What big changes have you gone through in the past year?: "Our biggest change amidst the pandemic has been my eldest daughter starting school. It broke my heart. We offset her a year (she’s summer born) because we believed so strongly in the value of play, and I’m glad she didn’t have the disruption the children in her original cohort have had in their Reception and now yr 1 years. But ideally I would have liked to have waited until after the pandemic. Her (and our) experience of her starting school has not been what I wished for.

Her classroom and playground has been split in half (originally shared with Nursery), and many of the expected play provision has been removed. I have a Masters in Early Years Education, and seeing her classroom has made me so upset. Children are not receiving best practice, they’re not receiving what research has told us is best for their development.

As parents we are no longer allowed I. The playground let alone the classroom. It’s harder to speak to the teachers, to make friends with other parents, to feel a connection to our children’s day, and to build a relationship with the school. Since she started we have had one 5min video parents evening. All the wider school events have been cancelled. No fetes, no religious services, no nativity...we couldn’t go see our daughters first nativity.

They whole situation has made me so sad.

Home learning was awful at the start of this year. It was stressful, and uninspiring, and completely dominated our days. You can’t ‘teach’ Reception via a screen.

My son also started Nursery. I wouldn’t have sent him if it wasn’t the pandemic. But everything was cancelled and closed. Nursery was the only opportunity I could give him to play with other children. It’s been hard for me, I’d much rather take him to playgroups, and museums, and farms, and ride trains myself.

And now we have another major change looming. We are moving my mother-in-law into residential dementia care at the end of May, from Southport to Skipton. Which entails multiple day trips to Southport to prepare, and then many trips over there to clear her house and sell it. And this is all whilst trying to meet work requirements for our universal credit."

Nellie K
May 1, 2021

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