by Salomé & Charlotte
After 2 weeks in holidays in France with my family, we flew back to London with a lot of apprehension,the lockdown had not started yet in UK.
On March 16, we dropped our daughter Salomé off at the nursery.
After thinking about it, the next day we took the decision with my husband to stay home.
I was overcome by very strong feelings: fear and misunderstanding.
We had no idea how we were going to handle the situation between work, school and our daily lives.
The first 2 weeks, I felt a little bit on holidays We were only 2 at home. We will call this step : Taming.
I was both very excited to spend time with Salomé; relearn to be with her, speak to her, understand her, see her simply grow and I was overcome by unexplainable fear; fear of doing wrong, fear of not managing my emotions facing this health crisis, fear of feeling trapped,
fear of not being free anymore and not be able to manage my work.
The third week, I came back to reality, my husband started working from home (me as well) and we had to explain to Salomé some new rules of life. Salome was overwhelmed with questions and some fears resurfaced like night fears, daily questions about the virus, why we no longer go to school, why we should keep our distance, why we shouldn't touch anything, why we should wash our hands 15 times a day, why we have to stay home. We will call this step : Teenage angst
By the fourth week, our routine had taken place. We will call this step : Adaptation
And then I stopped counting days and weeks.
Homeschooling is something special, how can I be a teacher with my own kid ?
You keep saying "how do they do with 20 children in the same class?"
How can we be patient, calm, dynamic, focused, funny, educational and imaginative.
Initially we looked at what friends are doing, we were inspired by Instagram to find ideas for activities. We were going to see lots of websites, we read blogs and articles between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. after having tidied up the living room / games room, cooked, and worked.
Now, we use our imagination to try to interest the other and capture their intention and simply make them happy.
I want to forget this crisis and live the present moment with a lot of innocence.
I had made the decision not to buy new games/toys during this lockdown we were going together to create all the activities.
The pair of scissors, tape, coloured sheets, rolls of toilet paper, cardboard, glue, paint have become my best friends. Our living room became in a few days a classroom, an office and a sport class.
Every morning, I receive my daughter’s school schedule at 8:30 am with language activities, game ideas, sports, maths, science and literature.
The school has adapted, I have taken the habit of sending photos of Salomé every day since March 24 in order to keep up.
At the beginning this schedule was the Grail. And over the weeks, this document becomes a tool. You explore it, you take inspiration from it and then you adapt it.
After several weeks you know what interests your child, you know how to catch his intention, you know the moments when she is concentrated or not.
We both set up a schedule that we had hung in the kitchen with timetables and activities.
9 am-10am: free games, yoga and get dressed.
10 a.m: circle time.
10 am-12noon : Home Schooling(music, literature, mathematics and language).
12:30 p.m. - 1 p.m: stories.
1 p.m. 2:30 p.m: nap.
2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m : manual activity or cooking.
3.30 p.m: snack.
4 pm-5pm: walk.
5 p.m. - 6 p.m : free games (by herself).
6 p.m: bath.
6.30pm: cooking and cleaning.
6.45 p.m: dinner.
7 p.m: story time.
8 p.m: teeth and sleep.
We created a schedule from Monday to Friday and a schedule for the weekend.
Obviously her favourite day of the week is Sunday when she can watch a cartoon.
This lockdown will have taught me to be patient, to listen to myself and to trust myself.
I found this creativity that I had missed it so much.
The end of lockdown has just been announced in France, it is May 11. In London, the rules have been « relaxed ». But I must admit that this morning we kept the same tempo with Salomé and I think that we will continue it in the weeks to come.
Our daily lives have been transformed, and I realise that it is time to radically change our living modes.
I hope Salome will have learned as much as I have from these 2 months.
The lockdown marked History.
Salomé & Charlotte