? Over here, non-profis are always looking for some one to do that. Graphic design and systems support are two other jobs that can be done from home. Editing materials as well. Maybe there’s something in the field of your degree. Of course, you’d have to work on selling yourself first. Just thoughts to get you brain-storming

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Your thoughts on learning locations are really interesting! We find similar patterns at school with our children. The best science lessons are always outside, reading on the sofas in the library is much better than in class and the most enjoyable history lessons are when we are moving class furniture about and acting out events. (I once got a big telling off from the Deputy Head who’s class was below mine when we re-enacted the saxon invasion while she was doing quite reading!)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. When we have days which, due to the curriculum expectations, have to be sitting down days, we do brain breaks every hour or so, where everyone gets up and moves around, usually doing some Go-Noodle exercise to music or, for those children who don’t like that sort of thing, general moving about, tidying up or just wandering around the classroom looking at the topic material on display. It’s not difficult to do and really helps learning and behaviour. I don’t know why more schools don’t do it.

        Liked by 1 person

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