Dog really wants to walk through that. I’m not so keen. Who wins the battle of minds.
I’ve got wet feet….
So the schools are here are due to go back next Monday. The hospitals are full to busting. Infection rates are rising fast.
The Government says the situation is in hand. The scientists and doctors are pleading for more action. They want schools to stay closed and use online education for a few weeks. The Government is resisting the move to that. They might stagger the return over a week with a good portion of pupils back in 7 days. They want to test all pupils with the unreliable, quick results method in the first week. That’s the answer apparently.
So as I’m writing this most parents just don’t know what’s happening next week.
I guess it doesn’t effect our little family that much. Hawklad is not starting back next week anyway. He just can’t. Maybe more online support will be opened up. How knows. We just have to make the best of it. Go with the flow.
It’s all such a huge mess.
Which side of the fence is best?
I had a call with Hawklads new health specialist. She will (pesky pandemic dependent) come out to see him for the first time in January. Continuity is so important for someone on the spectrum. It takes time to earn trust and confidence. Those bridges when they come down are slow to be rebuilt. Having had a wonderful health lead for three years we are now in a spell of meet one, quickly see one disappear. Fingers crossed this time.
It’s clear what the medical opinion still is. Any meaningful progress is extremely unlikely until this virus is well under control. When it’s clear that the vaccine which has been administered works effectively and does protect. Only then can any progress be realistically contemplated. Prepare to bunker down for 2021. 2022 might be the first gateway to a more open life for our little family. I also have to accept the risk that progress does not happen for Hawklad. Bridges are not built. This is the new world.
I remain clear. It’s Hawklads life. He makes the call. I will support which ever route he goes down.
So will he return to school in January? Most likely NO. Will he make it back before the end of the school year in July. Probably NO. Will he start the new school year in September. Definitely no guarantee.
It feels like we are in one side of a fence. The side that feels limited but safe. The other side of the fence opens up the world, broadens his horizons but…….
Most definitely a nice change today….
So the end of term school report has arrived. When I say arrived I mean an email appeared informing me that the report was available online. After 3 hours of trying to get the app to work finally a unique set of parameters opened up the report. Fifth cup of decaf, third chocolate bar, complete packet of biscuits, the clock striking midnight and me threatening to hurl the laptop out of the window. All this worked.
So is the report a surprise! Sadly not. It’s as expected.
- Just grades, target grades, performance and behaviour grades. A mass of numbers and seemingly random letters. Absolutely no narrative from the teachers.
- No information on areas of weakness or plans of action.
- No test scores. No work feedback.
Almost feels like one of those automated factory production cards. Cold, faceless, uncaring. So what do the numbers and letters tell me. Hawklad is still seen as low attainment. The work I’ve seen in a number of subjects not reflected in the expected final exam grades (another 2 and a bit years time). A subject where his last teacher told me that he knows the subject better than the teachers is marked as just about squeaking a pass. Another subject in which he regularly gets 100% on the online teaching app tests is listed as an expected subject fail. A handful of subjects listed as expected passes (most just the lowest pass grades). Bizarrely one of which is a subject the school want him to drop as they are not prepared to provide any additional help. No mention of why some of his expected grades are falling. No mention of what action is needed to reverse that.
No surprise at all really. For children like our son the approach is to set the bar low. No need to invest in potential then. Then any results at the end are seen as a real bonus. Evidence that the education system is clearly working 🤯. What that really means is too many are left to stagnate. Too many are let down by the system.
So yep no surprise at all.
It’s truly awful outside. Even by Yorkshire standards it’s grim. So let’s go back to blue skies. Even today the blue sky is there. Close by. Just need patience until it appears.
So we made it through another school term. A term of school at home.
Is survived the right word….
Last night a thought struck me. Just how few people I have actually physically met and talked to in that term. So apart from Hawklad the list I believe is…..
- The postman and the occasional delivery person,
- The delivery man (same one) who dropped off the washing machine and dryer,
- The cashier at the local store.
- Hawklads nurse counsellor,
- The vet,
- The receptionist at the pharmacy.
That’s it. Since September. Thought I had better pad that out a bit. So let’s add. Dozens of the farmers sheep, cows and the growing numbers of hooligan garden birds. But when you analyse it. These aren’t really meaningful conversations. Just passing exchanges of words.
Last year that kind of isolation would have completely spooked me. It now kind of feels like the norm. How it should be. That’s because IT IS the norm. It’s been like that since March. Will be for at least a good part of 2021.
Those cows and sheep are really going to get bored of me.
Listening to the rain and wind. It’s time to start thinking.
Yes I can do that sometimes. Not often granted but I do have my moments. This morning feels like a thinking day….
This is day time…..
The news has definitely brought that thinking time on. Our country has started vaccinating high risk groups for Covid. At present the process seems to be vaccinate a batch of people then give them the second shot a month later. Then move on to the next group. It might speed up if a more stable vaccine becomes available. The current one sounds as stable and as easy to use as one of my rice puddings. Which is not very stable. The vaccine probably tastes better.
They are planning is to vaccinate 26 million people in 2021. That hopefully covers the elderly and high risk groups.
Well Hawklad and me are not in those groups. We are quite low down the pecking order. In fact there are rumours that the under 18s may be the last to be vaccinated or maybe even not vaccinated if they have to start topping up those who have already been given the injections. Top-ups might be needed every year.
That has implications for our little family. Let’s assume that we both will get vaccinated. That will be in 2022…
So here is where it’s time to engage my nogging. That’s a local word for brain. The health professionals who have seen Hawklad agree that his anxieties have zero chance of easing before he thinks that we both can’t catch the pesky virus. Either the virus packs it’s bags and leaves. OR. That means getting vaccinated and having confidence that it is completely effective. So even after he has been vaccinated that’s not the end of the road. It’s just the start of another long journey of confidence and bridge building.
Before that happens we isolate. So in effect are we not isolating now for all of 2021 and well into 2022. That seems like a long time. Longer than the time we have already spent in our little family lockdown. What are the implications for Hawklad and his childhood. What are the implications for me.
That’s definitely a puff my checks out thought.
Time to think…..
Today brought the return of awful weather. Cold, stormy winds, driving rain, really dark skies. Days like this are not great for living on a hill top….
School, school, school.
It’s just keeps on giving…..
I had an email exchange with school trying to explain to them that at this stage Hawklad doesn’t want to drop French. He does want to try some alternatives first. Spending part of the teaching time using an online language package which teaches him the basics. The stuff school seem to have stopped. With school its all about learning the various spellings for the various forms of all the French verbs. That’s not really helping. It’s never going to work with someone with dyslexia.
Anyway I was getting nowhere fast with our award winning school. Yes it won an award for excellence. When they dropped into the conversation some news.
The one teaching assistant who has done the most to help Hawklad. The one who asks if he is alright (the only one). The one who is happy to chase up work and queries for him. The one who chases up the other teachers when they forget about him. Is leaving in two days…
I dread to think what that will mean for Hawklads homeschooling. I do have a pretty good idea.
So let’s look out of the window and think about the weather and say again after three.
Yes Yorkshire can have the sun. Ok I was slowly sinking into the mud but it was still nice. The problem with waterproof trail running shoes is that they work until the mud reaches the top of the shoe. Then it’s wet feet time…
I was writing to school to tell them that we would not be making a decision about dropping French until after Christmas. Then a thought hit me. Yes I have them occasionally. And this one didn’t involve cheese and onion crisps.
Hawklad has not been in school since March. Up to July he was like all his other classmates. After September he has been at home while his classmates have returned. I’ve had the occasional email asking if he needed anything from one teaching assistant. And one of the teachers has wrote asking about our decision on French. But that’s it. No one asking about his well being. No one asking when he’s coming back. No one asking about how much schooling he does each day. No one asking if I’m working on his dyslexia. No one asking about his Aspergers. Or his ADHD. Or his dyspraxia. The paediatrician hasn’t seen him in over two years.
Here’s the thing School only contact us after I email them. The health services only contact us after I hassle them. What would happen if I stopped making contact…..
In our case it’s not a real issue. But there will be kids out there struggling. In need. At risk. Is anyone checking on them.
I suspect not. That’s what happens when you cut services back to the bone. When you try to outsource everything.
Definitely an unsettling thought.
I sneaked out for an early dog walk. That way Hawklad doesn’t go into Quarantine meltdown. For me and the dog. One thing about our son is that he is so predictable in a morning. After 3am that’s it he is asleep and doesn’t wake up until just before 8am. One of the advantages of the school at home project. This has been pushed from 7am. Much more natural for him, much less forced.
It does allow for a dog walk but sadly no run. Captain Chaos goes into bark mode when I try to sneak out without him. And it’s just a big fat NO to trying to run with Captain Chaos. He’s a dog that doesn’t believe in going in the same direction as the person with him.
But a dog walk is something. It’s a little win. We take any wins these days.
You might not be able to tell but it’s absolutely chucking it down with a howling Gale. But at least some of the mist has been temporarily blown away. Very squelchy under foot.
While someone had a little constitutional in the field I decided to play with the panoramic mode on my phone…..
This field is our sledging slope. Only ever seen us two use it really. Will it get used this year or next? Doesn’t feel like snow. But here hoping. That would be another little win.
Britain basically has self absorbed, one rule for us one rule for them, clowns running the country. Everyday they lower the bar even further. Who would have thought that the ‘everyone needs to isolate if you travel abroad unless you are a HIGH VALUE person who the rules will not apply to…’ gem could be topped. Well yes they did.
Schools had been told at short notice that they should consider closing on the 18th for Christmas to tie in with the temporary relaxation of the pandemic rules. A relaxation which is going against scientific advice. Well now the Government has decided to threaten legal action against schools……
Some schools are suffering from seriously high infection rates amongst pupils and staff. Often the schools find themselves in the highest risk areas. As a result some schools have taken the decision to switch to remote learning. That didn’t go down well The Clowns.
The School Minister Nick Gibb in particular. Remember him, he’s the one he thought it was a good idea to start getting 4 year olds to sit tests. He is the clown who described children taking time off for family bereavement as having an EXTENDED HOLIDAY…. Well he has started contacting schools to tell them that they must immediately shut down online tuition and bring all kids back into classrooms or he will take legal action against them.
How on earth do we end up with these people in charge.
Now I realise that there are people out there who will think the School Minister is brilliant (especially himself). Who think that this country is heading in the right direction under this government. They are so entitled to their option. They have got the government they wanted. They won’t care what I prattle on about. Today they will be happy with the state of the country. For me that sums it all up. When was the last time they opened their eyes. I guess they don’t want to. That’s the thing. In previous times we have had differences of opinion on how the country should be run. But it was clear both sides of the argument wanted the best for the country. Now I am not so sure everybody shares that view. That’s why I have never been so pessimistic for the future and what inheritance we are leaving for future generations.
A brief break in the weather but then within minutes it’s back to this.
Another home at school week almost done. One more to go before the holiday break. A break which will start a day early. Schools have been asked at very short notice by the so called Government to consider closing before next Friday. Friday is when the National pandemic restrictions are relaxed for a week or so. Apparently they are worried about running schools at the same time as having limited restrictions in the place. So our school is reluctantly closing early.
I’m sure the kids won’t lose too much sleep over that.
So where do we find ourselves on the school at home project. Well Hawklad is still gamely plodding along. If it’s in the right direction – who knows. I guess we will find out in the next week or so when the term reports are sent out. That’s the thing Hawklad just doesn’t really know. Yes knowing what he has to do in the lesson has improved. Most of the subjects now have a teaching assistant who will either email him or will put some lesson material on the online system. Unfortunately there still are subjects that either just dump some random documents onto the system without any explanation or just forget about him. But at least most subjects are working better.
The real problem is feedback or the lack of it. There are 3 or 4 subjects that do try to give feedback. Not as much as he got in class but it’s still good feedback. A couple more subjects where he might get the very occasional brief comment. But in too many subjects he has had zero feedback. Nothing in a whole term. Not even marks back from work or homework submitted.
So yes we wait with baited breath for the term report. We don’t even know if he will be marked as having 100% attendance or as 100% missing in action. Hopefully that report will clear some of the mist….