The end of the school term seems particularly significant this year. It’s certainly been a year like no other. Looking back, I know I said in a previous Coronavirus post that I wasn’t as worried as some parents have vocally been about the cancellation of exams and leaving ceremonies etc as it had to be done in the grand scheme of things. I still believe that closing school in this way was the only option, but I’m definitely feeling more sympathetic towards the different year groups and all they’ve missed out on, now that the time is here. The one consolation is that they’ve all been through this time together (while apart!). They will forever be the generation that was “The Class of 2020, the year they stayed home and saved lives”. After working unbelievably hard in worrying circumstances, Jo and I wanted to mark the end of the school year for the girls so we had our own “Schools Out for Summer” celebration at Mum’s on our last day, Friday. Here are some snapshots:
Last Day of Remote Learning
I’ll hopefully write a longer post summarising our remote learning days, as it’s definitely an experience we want to remember. For now, I’ll just share these three homeschooling tips:
- Keep it fun! It sounds like a cliche but kids do learn better when they’re learning about a topic that interests them.
- Keep to a routine. We found it was important to keep to a routine. Once you’ve done a new routine for two months the behaviour becomes automatic.
- Take a break! At first, the kids wanted to press ahead without a break to get their work finished earlier. They soon realised that when they took a break they actually came back refreshed and therefore more efficient at finishing their work.
- Keep in touch with friends. Homeschooling before the Covid pandemic looked very different and was full of homeschooling groups and social activities. Even though we can’t meet up in person, it’s still important to keep in touch with our friends.
Read more homeschooling advice here.
At the moment I feel like we’re just breaking for summer, I don’t feel like this is an end to our home learning forever, but sadly, it could be as currently all kids are expected to be in school by 14th September (Caitlyn’s birthday!). I can’t believe how quickly this passage of time has gone, we’re nearing the end of July now, the whole year has been so strange but passed so quickly.
“School’s Out for Summer” Celebration
At Nanny’s house, we still observed the social distancing rules. Mum is shielding herself and we’re shielding with Danny. We’re “allowed” to form bubbles, but it would increase risk, so we decided to just meet outdoors and at a distance for now. After months of not seeing each other, it’s reassuring to be able to meet up and keep her company now.
Mum made a lovely “Subway” inspired sandwich bar where we could make up our baguettes! It was fun and delicious!
Of course, there was also cake!
The girls enjoyed a play and completing their “Bingo Cards” full of fun activities (such a great way to get kids to complete tasks of their own back!). There was a bonus point available if they made a certificate so Rebecca made a very quick one!
Making Graduation Caps
I have to eat my own hat (or Graduation Cap!) here as I’ve previously said that Graduation Caps should be just for Graduating at degree level. I guess I worry when kids are “Graduating” with caps, gowns and scrolls in Nursery and having Proms in Juniors, what do they have to look forward to as they get older? This year however, I made an exception! One of the tasks on the Bingo Card was to make a Graduation Cap.
Adding “Take a Group Photo” to the Bingo Card was an ingenious idea (even if I do say so myself! 😉 ). The girls all posed nicely and asked me to take a photo!
We even managed to take some “throwing their caps in the air” photos and Boomerangs. I wish I knew how to post the Boomerang onto WordPress, This was great practice for when they really graduate!
Decorating Leaver’s T-Shirts
Another activity was to decorate their “School’s Out” and “Lockdown Leavers” (in Caitlyn’s case) t-shirts. This was a lovely relaxing activity, we let them get on with it and decorate them exactly how they wanted them, we’re definitely going to do this again in the holidays.
Poor Cerys is segregated from the girls while they need to keep at a two-metre distance still. They’re happy they get to meet up finally though. Even when they’re in their separate houses they play games together anyway bless them.
Certificate Ceremony and Prizegiving
Lastly, we gave out the certificates. I’m a bit sad that Caitlyn missed her official leavers and certificate ceremony. I still treasure Danny and Rebecca’s awards. We gave out certificates for staying home, as all kids have made big sacrifices this year, a “serious” certificate for their best achievements this year, for example to Izzy for improving her reading. There’s no stopping her now! Caitlyn’s was for her speedy maths, Cerys for her physics and Rebecca for writing. Finally, we gave out funny certificates- Izzy’s for cuddle monster, Caitlyn’s for work shirker, Cerys for Robloxer and Rebecca for school cook, as she made our lovely “school dinners” most days.
Then I was going to give out their prizes of Welsh dictionaries, but as is normal during these Covid times, they didn’t turn up in time so I’ll give them out next week!
We had lots of fun and did everything we wanted to do. We would have stayed later and taken more photos with their certificates etc but the rain put an end to our play! So instead we headed home for takeaway and a movie.
I’m so proud of the effort we put into schooling, I honestly loved this time, but housework and paid work have suffered so I need to rectify that (Bah!). Well done to everyone who has got through this challenging time! I know it’s not been so easy for some- I would have struggled to get Danny to work as hard as the girls have if he was still Primary School-aged.
Here’s to not having to check-in or complete set work for five weeks! We did it! Enjoy the summer holidays everyone!