If you’d have asked me a month ago if I’d ever consider homeschooling ‘over my dead body’ – or something like it – would have been my response.

Quite frankly I can’t imagine anything worse – yet here we are in the middle of the worst pandemic in living memory and millions of us have unwittingly found ourselves instant homeschoolers.

coronavirus homeschooling

Admittedly being almost nine months pregnant and having my maternity leave hijacked by the lockdown doesn’t help, but it’s fair to say patience isn’t one of my virtues – and nor is key stage two maths or split diagraphs or the notes on a clarinet.

So if, like me, you’re worried about unschooling while all this is going on I thought I’d share how I plan to (try) and survive coronavirus homeschooling without losing the plot completely!

8 ways I’m going to (try) & survive coronavirus homeschooling

1. Don’t be a slave to a schedule

And don’t be intimidated by other people sharing their super duper, all-singing, all-dancing illustrated ones on social media, either. Having a routine is great but don’t let it become a source of stress because that’s not going to help anybody.

2. Enlist all the help you can get

From Joe Wicks aka The Body Coach who is holding live PE lessons for kids every weekday morning on his YouTube channel to the naturalist Steve Backshall hosting a Q&A session on his social media channels, there are a host of celebrities coming forward to help make things a little easier. Twitter is great for updates on who’s doing what and where.

3. Remember not all learning happens in a classroom

English, maths and science are all very well but shopping, laundry and cleaning are equally important life skills too. For example, ‘non academic’ things we’ve done so far include doing a ‘stock take’ of our store cupboard to establish exactly what food we have and the kids have come up with meal ideas based on the ingredients.

4. Get outdoors as much as possible

Which is just once a day if you live somewhere without any outside space like us. We’ve been making full use of our one trip out to exercise by tiring the kids out as much as possible on their bikes and scooters. If you have a garden, even better.

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Coronavirus brain dump These are the beach huts on the prom in front of our flat earlier today If it wasn’t for the news & social media you’d never know we were in the middle of a pandemic: the sun was shining, the waves were gently crashing on the beach & there were so many people out walking it was like a bank holiday Which got me thinking – 30 years ago we’d have got all our information from a limited number of newspaper pages & reports on the TV & radio at a set time, instead of endless rolling updates, stories from friends-of-a-friend & (unsurprisingly) misinformation & scaremongering I do think there’s such a thing as TOO much information which isn’t good for our health either I’ve had to mute one of my school class WhatsApp groups because I can’t cope with the coronapanic & tonight I’ve decided not to look at my phone after 7pm in a bid to sleep more peacefully Anyone else thinking/doing the same? In other news we only have 1 loo roll left & I’ve been to 3 shops today but the shelves are bare #pregnancydiary #coronavirus #tuesdaythoughts

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5. Try and be grateful for the little things

Like not having to leap out of bed to make packed lunches the minute the alarm goes off in the morning, and not feeling like a glorified taxi service when it comes to after school clubs. Every cloud has a silver lining and all that.

6. Make time for you

Remember it’s not all about the kids. Most of us didn’t ask for this homeschooling malarkey yet it’s been foisted upon us and here we are. Remember to make time for you – even if it’s just an hour here and there.

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Pregnancy yoga via Zoom done ‍♀️ Anyone else thinking just how much our lives are going to change when this is all over? When I was little we used to laugh at how much food my Granny kept in the larder in the cupboard under her stairs but I completely get it now From now on we’ll be keeping a larder too – & I won’t be booking our online supermarket delivery slot one week at a time either In other news the kids are driving me up the wall already & I’ve been looking longingly at everyone in their gardens from the windows of our 4th floor flat Thank goodness for the wonders of modern technology – pregnancy yoga is just what the doctor ordered & I think we should all remember to make time for ourselves too amongst all this madness #37weeks #pregnancydiary #babynumber4 #yoga #pregnancyyoga @lushtums

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7. Remember you can do anything but not everything

Which, when you think about it, applies to so many things in life. For example, remember that teachers don’t make the lunch and they don’t clean either, and the chances are you’ll be doing both of these things – and more – while homeschooling at the same time. So give yourself a break and just do what you can.

8. Try & put things in perspective

Bear in mind that the kids are more likely to remember how they felt during this time than what they did. So if that means ditching the online learning and academic stuff every now and then in favour of curling up on the sofa and watching a film, then so be it.

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Hello maternity leave So my grand plan of going on maternity leave a week ‘early’ to have a rest before school & nursery broke up for the Easter holidays has been well & truly thwarted I was SO looking forward to catching up on some sleep, spending some much-needed time on my own before the baby arrives & essentially enjoying a mini holiday but instead I’m faced with homeschooling x2 while entertaining a 3-year-old for the foreseeable future & I won’t lie: I’ve had more than one cry about it I’m *trying* to look on the bright side: with the kids off school & nursery there’s no need to set the alarm in the morning or make packed lunches, but the homeschooling thing is overwhelming If anyone has any words of wisdom or moral support I could really do with hearing them today! #37weeks #pregnancydiary #babynumber4

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Have you found yourself unwittingly homeschooling in the wake of coronavirus too? Do you have any top tips for coping? I’d love to hear what they are!

If you liked this you may also enjoy reading:

How to work from home with your partner (& stay sane!)

5 ways to prepare for a newborn in the wake of coronavirus

Do pregnant women really need to self-isolate?