Vicki Psarias - lockdown and homeschooling

PUBLISHED: 11:02 29 May 2020 | UPDATED: 11:02 29 May 2020

Vicki Psarias

Vicki Psarias

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Meet our columnist, author and social media sensation Windsor-based ‘Honest Mum’ Vicki Psarias

Vickis boys love the Barefoot resourcesVickis boys love the Barefoot resources

It’s hard to fully process this traumatic period, with so many people tragically losing their lives on a daily basis. It’s a heartbreaking time and all we can do is take things day by day, moment by moment.

I feel grateful, firstly to the keyworkers supporting us here in the UK, and secondly, that my family and friends are healthy.

I’ve felt compelled to anchor my own little family during this topsy-turvy time; to love and reassure my kids, to teach and advise. It’s important to have a release, though, be it a bath when they’re asleep or a FaceTime with my friends. I’ve enjoyed runs along the Long Walk in Windsor and online learning to improve my written Greek.

I’ve also been Marie Kondo-ing every inch of our home to the point of colour-coding sock drawers. I’ve always been a neat freak but this pandemic has seen me reach new heights of cleanliness as carpets have been joyfully cleaned, clothes happily sorted and new gentle Method products bought to form part of my cherished cleaning collection (Wild Rhubarb and French Lavender are my faves). I have replaced my make-up collection with a cleaning one!

Ditto to gin and Warner’s flavoured varieties (hello Raspberry) – they have eased the homeschooling experience somewhat! As have online apps. My favourites are below. See, I’m here with all the tips you need: free apps and gin recommendations. You’re welcome!

Vicki’s favourite learning platforms

YouTube offer their entire library of kids’ content for free but via their safe online platform YouTube Kids. With educational videos/lessons available, this is an ideal go-to for children.

youtube.com/kids/

DuoLingo offers you a multitude of languages to learn. With league boards and email prompts their system helps you 
or your kids to learn and revise.

duolingo.com/learn

BBC Bitesize is a free online study support resource for school-age children. The site shares three new lessons every weekday with videos, activities and more. Plus, you can access their archive too.

bbc.co.uk/bitesize

Barefoot gives primary school teachers the tools they need to deliver the computing curriculum in engaging and relatable ways, inspiring children to think, learn and thrive in a digital world, with their programme being used in 70% of UK schools. Now, together with BT and Computing At School, they’ve launched a free toolkit aimed at 5-11-year-olds, providing safe online activities so kids can develop their digital skills at home. There are also offline resources including mini missions you can do around the house and printable assets. 

bt.com/skillsfortomorrow/parents/learning-at-home.html

It appears we’ve all been learning during this period. I’ve discovered my previous work/life pace isn’t something I want to return to. I’ve taken stock and I’m trying to stick to boundaries, saying ‘no’ more so I’m not spread too thinly. I hope you’re learning valuable lessons too.

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