Published: 24/04/2020 By The Abode TeamI have learnt a great deal from this home schooling experience. Going forward how would it affect my property choice? Essentials would be excellent internet connection, plenty of rooms, so everyone can have some space, even if the rooms are small. I would not, after this experience be so obsessed with the idea of having a completely open plan living space. Having the ability to shut doors so everyone can concentrate has been invaluable. Lastly, a garden where one could grow some vegetables and just be outside. That said being in the heart of a historic town has had lots of benefits too. Deliveries to the door, a beautiful balcony with a view and the reassurance of other people being close by. We wave to each other and enjoy the musicians practising from home!
See my picks for a great, family home in the countryside and in a town.
When the girls came home from school that day, we did not have an inkling as to how long the lockdown would last. We still do not although early May is being talked about.
The following Monday the school opened so we could collect whatever books were left behind. We all stood very far apart, awkwardly attempting to abide by the new rules. Only the week before it had all been so close, hugs and chatting, exchanging news, arranging sleepovers now everyone was calmly standing far apart.
Looking at the teacher's faces you could see the anxiety and sadness they felt. But it was probably nothing compared to the pleading look on my face!
I was daunted at the thought of home schooling, even for the initial two weeks they thought it might be, let alone 6. I had to work from home - juggling that with home schooling, whatever that was, seemed impossible. In the past, whenever I had attempted to help with homework, it had ended in one of us in tears! How on earth was I going to help them? How were they not going to go crazy with boredom? How could we possibly manage? I was full of dread.
After the first few days, the school quickly organised themselves and managed to get all the pupils enrolled onto Google classroom as well as organising teacher timetables with video calls and homework. The speed and efficiency at which they set this all up was impressive.
I wasn't convinced the girls, not being particularly au fait with tech other than for selfies, would manage to use the program and upload their work - but they did. In fact they seem to revel in the autonomy yet connectiveness they have to their teachers. Perhaps in a strange way, without all the distractions and pressures of physically being at school, they are learning in a more concentrated fashion and feel closer to their teachers.
We were very fortunate, unlike others, as we had the possibility to bring computers home from the office and therefore between us we had enough machines in order to all connect and we have excellent internet speed. I know the whole experience would have been very different had we not. We were able to easily take part. I know for other families it has been a nightmare, with kids arguing over who gets to use the computer, and then the whole systems crashing.
I'm not going to pretend there hasn't been the odd blip but compared to "normal" life they have been very far and few between. There have been a few maths challenges which have really consumed my daughter, but when we cracked it our celebration together was all the more sweet. For the first time since they were toddlers we have just "hung out" together. No rushing. We are still busy, them with school and me with work. There is still the laundry and house work etc. but we are all together just getting on with our lives and that has been a blessing. On the whole this really has been an eye opening and positive experience all round.
We don't have a garden but a little balcony. I thought after a few days the girls would be desperate to go outside but instead they have lost themselves in hours of play in their room, found toys they had forgotten about and invented games. They have been able to just relax and enjoy each others company without any pressure. To keep playing without their very busy schedule interrupting them. On reflection I think we were doing far too much. I felt I had to make sure they were doing as much as possible, to be rounded human beings, lots of activities, learn, train, push but I think I was just making them frazzled.
I have a new respect for my bilingual children and their amazing organisation and discipline. Their ability to switch so effortlessly between languages and observe differences in our cultures, it is a treat to watch. They are very diligent and work without any input from me. This is a credit to their school which has always encouraged and enabled them to work very independently. Yes, I harangue them into doing some exercise videos and make them sit on the balcony for some sun but they are managing themselves pretty well. They have done yoga YouTube lessons with me as well as short meditation sessions. We would never have done this without the quarantine.
Yes, they have watched Netflix and no I haven't done any amazing science experiments with them except the bouncy egg (yuck!), or made them start a YouTube channel or lean to code but I think they have enough going on. Despite not actually going to school, they have a pretty full day of studying. I believe its much more intense as it is not diluted in any way with distractions.
The overwhelming truth is that all my concern was unjustified and for the moment at least, they are very happy. I have promised myself that we will find a way to maintain the good parts of this lockdown.
It turns out they really didn't need any "schooling" from me at all, in fact it was the other way round, I have learnt a great deal from them.
My picks for a great family home in the countryside:https://www.abodeitaly.com/property/305/it/umbria/pietralunga/casa-carosello/house/4-bedrooms and in a town: https://www.abodeitaly.com/property/4f1/it/tuscany/cortona/casa-pescaia/house/3-bedrooms
Victoria lives in Tuscany and her role at Abode is looking after buyers, ensuring their property search is thorough and satisfying.