13-year-old Aanya Sethi opens up about her experiences regarding home schooling in the times of the COVID-19 global lockdown.

We start our days at 8:30 am. This means – no waking up at 6:30, to have breakfast and leave home by 7:10 for a 7:30 am class! Juhui! SO – I love those extra hour and a half of being tucked in bed and cuddling into my quilt.

I take it easy and wake up at 8:10 – or even 8:20 and rush through brushing my teeth, combing my hair and picking up my cup of hot chocolate and breakfast snacks to take to my room.

Notice something? I don’t always change my clothes! Sometimes, I simply put on a fleece or a pullover – and continue to be in my pyjamas! Who cares! No one can see me. And those who do – see just my well done hair and clean face.

Photo of Aanya SethiWe have online classes and need to work at home through our regular school hours.

The advantages are that we can break the dress code, eat during school hours and study at any time we want, as long as we send our work to the teachers at the right time. We don’t need to send all of our work at all times. Sometimes we just get the solutions from the teachers to correct our own tasks.

Being home – I can eat when I want and bother my brother and mum whenever I feel like it! And I enjoy doing that once in a while to take a break from schoolwork.

On Wednesdays and Fridays we need to write an email to our teacher about how we are doing, what was too difficult and what our teacher can do better. Handling programs like Teams, Sharepoint, FaceTime and Outlook are not too difficult since we were given an introduction a week in advance of the Coronavirus Lockdown. We get enough work to keep us busy during the week.

I feel the sports lesson was more fun at school with the girls.. Now, I need to go jogging for approximately 2 kilometres, twice a week. But, though I like jogging, I am just a little bit lazy. I have to workout for 30 minutes a day as well. So I workout sometimes with my mother and do Zumba Strong. That’s fun, though.

We also get cooking assignments. So, last week I baked a ‘Zopf’ and for Monday, I need to bake a vanilla cake with chocolate chunks. I will ice it well and design it with butter cream for some brownie points!

I also have my virtual e-guitar lessons. My ballet and karate teachers send me some reference material that I watch – and if I want to, I do the moves.

Not everything about homeschooling is great. For example, we can’t see our class every day.

I miss communication without technical time lags. I miss going to school in the morning with one hairstyle and coming back with another. My friends always change it for me! I don’t have most of my pens anymore as we often exchange and steal each other’s pens for fun. I miss that laughter and madness in class. I miss the jokes and dumbness that goes around among teachers and students.

It’s been a long enough break – and now I really hope that school starts again – and then stops for a vacation where we can actually leave our houses. Until then, stay safe and don’t get bored!

About the Author

Aanya Sethi is a bubbly and cheerful girl who loves doing things, cracking jokes and spending time with her friends, family and cats. She goes to the local school and pursues many hobbies including baking, playing her e-guitar, doing ballet and karate.