Blog: "There's a classroom in my kitchen!"

A home school blog by Mia Nicholls, from Year 6 at Lyndon Green Junior School in Birmingham

I have been off school for more than two weeks now while the country has been in lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus. It was scary being told I might not go back to school until Year 7, not being able to see friends and family, SATS tests being cancelled and not being able to go outside.

It has been hard trying to take this all in, but I like to think that we are living history ! Writing down my thoughts in my diary is helping me get through thisupsetting event.

At the beginning, a lot of children in school were excited to have time off and the virus was just a big joke, but as more people have suffered it has been realised that it is serious and we still have to work hard to get our education.

The Nicholls family at home Credit: The Nicholls family

I think that home schooling is more of a challenge than regular schooling because a house holds many distractions and temptations.

My dad has been helping me with maths, however maths is very different to when he was at school so at times we have been learning together!

My mum is a teacher; the obvious choice when I need help. The problem is she also has to work from home, and sometimes has to go to work to look after the children of key workers, which is difficult when my sister, brother and me all need separate lessons.

Mia and her siblings sharing the kitchen table for their school work Credit: The Nicholls family

My brother Austin and sister Gabrielle are younger than me and want to play all the time, which makes finding a quiet workingspace tricky (especially when Austin decides to play his drum and Gabrielle starts singing!)

Most of our lessons happen in the kitchen, but sometimes I work in my bedroom or even the garden.

What I like about home school is that I don’t have to rush to get to school in the morning, I can choose what order I do my lessons in, I can work at my own pace and I can do things that aren’t on the curriculum. For example, I can do a lot more art and cooking.

Last week, I went out in the garden at night, to do some stargazing. I love to identify different constellations in the night sky, and I can see the stars very clearly from where I live. My favourite constellations are Taurus (the Bull) and Cassiopeia (the Queen). I also like Orion (the Hunter).

Online learning is something my school gets us to do often. It’s useful because my teacher can send me assignments through the internet. Usually, I do it on a computer or iPad. I don’t only do learning online though - I make sure I do plenty of work on paper too; the school send a variety of weekly tasks for us to try.

Mia and siblings taking their work into the garden Credit: The Nicholls family

My brother, my sister and I have been doing video lessons on YouTube such as drawing with an illustrator and P.E. with Joe Wicks.

We have also been doing maths tuition on websites like White Rose Maths. There are many other online lessons you can try as well.

I think lockdown was a good idea because when people are not together it stops the infection spreading.We are spending lots of time together as family playing games, building dens and reading.

The downside is that we can’t see our friends, teachers and relations. I miss being with my grandparents every day. Children and adults all over theworld are in this situation, but we should just take it a day at a time. Here are some tips to make yourself feel better:

My top tips:

  • Try doing something you enjoy. It’s no use just worrying over everything - try and make a bit of time to do something you like.

  • Talk to an adult. Tell an adult you trust about how you feel.

  • Think positive. The NHS is there to help; remember that you are safe at home. The world will be waiting for you when this is over.

Mia is aFirst Newsjunior reporter. The website has free digital downloads of the children’s newspaper, to help with home learning during school closures.