Like most families around the country we find ourselves at home, trying to make a new normal for ourselves - Mum, Dad, Kids (16, 14 and 11 years old).
My 14-year olds reaction to the situation was “great, PS4 with my mates for the next 12 weeks”. Unfortunately for him the computer (Mum) said no. As you can imagine, it didn’t go down well.
To help everyone out, keep our sanity, and reduce the temptation of breaking the social distancing requirements because we are all going stir crazy, we have set some ground rules.
Like any good plan we will have to monitor and check it is working. We might change some of the rules, add some new ones, or make edits.
Our ground rules are for us, but they might help you too.
Monday to Friday everyone up and ready to start the day by 8.30am latest.
Saturday and Sunday, you can have a lie in if you want and how you use your time at the weekend is your decision as long as you are being responsible.
The school day runs from 9am to 3.15pm, with break from 10.45am to 11am and lunch from 12.30pm to 1.30pm.
The office day runs from 9am to 5pm, with lunch from 12.30pm to 1.30pm.
We all have workstations - Dad is in the home office, Mum is at the dining room table, Kids are in their bedrooms.
We must all respect each other’s workstations and if we want to speak to someone during working time we must ask if they are free to speak.
No PS4 until after 5pm as it might crash the internet and affect the office workers.
Everyone must go outside at lunchtime – even if it’s raining and only for 5 minutes.
Piano Practice Only!
The Living Room is only open between 9am and 3.15pm weekdays for piano practice.
Everyone to help with the cooking – although it was good to see that the 11-year olds class teacher is on the same page, as her schoolwork for this week includes “Maths: help with the cooking in the house to practise measure”.
At least two evenings a week all of us to sit in the same room watching a film.
Everyone to challenge themselves to learn or do something new. So far, the challenges set are that the 11-year old is going to learn criss cross skipping and the 16 year old is going to write and record a song.
But the 14-year old thinks the "challenge" rule is a rubbish rule!
As things change over the next few weeks, we will no doubt have to adapt our final rule which is all about getting outside at least once a day – run, walk or cycle, keeping our distance and taking the dog with us. We are very lucky as we live in a small rural village, and fortunately we are not a tourist destination, so it tends to be the locals only. But even still we watch as Lombardy says no outside exercise and think that might happen here too in the near future.
So, our forward planning for changing this rule is out in the garden, exercise classes via the web, cross training in the garage with weights, and hill sprints in the field behind our house where the only mammals we will see are the local sheep.
Keep safe everyone. Be kind. Keep your distance. Don’t be an idiot. And show some respect to those who have to look after the sick and keep us fed.