We are now on week 4 of lock down in the UK and it's starting to feel a little like groundhog day Right? However we'd be absolutely lying if we said we weren't making the most of any positives to be found in the situation, and there are plenty! Slower and simpler days at home make way for lots of time to reflect and consider how we usually live our lives.
The kids have settled into lockdown life better than we expected and in the last week we've decided that they actually seem to be thriving on it! They are growing, they are enjoying the new dynamics of family life and the shared camaraderie that they feel very much part of. They are enjoying the freedom from school and routines, who'd have thought the word freedom could emerge from a lockdown!!
We decided in the first week that we would only do 1 hour a day of school type stuff, however we would do it every day, right through easter etc and we made the kids promise that this hour would be GOOD quality engaged learning in exchange for lots of free time playing and growing and (unbeknown to them) learning still! We really believe that normal everyday stuff is pretty much all you need to learn loads of valuable stuff, both educational and life skills. It's about slowing right down and getting them involved in the daily chores, something we don't usually have much time for.
So we do boring school stuff for about an hour and then the rest is made up really! And It’s working REALLY well!
If you're short of inspiration and looking for some little extras then here's our top ten in a bit more detail....
1) Ours have done cooking and washing. We asked them to plan amongst themselves how best to do a job and then try and leave them to it. They bicker but don't forget that's all part of learning, we tend to only step in if they need some serious steering back on track.
2) We've done Zoom art classes with the cousins and grandparents twice a week, we've studied Hockney, Van Gogh, Picasso, Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Frida Kahlo and Georgia O'Keeffe so far. Anyone can do this, we ask the kids to find facts about the artists which we present to everyone at the start and then we all sit and paint together for an hour. It's lovely and suitable for all ages!
3) We've dragged them out on a walk every day and we've also been pretty regular at PE with Joe Wicks. We’ve been out in the garden a lot. We’ve got some frog spawn, they’ve built a small wall and a den and we’ve had a fire and cooked burgers on it. We also got the older ones to research and buy a garden plant each online.
4) Ted talks are such a useful tool with kids. We tend to watch one every day while we have lunch. We would highly recommend the following. Especially for older kids.
lxd_in_the_internet_age_dance_ evolves?language=en good for 3+ with patience
beau_lotto_amy_o_toole_ science_is_for_everyone_kids_ included?referrer=playlist- talks_to_watch_with_kids good for 6+
thum_the_orchestra_in_my_ mouth?referrer=playlist-the_ 10_most_popular_tedx_talks
5) We’ve made stop frame animations using a phone app called iMotion. They all made one each and loved it! A glass of water and a straw can make a really effective, quick and easy film!
6) We have been tempting the older ones to improve their grammar and punctuation by texting them badly written sentences and getting them to correct them and send them back.
7) We’ve done a brilliant Harry Potter themed zoom family quiz which they thrashed us adults at!
8) We love music and they’re all learning an instrument so we’ve watched some inspiring music on you tube
v=eCIHPdx1OAs The pure joy of music and collaboration
v=5pidokakU4I WARNING THIS IS SWEARY AND RUDE!!
9) We’ve been looking at stars thanks to all the clear starry nights we’ve had and the starlink that was so visible across the UK. Also Venus is very easy to spot just now so we’ve been learning all about the solar system.
10) And lastly!! We’ve told them that they can have longer than usual on their devices as we want them to stay connected with friends. We're also interested to learn more about this crazy world they love so much so we've joined in and sat and watched them play to try and understand more about its appeal. We've learnt ALOT and we are fascinated to learn that its perfectly normal to identify as female on Fortnite!!
Would love to hear what you've been doing with your family during lockdown, come and join the conversation on social @modocreative