Kids go back to school; mummy goes back to blogging
So that is it (for now and fingers crossed forever) no more home educating or distance learning for us as the kids go back to school. We managed the first day of the school run and now I can get back to the blog. Sorry that I have been so absent recently, but having the four kids at home since March really started to take its toll.
What have we been up to?
It has been a while so let me catch you me as the kids go back to school. Since March we have been trying to do at least 2 hours of concentrated school work each day along with some online educational apps and we have been doing some more practical learning too by just getting the kids outside each day and seeing what we can find in the local area.
Days out before they go back to school
We joined the National Trust and have been visiting some of their beautiful gardens which not only gets us all outside and seeing something different, but also gives us the chance to bring history to life a bit. The kids are keen to get inside some of the houses we have visited once they reopen. I must say that 4 kids and a stately home visit definitely fills me slightly with dread as honestly I don’t hold out much hope that red ropes will deter these crazy kids 🙂 Only joking they aren’t that bad….
Taking advantage of less work
During the height of the pandemic my husband was asked if he would reduce to 4 days a week so he has had one day off each week. Clearly there is a financial impact from this, but we are lucky that we were in a position to look on the bright side as see this as an opportunity to spend more time as a family. So we have been able to arrange days out and camping trips around the four days so that we could actually in many ways do more than we usually do. It wasn’t all plan sailing and fun days out though especially on the day that this little one broke his arm by jumping out of a tree!
Changes of plan
The summer wasn’t what we had planned. We usually head off to France for at least 3 weeks, but that wasn’t to be this year. We could have gone, but everything seemed so up in the air we just weren’t sure. Also we go to the same place every year and when I spoke with them it seemed like there would be a lot of restrictions in place. This is of course completely appropriate and understandable, but since we all have an expectation of what this trip looks like we didn’t want to ruin it by going when it would be so very different. We hope that next year we will be able to go and honestly by then we think we will all be so used to living with restrictions that it won’t seem so strange.
So instead of heading to France we booked a farm house and went off to the Isle of Wight. This was only a week’s holiday, but after not being with my parents for months and being largely at home it felt like the most amazing treat. We had such a lovely time and it was a week of joy in a stressful time. Honestly I felt so lucky that we were able to find somewhere to book and get away.
Sadly we also didn’t to go to Dublin to see my family, but we will as soon as it is safe and sensible to do so.
We also were still able to do two camping trips which again felt like luxury considering at one point we thought they would all be cancelled this year. It was very fun to get the kids outside and be able to let them play with some of their school friends whilst the parents at least could remain socially distant, but still social as we were outside.
Learning for me as the kids go back to school
Now that lockdown is over (lets hope we don’t need it again) and as the kids go back to school I find myself home alone (except for the husband working upstairs) and its now that I finally have time to reflect on the past 6 months and what I have learnt.
I have learnt that….
- I am not cut out for home educating. I never really considered it as I do believe in formal education, but now I know that, for us, it isn’t the right solution
- My kids really need more one to one time with me. Having later bed times has helped us to find more time so now I will need to be more creative, but I need to do it. They really have benefited from it
- I need to deal with the route of my anxiety. I totally lost my shit right before lockdown and couldn’t cope at all. I need to find a way to manage my anxieties around health more effectively and am hoping to be accepted onto a therapy programme so I can work through what happened when the twins were born as I think this must be the real route of this anxiety for me
- We need to cut back on the activities… Not having to rush all the time has been a joy and allowed us to spend more quality time together and I am so keen we don’t lose that closeness
- The kids need their friends – this isn’t new information I guess, but I was surprised how much it affected them
- Having four kids close together in age is carnage and beautiful all at the same time. Seeing the bond between them all is literally the best thing I have ever been part of. Also their fighting is flipping awful!
- I really like spending time with my husband – again not new information, but it was really great to see how much fun we actually have when there is no one else to hang out with 😉 We laughed lots and both kept one another sane and drove one another crazy
- Kids don’t need a big birthday party that costs a fortune to have a special day. We have put together some great ideas for smaller birthdays and for lockdown birthdays
- I need to prioritise learning activities with each child at least once a week. It has been enlightening to see where they all are and how they learn. I want to try to stay close to their education so I can help them when they need me to
- That whole gratitude thing really does make a difference to the way you think and behave
- Working out is a sanity saver
- I flipping love wine!
What is the plan now as they go back to school?
I have so many things that I want and need to do now that I have the days back to myself. I will be back on the blog more regularly so you can expect at least two posts a week. I am also back on Instagram and have some great toys and ideas to share with you all there so head over and gives us a follow.
Apart from that I am going to be working on my wellness channel Just 15 for Me with @emptynestmummy as lockdown has definitely shown me that giving yourself time is vital not just for you, but also to be the best mother and human you can be. I am committed to making me the best I can be.
Lastly I have launched a new website all about camping as a family so if you even have the slightest interest in trying out taking the kids camping then don’t forget to check out Family Camping Life