Parenting In The Lockdown | Homeschooling My Kids and Getting To Know My Daughter Better
One year ago, we were in the midst of the announcement by Boris Johnson that there was to be a national lockdown. This meant schools, businesses, shops, everything as you knew it was to shut down.
We literally went from being able to go anywhere and everywhere to suddenly being told you cannot go out (save for food shopping or a small walk), you can’t see your family or friends or anyone that does not live in the same house as you.
This was totally unprecedented. Never in my lifetime and I know for a majority of people has civil liberties been curtailed to the scale that it was. We all know and understand more now about the Coronavirus and the devastating impact that it has had on our lives, personally and professionally. This has been spoken about widely but this article is looking at my experiences of lockdown as a father and husband.
I am married and have two children Xavier who is three and Tahlia who is five-and-a-half-years-old. At the start of the lockdown, Xavier was going to a childminder / nursery 4 days a week and Tahlia was in Reception. The start of the national lockdown meant that suddenly me and my wife went from being mum and dad, lawyers (by profession) to adding homeschool teachers to the resume.
What an experience that was!
I have to commend the school my daughter attends because in the lead up to the national lockdown being announced, they had already arranged homeschool packs to send home with every single child in the school for the week of lockdown and then post the Easter holidays which came a week after lockdown began, and they then posted up weekly homeschooling sessions covering all the aspects of learning that was needed for a four-year-old.
To start off with my daughter getting into the groove of homeschooling, we all remember the diagrams that were sent out on social media about how to structure your day and get the most out of it, but quite quickly this structure was abandoned. The reason being is that I learnt that my daughter doesn’t do well with sitting for large periods of time trying to learn and very quickly we realised that we needed to integrate a lot more interactivity into her day. Be it art, online music classes, dancing, games etc anything to stem the boredom away.
With my daughter I learnt a lot more about her during lockdown as me and my wife came to realise and understand just how much she loves the creative arts and being creative herself. With my son, we achieved getting him potty trained in super quick time, which without lockdown probably would have taken a lot longer to do because of the stop or start nature of how days would be structured with them in school and us at work.
With my son, I grew to learn how much of a homebody he is. How much he loves the simple things in life which is remarkable to see at the age of two and now three. It gave me a greater appreciation and understanding of the types of things he likes to do (playdoh, kinetic sand, action figures) and things he doesn’t!
When parks were opened up again in June it was a huge relief as it meant that we could break up the monotony of just going out for a walk in the local area (though we are lucky we live in an area where there is a ton of green spaces) to going out to bigger green areas and eventually being able to see family members as well in these spaces.
To say that homeschooling was challenging would be an understatement, but I have to also say that whilst it was not nice to have our civil liberties as restricted as they have been for the past year, Lockdown for me will forever be a period that I will cherish and embrace for a number of reasons. It allowed me to reconnect with my wife in the most deep and meaningful way possible. It allowed us to see our kids grow literally before our eyes and we were able to cherish and create so many moments in what effectively was a dark period in the world.
Learning to adapt, try new things, have new experiences are all something that Lockdown has allowed us to experience and endure and enjoy! I for one am grateful for it because without this period, I would never have dreamt in my wildest dreams being able to see my family and love, share and laugh with them in the ways that we had done then.