That didn’t take long. Child A is climbing the walls and it has only been three days of self-isolation. I guess like many people he is struggling with the notion that we can’t leave the house for any reason. I would love to take him for a walk around the block but this is the kid that recently licked the pavement in Christchurch so I think it’s best we don’t chance it.
The new normal
I’ve lost count of how many mini meltdowns we have had today as a result of being under house detention.
“You can’t tell me what to do!”
“You’re the worse Mother in the whole world!”
This last one is just his normal war cry regardless of the situation, although it is more intense as the fridge is kind of bare and I’m trying to ration the pantry supplies (albeit not successfully).
Child A is not capable of keeping the noise down so the conservatory confinement is still essential. We haven’t stopped all day as I struggle to keep both kids entertained. We have done loads of drawing and storytelling. Child A is going through a phase of loving math so we’ve done sums in one of his old wipe-clean books too.
Resources for homeschooling
We are staying in touch with his teacher via the Seesaw app and email. She has given as the student login for Sumdog (although it is currently free during this forced school closure). The racing game is a win but the other games he has tried so far are a bit advanced and he just guesses at the answers. But at least it keeps him sweet for a bit.
His teacher has also given us the link to Sunshine Classics, an online library of reading books (they have a free trial).
It’s quite nice as Child A can highlight words he doesn’t know and it will read them aloud so he doesn’t get frustrated or feel embarrassed having to ask.
There are a couple of other online student resources his teacher has recommended, including:
Pobble 365 – A different photo everyday for story inspiration.
Epic! – An online library (the teacher has provided us with a code for remote student access although there is also a 30-day free trial).
Learning from Home – the NZ government’s recommendation of online resources for kids.
NZ Maths – Ideas for making maths fun including hands-on activities.
The main problem we have is that whatever we do, ever-curious Child B wants to do it too. So if we are on the laptop, she screams until she can paw at the keys. If we try the books, she wants to flip the pages. And yes, I’ve tried to do versions for her too, but she won’t be fobbed off that easily. I’m open to suggestions if anyone knows something that works.
Making time to play
As the conservatory seems to be getting smaller by the day (and it’s only been three), we’ve expanded into the garage for playtime. It’s perfect as Child A can go nuts for a bit and release some pent-up energy. I swept out all the leaves and dead spiders (bleurgh) and now there is space for him to ride his bike in very small circles and practise scooting in one direction on his skateboard.
The best bit was playing football/soccer in the front garden again. Child B even joined in, squealing with delight as she crawled after the ball.
Staying in touch with friends and family
We’re lucky to have so much space. I can only imagine how difficult it would be back in our old terraced two bed in the UK. The hardest bit is not seeing anyone else. It’s so important to stay in touch with the rest of the world so Child A has had a Whatsapp video call with his best bud from school. They were both so excited. It was great to see them laughing and smiling.
Before bed, I asked Child A if he had a good day. I got the thumbs up so we must be doing something right!
Roll on day 4 of Plan C: Surviving Self-Isolation in New Zealand!