We might have started with home schooling a year ago complaining but with time, more practice and our resilience, things seem to be definitely getting better. As a mother of two - a mere mortal with 1 brain, two eyes and 2 hands, I'm still juggling with my work, job search, the kids on-line learning and all the questions emanating. I have however found ways to do things optimally and use time at hand efficiently and importantly, I am more positive. This might be also because I had survived the ultimate nightmare...
Post X-mas holiday travels, 3 of our (connecting) flights to HK got cancelled and our 5.5 hr journey to Hong Kong lasted 3 never ending days!! We literally cried Halleluiah on arriving to the Hong Kong airport on a Sunday in January. Our Covid test done for the third time we waited 6 hours at the airport to get a green slip after which we were chaperoned to our chosen hotel, our abode for the 3 week mandatory quarantine.
Our family - 2 young kids and 2 adults- was dreading being stuck in a room of around 400sqf. It was a largish room with a bay window overlooking the waters. The master bed and a study desk were on one side by the window while the kitchenette, an itsy-bitsy dining table, a sofa-cum-bed for the kids and the washroom on the other end.
Both areas of the room were separated by a cloth curtain. I was sure we were all saying, "Oh my! oh my!", without it being audible. The direct view on the bay and a fully equipped kitchenette seemed to be the only positive points of this Hotel room we could see at that moment.
Next, we had to organize ourselves for both the kids home schooling and our on-line work week, starting the very next day. My youngest took the study table by the window and my daughter made her make-do work station on the dining table. I suggested that my Hubby, who had a lot of calls to make and take and I work from the wash room, which was the most sound proof area we could get! This was done naturally without much shouting. Thank you God!
In Pic: Our temporary "work place", the shower cubicle of our wash room
Discipline had to be our Mantra at least for the next 3 weeks. Our house had to be spic and span at all times so as not go get the impression we were living in a dump. Believe me, It might seem simple but i assure you with the kids board games, our exercise tools (yoga mat, skipping rope...), kids school books our cooking and eating in a small place...it can pile up very quickly. And we had to have a schedule.
In Pic: Nervously excited about what we were calling "Home" for the 3 weeks Quarantine
Finally, we had to have sufficient activities to keep the kids sane. And inturn keep our sanity. All I can say I that we've never played as much UNO, Scrabble, bluff or skipped as much rope as much ever. Ever. In. Our. Life!
Additionally, the kids had to contribute to chores that even their Mom and Dad had not done on a daily basis since a long time, thanks to Aunty Florence our guardian angel at home! Aunty Florence got to our hotel reception, all fresh ingredients which I requested through a text every morning. My older one took up cleaning the dishes and helping make two meals a week while the younger one was responsible for laying and clearing the table at meals.
In Pic: Lunch preparation in progress...
In addition to cooking and the general management of the castle, their Mom swept the floor maybe a zillion times in total while Dad cleaned the toilets (convenient for him from his work place😀)!! The doors and windows were shut so it remains a mystery as to where all that dirt came from in such a tiny place!!
There were a lot of shouts, cries, sighs from the kids for and against their schedule, their routine or tasks allotted to them. But as days passed by, we became more and more at ease with our newly formed routine and responsibilities. Kids had never contributed as much around the house nor had they had not slept that early (read 'on time'). Most importantly, despite our relatively challenging circumstances, the complaints from the kids had decreased big time.
Slowly but surely, we started seeing a lot of smiles, hearing more and more laughs. Days turned into a week and 3 weeks just flew by.
As our last morning dawned upon us, we were all a mixed bag of emotions. Super happy to be free again. But sad because in the normal world, we might NEVER get the opportunity to pass so much of quality time together.
In Pic: Kids back home have X-mas gifts awaiting them. Happy to see Aunty Florence again
First thing after regaining our freedom, we cut the Quarantine wrist band. Quarantine was after all not that bad. We definitely learnt to enjoy and appreciate our good fortunes a bit more. The blessing of having a helper was at the top of the list right after getting fresh air😉 . We all were indeed glad to be in our apartment finally and see our friends. Oh yeah...A science guy in the 1950s apparently said that it took us humans (at least) 21 days to accept a new habit. Regarding our kid's newly formed "habit"...It's time to check the veracity of this adage.
True or not, I had a feeling home schooling from here on would be a cake walk...