29th May, 2020

When my first child was born, I looked into retraining as a teacher. To be honest I knew I could handle the maths/science/PE type subjects, but my knowledge of grammar was my Achilles heel...!

Plus, my lack of patience, so it was just a pipe dream.  

But as March 2020 progressed and it became clear it was a matter of when, not if, the schools would close I envisaged days patiently supporting my three boys (twins age 8 and an 11 year old) with all manner of fun but challenging tasks. 

Interspersed with intellectual challenge would be time to teach real world useful skills like baking, cooking, gardening, cleaning, and sewing. And of course loads of time to ride bikes and stroll through the local countryside.

All of the above has played out: in pockets.

At times we've had the best summer ever.

At times it’s been close to hell.

At times it’s been like being a prisoner in my own home, actually this quite a lot!

No respite: for 10 weeks!

We've kept on top of the work sent home from school, we've been 'Joe Wickes' hard core fans and not missed a single workout; well mostly the kids mess around but it’s my way of fitting in some stress relief!

We’ve discovered so many walks/trails through our local fields and villages.

We've biked for miles!

We've slowed our pace of life and that's a big win for us all - more time to just 'be', time to welcome boredom and find ways to entertain ourselves.

I've also had fun turning everyday tasks into educational challenges for the boys. For instance, this maths conundrum went down well:

"If there are five members of your family and mummy does the clothes washing EVERY day, how many socks did mummy wash last Tuesday?"

The correct answer you may think is 5 pairs or 10 socks. But you would be wrong! Obviously, it is actually 18 pairs/36 socks!

Those are the kind of days where I have to laugh or else, I would cry!

10 weeks in on the grammar side I would love to tell you I've plugged that gap in my education. But I have to be honest, I've survived 44 years without knowing what a fronted adverbial or a subordinating conjunction is, and I plan to survive the next 44 without knowing!

What I have learnt through this is that this will be a summer my boys remember and I'm almost certain their memories will be of the good stuff - mummy and daddy around all the time, long bike rides and walks, family games and long days filled with sunshine and ice-creams!