Day 189 – Silence

Back to school day. Officially. The whole school. No more online stuff (except in very exceptional circumstances). Perspex screens. Masks. Sanitiser. Social distancing at all times.

But school – or at least as close an approximation as they can make of it.

Now wash your hands.

The house is so quiet. The kids would normally be working anyway, but it’s still eerie. The beagle is confused and keeps checking to see if there is anyone around the corner doing their Geography or Maths, and then weeping when there isn’t.

Because they’re not there. And thus, the beagle has required several (or more) beagle biscuits in order to quell its repeated concern. The beagle is now sleeping next to me as I type this, but I’m fairly sure that we will be doing the search/cry/biscuit routine again shortly.

I have a feeling that the kids will be knackered when they come home this afternoon. It’s not that they haven’t been working hard at home for the last six months; just that Real School is going to be much more physically taxing than online home school.

The good news for them – us, everyone – is that we’re just 9 weeks away from the start of a much needed summer holiday. Of course, we don’t really know what we’ll be facing by that time Covid-wise, economically or socially, but at least it’s something positive (like a ray of hope, not like a disappointing diagnostic test result) to aim for.

Right now, I need to go and collect the first child and see how the day went.
Fingers crossed for a good experience.

Day 158 – Imminent return

Since the schools were closed on Wednesday 18th March 2020, with this rather optimistic line in the official letter…

Oh, how we laugh now. In a hollow, washed-out, distressed kind of way.

…our kids have been learning from home. School has slowly been getting back to some sort of normality, although the classes are still running on a rotational 1-day-in-1-day-out basis, but there has always been the option to continue schooling from home and we’ve chosen to take it.

However, it has been decided that* one of them should head back to the classroom.

So, after a break of 169 days, one of them is heading back to the classroom tomorrow.

It’s a mix of excitement, nervous anticipation and a flurry of organisation here. She’s been at the school for almost 9 years now, but this will be different to anything she’s experienced there before. That said, the school has been amazing with online lessons, communication and even support with videos and letters about what to expect upon returning, so I have high hopes that she will be just fine.

And so we cross fingers, hold thumbs and pray to the great flappy-eared beagle in the sky that it all goes well.

 

 

* he typed, diplomatically

SOFS

School’s Out For Summer. So sang the less-attractive-than-you-might-think female vocalist, Alice Cooper.

It’s been a long, long year, with highs and lows throughout, but (and staan terug because this is one of those proud dad posts) I’m a very proud dad today. Again.

Earlier in the week at the primary school prize-giving, our daughter got awards for her academic performance and overall effort. Add this to a Grade 2 singing exam triumph and a ‘best in the category’ Eisteddfod performance earlier in the year and she’s done really well.

And then today, the boy, fresh from representing the school at the Regional and International Science Fairs, came out with certificates for effort in Maths, improvement in History, Art and Design & Technology and excellence in ICT. He’s done brilliantly, especially after a little dip in term 2.

And just in the last few minutes, I’ve received a faultless end of year report for the girl and right now, I’m feeling pretty good about what we’ve raised here.

I’m looking forward to more academic (and other) successes next year, but first – finally – I think they’re both due a well-deserved holiday.

Decisions, decisions

A quick change of plans for the day this morning as the guy who was coming to help us out in the garden today tacitly announced that he had decided to get drunk last night rather than help us out in the garden today.

I think we’ve all had that “drink now or work tomorrow?” decision to make at some stage in our lives, and I’m quite sure that most readers here have – even if they’re only willing to quietly admit it to themselves – come down on either side at least once. I know I have. Sometimes I have tried to come down on both sides, but that’s not pleasant for anybody the following day.

It did leave us with a fair amount more work to do in the garden though, although ironically, we also have a bit more beer money for tonight. What goes around and all that…*

Anyway, the garden is looking better after a quick makeover and haircut and the neighbourhood What is Up? group has been pinged for suitable replacement garden assistance for the future (this wasn’t the first time our guy chose to fall on that side of the fence).

It’s been a wonderful few weeks over the festive season and holiday, but Real Life™ begins again tomorrow with a return to work, school, gym and all the hustle and bustle of term 1. I have high hopes that the kids will fly this year – 2018 ended on such a high for them.

I guess it all comes down to making the right decisions.

 

* hence me tagging this with the BLF category.

The last week

The last week of any school term is always fairly hectic. The last week of the last term is something way beyond that. Exam results coming in left, right and centre, a prizegiving here or there, the inevitable Christmas concert, a charity civvies day, an activity day, a class party and a last-minute test of parental organisation by giving each child a different finishing time at school on each day.

I nearly left one at school today. Oops.

Is it just me, or are things really more stressful this time around than in previous years? I feel like we never got chance to “reset” our lives going into 2018 and we’re suffering the consequences now.

It’s all rather exhausting – a fact demonstrated by the beagle here:

Actually, this was taken after yesterday’s SPCA Wiggle Waggle Walkathon. It might only have been 4km, but when you’ve got four legs to power instead of two and you’re wearing a fur coat, it can be quite tough.

However, this will likely be my position (ok, not necessarily under the trampoline, but still…) come the end of the week.