It feels like it has been years since I properly sat down and got into my whole blogging routine when really it has only actually been 6 months. I say only, six months is half a year, and when you look at it like that, that is a super ridiculous amount of time. What a bunch of s**t these past 6 months have been though, right!
I won’t go into too much detail about the whole reason, as I am pretty sure EVERYONE knows about the whole Coronavirus situation eye roll. But yes coronavirus, as you know, put things on the back-burner and suddenly blogging, although I make some money from it, no longer felt as important to me as it had done previously. Suddenly I found myself logging off of my blog and signing on to the online school forums which Shaniah’s school had sent over, and finding some sites of my own. shout out to Twinkl for keeping my head cool, and making me feel as though I had this whole home school malarkey.
School is now back in full swing, however, many of you eagle-eyed followers who are also over on my Instagram, have noticed that she has a different uniform this year. I will go into that now. You see, Lockdown gave us A LOT of time to think about Shaniah and her learning. When doing homework and such with her before the lockdown, we felt that what we were seeing her achieve and what her teacher was seeing was on two different levels. We also found that her reading books weren’t being changed regularly, and even after asking them to be changed it rarely happened. We felt as parents, that she was a lot further than where the teacher had placed her, not only with her reading but also with her writing and spelling. When we brought this up with the teacher it was almost as if we weren’t educated in the whole education system, therefore, we didn’t have a clue what we were on about. We left thinking that maybe Shaniah plays herself down at school and that the teacher didn’t see what we saw. Fast forward to homeschool, and we felt like this would bring out how Shaniah was at school and so we will get to see the side that maybe her teacher saw?
Turns out, Shaniah stayed the way that we thought she was, which understandably raised alarm bells, why didn’t the teacher see this? It didn’t bother us too much, as we were sending over every piece of work she completed each day, maybe then would the teacher see what we saw? Shaniah was completing them by herself, so quickly that I actually asked the school if they could send over some extra pieces, or point me in the direction of some sites where I could grab some extra sheets for her, myself. Again, this didn’t happen, hence how I came across Twinkl. I purchased the subscription and continue to use it to this day.
Zoom right through to the end of homeschool/school term and to her school report which left me in tears, I mean I was hysterical. My girl, whom I thought was bossing her school learning, ended up having a report which stated that she “Can only JUST count to 20” I can promise you now, she gets past 100, and I know this because she counts how long our journeys take, every.single.time. In every subject WITHOUT FAIL, she was marked as “BELOW AGE EXPECTATION”, and the report basically looked as though she had copied and pasted her marks on every single subject. When you KNOW, not think, but KNOW, that your child is not necessarily above her age expectation, but she most certainly is not below, that was really the final nail in the coffin that was her school. We felt as parents, that we had a duty to get her the education she deserves, and if we see something that, to us, does not seem right then of course we are going to do something about it. That same day, we decided to call up another school, which is not in the same town but one that we had heard great things about, on the off chance that they might have space. Our luck must have been in because they said that they did, and before we knew it Shaniah was enrolled and out of her old school.
I kind of forgot just how expensive school kit was, I was grateful that I ordered her old school kit way too big, without knowing, so I haven’t had to purchase any more outfits with the school logo on for ages. However, obviously with a new school meant a new kit was needed, as well as that, her new school also has a forest school, so we had to purchase a lot of additional stuff due to this too!
Shaniah has been in her new school now for a couple of weeks and honestly, we have seen such a difference, in fact, we also saw things that we didn’t even notice before, such as Shaniah’s attitude and posture when it comes to school. Looking back on her past year, she would come out of school quiet, slouched with her head down and slow. I didn’t notice it at the time, I just assumed that was her, but every single day that she comes out of her new school she is smiling, she is running towards me and she just seems a whole lot more relaxed. It’s a weird one. I knew her old school wasn’t for her, but I didn’t realize just how much it was bringing her down. She will tell me what she has done each day and she begs to go to school on the weekend. Her reading book level has jumped up to further than where we believed she should have been and the teachers are complimenting her writing. She no longer has her work rubbed out and made to be done again, in fact, she has already been given a reward and her writing put up on the wall, which in two weeks is a hell lot more than what she received in a year! Basically, her new school is the polar opposite of her old one and she seems far less stressed, which has an effect on all of us, of course, it does.
Any other updates? Mmm, nothing is going to sound as exciting as that one is it? I have an office of sorts so that I can get my blogging mojo back. I say an office, it’s actually just a corner in the bedroom on top of some Ikea storage, but it works for me. Until now, I was doing it in the living room on the sofa, but I just did not get into it. I am massively distracted by the tv, so when someone is watching something interesting on the telly then my eyes wander to that rather than this, which isn’t very helpful when I only actually have a couple of hours to do my writing, and when you have deadlines to hit every minute counts. With my new dedicated workspace, I am now focused, and my work is flowing!
Another thing, and on a vastly different note. I feel as though I have found myself again, it’s been a while. I seemed to have gotten myself into a bit of a rut. I lived in leggings and jumpers and the trusty mum bun and rarely ventured out of that. I also stayed indoors EVERY day which obviously isn’t very good for you but now I’ve revamped my wardrobe and it actually made me feel a lot better about myself. I’ve also been making an effort to get out and about, not only in an attempt to be healthier but also just to feel better in myself, of course sitting in the same four walls day in, day out is bound to take its toll. I am so grateful that I live close to a lot of café’s and pubs so I can easily walk down and grab a cappuccino or an iced cold cola. There have been a few times that we’ve popped down to our local family-friendly pub and sat outside with a pizza and some cold drinks, which seems to be Shaniah’s current favourite pass time. Perfect!
We do have a holiday booked for the October half term which everyone is super duper excited for, I purchased Shaniah a “keep ‘em quiet” pack which I am absolutely impressed by, I will be doing a review on it at some point, probably once we get back so I can inform whether it did keep her entertained, we are driving down the coast so I am hoping that it does the trick. It’s always such a tricky one because Shaniah isn’t a fan of the motorway and of course, the motorway takes up the majority of our journey.
So yeah, Life has been a little hectic as of late, but I am so happy to finally be back doing what I love.