So…COVID-19, I wasn’t planning for you and I certainly wasn’t prepared! Pear Wasp
Tutoring had been an idea that had been swimming around in my mind for about a year
before it became a reality in September 2019. I had worked exceptionally hard to build up
my student numbers. I started with three in September and I was at full capacity by
Christmas. COVID arrived and overnight I saw the number of students I had half! No GCSEs
and no SATs meant there was no requirement for some parents to have me tutor their
children. How was my business going to survive?
So…lockdown, I had lots of good intentions, as I’m sure everyone can relate to, but those
good intentions swiftly went out the window when the reality of being stuck in the house,
potentially for months, set in. How hard could home schooling be? How hard could it be to
adapt to a new routine? How was staying in the house going to be hard? How hard was it
to work from home? WOW! I never really anticipated how difficult all those things would
So…. reality check, I think (in fact I know) that I totally underestimated what a creature of
habit I was and how intense the feeling of being locked in the house all day would be. The
first week wasn’t too bad: Alarm rang at 7.30, breakfast, ready, Joe Wicks, break, English,
Maths, lunch, Science, History, teatime, playtime, supper and bed. Like a well-oiled
machine! It didn’t take long for that machine to burn out of oil and turn slightly rusty before
eventually grinding to a complete halt! The snooze button was pressed a few more
times each day; I was becoming increasingly sick and tired of Joe Wick’s positivity; my well prepared
healthy snack boxes, for the kid’s breaks, were becoming few and far between;
the kids were raiding the cupboards for alternative unhealthy snacks; my 6 lessons per day
quickly turned into just English and Maths. I really take my hat off to anyone that decides to
home school because it’s sooo difficult! Even getting ready, before lunch, became an
achievement! Lockdown fever had most certainly started to squeeze the life out of me!
Some days I felt like a swan, all calm and collected to the onlookers, but in reality, I was
frantically struggling to keep my head above water!
So…working from home, I actually believe that this kept me, not totally, but mostly sane. I
loved adapting to teaching via skype and a lot of my student’s parents had told me they still
wanted me to teach their child because that was their ‘normal’- and I had to agree because
that had been my ‘normal’ too from September. “It helps with her head space”. “He really
looks forward to your call”. “She is so excited for her lesson today”. Those were a few of the
comments I received whilst being ‘locked up’ and to be completely honest, it was those
kinds of comments that made me want to get ready for the day (at least my top half was
dressed even though my bottom half was still in pyjamas).
So…. What did I learn and how did I adapt? Time during lockdown has inspired me and also
given me the opportunity to think about what really matters in the grand scheme of things.
I learnt that sometimes we need to give ourselves a break! It really didn’t matter whether
my children, during a global pandemic, were sat at the table for six hours a day or for two
hours. It really didn’t matter if we decided not to get ready before lunch time. It really
didn’t matter if my teenage son had turned into a nocturnal creature! It really didn’t matter
that there wasn’t any toilet roll, pasta or flour on the shelves in the supermarket-we would
make do. And it really didn’t matter what the queues in Asda were like or whether there
were any Chinese takeaways open (frequently asked questions on Facebook). All that really
mattered was staying safe and making sure we were…just…OK. Time: this was what was
needed for things to become clearer and as time passed so did the anxiety. I was able to
think about next steps and how I was going to progress with my business. The next chapter
for Pear Wasp will be revealed within the next couple of months and I’m incredibly excited
to engage our children further!
Watch this space!