The unexpected yet beautiful home schooling/home activism experiment
Tuesday 7th April. Inspired by the book “Exploring Natural Mystery” and looking for adventure, me and Kira agreed last night that I would wake her an hour before dawn, to go to the terrace and listen to the birds wake up. We lay on a blanket, but arrived a little too late to see the last stars and hear silence, the first birds were already singing. In order, we saw: seagulls, pigeon, magpie, blackbird, then a little, as yet unidentified, but definitely common, songbird. We saw the orange sky in the east, and a squirrel! Kira was happy! Although later told her Dad she found it boring. Like a teenager already. When I asked before bed if we should do it again tomorrow she said yes! But we won’t be doing it for a while. Mum got far too little sleep and spent the day trying, unsuccessfully to sneak in naps while Kira was occupied.
There was some educational tv in the morning, Junior Vets. Very British culture, promoting animal knowledge and fierce competition leading to one child being named “Head Vet”. Then we forced something like school activities; some games, reading one page, before she fell asleep.
Lack of sleep gives me the excuse not to do much today – also in parallel non-coronavirus world it is the Easter holidays. (We aren’t changing the routine for this, Kira is pretty “behind” on the school work. The important work that a six year old needs to do, like reading a story that has almost the same words on every page). They do have a funky Maths book with puzzles, and exercises strengthening relationships between numbers, moving up and down in steps of one or two. It’s the government prescribed book, and I like it – but the school say they will do that later because students need to get on with adding and subtracting. And what she actually has is black and white worksheets with many simple sums on. Like something out of a Victorian classroom. So at home we are doing the funky Maths book! And playing games like boxes, making grids, counting squares, looking for number connections. (Different pairs of numbers that add up to 16 for example). I also enjoy chalking on the patio and asking her questions like “show me different ways to divide the tile into 8 pieces”. Anyway – I have been a secondary school Maths teacher for over 20 years so I’m pretty passionate about this topic. Less so for stories and writing.
I met someone from the neighbourhood who needs baby items in the back of the supermarket and passed her a bag of stuff. You have to act like a spy in times like these, just to make the day more interesting. Next time I will wear a scarf on my face and a hat and sunglasses. If I ever really want to fool the authorities about my whereabouts I would do the totally radical and unbelievable act of leaving my phone at home. Will we get to the point one day where you can prove you were at home because your phone was?
Kira had a video chat with a friend. A family with a different attitude to life under lockdown, they spent the whole time planning what they were going to do when “coronavirus finishes”. Go to a theme park, go to the beach. It’s a different way of seeing it from our household, and possibly unhealthy? Let’s live each day with what is given to us and make our indoor lives life. (This is Kira’s friend who accidentally squashed and killed her Chihuahua in January, and now has another Chihuahua that looks the same. The diversity of parenting ideas, and the different challenges, attitudes, coping mechanisms families have is incredible. I am not “right” about how things should be done. Or at least, if I think I am aware of how things could be done more ethically (better), it needs to be recognised that people do the best they can with the experience they have. It’s easy to criticise someone for spoiling their child, but much harder to act in a way that is positive for everyone.
To keep you up to date I should mention that my private maths classes have, unsurprisingly, been indefinitely suspended. In fact the student never contacted me after I sent the videos I made, not even a thumbs up, let alone a thank you.
In the wider world Bo Jo, the indestructible British Prime Minister is in intensive care. I wonder if he would have ended up there if he had stopped working and rested, and listened to his body instead of trying to lie to himself and the world. In Spain they are talking about implementing a Universal Basic Income! That is very interesting news that I haven’t had time to investigate yet. I hope this doesn’t mean the end of paro though… I’m one month away from claiming it. I have no issue taking paro, and then later continuing with UBI. Boodaville in a dream land wants to buy a house in Caseres!
Home-schooling 9: Right up there today. We made a hamster bed, managed to keep the tv off until 18:30. The birds in the morning was great!
Home-activism : Nope
Day 15 – Family hospitalisations, drama and cabin fever
Day 16/17 online pub quiz, british media, digital detox, coronavirus test on brother in law doesn’t give the correct result.
Day 18. Lockdown is now normal / meeting a friend / dance party
Day 19 Bernat’s brother tests positive for COVID-19 / rain
Day 20 – Boredom hits hard
Day 21 Desperation, seeds, immunity passports?
Day 22 – We are not “working from home”. There is a crisis and we are trying to work
Day 23-24 Dandelion eating, stats on how long Bernat’s brothers COVID lasted, reflections on how indigenous knowledge will save us.. that kind of thing and more!
Day 25 another Monday. Tears, playlist cheating, connecting to the natural world from your window, and Jessica’s cross border adventure
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