On the 5th week of lockdown my true love gave to me… family walks. When they announced another 3 weeks of lockdown last week, I knew we HAD to start using our daily outside exercise allowance for our sanity and our health – the children were getting lazy, wanting to lounge about in their pjs all day.
But first I’ll talk about what we have been doing at home, as that is the majority of the day – with the outside stuff being just one hour of it. I start my day with a read of my book and a cuppa. And then it’s homeschool. We started homeschool again on Monday and I must say we are enjoying it. I don’t have a timetable and I’m very flexible with when we start in the morning. The homeschool schedule is after breakfast, brush teeth and get dressed, even if it’s into daytime pjs for Lily. I ring the ‘bell’ and do a ‘register’, we sing the ‘Good Morning song’ sat on the rug. Lily sometimes brings her toys as friends. We write what day it is on our blackboard and check the weather outside. Then we do Cosmic Kids Yoga, or a The Little Gym session. This week we’ve also been watching the BBC Bitesize lessons on iPlayer which are 20 mins and quite funny.
Tyler has work set from the school and a project on a European country – he has chosen Germany. Which means I need something to keep Lily busy while I help him. So I printed off colouring and pencil control sheets on the Sunday night so that I have something for her on each day. She likes colouring by number sheets. I’ve signed up to Twinkl which has loads of sheets you can print off. It’s free until September at the moment – if you haven’t signed up, go to www.twinkl.co.uk/offer and use the code CVDTWINKLHELPS or PARENTSTWINKLHELPS
When Tyler is set up to work on his own, I sit with Lily and do worksheet activities with her – we made a spider out of loo roll, we did a listening to sounds activity, and toys activities on different days. It is a juggle and hard to split myself in two, but I find if I plan the week in advance it works. And we only do school in the morning. Keep it short and sweet. We don’t do everything the school sets, but enough that I know they are learning.
At lunchtime or after lunch we watch a movie. I let them have a little iPad time and YouTube time before we watch a movie, so they get their fix. This week we’ve watched Lady and the Tramp – the original and the new version, Bambi and Cars.
I made Pizza Express doughballs from scratch on one day – it was a faff but worth it. You can try out their recipes here.
We put up our den at the weekend and the kids wanted it out all week. They have been sleeping in here at night, sometimes just Tyler, sometimes the both of them. It’s good to keep things ‘fun’ so it doesn’t feel like its just ‘back to homeschool’. Here they are eating lunch in the den at their request. Lunch is usually sandwiches, crisps and a fruit as they want it to be like school packed lunch.
My days go quick, as after the movie it’s time to make dinner. And of course through the day there are video chats with friends and family. G finishes work at 6 so I try to have dinner ready so we can eat and then go for our family walk. It’s a new routine we like, and we are finding places where it is easier to do social distancing. Once we are back from the walk, it’s bedtime. Add in laundry, dishes and tidying up to the mix, and then there’s hardly any time left for blogging and instagram – but I squeeze it in. Like, I am writing this blog post when I should be sleeping. But I want to write it!
The first of our daily outside exercise walks was in the Cocksherd Bluebell Woods, a very magical part of where we live. The stuff made from fairytales. I prepped the kids on being very careful to stay on the paths and not step on any bluebells. I told them they are protected and if one is stepped on, it takes 5 years to grow back. They took this very seriously and then went to explore. It was the best way to get back into walking again.
Sunday was the first of our walks with Dada, and we went to Lascelles Park because I was told of the blossom trees. Photographing these trees brought me so much happiness. I missed doing this so much.
Lily got tired very quickly and just lay on the grass. 3 weeks of not walking had definitely affected her stamina and so we decided we needed to walk everyday to get her back to her normal energetic self.
On Monday we went to another local hidden gem – Haymill Valley Nature Reserve. Walking through what seemed like a field of reeds, this was social distancing to the extreme. In our hometown! We are learning more about Slough during this lockdown, that is for sure.
We returned to Upton Court Park on Tuesday and Friday as it is so huge, that we walked in different parts each time.
Even Lascelles Park had a hidden bit that we watched the sunset from on the Thursday evening. Fireworks went off at 8pm by some neighbours for the keyworkers.
Having family time during a difficult situation has made things more bearable. The kids look forward to it, Tyler calls them ‘adventures’, even though they are local. It’s the fact that it’s the four of us together. We would never have done this pre-lockdown. When G got home from work, it would be dinner, bed time for the kids, tv, sleep. Now with the commute cut out, we have this extra time and I can see how much the children love it. And I love it too. It has improved my mental health, having fresh air and family time, whilst social distancing safely. I have stopped reading the news. Concentrating on homeschool and the children. Video chats and reading books. These are the things that are getting me through lockdown.
I’ll end this post with a photo I took of the beautiful pink blossom.
I hope you are finding ways to stay positive too.
Hang on in there.