Things That Kept Me Sane During Covid Lockdown (and whilst home educating!)

It's a tough enough task home educating at the best of times but it has been especially tough during these unprecedented times of Covid-19. Who knew at the start of 2020 that soon the majority of the UK would become temporary home schoolers. I use the term home schoolers as parents had no choice and I don't feel home education is really a fair word to describe the situation families found themselves in. (Mainly as home schooling typically suggest replicating school at home whereas home education is a different way of doing things and most parents in lock down were trying to replicate school at home.) The lock down part also has been so far removed from our typical home educating day that it would be unreasonable to describe it as the same. 

My kids and I have missed being out in the real world: our weekly swimming trips, library visits, spontaneous trips to the beach/park/woods and meetups with friends. 

One thing that I'm sure I've not been alone in is missing a bit of time to myself, it was already a precious commodity to start with and it rapidly disappeared during lock down. Luckily for me I discovered a few things that gave me space, helped my creativity and kept me sane.

  1. Reading. Peacefully (occasionally) outside during those rare summery days we had. I read some great, inspiring books: 'Sketch Every Day' by Simone Grunewald - encouraging me to pick up a pencil; 'The brave Learner' by Julie Bogart (This book warrants a post by itself as I'm still part way through it but it is resonating with me so hard that I want to shout about it!) and 'The Self Care Project' by Jayne Hardy - This honestly is the perfect read for any introverts out there who feel like they don't always fit into the real world and has great tips on carving time for you - something home ed mums can struggle with!
  2. Sketching. I've tried to do this daily as I have always felt down about my skills, and check it out, I actually produced a picture I'm super pleased with!
  3. Jigsaws. Yep, the perfect home educator's activity, you can sit peacefully but still be present if your kids need you and you can easily break off without feeling like you're being pulled in loads of different directions. I'm currently on with this beautifully illustrated one called Wonderwoods from Heye and artist Rita Berman, it makes me smile every time I put a piece in! 
  4. Pamela Reif Workouts. This lady has single-handedly transformed the way I approach workouts and being fit (basically non existent before apart from the odd trampoline bouncing with the kids and walking the dogs.) Her tough, no nonsense HIIT workouts on You Tube have been a revelation. You know how loads of workout videos have tinny music, lots of chittering at the beginning or long talks during a move well Pamela just gets on with it, no waffle, no faffing and boom I'm done before you know it. The fact she doesn't twitter on during the video has been *amazing*. I've realised the last thing I need to hear whilst I'm doing a workout is someone I don't know either shouting meaningless phrases at me, or puffing and panting as if it's super hard for their 'clearly much fitter than mine' bodies! If they can't do it how the hell do I stand a chance?!
  5. The Home Schooling Global Summit 2020. I spent so much time with a frothy latte, a jigsaw and one of their talks running. I found them so encouraging and inspiring and it was such a relief during some frequent wobbles about home educating to hear from people who think the same as me! I'd highly recommend checking them out, particularly if you're into unschooling, self directed education or worldschooling.  
  6. Singing. I love to sing and have always been a secret singer. I started some vocal coaching classes last year after finally plucking up the courage to actually sing in front of someone other than my husband. I wasn't sure if I was any good but after some really good feedback and encouraging lessons I finally am starting to let go of my insecurities and now enjoy a good belt in the kitchen (usually accompanying some baking of sweet delights!) 
  7. Sewing. I've really found my feet with this thanks to a local class I started taking over a year back and now love to sew us all new clothes! I have a hefty stash of fabric (a common habit I realise now from the sewing facebook pages) also a healthy stash of PDF patterns and a wardrobe full of bright, cute patterned clothing, yay! 
    A much loved Lego hoodie for Cap'n' JJ 
    Cute dresses for Miss L 
    My favourite fabric ever in DBP - 'furmaids'
interestingly all these things have not left a lot of time in the day and the Covid lock down has actually gone by quite quickly, I'm not 100% sure how I'll fit everyday life back in now that we're starting to return to some form of normality. I'll look back on our days quite fondly in some ways as they've helped me to uncover some deeply buried passions.  


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