2 weeks later...
Okay so its been just over two weeks of lockdown now, home educating all 4 children - so how's it been?
There have been ups and downs for all of us, we have all grieved for our old way of life in our own ways. We have had to give each other space, patience to answer the same questions as everyone comes to terms and processes our new way of living.
I'm so glad we are on half term break. This is not quite the home educating I'm used to as the schooled children have set pieces of work with different deadlines on different topics to be completed. Each of my children are in different education settings - Child 1 attends a specialist school for autism, child 2 is autistic and home educated, child 3 in his first year of secondary school and child 4 is at junior school.
My home ed child and I have a much more fluid arrangement but we get things done. My home ed child has struggled the most to concentrate as his normal routine and space has been flipped. We've had to become routine and organised. School child 3 has been given crazy amounts of work but I'm proud that he has done it all. Child 4 is younger and needs a lot more input. Child 1 has been doing his work and actually needs the least support in his academics but needs help elsewhere.
I really enjoy no school runs and the slower pace. It is nice being together however its busy and tiring, and the boys have to wait till I'm free to help them. I'm so thankful we have space and multiple laptops as most of their work is online. Also they eat A LOT...
My eldest was due to sit his exams and now these have been cancelled but he is still doing work in case he wants to resit any exams if not happy with the result rewarded to him and to keep all the information fresh and making sure he has no learning gaps for when he goes to college. Thankfully he already has his college place.
Child 2 was going to sit his computer science exam early and take it this summer. As a private candidate, these exams have also been cancelled but we need to provide lots of evidence in order to be awarded a grade. It's creating a lot of paperwork with a short deadline!
It has been really hard not seeing friends and family. It's been really hard not enjoying the freedom of going out and about. It's been hard that support groups I attend have stopped. Personally, I have had trouble sleeping as I get nightmares, which is due to past trauma, of feeling trapped. I hate feeling trapped. I cannot face going to the shops as the anxiety is too overwhelming but thankfully my husband can do that. I know that everyone is facing the same but doing this with mental health illness is tough. I cannot reason myself out of it.
However, I do my best to use the tools I have to cope. I'm trying hard to forge a new routine and look after myself. I am really thankful that we can leave the house once a day for exercise. I find it really difficult to do anything for myself and this time has kinda forced me too! I procrastinate or do other jobs but now I can't, I have free time and still I find it hard to settle on a task just for myself, for enjoyment.
So what have I done...
I'm doing cleaning. It may sound weird but actually once you've cleaned something and can see the difference from before, it makes me feel happy and satisfied. I love the smell of freshly cleaned. I can't live in a messy household, it completely stresses me out but doing little cleaning challenges helps me feel like I've achieved something each day. I do live with 5 males but they know I have mental health illness and the impact it has on me, is not worth them leaving stuff around.
We moved our bedroom around and gave it a good clear out. I'm pleased with the results.
I have made a wash bag. I bought a kit from Sightless Sewing and I did it! So pleased with myself, its far from perfect but I created something different and challenged my brain.
I made a video with my son on bible journaling for church. I was creative with a purpose and we had fun editing together - we combined our hobbies.
I baked cakes, I haven't had time to bake in ages. I really enjoyed it, I had forgotten that I enjoyed doing this. I'm gluten and dairy free so the texture of cake is different now but I still enjoyed it.
I've planted seeds and prepped my vegetable patch. It was great to be outside, clearing through the garden. I now want to buy things for the garden, which i can't... We have purchased a Hippo bag to clear out all the old rubbish from taking down the old conifers etc so until we can do, we can clear and we can plan.
We're all learning to adapt to a slower pace of life and getting back in touch with ourselves. The boys love watching cartoons, playing computer games and building forts. They have enjoyed going to the park each day and invented their own games for exercise. My husband is still working from home but is on furlough, meaning he now works 4 instead of 5 days.
I still miss people, I miss my family - on Sunday I kept looking at the clock thinking when church would be, I miss going to the shops, eating out, getting coffee out but there have been positives too.
How are you?