As I write, I have my daughter on the balcony playing with clay in the sunshine and my nearly 13 year old back in his virtual “classroom” whilst listening to doof doof music on his headphones and, for some reason, they both feel the need to constantly call out to me for one reason or another, even though I’ve let them know that I’m working and need to concentrate.
Well, yes, the already very real juggle of managing business, brand and family has just gone up a few (hundred!) notches as we enter week two of total confinement in Paris! Fortunately, our pre-teens attend an international bilingual school which, immediately upon school closures in France, implemented a distance education model.
In preparation for this, we transformed part of our lounge room, setting up a workstation with boards displaying their schedules, inspirational quotes and calendars from which they’re ready to commence classes at 8:30 a.m., interacting with each subject, teacher and classmates as though at school. They’re submitting work, and it’s marked accordingly. Students are even receiving notifications for non-compliance. So, no mercy despite the circumstances.
I’ve also created a daily schedule and ensure when they wake, they do their beds, get changed and brush teeth just to maintain a semblance of normality. We’re also having regular outdoor breaks, playing hide and seek, frisbee, ball games, etc. We also have an extensive list of interactive educational platforms and, during their break times or at the end of the day, we are spending time together to explore these, along with the virtual museum visits, stage shows, music, language programs and, of course, reading.
I am also encouraging the children to keep a journal about their experiences, even though they think that staying at home is quite a monotonous topic to write about, as this time will be an extraordinary one for them to reflect upon in years to come.
This morning, we hopped on the animal welfare site, and we discovered hundreds of domestic pets have been abandoned since mid-March due to owners mistakenly believing they are carriers of the virus. At this very moment, my nearly 11 year old is browsing for our new family member. Very much looking forward to having a furry feline for the children to care for during the coming days/weeks at home. So overall, managing to get a lot of work done during this period.