Living Arrows
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Back To Home School | Living Arrows 2/52 (2021)

11 January 2021

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Well things have certainly changed since last weeks Living Arrows post. On Monday it was announced that all schools were to close after being told the day before they were safe. We all knew a National Lockdown was on the cards and that it was going to be soon but it was still a shock. Home schooling began here on Wednesday and it was definitely more organised than the last time schools closed. 

at boy doing homework
Little J starts his day with a Zoom call. It's a chance to see his friends on the screen and for his teacher to discuss what she has planned for them throughout the day. It's a lovely way to begin his day but it's also so sad because I know how much he missed his friends last time and seeing them on a screen just isn't the same. 

After the zoom he has four lessons to complete. Maths, English, RE and then a foundation subject. The workload has been okay so far but I am expecting more this week now they have had a little more time to prepare. 

a boy doing homework
The home schooling isn't as easy for us this time around as parents as I am now in work. I was furloughed last time which obviously made it easier but now we are trying to fit everything in-between John's work and mine. 

John and I are both key workers however we made a decision to keep little J home as the infection rate in our area is so high and we obviously want him safe at home. 

a boy reading
After he has finished his lessons we have been colouring and then also reading. He is reading Charlie and The Chocolate Factory and loves it so far. 

Once his school day is done we email all his work over for marking and he finishes the day with another Zoom call. It's a little catch up of the day and the teacher reads then a short story. 

boy on a zoom


So far little J is enjoying being at home and it is definitely the best place for him to be until this madness is over. 

Michelle

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The Fresh Sea Air | Living Arrows 1/52 (2021)

4 January 2021

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Between Christmas and New Year was so cold and although we just wanted to stay in our PJ's I knew we needed to head out for a walk so little J could burn off some energy. Unfortunately we were placed in Tier 3 on New Years Eve so we are quite restricted for places to go. We decided to head to the beach and get some fresh sea air. 

boy with toy story mask on



When we arrived it was so busy, I guess everyone had the same idea as us. I suppose this will happen now, everyone will congregate in the same places as there are not many to choose from. We popped on our masks and tried to social distance as much as possible. There are only a few paths to the beach so that was hard but once on the beach it was a lot easier as there was lots of space.

boy writing name in sand
The tide was quite far out but the sand was nice and wet. I prefer wet sand rather than dry, it's much easier to walk on. Little J drew his name in the sand and then made up a game for us to play with his big bouncy ball. 

I did try and walk towards the sea but my wellies got stuck in sinking sand. Luckily I kept my balance and John came to my rescue. 

sunset over the beach and sea
It suddenly went extremely cold and the sun started to go down so we headed back to the start. We walked the longer way round back to the car to try and avoid any crowds. 

boy looking at the sunset



Although it was freezing it was lovely and we definitely needed the fresh air. 

Michelle

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Summer Holiday | Living Arrows 31/52

3 August 2020

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two boys looking out to a lighthouse
Last week we should have been heading to Greece for our Summer holiday. Unfortunately like so many others our holiday was cancelled. It took us weeks to decide on Greece as we usually go to Cyprus for a beach holiday or head to Disney for some magical fun, so this would have been a new adventure for us. However things don't always go as planned and although we were a little sad at first, we have just got on with it, like pretty much this whole year so far. This year we will be enjoying our two week Summer holiday at home and first we headed to the beach on what was supposed to be a very sunny day, although it turned cloudy and tried to rain a few times but I suppose that's the Great British weather for you. 

Boy writing his name in the sand
Luckily for us the beach wasn't busy and although we are not the type of family that will sit on a beach for hours playing in the sand, we did enjoy looking at shells, throwing stones in the sea, we found a few crabs and a washed up jellyfish and of course we wrote our names in the sand. 

boy playing on an arcade machine
A visit to the arcade was next and it was extremely busy so although not mandatory we popped on our masks and headed to the 10p machines. Unfortunately all the 2p machines were being used but luckily we did walk away winners.

Boy running with a football
Before the weather decided to turn for the worst we found a large grass area and played some football. It was just us so we had lots of space to run around, play penalty shoot outs and have a picnic. 

It may not have been the start to the our two week Summer holiday that we were expecting but it was a lovely day and hopefully the first of many this month.

Michelle

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth

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Town, Zoom and Milkshake | Living Arrows 28/52

13 July 2020

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boy standing looking up
This week we had our first trip into town. Up until now we have had no need to visit any shops so have avoided our main town centre however big J was on the lookout for new trainers so we decided to head to town. Little J was very nervous but still wanted to go. Luckily this mirror illusion in Footasylum kept him busy whilst John and Big J tried on trainers. He couldn't work it out and spent ages staring at it. 

Town wasn't as busy as I had thought however not many people were wearing masks, I would probably say less than 10%. It made me feel a little uneasy and I was actually glad when we left.

Little J's class had arranged a zoom call this week and although he was very nervous he decided he wanted to take part. It was actually really lovely to see all the kids faces and how happy they all were despite being at home for so long and missing their friends. It's juniors next year for little J so it's big changes. I wish he was able to meet his new teachers and visit his new classroom like some other schools have done but unfortunately his school haven't given us that option. 

Sunday was a treat day and both boys chose a visit to the local milkshake shop. I told little J to just drink half of his shake as it was huge and it was late afternoon and I didn't want it to spoil his dinner. He ignored me and decided to hide it under the table and drank it thinking I couldn't see. He actually finished it all and was too full for dinner but he really enjoyed his milkshake.

Michelle

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth

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Rain Rain Go Away | Living Arrows 27/52

6 July 2020

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It's Monday again and we are on the countdown to the Summer Holidays. I'm not sure how different the six weeks will be to the last few months but just knowing it's Summer always make me happy. Last week was filled with the usual home schooling and trips to the park although the weather wasn't very kind to us last week with quite a few rainy days.

On Saturday we went for a walk and although playgrounds can now open, the playground was still closed in the park we visited. However as it was raining the exercise machines that are usually busy were empty so little J enjoyed having them all to himself. 



I was trying to last out till Autumn but I think if the rain continues I will have to get little J some new wellies as he has outgrown his. It wasn't long before the rain started to pour down and we had to head home but it was nice to get some fresh air despite the weather. 

Michelle

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth

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A Different Kind Of Day Out | Living Arrows 26/52

29 June 2020

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boy sitting on a wall at Alton Towers

Last week we decided to visit Alton Towers Gardens for the day. We absolutely love Alton Towers and have been Merlin Pass Holders for as long as I can remember. Telling the boys that we were going to Alton Towers even though the rides were closed was a tough challenge. They both looked at us like we were crazy anti prompted lots of  sighs of 'what's the point?' but they came along anyway and I know they both had a lovely day.

Alton is about a 90 mins drive from home but the roads were quiet and the drive was actually really nice. It is a drive we have done hundreds of times over the years but it seemed more enjoyable than ever.

Little J was actually really excited as we pulled in to the gates asking if he could looked at the rides before we headed in to the gardens.

It was so quiet when we arrived and we were able to park right by the main gate with only ten other cars in the car park.

As soon as we walked down Towers Street little J ran straight for the large area of grass in front of the lake and towers and just kept running. A huge grass space just for him as there was no one else there.

The gardens are beautiful and there was lots of areas to explore, lots of stairs to climb and tunnels to crawl through.

Was it strange going when the rides were closed and there were probably less than 100 people in the entire park? Yes, but it was actually really enjoyable and we saw a side to Alton Towers that we have never seen before despite going 5-6 times per year.

It was our longest day out since lockdown and we did lots of walking so we were exhausted when we got home but it was definitely worth it.

Michelle

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth

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Mini Golf For Father's Day | Living Arrows 25/52

22 June 2020

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boy playing mini golf
We found out this week that little J will not be returning to school till September. We have always had September in our minds but we also didn't want him to miss seeing his friends if some returned sooner.  We are really happy that everyone is returning in September and can now relax and try and enjoy this precious time together. 

As lockdown has eased we have been enjoying a few social distance days out. They are simple and close to home but we have enjoyed them so much. Last week we visited Tatton Park and to celebrate Father's Day we found a place close that was offering social distancing friendly tee off times for Mini Golf.

I was a little nervous at first as this was the first time we have done anything like this since lockdown but it was actually okay.

boy playing mini golf
We booked our time slot online, they were every 15 minutes and there were lots still available so we chose late afternoon. When we arrived there was staff guiding you to the mini golf and there were clear lines for where to stand whilst waiting for your time slot to begin. 

boy playing mini golf
Once we were on the course we just played as normal and then waited for the next hole to become clear as you usually would. Everyone kept there distance and for once it felt 'normal'.

The Mini Golf is just a small part of a bigger attraction / outdoor play area but everything else was closed. I'm not sure how I would feel visiting once the rest of the play area opens as we have been before and it's always packed so before it does open up again I think we will pop back for another game a golf. 

boy eating ice cream
Afterwards we enjoyed an ice cream and it was a lovely way to spend Fathers Day. 

Michelle

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth

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Learning A New Skill | Living Arrows 24/52

15 June 2020

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boy riding his bike

Riding a bike has never been something little J has shown an interest in. He loves his scooter and would prefer to ride that than a bike. For his birthday we couldn't decide whether to get him a bike or not and in the end we decided against it. However when lockdown began we thought it might be a good opportunity for him to learn so we asked him if he wanted to put some of his birthday money towards a bike and he said yes.

He had a bike when he was younger with stabilisers but now as he is a lot older buying a bike for his size you don't get stabilisers with them so we had to purchase them separately. 

Boy fell off his bike

John has been the one in charge of teaching little J how to ride his bike. At first he started with the stabilisers on just to get used to the bike, balance and the size of the bike. Within a few days John decided to take the stabilisers off.  Little J was so nervous and was paranoid he was going to fall off and hurt himself. He did fall a few times but soon realised that he didn't hurt himself as much as he thought he would. 

Boy practising on his bike

They started in the garden as we have astro turf so it has a nice smooth surface and obviously if he fell off it wouldn't hurt him. Learning to ride without the stabilisers was tough and if I am honest I didn't think he would get it but then one day it just clicked. He went from the garden to the road outside our house. It's fairly quiet so he was able to go up and down with John running alongside him. 

It was amazing just watching him go from being so nervous to just riding on his own. He is so proud of himself and wants to head out on his bike all the time now. 

I think he would have never have been interested in riding a bike if it wasn't for lockdown. He is so busy with football 5 days a week that there may not have been time to put in all the time and effort but he's done it now and it will be something he will never forget how to do. 

Michelle

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth

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Social Distance Visit To The Park | Living Arrows 23/52

8 June 2020

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boy on a scooter
We had a lovely visit to the park this week and it wasn't as busy as I thought it would be so it was easy keeping our distance from others. This was only our second time we had ventured away from home and it just felt nice to be out and about again.
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The 11th Week | Living Arrows 22/52

1 June 2020

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father and two sons looking out on to the sea
The last time I joined in with Living Arrows was week 8 and although I am sad that I have missed out on posting photographs for the past 3 months, I just haven't felt like coming on here at all since lockdown. We were thrown into a very strange situation and although it was weird and scary I have absolutely loved spending so much time with the boys. I've took hundreds of photos and videos each day to document our 'lockdown lives' but now as we head in to the 11th week I think normality has started to creep in. Lockdown is easing and schools and businesses are returning. I said last week that whether or not you think it is the right time to go back to school that is such a personal decision, if I had my way I would keep the boys at home with me forever.
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Swinging In To The Half Term Break | Living Arrows 7/52 (2020)

17 February 2020

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boy on a swing
We've made it through the first half term of 2020. We were definitely ready for a break from work and school, especially little J who has been working hard practising for his end of term assembly and also for his SATS in May.
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Park Life | Living Arrows 3/52 (2020)

20 January 2020

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Boy climbing a tree
A much needed trip to the park this weekend to get a little bit of fresh air while it was dry. We headed in to the woods where little J tried to climb every tree possible. We love visiting the park and it's so nice to get away from the 'screens' for an afternoon.
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Back To Reality | Living Arrows 2/52 (2020)

13 January 2020

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boy posing with everton players
We have come back down to reality with a bump this week. We are all still in 'Christmas' mode and although we are trying to get back in to our routines, we are definitely struggling. Last week just flew by with a mixture of work, school, football, after school clubs, driving lessons and everything else that was thrown at us. I really am hoping we can start to get back in to our normal routine with early nights and not hitting the snooze button in the morning 25 times!!!
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