Diary of Home Schooling in a mad house

Updated: Jan 17

5.30 am

"'ello mate!" acts as my wake up call as my 2 year old pops up from his cot (his Father got bored the other night and seemingly amused himself by training his son to be an extra in Eastenders). Stumble to kitchen to serve a wholesome breakfast of sugar free cereal, because this kid needs no help to buzz off his tits.

7 am

"Mumeeeee why is he watching Bing AGAIN. I hate Bing and I hate him" heralds the arrival of my 4 year old princess who proceeds to scowl at the world until...

8.15 am

Venture into the underworld and wake my 10 and 12 year olds because School starts at 9 (This is actually a lie. I wake them up at 9, then again at 9.30 then give up and reason with myself that lockdown is a great opportunity catch up on rest)

10 am.

Realise that they really should start classes, joining in just in time for 2nd Lesson (but it's ok, because the first lesson was French so...you know...)

11 am

Do a wee and hope that I won't contract a UTI from all the held in wees. Practice letters to the delight of the princess. Spend an genuinely enjoyable 3 minutes saying "TTTT Tree, BBBB Ball" and other sounds that I can't make because I'm not Welsh yet.

11 03 am

Soothe screaming princess and 2 year old "He can't do letters too Mummy because I HATE him!!!" Prepare healthy snack and ponder whether this would be a good time to apply some deodorant. Dole out carrot sticks and apple slices and send the older ones back upstairs for Lesson 3.

12 pm

Finally finish removing carrots stick from toaster and register a rumbling in my stomach. I should eat, but the wolves are howling for feeding time again and I haven't yet defrosted the superfood medley (Quorn nuggets)

12 30 pm

12 year old starts the obligatory begging to skip afternoon classes. Remind him that the routine of School is really good for his Mental Health. 10 year old points out that Mental Health is relative and that I should consider this when I make such decisions. Wonder for the 18th time this week if I should have my phone conversations with the Head Teacher in private.

1 30 pm

Read in a Mummy blog that the best way for young children to learn is through play and being creative. With a reinvigorated resolve, drag craft box into kitchen and gleefully declare "Be free my children!!" Make coffee and toast then sit back and observe the blissful scene that I have created.

2 pm

Receive SOS text from 12 year old upstairs requesting my help with Algebra. Tell him the answer and explain how I worked it out. Ask him why he doesn't already know this formula, and get bemused face. Advise he emails teacher for extra support. Walk out of room with head held high. Check in on 10 year old who is reading because she's completed all her work. Mental note to check the validity of this at some point. Plonk small children infront of Cbeebies - the Guardian says it counts as education. Check them for cuts and bruises after latest fist fight over the dog's chew toy (2 year old wanted to eat it, princess wanted to sleep with it). Scrub paint and glitter off kitchen table, walls and 2 year old.

3 pm

Alarm goes off reminding me to call landlord again about 10 year old's broken window and the resulting freezing temperature. Decide that I can't face it. Have a little cry. Phone my mum and rant at her about the whole world whilst children walk in and out of kitchen like modern day Oliver Twists ("Pleeeeease Mum, can I have a Penguin?) Do a quick Google check about the risks of ingesting glitter.

3 20 pm

Official end of School day. Older children plug themselves into various devices making facetious comments about my Screen Time rules and the absurdity of these in the face of 5 hours home learning on laptop. Realise that this is supposed to be the time that we go out for daily exercise. Drag kids back downstairs and plod 200 yards down the hill and back up again (I have 4 children and the only road with a pavement is my own. Still, rules are rules. Have internal cry about rules)

4 pm

Have usual 4 pm melt down as small children start fighting. Try to make the Risotto I had planned for dinner (had bought cheap wine and shitake mushrooms and everything). Give up, shout at kids, cry because I shouted at kids and give them a guilt Penguin. Partner rings, clocks on to the chaos and hastily ends call. Mental Health worker rings, ditto. Call up the stairs and ask older kids to help me entertain smaller kids. Give up on Mother Of The Year award.

5 pm

Washing machine is on, dry clothes folded, living room hoovered. Begin countdown to kid's bedtimes and partner returning home after his 12 hour stint driving buses for the unmasked and unhygienic at minimum wage. Give cereal to small kids (their standard and preferred evening fodder) then plug 2 year old in with dummy that he shouldn't be having. Row ensues about tv viewing and the injustices of having one tv.

6 30pm

Put 2 year old to bed. Enjoy his soft sloppy kisses and give thanks to the toddler gods that he goes to bed so willingly. Begin immense clean up job and retract prayer to toddler gods. Remember I have not made Risotto. Receive email from Head Teacher, 12 year old has been handed out 4 'Negative Points' this week, most from French teacher, for work not completed, and a detention on Monday in Room 19. Look around the house in a confused state wondering where Room 19 is. Bang out furious email. Have a cry for my poor kids who are doing their best in a fucked up situation.

7 pm

Still no dinner. Princess has cereal and refuses to go to bed. Alarm goes off to take my night meds.

8 pm

Partner returns home. Vents about his shitty day, sympathizes with mine and puts Princess to bed ("Ok Daddy" with sweet smile). 2 year old wakes up having done a huge crap in his nappy. Start chopping onions. Remember I haven't taken my meds. Concerned yell from living room "Babe, why has he got sparkly poo??". Swig down meds with cheap wine as I yell "It's ok, it's harmless, I googled it"

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