We’re now in week 14 of being away from normal life and school thanks to Covid-19. That’s more than a full term of school we’ve been doing home school alongside me working from home. I would never entertain home schooling out of choice for us although there have been some upsides with more family time, eating all evening meals together. But school is definitely the place for N to learn. And it’s the best for us as a family.
N is in one of the school years that isn’t due back to school until September. When the government was still saying all children would be back before summer, I was fine with that. Although the OH had said he would be staying at home. I never know whether many of the things he says are actually joking, but I took it as read. After all,home school is working for N.
He’s getting his work done that the school are setting. Ok, not all of the writing work is a quality I (or the teacher) would expect, and his time table grid times have fallen off a cliff – mostly because he chooses to do them when I’m about to be on a work call! But he’s completing most of it, and he’s not really moaning. He’s also reading a lot more and seems to be getting reading comprehensions better than previously because we can chat through the thinking on how to get to the answer. You just can’t do that in a large class.
On top of home school, he’s learning a lot more about the farm. He has his own calf responsibilities, now feeding 3 milk each morning and evening. He’s about to start puppy training lessons finally. And he’s out and about a lot more (inbetween the usual screen time). He’s also been helping cook more than just bacon.
N must be one of the only children who doesn’t seem to miss his friends. He missed his cousin at first. But he did still get to see him in the end once things relaxed more, plus they’re both out on the farm helping.
Originally his year group had a zoom call where they could have lunch and chat together, but N had problems with his ears at that point which made it hard. Being one of the quieter children meant he also got a bit overwhelmed. He wasn’t bothered about me trying to set up 121 calls with friends instead.
I think N’s just happy in his own little world when he’s on the farm, and likes spotting friends from a distance when he’s out checking the animals near the public footpaths.
But I’m the one getting FOMO on his behalf.
Our school have been able to take more children back into school, than just the 3 year groups back and key workers. Those children struggling to work at home, or needing to be back in school for their mental wellbeing. They have found space to enable that to happen, and they’re getting back over half the school now.
I said no to him going back when we were asked if we needed it. N wasn’t bothered, and I’m still working from home for the long haul, as well as him being willing to do his work. So it’s manageable, and we shouldn’t take a space for someone who needs it more. I’d also miss having someone working alongside me at home – I’m not a fan of home working as I like to have people buzz around me to help motivate and communicate directly through the day. But it’s getting to the stage where I think he should be feeling like he’s missing out.
His reasoning for not wanting to go back is legitimate. Who would want to go back to school, but not be able to be in a bubble with your own year group or friends. He might not have had his own teacher, and it wouldn’t have been normal class teaching or work. Sports and activities would be different. Lunch would be different (as well as me having to provide packed lunches for the first time since nursery school). And play times would be different.
I can understand why he wouldn’t want to go back if he doesn’t have to, to something that doesn’t reflect the people he’d want to be with. He certainly doesn’t feel like he’s missing out which is the important thing.
But for me, he is missing out on potentially (from a distance), reforming those friendships again. Wondering if they’re all progressing better at school work, being back in school. Not knowing how many of his year group have gone back – I’m not sure whether it’s better knowing or not knowing.
He won’t get the chance to say goodbye as a pupil to his teacher of 2 years before he goes up to year 5 in September. But hopefully he’s got a more normal year 5 to look forward to. Assuming we don’t get a winter spike.
Are your children back to school yet? If not, how do you feel about it?