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I wanted to update you on what I did for some of the time throughout lockdown.  I spent 2 and a half years working at colleges around London working with people teaching them basic IT skills which I really enjoyed and helped hundreds of people learn basic IT skills.  Giving them the confidence to go onto higher levels to achieve their goals.  Or just to learn how to search for refuse collections, the nearest schools to them and information to get on better in their every day life.

I started at one college during the second lockdown.  So I started to work from home teaching basic IT skills to people who had their own computer devices at home who couldn’t use them.  As you can imagine this was very challenging for not only myself to work out what devices they had and then to try to explain to a non-IT user how to use them, but for the users themselves to learn how to use a computer but first they had to get onto a computer Zoom meeting.

After the initial hick ups, nervousness and general fear of learning again for a lot of the adult learners they all got on well with their learning paths and took up the challenges.  Most passed the first level, and moved onto their next steps.

I wish all my students well in their future.

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Hello we are here again, its been a while since I last wrote a blog, over 3 1/2 years to be precise.  A lot has happened since Covid hit us.  I lost my job, took up the role a tutor for my three daughters who were all home schooling.  Then I pushed through and found a great job at a college in London teaching digital skills to people who are unemployed.  It was a very rewarding job and one I loved.  Whilst doing this job I took up studying again after nearly 20 years.  This was very hard to get to grips with at the start then I got into the swing of things.  Writing essays again, researching takes a while to get use to and a skill you need to keep up.

I was rewarded with a Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training and the friends I have made and the laughs we had will stay with me forever.

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What to do during lockdown

We are at the end of Week 6 for the schools now on lockdown and week 7 for some firms.  It has been a long stretch, I have three girls and a husband, all at home, all working and studying.  We have played board games, walked together every day, painted portraits and pictures, created some art from our recycling, made clay figures, done some face packs, lots of reading, watching films, we’ve watched our favourite series, built trampoline tents, had BBQ’s etc.

If you, like us, are running out of steam; feeling we need more ideas, here are some to try.  Let me know in the comments what you think, if you have already tried them and what else you have been up to.  Thanks for reading my lockdown blog.

Learning Languages

Perhaps learn a language that you can easily pick up – try Spanish, could come in handy for next year’s holiday.  There are lots of apps on your mobile phone.  Duolingo (Free learn languages App), Babbel – Learn Languages.  Also if you have an Alexa at home all you have to do is ask it “Alexa, start Teach Me Spanish” and many more.  It comes in many languages and not just Spanish.



Learn to CookKids cooking

If you can’t cook then this is a good time to start. There are loads of resources out there for you to use.  Especially now we are in lockdown there are loads of websites offering free online tutorials Here is one example:  Virtual Cooking Lessons

Kids cook Club live on Facebook

Virtual Cooking with Chef Brendon Allen



Organise your wardrobe

It’s a great time to do this as, time is moving slower, you may have been furloughed so have more time on your hands.  There must be a dress that you are keeping, but know deep down you will never wear it again.  The charity shops are currently closed so it makes it harder to donate to the shops, but you could consider giving to your friends and family or using one of the clothing banks or recycle them.



Organise your photos

This is a great time to do this.  Maybe like me you have been meaning to organise your photos, make photobooks, print off some photos for framing but have never got around to it.  There are lots of sites currently offering 50% off photobooks so it’s a great time to do it.  Perhaps you have some photos already printed of your family holiday but have them laying around in a drawer.  Try making a scrap book of your trip, sticking in the photos, writing about what you did and sticking in souvenirs of your family holiday.  All these are currently offering 50%  BonusPrint, PhotoboxSnapfish


Make a bucket list

Whilst being at home take the time to get together with the family to make a list of the things you would like to do in the future.  Or you can make your own one.  Small things, trips out, places you have always wanted to visit.  To the larger trips, perhaps for next summer, places to visit things you would like to do etc.  It will make you have a more positive outlook for the future this will help you feel motivated and feel optimistic.


Update your CV

 If you have been furloughed or working less than normal and perhaps you have been meaning to update your details for a while, now might be the time.  Update your CV and update your LinkedIn profile to start with.  Then you could make yourself available for work, on these apps.  Any potential employers will see your profile and may call you for a chat.   Or just update your CV take time to think about the wording and experience you add to it.


Write a Journal

With this very odd lockdown/ isolation time we can use it to write a journal of our experience.  With a journal you can write whatever you like, draw pictures, doodle, makes list, write down questions and answers.  You can encourage your kids to do this too, it can be very good for your and their mental health.  Get creative and see how it builds. Great journals can be found online at Amazon,  or at discounted prices in the shop at WHSmith.


Paint a picture

I have been painting with my daughters during the time in lockdown.  We have found it very relaxing, sitting outside in the sunshine, taking up the afternoon busily painting and chatting.  We have produced some really lovely pictures, here are some we have done over the last 7 weeks.  Engage with your artistic skills and see what you can too can create.


Get Fit

If you are working from home you may not be moving around quite as much as you did before with no commute, but you may have more time in the day.  You can use this extra time to keep fit, use what you have at home or go for a run, park gyms are closed at the moment.  The bonus is that there are loads of free ‘get-fit’ videos on YouTube or live zoom sessions to join.  Here are just a few to get you started:

Dance Groove Workout

Home Yoga Workout

P.E. with Joe

Studio Physic (free kids ballet classes via Zoom)

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Playing games on Zoom

We are currently living in very weird and interesting times.  Week 6 of the school lock down in the UK and week 7 for many businesses.  We are all living together as a family, learning to work and enjoy each other’s company.

We went from very full diaries with lots of parties, nights out, play dates, clubs, and gym sessions to nothing.  This wasn’t just the kids but the adults too.

Not sure about you but I have been playing Quizzes with friends and family, which I have never done before, bingo nights, just catching up, chatting with friends.  These all help you through lonelier days and times when you feel it will never end and you can’t be bother to do anything.  There is something to look forward to and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

There are many video chat options available today – ones like Zoom, Face-time, Skype, House Party and loads more, helping you stay connected.

Because of how easy it is to use Zoom has quickly become the most popular video app of choice.  Which leads us onto how easy it is to play games on.

We have compiled a list of easy games to play on Zoom and many other video chat apps.  Have a look and let me know which ones you have tried and how they have worked for you.

Have fun.

1.    Quizzes

 You can adapt this to just a kids quiz or adults.  Set up teams and log into a Zoom meeting.

You can have categories for each team (which might make it easier with duplicating questions).  Each team reads out their questions and the other teams answers.   You can decide beforehand whether to

have multiple choice answers or a mix of both.  Then you read the answers out, then at the end of each round someone takes down the scores for each team.  Or for even more drama you can send your answers in a Zoom Chat which makes it even more exciting.  This makes it fun at the end when the scorer announces the results – usually in reserve order for more effect!  I would suggest 6 questions each?  Worked when we did it, not too many for each team.

2.     Name, Place, Animal and Thing

This is a good one to play with kids on Zoom.  Each player picks a letter.  Each player then has to list; a famous person’s name, a place, an animal and something that begins with that letter.  It’s always good to explain this one to the kids first and give an example you could say; Mickey Mouse, Miami, Monkey and Mug.  The first person to type in all the answer into the Zoom chat wins.


3.       True or False

 This game is more for the adults or older kids as it takes a bit of setting up first.  To play the game each team must make up fake answers to real trivia questions.  The other teams must choose the real answer amongst the fakes.



4.       Pictionary 

This is a classic game which you can play on Zoom.  You can use a Pictionary Generator website to make up the word you have to draw.   Pictionary word generator.

Split into teams and one team draw whilst the other teams have to guess.  You can use the “spotlight” feature to put the drawer on the main screen.  You will have to position the drawing pad to where the screen can capture the image as it is being drawn.  The players have one minute to draw the word the team that guesses correctly wins a point.


5.       Most like to ….

This is a drinking game for adults, but you could adapt it for children too.  It is fun if you play it with friends, pose different scenarios for example:  “Most likely to go skydiving” or most likely to own a zoo – you can then decide which friend would most likely to do that.  Whoever guessed correctly has to have a drink.  You will have to set up the questions and answers beforehand for it to work.  Question examples to help you get started.