Quarantine 2020 / Uncategorized / Weekly Blog

Coronavirus Lockdown and Homeschooling

So I had a draft ready to post in March all about our Year Of Coasts and Waters 2020, part of Visit Scotland’s new tourist campaign for this year. I was highlighting the places we had already been to this year and where we intended to visit next, I was also planning our trips for the spring and summer around Scotland’s coasts, unfortunately that got cut short, I may post them at a later time. But today I wanted to write about the thing that is affecting us all right now, Coronavirus.

How are you all coping and what are you doing to stay sane during this time?
Parents how are you coping with homeschooling?
How is everyone’s mental and physical health?
Does anyone have any tips or free things to share to help everyone else?

We will get through this if we remain a ‘We’ and not ‘Me’ is probably one of the best statements I have read regarding our current predicament.

So i’ll give you a little insight into what we have been doing to keep busy at home. There will be a lot of YouTube links in this video as we catch up over the last month.

As you know Pamela has a Photography youtube channel, unfortunately getting out and taking photos of landscapes right now is a very difficult thing to do from the house, so she has been improvising.

Her first video of lockdown was more of a touch base and see how everyone is and let you know what she has been doing, as well as what she has been watching etc..

Then she decided to talk about what photography work she does for her day job, Pamela works for Kodak as a food photographer, she decided to share with us how she works to achieve the awesome shots she takes. I have worked with Pamela in a studio environment in the past taking portraits and such but i have never really seen her do her ‘commercial photography’ thing, i personally loved these two videos showing photographing a bottle of Bailey’s and then editing it in the next video.

Last Weeks video she and Tristan wandered off around the Nature Reserve at the back of our house picking up sticks and leaves, and she set up an awesome mini Landscape, with toy cars and Lego and shot ‘landscape photos’ at home, this one is definitely worth a watch.

And this week to make us all feel a little better about our predicament she collated all of my drone videos around Scotland into an awesome and emotional little video reminding us what is awaiting us when we are all free, and a little message reminding us we’re staying home to save lives.

She has also worked in collaboration with with another Scottish Photography YouTuber called Kim Grant where she was interviewed on Kims channel, it was definitely fun to watch.

Tristan’s youtube channel has been pretty quiet as there has not been much to review right now, we have three videos released so far during and just at the beginning of lockdown, Mash’ems turning 10, Pokemon Quest figures and Treasure X Alien Ooze eggs. We had a lot of fun with these especially the Alien ooze eggs.

There are a couple of projects coming soon too so keep an eye out on his instagram for those.

Tristan and I made our first little review/vlog on our Scot Trekkers channel together using the Feiyu Tech Vlog Pocket, we had a great time using it and thanks to @bessdomtech on instagram for sending us this to review, we really hope to work with them again it the future too.

Using Double Exposure Feature on Feiyu App

The Vlog Pocket is a hand-held mobile gimbal that literally folds up and fits in your pocket, Tristan takes the lead on this video to show you all of the cool features the Feiyu app has, we were very happy trying out the Dolly Zoom effect. It’s a great product and at the moment has been reduced to £99.99 from £139.00.
We highly recommend this product if you shoot a lot of videos on your phone and want stability in your videos.

Check it out on Amazon here:

Are You Motivated?

Motivation is something we have been lacking quite a bit at the moment and it makes it hard to be creative when you lack that creative spark. I have struggled writing and filming or doing much of anything at the moment. I tried to get back into painting again and have started a watercolour for Pamela of Buchaille Etive Mor, it has been nearly ten years since i painted or drew anything other than cartoons, but I’ll see how i get on. I really would love to learn to paint with oils as i have never tried, my grandad always wanted to try them and i promised him i would learn, so i have set myself a goal to learn to do just that.

My sketch
Base colours so far

We have been watching a lot of Netflix and Prime to keep us going and have introduced Tristan to Captain Janeway by watching Star Trek Voyager, Pamela and I have also been keeping up to date with Outlander too.
I have been watching Van Helsing and Once Upon a Time and a favourite with Pamela and i is Wynonna Earp. What have you been watching? We love new suggestions.

Pamela’s Newfound Cooking Skills

Pamela has taken to cooking all of our favourite meals we would order as a takeaway, check out what she has done so far below, I will try and get her to share her recipes if she remembers on our Pinterest.

Chicken Tikka Chasni
Kung Po Chicken
Salt and Chilli chicken

Are you on Tik Tok?

This is Pamela and Tristan’s new thing, they have been making tik toks to cheer up our family and friends on facebook and they have been hilarious i will share some below and you can let me know what you think and show me your tik toks if you have any.

Men In Black
Wee Drago

Whilst they have been doing this, my new obsession is Animal Crossing New Horizons. I have loved Animal Crossing since i first played Wild World on my Nintendo DS thirteen years ago. Pamela bought me the DS for our first Christmas together and our friend Dave gave me Animal Crossing, i have never looked back, this range of games have had such an impact on my life especially my mental health over the years, who doesn’t want to just get away to a little village or island full of talking animals and shake trees and fish and relax all day… i love it.

New Horizons is the latest game and is set on a deserted island and you get to build it from nothing into whatever you want it to be, a new feature for this game is terraforming and building tools and furniture(DIY recipes), its like Minecraft without the mobs and less blocky and much cuter. Well unless you count being bitten by Tarantula’s and Scorpians and stung by wasps as mobs. If you haven’t got it already I HIGHLY recommend this game, just chill out with your feet up and take yourself off to a deserted island.

Home Schooling during Corona Virus

I promised some of our friends on Instagram that i would share some of what we have been doing weekly for homeschool, thankfully Tristan’s school have been amazing and have provided weekly schedules, I’ll show you an example below of our weekly work.

On top of this though we have been finding things that we do day-to-day that are educational and you just don’t think it is.

We read a lot with Tristan and are trying to increase our story times with him. He learns how words sound and their meanings from us as we’re reading them out to him and it is a really enjoyable thing to do, we always try to be animated when reading so it makes him feel part of the story and he loves it. We have been working our way through the Narnia stories and are looking for new suggestions of stories similar for a 7 year old. He doesn’t scare easily which is good, this is a boy who can handle Doctor Who and the Borg in Star Trek.
This week i intend to set up his Wig wam and have a story corner to relax in.

We play a lot of Minecraft in our house and have been enjoying the Free Education Edition challenges available in the marketplace, so far we have learned about the human eye and the human body as a whole, next week we hope to learn about The ISS International Space Station. We have also enjoyed playing the “Spring a Majig” game, where everything has been frozen and you have to defrost everything, we loved playing two player at this.


Taking Educational Walks – Like most kids, Tristan asks questions about EVERYTHING everywhere you go, carrying a pocket encyclopedia aka Google on your phone helps.
We have a Nature Reserve at the back of our house which is a Peat Bog, Tristan loves walking through it and we try and find different routes every time and he asks about different plant species and animals/insects he sees on his walks as well a what a peat bog is and why these ecosystems are so important to preserve.

Peat Bog Using 180 degree feature on Feiyu Vlog Pocket

Building Things – Lego and Mecchano sets are excellent tools to teach kids how to engineer their own creations and see how they work. Tristan enjoys building things and at the moment is helping Pamela build a fence in our back garden.

Art – Painting, plasticine sculpting, making junk models all of these are helping our kids get those creative minds working.

Music – elastic band guitars, bottle and stone maracas. Get creative making their own instruments and music.

Cooking and baking – have them make their own homemade pizza, have a cake decorating competition with cupcakes, have a cake making and decorating competition.

The possibilities to teach are endless. Not everything needs to be at a desk.

Enjoy getting to know this part of your kids and seeing them soak up everything around them.

As promised here is this weeks school work for us.

Stay safe everyone.

Home School – Example of our Weekly Schedule

Love or hate it…it needs to be done.
Tristan’s school have been awesome and have been keeping in contact with us and sending out weekly schedules with worksheets etc.

For the best part Tristan has been really good and has settled into a bit of a routine with it, Monday’s are the hardest, so we have Geraldine Giraffe visit on a Monday aka Mummy S in a Giraffe costume.

Geraldine Giraffe


Spelling Focus

He learns different spellings and sounds of words using Mr T’s Phonics Geraldine the Giraffe on Youtube and this is how we start every week. Tristan loves Geraldine.

This week we learned words with the ‘er’ sound

After watching the video we do a spelling hunt around the house looking for words that end in ‘er’ and record the words in a jotter or activity book. Tristan surprised me this week with ‘chandelier’.

Following this we pick five of the words Tristan has learned and he has to incorporate each word into a sentence and write them into his jotter.


Warm up using Top Marks – we change weekly from addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. There are different games too, so we change them about too, one week we’ll use Daily 10 or the Maths Train etc..


Then we use a work sheet provided by the school on sums, this week its division so Tristan works through the sheet sorting out how many groups of something there are and works dividing them by a certain amount.

And then he finishes up numeracy with Sumdog challenges set by his teacher using the sumdog app.


Extra Activities

Digital Literacy – Microsoft Teams/Glow
The school this week sent a little clip from bbc Bitesize and a little game called Icon Do this



Grammar Focus and Handwriting

Learning about speech marks/bubbles, using one of his reading books Tristan is to find a page where there talking and tell me how he knows they are talking. Find examples of speaking in other books too.

Provided Grammar Work book from school where Tristan locates examples of speech marks.

Handwriting – ‘er’ words

Pick five words from ‘er’ words we learned with Geraldine and record them 5x each in handwriting jotter.


Warm Up with Top Marks same as yesterday Multiplication and Division – pick favourite game.

In his jotter he has to answer a list of 10 division sums.

Followed by Sumdog challenges

Extra Activity


Make your own VE Bunting or use rectangle blocks or make a rectangle out of potato make a painting, or make textured rubbings with crayons of stone or trees etc..


Reading Focus/Spelling

Reading a passage from Hippo And Monkey and answer questions regarding the story.

Spelling word unscramble or word search provided by school.


Warm Up with Top Marks same as yesterday Multiplication and Division – pick favourite game.

In his jotter he has to answer a list of 10 division sums.

Followed by Sumdog challenges

Extra Activity

P.E. – Create you own circuit training.


Writing Focus

Speech Marks, spot missing speech marks and write them in our writing jotter. Look through other stories and find the “speech marks”


Warm Up with Top Marks same as yesterday Multiplication and Division – pick favourite game.
Complete sums on the division mosaic sheet issued by the school, colour in the answers to see the hidden image.

Followed by Sumdog challenges

Extra Activity

Music – describe how a variety of instruments are played and sort them into groups:

Strike – Blow – Pluck – Shake


Dictation Spelling Test ‘er’ words

Read out six words that have the ‘er’ sound and have them write it in their spelling jotter.

Write out three short sentences using and ‘er’ word and have them write the sentence.

Reading Activity

Pick a story to enjoy and read yourself or with a family member.


Warm Up with Top Marks same as yesterday Multiplication and Division – pick favourite game.
Followed by Sumdog challenges

Extra Activity

Dance – Make your own dance routine.