Zoe Workman, a LLB student entering her fourth year at Stirling University, reveals what it's like to juggle home school and studying for law exams during the lockdown.
Looking at my kitchen right now, it resembles the last pages of Judith Kerr's book “The Tiger Who Came to Tea” - they have drunk all the juice and eaten all the food, and it's only Monday!
Like many others, I never planned on home schooling our children. The thought had never entered my head, but yet here I am doing it. School time for my daughter and my partner's daughters used to be a time for me to study - my time, at my school.
I previously lived on my own with my daughter for six years, juggling university, working part time and parenting, and I am proud of what I achieved. I have shown my daughter what is possible if you work hard, with the support of family and friends.
Fast forward to November 2019 and I decided to move in with my partner, blending our family to become five. It’s now me, my daughter, my partner and his two girls, so we now have two eight-year-olds and a 10-year-old in one house. As you can imagine, this has been a stressful situation at times, never mind being put into lockdown.
Thankfully, I have a great relationship with my partner's children and their mother. As the only non-keyworker, I took on the responsibility of home schooling the girls from the start. I knew that, with a little over a month until my exams, this was going to be no easy task.
Initially, I tried to study while the girls worked on their own schoolwork, but it quickly came to light that this wasn't a viable option. Despite my best efforts, it was impossible to give my full attention to the subject - you lose your train of thought when the little ones have a question. It's the age-old parent problem of children waiting until you are doing something else to want your attention.
I had to leave them alone to play, not saying anything as I left the room, but I was soon found. Hunger or a falling out was cited as the main reasons for being found. The most recent interruption being that two of them wanted to be Rapunzel. Parenthood can certainly set you up for a career in the Court room.
The saving grace was when my partner took off my exams dates, so I could get my head down. Thankfully, this afforded me time and allowed me to sit down, rather than spending every evening with my head in a book. It certainly could have turned out very differently.
I am pleased to say that my exams are all done and my fourth and final year awaits me. My first semester will be spent working from home again with the children and trying to home school. How that will work? Well, I can only wait and see.
Spending so much time with the children has also taught me lessons no university degree will. You still need a 10-year-old to work the TikTok app – something I'll be adding to my CV.