My son is in year 5 at Primary school; last week a member of his class bubble tested positive for Covid-19 and the class were sent home to self-isolate for 14 days. We’re half way through it and we have had some ups and downs (the technical term is that we have been riding the coronacoaster!), so I asked him to write a little article about how he’s found it. He agreed willingly as it meant he didn’t have to do the writing about Ancient Greece he should have been doing! This is what he’s typed…
It started off ok but after being in self isolation for 2-3 days I started to feel really stressed and anxious because I knew that for the next 11 days I would still be confined to my house and garden, which is a really long time. Now I’m really missing school, missing playing football and going to my football training, but most of all I’m missing my friends.
Self-isolating can be fun in some ways but also hard and annoying in others. Some positive sides to having to self-isolate are that I get to spend a lot more time with my family, my pet rabbits and playing in the garden on my trampoline. We’ve had some fun games and I’ve played with some toys I haven’t for ages. The negatives are that I can’t go outside my house and there is no football. I can’t go for walks or bike rides. I am spending more time online with my friends and watching more TV than usual (which I think is a positive but mum says is a negative). I’m feeling tired a lot and I’m bored.
Here are some tips for other kids isolating. Try and stay calm in tough situations and not get to mad. I have struggled with keeping calm for the tiniest little things and I’m getting very frustrated with my annoying little sister. If you need some time by yourself then just go to your room to calm down, I found that very helpful. If you find something hard, have a break. A bit of fresh air really helps so I go into the garden when I feel frustrated. By Zachary, age 9.
From my point of view I’m finding this isolation ok so far; he is at an age where he can understand what’s happening and the importance of what he’s doing. We’ve set up working/schooling next to each other in the kitchen so I’m on hand to help, but he can do a lot of his home-school work himself. If my youngest was isolating (she’s 6) it would be much harder as she needs more one to one help with home school. Having them both off at the same time, and working myself, is what I’m having nightmares about! Our school is very geared up for home-school, we have better technology and systems than when we home-schooled in the first lockdown, his teacher is setting and marking work remotely and it’s a smoother process. I am using a lot of bribery though – if he behaves all day and gets his school work done then he gets an hour on Fortnite with his friends (something that is usually reserved for weekends) and ipad time, TV time has also gone up dramatically.
I’m enjoying more family time again, doing things together that we wouldn’t normally have time to do, and I’m trying to embrace this as an opportunity to just pause and enjoy being with my family. He’s going to be 10 soon and has been getting to an age where he doesn’t really want to do anything with me anymore. This enforced staying at home means we have actually played games together, watched funny films together and have become closer. I know I’m in a fortunate position as my children are older though, staying at home with younger ones must be a lot tougher.
I’m missing our exercise and fresh air the most and have mum-guilt over him not getting either. He usually loves to run around, play football and go out on his bike. We are trying to stay active at home, we have even replayed some Joe Wickes PE sessions and he has spent a lot of time on the trampoline (my lockdown #1 purchase which was the best thing I’ve bought this year), but it’s not the same as a good walk in the countryside.
I hope those of you also going through this can relate to some of the above. Please do send me in your top tips for getting through isolating at home with kids, you can send them to me here and I will add them to the article.
You can find a reminder of the rules around self isolating here.