Here in England we have gone back into lockdown, which means our schools are remaining shut after the Christmas break. Once again parents, or grandparents, or carers, are being asked to don the teacher hat. The thing is, many parents and caregivers are unable to do this. There are a variety of reasons as to why they can’t and understandably they are angry at this latest closure of the nation’s schools. Not everyone is able to teach. Not everyone is able to step in and act as a teacher. Let’s face it, it’s a hell of a job to do; requiring patience, compassion, passion, a sense of humour, to name but a few of the attributes our teachers posses.
I home educated my younger daughter for her last year at senior school, and my son for his five years of senior school. It was hard work. It was exhausting. The difference is I chose to do it. I would be able to keep my own kids educated during this pandemic if they were still in school. But what about people like my younger daughter? Her daughter has special educational needs. How do you, an unqualified person, step in and educate a child who needs different lessons?
I believe schools are sending workbooks home and are insisting parents have their children do the work set out. But what about children who can’t do the work? What if the complex needs cannot be met at home? During the first national lockdown it was agreed that provisions would be made so that schools could remain open in the event of another major lockdown. It seems that hasn’t happened.
Enough with the political slant.
If you find yourself unable to help your child with their school work during the latest school closures you could try engaging their minds in a different way.
Research a topic that your child/children are interested in.
Read and review a favourite book – or a new book.
Check out YouTube for a craft activity, or any activity for that matter.
Check out BBC Bitesize. The resources they have are invaluable.
If able to do so go out into nature and take photos.
Learn about your local area.
Go on a treasure hunt. Even at this time of the year there are plenty of items you can collect.
Watch movies and write reviews.
The law states that a child has a right to a suitable education. This law requires that a child receives an education that is suitable to their needs. During these unprecedented times the educational laws should reflect that not all caregivers are able to provide the education that a school can provide. Therefore any caregiver who has not been able to get their child to do the work their school has sent home should not be berated by school for having their child/children engage in other educational activities.
We keep hearing the slogan “We are all in this together” and maybe we are. But we must remember that these fast-moving changes affect our children too. Uncertainty can make them anxious so the last thing they need is to be fretting about work they cannot do.
I know I’ve said this a lot lately, but we need to focus on the positive in our lives. Whatever your thoughts on manifestation and positive thinking, it makes so much sense to focus on the good in our lives.
So, for one last time this year, make a list of everything you have to be thankful for. The aim is to focus on the good you have encountered this year, replacing the negative thoughts that we all have focused on way too much this year.
Drawing this card is a very positive sign indeed. There’s a sense of energy building, so whatever you’re working towards keep it going, you’re on the right track.
The moon is telling you here that you are on the right track as this is a very auspicious time when energy is building up each day. Use this energy to build the momentum towards your desired outcome, the universe has your back.
What a year this has been. I started it off with the intention of loving myself. Regular readers of this blog will know that I have struggled with a lack of self love for a very long time. Instead of making New Year’s resolutions – which I always break by the middle of February at the very latest – I decided to dedicate the year to loving myself. I started off great, I was able to practice self love each day; that was until we hit lockdown in March.
That was when things went downhill.
I have CPTSD – Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – and had been in a hyper vigilant state for most of my adult life. I had gone through therapy that had helped me enormously, but I lost my ability to cope once the UK went into lockdown.
I became so paranoid and stressed, I was crying most days and really couldn’t cope with the threat of being stopped by the police or some other official anytime I left the house.
By my birthday I’d had a breakdown and was in a really dark place. I felt like I had failed at the self love project and started thinking very dark and scary thoughts. I eventually went to see a Dr. and got prescribed anti-depressants.
After a few weeks I began to feel better in myself. That nearly came to an end in late summer, I needed a smear and the first attempt failed – I was really calm and positive too. The second attempt was a disaster also. Flashbacks, panic attacks, massive triggers….they also couldn’t get a sample of cells. I cried all the way home. I felt like I was 16 again.
But out of that experience I felt empowered to help other women who have suffered any form of sexual violence, and domestic abuse too. I was so determined to put my own experiences to some use that I enrolled with the OU to study Psychology with Counselling.
And as we enter the final month of what can only be termed as a horrific year, I feel empowered, well, happy, determined, and I certainly practice self love.
You see, I now know that going to the GP to get the medication was an act of self love. I know that pushing through my trauma triggers and flashbacks has catapulted me forward to a place where I can try to make a difference to women who have suffered at the hands of rapists and abusers.
2020 broke me. But I rose from the ashes and I am rebuilding my life on my own terms.
This year the holiday season feels more poignant than ever before. This year has been dominated by loss. It has driven home the message for me that life is for living.