(March 16 – 22)

So this is the point at which the blog will shift somewhat to focus on pandemic life. I’ve made the decision to keep my kids off school as of this week which in turn (though it wasn’t exactly planned that way) has resulted in my working from home for this week. To be honest, I’d be happy with this arrangement being a long term one: given the situation, I’m comfortable with physical distancing, I’m comfortable with maintaining an appropriate level of isolation, and I’m able to do my job just as well from home.

So far its working out pretty well. Without the need to get kids ready for school my morning routine is already much improved. I have time for writing, exercise and breakfast, and I can typically start work at 8am instead of 9am.

I also took the time to draft up a daily schedule for the kids (and how looking after them fits into my working pattern). We don’t follow it slavishly, but it’s helped to give some structure to the day. Broadly speaking the mornings are like this:

  • 8:30am – breakfast;
  • 9am – get dressed and do any homework or online assignments that have been provided by the school (at this point, schools are being directed to focus on teaching attending students, but a few of the Kinderbesten’s teachers have, wonderfully, found the time to post things online);
  • 10am – (roughly) short break time. The Kinderbesten have latterly started using this time to settle down with a documentary (it’s learning, but it’s also lounging!);
  • 10:30am – online learning. The Kinderbeast has been making good use of Khan Academy, while the Elderbeast almost always has work that can be done on Education Perfect. There are, however, numerous online education resources that are available.
  • 11am – crunch and sip time, aka a quick break and a healthy snack;
  • 12:30am – lunch and finish. The Kinderbesten obviously have the option to keep working if they want to, or if there’s still assignments to be done, but as long we we can get roughly 3-4 hours of learnin’ happening I’m satisfied.
  • Afternoon – craft/hobby time. For the Elderbeast this is PS4 time, but the Kinderbeast is enjoying playing with his LEGO, drawing, or doing whatever takes his fancy.
  • 2pm – walk time. I’m trying to balance education, recreation and exercise. One of the easiest ways to ensure we at least get some exercise, and don’t go completely stir crazy, is making sure we at least have a walk at some point in the day. A couple of times this week I’ve, reluctantly, walked the Kinderbesten down to the cafe to get coffee/hot chocolate (I made them wait outside while I ordered), but on another day we walked down the road and discovered that one of our neighbours owns a flock of sheep, which was much fun.

Obviously I’m continuing to work while all of this is going on, but I’ve purposefully scheduled my day into multiple short blocks of work (ensuring I’m doing my hours) instead of expecting to be able to work uninterrupted for 6 to 7 hours.

Adapting to change can be hard, but that should never be a reason not to change when you need to.

One good thing

My good thing this week is how well the Kinderbesten have adapted, and how invested they are in their morning work. They miss their friends, and obviously get distracted at the drop of a hat, but this transition hasn’t been as hard as it might have been largely because the Kinderbesten have taken it in their stride.

One bad thing

I have noticed how easily it is for habits to slip. After a few weeks of being very diligent in washing my hands, it’s all too easy to find myself doing just a quick surface wash, or forgetting entirely. Hopefully I can catch these occasions where I slip up slightly and keen reinforcing those good habits.