31 March 2020 – this was the official date for the South African public schools to re-open . And open they did , from home that is , amidst the lockdown.
I say opened they did because our school was quite pro-active during this process. We received a full curriculum to teach our Grade-1 daughter from 31 March 2020 right through to the end of the lockdown( the initial lockdown). I am grateful for the school’s leadership and spontaneity on the matter . This has increased my faith in the public school system, the staff and principal have truly outdone themselves !!!
I took day -1 with extreme excitement, overdid stuff and quickly realized that there was no way I could sustain my schedule. So it was all human on deck after this , KG came on board and suddenly life felt manageable.
How does our average schooling schedule look like ?
Waking up time and tasks
I am up at 7h30 am on average , I wake the kids at 8am . They have their dedicated tasks to do
– Make the bed
– Tidy up the room
– Brush the teeth
– Wash their faces
– Change from sleepwear
– Breakfast at 8:30
– Clear the dishwasher whilst breakfast gets ready
– Place dirty dishes into the washer before going to class
We have so far managed to start classes on 09:15 , on average . We have had both good and bad days
09:15 – 10:30 – English
10:30- 10:50- Play , water and bathroom time
10:50- 11:30- Life Skills
12:00 – they sneak out for bathroom time or snack whilst KG is getting ready
12:15 – 13:00 – Mathematics
I think if we were teaching one child there would be more play and idle time . So since we are teaching both kids at the same time , this drags the speed of the process.
Content for the 4 year old
We got the resources along the days from creche for the little one . But the English lessons and life skills are so basic so I would bring her along in the sisters lesson
Where required I created some good content for her . Shapes , colors , animals , transportation. The topics are endless . My go to resource for ideas is https://ourkindafamily.com/ and Worksheets on Facebook !
Things got better as we received resources from her school and it’s been a smooth bliss ever since
So basically I knock off at 12 daily and quickly rush to prepare lunch because at 13:00 they always get their lunch . One of the reason I like this schedule is because it’s closely similar to what they do at school on a daily basis.
Some days KG starts first with Mathematics and I use that time to prepare lunch , disinfect the house but the routine does not move far off. Basic rule is come 13:00ish we are done with the formal school work !!
Play time and creativity
The girls like to see me play with them and seeing that light in their eyes is everything for me 😁😁. I am not as flexible as they are and they get impressed with the little things. I actually hurt my neck in a trampoline 😭😭😭but I continued to play 🤷🏿♀️being mom .
I initially thought I would struggle with creativity for the games but I have since realized that they are the greatest source for the games. I sit back and ask them to introduce a game each day and it is honestly the best method.
I noticed that we haven’t done much artwork and this is something they love doing . I have been thinking of using leaves since they are falling to do creative stuff. I also have left over spray paint in the store room that I might just put into good use.
I did introduce some stuff like cutting from the newspaper to learn different letters of the alphabets and they got the lesson.
Exercising and stretching
I discovered that the girls are fantastic at coaching . Katlego used to do ballet and it’s something she loves and she has been coaching us on this. Kgaogelo is just an amazing freestyle dancer and she is a tough cookie , so we have been towing the line during her sessions. We do stretching and exercising as part of play time daily.
Katlego is enrolled for hockey , we have a few videos to go through and haven’t managed to get to them as yet. Kgaogelo is enrolled in a dance academy , we are on week two of her online dance classes. The nice thing about it is that the sister can join in and they have fun . They do this once a week in the afternoon.
Kgaogelo also does karate and we have just received videos that she can do from home.
And then there’s computer lessons that I don’t know where to begin and what to do 🤷🏿♀️🤷🏿♀️
Basically we can say the area of extra murals is an area of improvement and we will get through it seeing that the lockdown is now extended.
This is another area of improvement and am not very proud to say I have never gotten this area right . Part of the English lesson is reading a book daily , kids need to learn to tell the story back to you and the six year old needs to learn how to formulate sentences and I am just failing at this dismally from the book reading context . Reading books are galore , dedication dololo. So I am very open to any tools in this area , amen .
Fear of Over scheduling
Why I try not to over schedule the kids is because I am hearing the voice of Dr Shefali in my head who encourages conscious parenting and I just want them to still be kids and right now honestly , I am not sure what a balanced picture looks like . So I figured they can play as much as they want and still keep to the schedule.
My don’t s
I have avoided over resourcing myself hence I only have two go to places, the lady who manages this blog https://ourkindafamily.com/ is fantastic and has 4 kids that are homeschooled on a permanent basis and has the same age group to my girls.
TV for kids remains to be from Friday until Sunday so nothing has changed there unless they watching it with us.
I give myself permission to rest when I am tired and cannot do it on that day.
Connect the kids to their friends via video call. This has kept them excited to share with their friends and I can see they understand the COVID situation much better now and can explain it to the next person
I must confess , teaching our 4 year old writing her name from scratch and seeing her doing it without reference has been my proudest moment. The life skills lessons I give in class and then have them repeat them back to me as we interact in the house and seeing them taking ownership of those lessons , honestly it blows my mind . Teaching Afrikaans to the six year is also one of my proudest moments 😆
I don’t know about any other moms but not having the stress of the morning routine has brought about peace in my life . Does anyone relate to the morning rush ?
Getting myself ready
Getting the kids breakfast ready
Getting them ready , helping them eat because some days they just take forever
Forgetting the swimming bag and driving back to pick up after dropping the first one
Being on a lookout for the clock so that no ones gets an offense
Arriving at school and you forgot that it’s dress up day for the other
Dropping the kids at two different location before taking an hour drive to work
My old morning routine was stressful and to be able to do this without that stress has been aaaaaaaamaaazing and I am thankful for it . The pace in the morning is so so peaceful!!
I don’t miss my normal routine in this area🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾
I am officially teacher mom and honestly I love it this way and very grateful to have witnessed it.
That being said , I salute the teachers and I would vote that they earn a decent salary any day !!
Hail storm – it excites the kids and mommy went to get some ice and the response 😁😁😁😁yeeeeey