OPINION

'Everything is so strange': A year 6 student's view of life in quarantine

Betsy Willis with her kitten Frenchie at home during the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: supplied

Betsy Willis with her kitten Frenchie at home during the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: supplied

Hi I'm Betsy, my last day at school this year was Monday, March 23. We have been homeschooling ever since: 12 days and counting.

I am a year 6 student at Crookwell Public School. I should be hanging out with my friends in the quad, gossiping and being a school leader in my final year of primary school. Instead, I am tutoring my brothers and that is not easy.

Each morning Mum makes us do our spelling words over breakfast. Then she heads off to work and I set up a timetable of the work each of us is going to do. We usually spend 30 minutes each on maths, literacy and reading. It is tricky to help my brothers while trying to concentrate on doing my work.

Betsy, George and Charles Willis practise spelling in their lounge room. Photo: supplied

Betsy, George and Charles Willis practise spelling in their lounge room. Photo: supplied

Our set-up is pretty cool. Crookwell Public School kindly lent our family two desks and three chairs, which make it feel like a classroom. We started on the floor, it is definitely an upgrade. I asked Mum to buy me some lollies and I use them as a bribe on George and Charles (my brothers).

I really miss my friends. We group FaceTime each other most evenings. We chat about the school work we are doing and talk about the good old days. My friends and I were supposed to be going to Orange these school holidays, shopping and watching the latest movie (insert sigh).

Charles and George Willis read books online using the two desks their school lent them. Photo: supplied

Charles and George Willis read books online using the two desks their school lent them. Photo: supplied

There have been some really funny moments. Dad has been working from home and is supervising us loosely. He does make us lunch, which we appreciate. If the yelling and fighting get too loud he exits his meetings to discipline us.

Dad is always on Zoom meetings and has set up his office in our open kitchen/lounge room. There is nowhere for us to hide.

One day last week, Mum was in her pyjamas and laid on the ground. She made me drag her across the floor so Dad's colleagues wouldn't see her. Everyone laughed but Dad.

What do I understand about coronavirus?

It doesn't really affect young people. I know I can't see my grandparents at the moment as older people are more vulnerable to getting quite sick. It is my brother's birthday tomorrow. I think the plan is for my grandparents to visit us and chat through our glass door.

I am going to bake my brother a birthday cake to break up the boredom. I wonder if we will eat the cake in front of them. Everything is so strange.

I haven't left home since March 24, I am coping quite well. I like our home. I get to play with my kitten all day. He sleeps on my lap while I read.

Dad does get some credit, he encourages us outside. He plays cricket and rides push bikes with us.

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