Monday, 17 August 2020

A slightly different school summer holiday than the usual

Normally I'm desperate for the school summer holidays to begin. I'm always more than ready to say goodbye to the school run for eight weeks, as well as not having to make the packed lunches, wash uniform and PE kits and encourage tired children through their homework.

Of course that was all so different this year. Although Harry did go back to school for a few weeks at the end of term to finish Year 6, it felt more like a novelty than the usual routine, and with the roads so quiet the school run wasn't a problem.

So when the holidays did actually start most things hadn't changed at all. Their online learning came to an end of course, which meant that we lost a bit of the routine which my children definitely need. So I've been making more of an effort than I normally would to make sure that everyone is up and dressed with teeth brushed by a reasonable hour. I'm also conscious of the disruption that they had to their learning last term school year, so I've been getting them to spend some time each day using a times tables app and making sure that they keep up with their reading.

We were due to be spending two weeks at the end of August in Florida on an amazing Disneyworld holiday, staying in a Disney property for the first time and hitting the theme parks. Of course that's off the cards now, but we were lucky enough to book a last minute week in July in an AirBnB in Westward Ho! Even though we didn't do any of the usual tourist attractions that we normally would, we enjoyed walking and visiting the beach, and it was a really lovely change of scene.

Children playing with a kite on the beach

I normally keep our summer holiday free from too many organised activities as the children need the break, so luckily they don't feel as though they are missing out on too much. But we can't just pop to the supermarket for some cake and a magazine as I don't want to go out unnecessarily, and I'm still wary of letting the children visit the playground or spending too much time in other public places. So we are still spending a lot of time by ourselves at home as we have been since March.

One big difference to our usual summer routines is that Ram is now working from home. He has a lot to do so he can't spend much time with us, and he's usually based in his office upstairs, but we've had to get used to him wandering about while talking on the phone and popping in to see what we are up to.  

Child jumping in paddling pool in garden

Of course one great thing about this entire summer has been the weather. Since the children finished school in March it really has been fantastic, and the last few weeks in particular have been perfect. During the heatwave last week we spent the whole evening in the garden after dinner, finishing the day lying on airbeds watching for meteors. It would have been so different if it had rained every day like at the beginning of the year!

I'm starting to get the school uniform ready for September, albeit a little hesitantly in case anything changes. I really missed the second hand uniform sale that normally takes place in July, but luckily as I tend to buy big sizes there was only one item of branded uniform that I needed to order new, the rest I can get from the supermarkets.

Harry will be starting at the senior school in September which of course is a big change for him and he has a few little worries. Unfortunately his year have missed out on some of the transition activities that would have taken place last term. But it's a lovely school, so I'm hoping that they'll go easy on his cohort this year and give them plenty of time to settle in!

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