Half Term in Lockdown

I don’t know about you, but we’re very much ready for a break. We’re looking forward to Half Term! But, how can you have fun during a Half Term in Lockdown? I’ve been busy making plans!

Half Term in Lockdown Time Table

I like to plan, and my chlidren like to know what’s going to happen. So we have prepared a basic time table for the week.

Gettting chores done on Monday will help us all to enter the holiday feeling ready to relax. I won’t spend all the time worrying about everything that needs to be done. And we’ll all feel like we deserve our fun!

Our big excitement will be on Tuesday – mainly because that’s the day that works best around my husband and my work schedule. We can both be around on Tuesday.

Hat Days are a favourite in our family. Basically, everyone writes down two things that they want to do. We put all the ideas in a hat. Then we take it in turns to pick out an idea and do it. We continue until the hat is empty.

Art and Board Games are also popular here, so Thursday and Friday will be fun. We’re going to paint T shirts, make clay models, and play whatever board games the children like. We’ve started having Easter Egg hunts every weekend to bring a bit of joy to Lockdown, so the children have come to expect them!

A Trip in Lockdown

Half Term usually means a trip or two, and Half Term in Lockdown deserves a Big Day Out of its own. We can’t actually go anywhere, but we can certainly pretend!

I gave the children a selection of options to choose from:

They picked the zoo! So, we’re going to have a big day in, pretending to go to the zoo! We’re looking forward to a Youtube trip around various zoos – one big plus of virtual trips is that you can travel all over the world on the same day!

We’re going to set up a cuddly toy safari, and I’ve ordered these big animal heads, from Fiesta Crafts, to add a surprise to some of the exhibits.

Lion 3D Mask Card Craft

We’ll finish up our virtual trip with a virtual gift shop. I’ll create a special Amazon Wishlist full of little gifts and the children will each pick one. This will serve as a souvenir to remind them of all the fun we’ve had during our half term in lockdown. Souvenirs are a really fun way of helping children remember a fun time, we always use them, ever since I read Love Bombing by Oliver James.

Half Term Trips Untakken

The trips that I offered the children, which they didn’t chose were:

The Circus: A youtube show, face painting, making stilts, family talent show, making cotton candy.

Disney World: A Disney movie, crafts, youtube rides, indoor fireworks.

Half Term Feeding Fun!

To add a bit of joy to the whole week, the children are taking over the kitchen! They’ll plan the week’s meals, order the groceries, and prepare the food. We’ve been doing this as a family for years, and the children are pretty capable now.

The first time we let the children take over, they chose the meals (and we had a bit of a debate about how many Pot Noodle meals were permitted!). We ordered the food together – online groceries make it really easy to keep to a budget! Then we helped the children prepare the food.

It’s always a fun thing to do, and it has the added advantage of giving the days a bit of structure. My children thrive with structure.

The Rest of the Time

I don’t structure every minute of the day. I am a firm believer in boring children. If you give them enough space and time, they will start to find out what they really like doing.

However, Half Term in Lockdown is also going to mean a break for me. So, I’m taking a break from monitoring screen time! I don’t think that does any harm from time to time. They’ll be cooking and playing for part of each day, but, then they can spend as much of the rest of the day staring at screens as they like. They’ll hopefully have had their fill of screens for a while by the end of half term, and be ready to return to educational activities.

Wooden Calendar
Home Education

How to Home Educate and Spend Zero Time on Prep.

Obviously, one of my main points is going to be that the Frogotter Box allows you to home educate and spend zero time on prep 😉 It really does, and I think that’s a great thing!

But, full disclosure, there are other ways to achieve this! I ran a poll on my twitter account to guage how much time people were spending on preparing for home educating or remote schooling their children. Here are the results:

It was more evenly spread than I expected. An impressive 36% of parents were doing less than 15 mins. Most people, however, are putting some time into prep work.

What’s the Problem with Prep?

We’re all busy. Educating the children has to be fitted in along with work, running the house, cooking, keeping fit, playing with the children, and spending time on ourselves.

So, when we spend time on educating our children, we want it to be quality time. That means time devoted to education, should be spent with the children, not on admin.

You can home educate you can spend zero time on prep. If you’re one of the 25% of people who are spending more than an hour a week just preparing education for your children, then switching to a zero prep plan is going to make a big difference!

How Can You Cut Prep? Get Someone Else To Do It!

Respondents to my poll who had achieved Zero Prep, all had one thing in common: they used pre-prepped work.

Some people are using online resources like Reading Eggs or BBC Bitesize. Some are using resources prepared by school. There are also various letterbox plans, like Kiwi Co, who will post you activities. All of these are ready to use and require no prep from you.

You can also use workbooks. My family have used CGP, Schofield and Simms and Colins workbooks at various times. Both CGP and Schofield and Simms have extensive ‘see inside’ pages on their websites, so you can have a look – even encourage your child to look with you – and choose the ones that will suit your family best.

Finally, if you’re looking for something hands-on, that’s what the Frogotter Box is designed for.

Can Prep Be Good?

One of the discussions that came out of my poll was about different kinds of prep.

In some families, children help prepare topics and schedule activities. This can be a fantastic learning opportunity in itself. Get your child involved in planning how to spend their time and they’ll be more invested in the time table. They will learn how to plan, and planning time will be together time. It’s a win win win!

Another parent shared that part of her prep is reading the same books as her daughter, ready to discuss them. Any prep that involves learning for us as parents serves dual purposes. It’s great for us to model learning, and who doesn’t like an excuse to read a good book? That kind of prep can’t be bad.

Get The Kids To Spend Time On Prep

Could you involve your child more in preparing their education as well as enjoying it?

Children can get involved in project-based learning by: choosing a topic, suggesting activities, searching for activities online or in relevant books, ordering the activities.

They can get involved in online or text-based learning by: trialing various sites or browsing books and recording their preferences, setting a timetable for the week.

Whatever style of learning you’re using, it’s great to plan the days and weeks together. It’s really valuable for your child to discover what time of day they focus best, and whether they do better with long or short bursts. Those moments I spend with my children, relaxed, chatting and planning together, are some of the best moments of my week.

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