Apparently it’s now the Easter Holidays. Nobody in our house knows this, because I haven’t told them.
I figured Eric doesn’t need to an excuse to shirk schoolwork; he’s been shirking it ever since Lockdown started, so I’m carrying on as normal. Not that the word ‘normal’ means all that much anymore, but still.
The novelty of homeschooling, which let’s be honest was already starting to wear off by Day Two, has now packed its bags and gone into social isolation with a friend, so don’t expect much from us this week.
Here’s how we passed our time:
Monday: Physical Education
What you will need: A tree and a Smarthphone
Having been rooting around the graveyard for three weeks, Eric now believes he’s a tree-climbing pro – so much so he’s decided to record how-to videos for his friends. Our daily exercise session was therefore spent filming Eric climbing a tree. I can’t decide which was my favourite bit: the part where he fell off, or the scene where he maintained his balance using a camp gymnastic move that I presume he’s picked up off YouTube. Bear also used his time productively, by running around graves and pretending to be a zombie.
Tuesday: Pick and Mix
What you will need: Nothing – just leave the kids sort it out themselves
Eric wanted to sunbathe and Bear wanted to watch the phone. I had work to do so I was more than happy to let them amuse themselves. I only felt a teeny bit guilty for giving them even less attention and more chocolate biscuits than usual. After all, it’s the school holidays (the holidays they still don’t know about). Sunbathing lasted for about five minutes until they grew bored, after which they turned their hands to colouring in pictures, building Lego and watching NumberBlocks. I know we’re not meant to plonk our kids in front of the TV for hours on end, but Bear can now add and subtract every number up to 20. He couldn’t do this at the start of Lockdown. If he’d had to rely on me as a teacher, I doubt he’d have accomplished anywhere near what the BBC has taught him. So, thank you Aunty Beeb, for making me look a little less sh*t at parenting.
What you will need: Felt tips and paper
Eric and Bear’s bromance is well and truly over. After their 2,932nd fight of Lockdown, Eric has decided he no longer wants to spend anytime with his little brother. Which, considering we’re all stuck in the same house, is a bit of a problem. To make sure his brother got the hint, Eric wrote a sign for his bedroom door politely requesting that Bear keep out or else he’d get shot with a toy gun. I was so excited about the fact Eric had picked up a pen that I didn’t have the heart to tell him he’d wasted his time, because Bear can’t read.
Thursday: American Studies and Physical Education:
What you will need: A child with a bike (a scooter will do)
Have you ever asked your child what they’ve been up to at school, only to be met with a ‘can’t remember’, ‘I don’t wanna talk about it’, or – my all-time favourite – ‘nothing’? These are some of the responses I used to get from Eric, until I started running with him. I run, he rides his bike, and he doesn’t stop yattering from start to finish. This evening I suggested we try finding the cherry tree I used to run past, to which he replied, “Yes, I know about the cherry tree. It was the one the president lied about to all the people… the president with the wooden teeth … when he was little.” I had no idea what he was going on about but figured it must be a former US president, so fired off the names I could remember (which wasn’t many). The last one I got to was President Washington, sparking a frenzied “Yes, yes, it was President Waddington!” Later that evening my partner confirmed the cherry tree and the wooden teeth are both important parts of American culture. Even if neither of them are actually true. I’m at a loss to know where Eric picked up this information. My guess is either school or YouTube.
Friday: First Aid
What you will need: Germoline and a plaster
Eric and Bear are more than happy to beat the crap out of each other, but if one of them gets injured by someone or something else, they suddenly become really protective of each other. So when Bear was maimed by a naughty woodland path (i.e. he fell over), Eric was quickly on hand with the ‘magic cream’ (Germoline) and plasters. We’re already into our second box of plasters since lockdown started; I anticipate we’ll be getting through tons more before it ends.
So, that’s three weeks of homeschooling over with. I’m feeling pretty smug that Eric picked up a pen, albeit only once. See you next week for more games (I can’t guarantee there’ll be any fun involved).