Home-schooling Finding a new normal

5 mins

With so many companies and individuals adapting to a 'new normal', we are sharing some hones...

By Jenny Dunford

Executive Consultant

With so many companies and individuals adapting to a 'new normal', we are sharing some honest stories from our amazing consultants as they readjust to life during COVID-19.

This week, we caught up with Jenny Dunford about her experience since lockdown and how she's managing her time now that homeschooling is part of the routine. 


First of all, how are you?
"We are all really well and generally we have been finding lockdown fine.
I feel really lucky as my children are so young that they have just loved being at home with Rich and I. We have also been so fortunate with the weather that we have been able to spend most of the day outdoors and that makes all the difference."

What’s your home set up?
"I have 2 boys; both with birthdays coming up in May, Joshua will be 2, and Henry will be turning 5.
Henry is in Reception at school and Joshua would usually be with a childminder or grandparents while we are working. When the option came up to volunteer for furlough it was ideal for our situation. The boys are demanding and need a lot of attention – rightly so, they are very little! So it meant I could support the business during a quiet period and also focus on making our home environment happy and fun during such a strange time."  
Are you home-schooling? 
"I spend about 30 minutes a day with Henry doing “formal” learning 121, where we sit at the table and do a bit of phonics, numeracy, and reading and I feel that’s the perfect amount. 
The curriculum in the foundation stage is focused on learning through play – so I have been trying to keep things fun at home. We have been baking, painting, building (lego), and getting out in the garden with water and sand. We also bought a bouncy castle – little boys are very active so that’s been great to burn off some energy!"

What structure have you set up (if at all!)?
"We do have a routine – kids love a routine and so do I (lol)! Henry’s schooling I do mid-morning and we always go out for our “hour exercise” in the afternoon with bikes and scooters. Then all activities and naps etc are in between.
I don’t over plan activities – we have lots here for them to play with at home. I try to follow their lead and then add to it to keep them engaged. I also make sure I fit in a 15/20 minute HIIT session for myself every day, which helps keep me sane!"

What are the daily struggles?
"Keeping on top of my house! With 2 boys running around there is always a mess to clear up and clutter gets to me!"

How has being on furlough affected your setup?
"Being on furlough has definitely been positive for our family. It was a challenge being pulled in so many directions with all my usual support being taken away due to social distancing. Furlough has meant while we are in this period that I can focus on home life and do what I can to make lockdown an enjoyable time for our family."

Any advice/tips you can share?
"Keep in touch!
Volunteering for furlough was absolutely the right decision for me and my family. However, making the decision was scary as I was concerned about the security of my position long term and also how I might be perceived in the business for not “mucking in” during the tough times.
Keeping in touch with the business has been great for still feeling part of the company. Ed does a weekly call with the consultants on furlough, which is lovely, it’s not anything too formal, mostly a nice catch-up. I also join my team for the end of week meeting, which is fun, and the end of week company catch-up."
Is there anything that you’re enjoying because of lockdown?
"Being at home with my family has been such precious time we may never get like this again, it has been wonderful in so many ways to have this quality time and I know the boys have loved it too.
There is a real strong sense of community where we live and the clap for carers is such a big celebration every week, everyone is out, there are fireworks and the boys love making a real racket in the pj’s banging pots and pans!"

What are you most excited for post-lockdown?
"There is so much I am excited about post lockdown, but the top of my list is seeing family and friends who we have really missed spending time with."

Jenny Dunford
Executive Consultant - Performance


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