Thursday 23 April 2020

Quarantine Diaries: School Routines

We have been home for about four weeks now and fallen into an easy going school routine. Right in the beginning my youngest two and I sat down together and agreed what a school day should look like. I let them take the lead and they ended up with the following simple routine:
  • Sports/PE
  • English
  • Lunch
  • Maths
  • Science or topic work (set by school)
  • Creative
  • Arabic

We kept the routine the same every day, so that they could move from one to the next independently if I was busy or in a meeting. We don’t stick to it too strictly, and my view is if we do 2-3 things a day, I am happy.

The lessons consist of the following things:

We tried Jo Wicks PE in the beginning, but my older girl is lazy and wasn’t keen.
They both love Cosmic Yoga, so we do this sometimes
Our favourite is badminton which we can play inside and ball skills, which is basically passing the ball or dribbling around obstacles. If it’s cold outside we just play badminton in the living room.

At the moment, this is reading, with some reading comprehension, such as telling me about what they have read.
The next step is to introduce short book review.
Otherwise spelling homework from school or grammar and handwriting with a stack of books I found in a £1 shop.
The girls also really like Karate Cats on BBC Bitesize.

Again this is from the £1 shop books, but I have some ideas around games with money and telling the time (thanks to my sister who is a teacher alhamdulillah).
The girls also like Karate Cats maths lessons.

Fraction garden by Darling 

Science or topic work
This is pretty much set by the school via their Class Dojo app and is around one theme for a few weeks at a time. The girls will complete tasks and I take pictures to send to the teacher via the app.
BBC Bitesize have some amazing lessons across all subjects and ages

This is everyone’s favourite and the girls will suggest different things everyday: play dough, painting, junk modelling, paper crafts and collaging. This is also sometimes things like cooking or gardening.

We have a box each for play dough, chunky beads for jewellery making, paper crafts, paints and colouring pens and pencils. So it’s easy for them to take one out and then put I back when they are done.

Because our recycling isn’t being collected due to corona virus, but being added to the main rubbish collection, I save clean bits in a big bag in one corner of the kitchen. They take things like loo roll tubes and empty cereal boxes to make things from, whether a school project, an idea of their own, or something they have seen on a YouTube tutorial and want to try.

Jewellery making 

Towel teddy from a YouTube tutorial 

This isn’t going so well. The girls were having two lessons a week online, I had to send more time that the teacher practicing every day and it was costing me lots. I have decided to suspend lessons for now and hopefully when things get better, they can join classes at the local masjid. They hired new teachers for the girls just before lockdown and they seemed amazing, so I am hopeful insh’Allah.

For now, it is a hit and miss process and a learning curve for all of us. My priority is for them to be occupied, feel like they are achieving something and to stay happy insh’Allah.

Older Kids
With my older children I have some respite because they all log on online to register attendance and then get on with lessons set by teachers. Luckily my oldest is sensible and keeps n top of her work. The boys are a bot more work and I spend a lot of time waking them up in time to register and attend some lessons. It helps the school will call now and again to tell them off. My oldest son has GCSE’s next year, so I am worried about how much he is missing, but keep cajoling and reminding him to log on and keep up.

How are others doing with their children’s learning journeys? What works or doesn’t work for you? What would your best tips for others be?

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