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Spinning more plates than ever before!

As the nation gets used to working from home and the parents amongst us juggle the demands of work with playing teacher, we thought we’d share some of our thoughts on how we’re coping at Mzuri in these incredibly challenging times.

Katherine and Lisa have been working from home and homeschooling our children for 2 weeks now and it’s fair to say we’re learning on the job. Here are a few of Lisa’s top tips:

Create a ‘flexible’ home learning schedule!

I quickly learned that although I start every day with the very best of intentions and a neatly laid out schedule, it’s pretty hard to stick to it religiously! I’ve tried not to worry about this too much and have found being flexible, going with the flow and keeping things as stress-free as possible (which is a challenge!) is the best way forward.

We have a start and end time to our school day, outlining what we need to achieve at the beginning of the day and the boys can tick this off as we go. Having some backup ideas for when you get a phone call or have something you urgently need to action will help keep them busy.  I’ve written some ideas down so they can dip into this whenever they need, so far, they’ve named our school, designed a logo and created some school rules, designed a circuit training course for PE lessons and created a reward chart, all unaided so I can get on with things when required.  

We try to keep the harder, more demanding school work (Maths, English and work provided by the children’s’ teachers) to the morning, with a bit more creativity and free play in the afternoon – painting, gardening, outdoor play etc. (Ezra is going to be a pro-basketball player in a few months’ time with the amount of time he spends bouncing his ball on the patio!!).

Separate ‘school’ from ‘home’

We are keeping all our school-related books and resources in a big box and cupboard, so we can shut up shop when school finishes. This has really helped to separate school and home time.

Always keep a box of games and snacks handy!

Every morning I’ve put some different, simple games on the coffee table, a water bottle and a small tub of snacks to keep them going when I’m on a call or heads down in something. I’ve seen some ingenious parents making a Tuck Shop for snacks, with price lists and real or pretend money – a sneaky way to get some additional maths practice in!

A weekly raffle

The boys love the raffle that takes place in their school class each week, so we’re doing one at home now too. Every time they complete a particular piece of work, work together well, finish a water bottle etc – really anything you need to give them a bit of encouragement/bribe them with to help get the job done can earn a raffle ticket!

We draw the raffle on a Friday afternoon, the prizes are simple, but the excitement levels are pretty high! 

It’s certainly a lot of plate spinning for everyone, amongst all the background noise and juggling, remember to fit in a few minutes of relaxation – whether that’s meditation, a soak in the bath, catching up on the latest Netflix series or going for a run – it all helps to keep the mind and body healthy.

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