We, like many others are nearing the end of Week 6 of isolation. We have basically done a school summer holiday of this and no sign of it ending any time soon – maybe not even before the actual school summer holidays! Last week was tough: everyone seemed to be struggling with the situation.
This week, however, we have rejigged our daily routine yet again – so far it seems to be the most successful schedule, or maybe we are all just settling into this new “normal” a bit. We still need to be ready for the day by 9am, still get some fresh air between then and 10am. Then the children each have an hour allocated for schoolwork from 10am – noon. This hour includes faffing about with what we need, getting settled, usually a movement break at some point too. Then another half hour each of focused work in the afternoon, half an hour exercise with Grandpa and more time outside. We have incorporated fun tasks such as baking, making a giant Captain America shield with the NHS logo on the other side, writing letters to friends and undertake garden projects.
Esme is struggling a lot with hay fever just now so whilst the pollen count is so high, she isn’t going outside too much, and we aren’t pushing her too much as she so obviously feels grotty anyway. She and I are spending time every day reading – me reading to her, her reading independently using Look 2 Read, and me reading with her the same book and modelling the same words each day. This week we are reading Where Are You Blue Kangaroo which has recurring themes of Blue Kangaroo being worried, getting lost and the little girl not being careful or keeping him safe. I have just been reading the book to Esme, modelling the words “Where”, “Worried”, “Safe” and “Careful” throughout as a more focused activity. She isn’t always terribly receptive to it but she does love this book and will listen. We have persevered as a lot of her resistance is behavioural and there isn’t a medical reason for it. Obviously, the hay fever isn’t helping, nor is the change to a normal school time routine. She is bored and missing her friends and school terribly, she is cross that her birthday isn’t how it was planned to be, she is upset that we have had to cancel our holiday, we are struggling to tire her out enough physically, and I suspect those preteen hormones are starting to come into play as well. So we are trying to find the balance between understanding those factors, but not allowing the behaviour to become allowed or accommodated. It’s taking a lot of patience, calm explanations and reasoning but despite all that, this week is on the whole much better than last.
We are still missing family and friends terribly, but we are making use of technology to FaceTime and Zoom with them. I am still doing a themed day each week – last week was about Mexico and this week, due to the reluctance for another country, it’s all about my son’s favourite thing ever – CHEESE! Lots of tasting, baking, silly quiz questions, and pizza for tea. Winning!