I cannot do it. I cannot think creatively while home schooling four children. Today I'm trying to juggle a project on Blackbeard the pirate, an Amazonian Rainforest diary, a poster of the ancient Egyptians, the two times tables, Key Stage Two spellings, and a rewrite of Chapter 3.
This morning I actually said, "Stop breathing children, you're breathing too loud."
They're having a little break now - hopefully not breaking each other - while I'm quickly chopping up vegetables to make cauliflower soup for lunch, and a chicken korma for tea.
In the afternoon I will take them to the pool, and in a relay each child will do fifteen minutes reading with me while the other children are swimming. I will then try to snatch five minutes when they're changing to read the end of Claire Allan's book Jumping in Puddles, which I'm reviewing for the Belfast Telegraph.
Through the ringing in my ears I can hear a small voice of reason. It says -
Why don't you leave your reading and writing until they go to bed? Why can't you devote your day to your off-spring?
Because I'm so tired at the end of a day of undiluted parenting, I go to bed too.