Media Parents

5 minutes with Justine Sullivan, Celebrity Producer on Home schooling

July 6, 2020 @ 1:02 pm Posted in Freelancer Profiles Comments

About me, writes Celebrity Producer Justine Sullivan:

Female in my late 40s

Live in West London

Mother of two boys aged 8 & 11

Kids’ father has Asperger Syndrome, so lockdown has been tough (although social distancing and isolation are two of his favourite things!)

Pretty much single parent the children

Work in TV as a Celebrity Producer/Celebrity Consultant – no work at all since lockdown. Furlough not much help as we are both directors of Ltd company so we are on the absolute minimum pay!

So, back to home school then after the weekend.

For the millions of kids not yet physically back at school and for those not fortunate enough to be at a school providing on-line teaching, this is probably how home schooling is going for them. Well this is how it is in our home.

7:30am Get up. Come downstairs and empty the dishwasher and set the table for breakfast. 

Call the kids to come down and have breakfast. Call them again and again and again and again. Resign myself to eat breakfast alone whilst continuously phoning the kids, repeating the words ‘Can you come down? What are you looking at? Why do you think you can just go on my phone and watch Youtube?’
Finish breakfast and yell upstairs again ‘If you don’t come down for breakfast, you won’t be able to game later (too late as they’ve already done so on the phones)’

Kids finally come downstairs and have breakfast. Bailey wants yet another pyjama day and Ruben wants to read. Fair enough on the reading front, but it would be easier for everyone if he just stuck to the schedule and maybe, just maybe we could all read at the same time thus encouraging Bailey to read more??
11am: Bailey still rolling on the sofa and Ruben has disappeared upstairs to get dressed.
11:45: Bailey finally picks up his laptop and logs onto the school files. Says he can’t see any new work, despite an email from school saying new files are there.  Nothing apart from a message from his teacher saying she’s been catching up on boxsets.  Bailey loses interest.
11:45 Bailey logs onto BBC Bitesize.
11:50: Bailey says he’s finished his first lesson and now it’s break time and he wants a snack as apparently, he’s hungry. Not sure that’s actually possible as he only had breakfast an hour ago.
Midday: Ruben logs onto his computer. Reads a headline on Youtube that LazarBeam has died of Coronavirus. Bailey jumps up from the sofa and goes over to Ruben saying ‘Oh let’s watch that!’ I say ‘I don’t care about bloody Coronabeam’ and could he just log onto to his school files!! (NB LazarBeam is safe and well)

Ruben logs onto his files and says he can’t write on any of the worksheets and wants to print off yet another 30 page document.

Logs off school files and logs onto BBC Bitesize.
15 minutes later says he’s done English, History and Maths and has learnt so much more from BBCBbitesize than the rubbish files school send over that don’t work.

I stupidly take a phone call for 20minutes and take my eye off the children. Both have now logged onto YouTube. Bailey tells me he’s doing Science – I’m not sure ‘How to make a party watermelon’ or ‘How to throw an egg in a bag of popcorn off a bridge’ constitutes a science lesson. Anyway, lunchtime.

As an accomplished Celebrity Producer / Consultant I’d appreciate a call to take me away from all this. My credits include six years on Top Gear, BAFTAs, GQ Men of the Year and several comedy shows. My greatest TV moment has to be spending a whole day with Tom Cruise on the Top Gear track, followed by a hand written Thank You note from him. Yes. It’s been framed!

Justine Sullivan is available now:

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by Amy Walker

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