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Home educating, no problem (gulp!)

First week of virtual school – tick. All still alive – tick.  Still talking to each other – more or less.

I’m sure I speak for many when I say that virtual schooling has robbed us of that cherished three-times-a-year moment when the kids are back at school and you can have an uninterrupted cup of tea, breathe deeply and congratulate yourself on reaching the end of another school holiday.  The thought that I might not get that moment until September is quite frankly terrifying.

Boy number one was supposed to be doing his GCSEs and I’d like to say that he is disappointed not to be sitting the exams, proving his potential, but that would not be a fair reflection. He’s starting his A Level courses instead this term and he’s chosen Politics, Economics and History.  Day one of virtual school, I asked who the current Chancellor of the Exchequer is – not an unreasonable question for a potential politics and economics student.  Blank face. I’m hoping he’s just forgotten his name, so I tell him. Still blank.  It dawns on me that unless Rishi Sunak features in Game of Thrones, then boy number one has no clue.  I’ll try to remain optimistic.

Boy number two appears to be getting on with it.  I use the word ‘appears’ advisedly: I’m never really sure what he’s up to until it’s too late.  What he doesn’t know is that earlier in the week I inadvertently walked in on his virtual tutorial in my pyjamas.  Fortunately he had his back to me and remains in blissful ignorance.  Unfortunately, his tutor was looking directly at me. Mortifying. Not my finest moment and not the image of the ‘I’ve got this sorted’ home educator that I should be portraying.

Whilst my boys’ natural instinct is to ‘wing’ it, my daughter is the complete opposite.  Virtual school is no exception. She has set up a workspace that resembles a fully-equipped stationery cupboard. She is at her desk ready and waiting before the 8.30am start.  Best of all she still wants my help and is seemingly impressed with my mostly lame efforts.  This week in Art it was a painting of a spring garden. Together we produced a ‘masterpiece’ with the extensive use of a sponge, impressionist style (sorry Monet)  – looked good, minimal talent required. My most encouraging art report at school said ‘art is not a strong point – could do better’, but I’m not sure she needs to know this.

So as we move into the second week, I’m quite getting in to my new educator role.  Do you think it would be too much to ring a bell at the end of lessons?

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