A juggling act - new jobs for us and supporting our children's education

Amy Stevens
24 February, 2021 : 12:20
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I’ve never written a blog before, but I write a lot for work (albeit rather formal policy stuff – I do try to make it accessible and interesting though!) and enjoy keeping a diary which is a ye oldy word for a blog, right?! I am Mum to two little terrors – a five year old boy (in Year 1) and a two year old girl (due to join her brother’s infant school in the nursery class in September). Myself and my husband are lucky enough to both work from home, but have both started new jobs in the last five months and so still in that “proving yourself” probation period; terrible timing to home-school! Whilst we recognise our position is better off than a lot we are still trying to let ourselves feel frustrated and fatigued…then pick ourselves up and press on.

Questions, pressure and targets

We are relieved by the news that our son is likely to be back to school on the 8th March, but apprehensive to see how we have managed during this latest period of home-schooling. Will he have fallen behind his peers who have still been attending school? Is he still on track to meet the end of year targets? We are trying not to put any pressure on him; he’s only five for goodness sake! But it’s difficult, I don’t know if it’s the difference between Reception and Year 1 or how much more structured lesson planning from his school has been this year versus last, but we are feeling more pressure as parents.

Teaching, testing and teddies

My daughter adds an extra dimension to home-schooling. Again, we’ve felt lucky that for her age group childcare has continued during this lockdown, so she has still been attending a private nursery and a childminder. We had managed to dodge any setting closures due to self-isolation periods until last week when the cook at her nursery tested positive. Attempting to teach our son whilst our daughter is around is virtually impossible, it’s difficult enough to get him to focus at the best of times, but with his sister around, well, I’ll admit our efforts have been rather lacklustre. Still, she goes back tomorrow which is great for all of us; it’s been a relief that a little bit of our “normal” routine has still been in place during this lockdown and the staff at her nursery and childminders have been excellent in trying to give her experiences to develop through the Early Years Framework, even if they can’t do exactly what they would usually. She is missing swimming desperately, I am too, a year ago we would go swimming at least once a week. It makes me laugh and cry that one of her favourite games at the moment is to jump into a pile of teddy bears or laundry and pretend it is a paddling pool. Roll on summer so we can crack out the paddling pool! Dare I hope we might get to a proper swimming pool soon too..? I do. I have to keep hoping.

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Amy Stevens
Amy is mum to a five year old boy and two year old girl. She and her husband have both started new jobs during the pandemic and here she blogs about juggling working from home and supporting her children's education.

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