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My first day of "home schooling" my twins during social distancing for Coronavirus in Sussex.

As a somewhat reluctant home schooler, I admit I was full of anxiety about staying at home with the kids every day and being in charge of their education! I wasn't one of those mums crying at the school gates when they started in September, I was just a little bit relieved to get some time back to my self in between work and mothering twins and I was really enjoying running my family & branding photography business.

I thought I'd write about my experience of Day One as we all get used to this new normal, we really don't know how long it will last and I'm still anxious but this day was actually quite fun so I'm writing this to hopefully reassure any of you feeling the same as me about our new roles as "teacher"! I know it won't be like this every day but I'm trying to go easy on myself and if I document the good days, they might help to keep me going on the rougher ones. Of course, I photographed our day as well, it really does help to keep me sane!

We actually started "education" during breakfast with a bit of bird watching as we had two male sparrows munching on our bird feeder outside the dining room. They flew off before I could get back with my camera though.

We started properly at 9am with the fabulous Joe Wicks as PE teacher. I'll be paying for that tomorrow, I've been a bit lax since our holiday in January despite being signed up to his 90 day plan which I'm a huge fan of! Anyway, we started off well, in school PE kit and raring to go. K got "too tiiiiired" very quickly and sat most of it out joining in occasionally with his favourite parts, I let it go. P did most of it with me, I don't think she would have if I hadn't joined in too.

After our exercise we showered, well P and I did, Kalyan was still in stubborn mode so we left him to get dressed and that seemed to snap him out of it thankfully after yelling at me to "go away yucky mama!" Fine by me, Priya and I had a peaceful shower and talked about body parts as she washed them (anatomy ticked off as science). The light was lush too, bonus.

Next up was letter writing. We practised writing by choosing a class mate to write to which I then photographed and emailed to their friends.

Snack time! A welcome break for us all. I grabbed a coffee and the twins had crisps and fruit. They wanted TV again but I was worried we'd descend into moods when it was time to turn it off again so I suggested they sit at the window and see how many birds they could count. Bonus maths! Kalyan got up to 21!

Back to work again and I suggested a scavenger hunt - should have recorded them trying to say that, hilarious! I laid out a big mount board on the rug and asked them to find anything green from the house or garden to put on it. They did really well! We do have plenty of colourful things in this house mind you, haha. I managed to catch up with some other class mums in our Facebook group while they ran all over the house looking for things. Once it was full I asked them to rearrange them all by size. Kalyan immediately got to work but Priya wasn't sure what to do so we all did this together (mostly K and I) and I took a photo again when we were done.

At 12 noon I'd set up a Zoom meeting for them to see and chat to some classmates and we even got a virtual visit from their teacher in the school! They loved it and I even managed to sneak away to prepare lunch while they chatted.

Lunch was put into their lunchboxes (a novelty now since they usually have school meals) and taken into the garden. It was such a gorgeous sunny day so they had a picnic outside and played on the trampoline and playhouse.

After lunch was some cosy down time with books on the sofa. I just took a couple of phone snaps as they read to me first then I read the four other books they'd brought home from school.

I had planned a craft activity of some kind but I decided we'd done rather a lot in a day and didn't want to push my luck, plus I have to save some ideas for tomorrow and beyond!!! It was only 2pm so I said they could have another snack and watch TV but only about real animals (good old David of course) and put Planet Earth on. Apparently my favourite national treasure is boring so they ended up doing some art anyway as they gathered pens, stamps and pencils to make drawings in between cute bits and sharks! I enjoyed it though!

Come 3:07pm they were well and truly fed up of our beautiful planet so I declared end of the school day and let them watch something else until dinner. Luckily they chose The Gruffalo's Child which is one of the books they've been learning about this term so I felt a bit less guilty about all the extra screen time ;)

Phew. Not as bad as I thought although we'll see how it goes for the next few days/weeks/months!?! I'm so glad I have my #ThroughTheRainbowWindows project to help get me through this. At the weekend when Nik is home (he's a surgeon so can't work from home and will likely be re-deployed to help with the virus anyway) I can find some much needed "me-time" alone out of the house as I drive around photographing people through their windows (respecting social distancing and keeping everyone safe of course!) Sounds odd I know but read about it on my Through the Rainbow Windows gallery - it's already an amazingly uplifting project showing the joy of family life as we're all stuck indoors and raising funds for our local food bank too!



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