Both me and Stacey have been working through this global crisis as well as dealing with children at home. Both of us have faced very different challenges when it’s come to home schooling! We have needed to be resilient and adapt to change as well as helping our boys adapt too.

Working and home schooling

As many of you know I still work full time and during the start of this global pandemic it was deemed that both me and my husband were key workers. I was in a position where I was lucky enough to carry out my day job at home. This also meant that I was able to keep my little boy with me rather than send him to nursery or the childminder unlike other key workers where this logistically has not been an option.

Working at home with a 3 year old however has not been an easy task! Every few minutes “mummy” has been shouted out. Followed with a demand to play, help with the toilet or bring a snack. While my little man understands that mummy works he doesn’t understand that mummy’s work is on the computer. Attending meetings (via Skype etc), producing work and peer reviewing others work while meeting deadlines has certainly been difficult.

Person writing. Photography credit: Green Chameleon
Person writing. Photography credit: Green Chameleon

My little boy is a still too young for schooling. However, he is at a crucial development age according to experts. He has delayed speech which he’s in therapy for but this only works when we take consistent action. Learning through play, singing and reading are key to helping with the speech delay. So while we haven’t home schooled we have needed to factor in activities to help him develop vital language skills.

In the summer we sent him to nursery when restrictions were relaxed a little which highlighted just how much he missed interacting with other children. After a few weeks we also noticed that his language was hugely improving. He was having to find words and make longer sentences so that other children and adults understood him. In such unusual circumstances he has found a way to thrive!

What have I done to try and both work and care for my son?

Firstly where possible I have gotten up early and gotten a few hours in (this hasn’t happened very often though – pregnancy and early mornings didn’t really mix!). Next up is a few working evenings again though I haven’t done too many of these. When my husband hasn’t been on shift he has looked after our son, keeping him distracted enough for me to get on with what I need to. I have also got a brilliant team who have included my son into the calls, talking to him and letting come onto video so he can see things going on. This has taken a huge amount of pressure off of me.

In terms of his learning we have been doing lots of nursery rhymes with actions. Alexa has been on hand to remind us of the words for a few of the songs and to learn some new ones. We have been reading a few stories and encouraging our little boy to tell us what’s going on in books that he’s more familiar with. Luckily our little boy is ok to play by himself for limited periods of time. However, we notice a huge difference if we join in. His imagination is really developing and with back and forth conversation between his toys with us playing along too we notice new words cropping up in his conversation.

Child playing with building blocks - Photography credit: Ryan Fields
Child playing with building blocks – Photography credit: Ryan Fields

Another thing I am really grateful for is that the speech therapy we signed him up for I thought this place would be lost. I took a call last week however saying they are going to provide what support we can over the phone.

It’s all a challenge but we are finding new ways to do things all the time.

What resources are available?

Schools are much better prepared for home schooling this time. However that’s not always the issue. Some families don’t have consistent internet connection or sufficient devices which can cause problems with getting a continuous education.

Some internet companies are relaxing their costings so that children can log on to their school learning sites so that the cost of the internet doesn’t become as much of a barrier. So it’s worth checking if your provider is doing this if you don’t have broadband at home. The BBC are also putting their bite size learning on in the afternoons as well as online which you can find here.

Also celebrities are chipping in again! Joe Wicks is doing PE sessions, Oti Mabuse is doing dance routines and David Walliams has been releasing free audio books.

Did you see…

Our blog on all our guest bloggers? We are so grateful for the time they have taken to share some of their extensive knowledge to help us out.

Also did you see that our NICU diaries are now available on Amazon! There are 5 diaries to choose from:

Green diary with duckling, dinosaur and giraffe
White diary with duckling, dinosaur and giraffe
Duckling diary
Dinosaur diary
Giraffe diary