As we enter into our third week of life during an effective lockdown under guidance from the Scottish and UK Governments, many of us are still adjusting to a new normality with profound changes in our daily routines.

Among those affected are parents of young schoolchildren.

With schools closed since Wednesday, March 18 until further notice, in order to help contain the COVID-19 outbreak, parents are faced with maintaining a sense of routine, keeping their kids occupied and well exercised.

For some parents, the added task of balancing full time childcare with their own working commitments can prove to be challenging.

During this time, school staff across North Ayrshire have been providing helpful advice and suggestions of activities to keep children occupied.

They have also ensured that learning material has been provided for parents to minimise disruption to education.

The area’s schools have been watching along with and taking part in fitness coach Joe Wicks’ PE classes which have been streamed on a daily basis live via YouTube.

Schools have also been using their own social media platforms to share daily physical activity challenges as well as suggestions of arts and crafts to create and share online.

North Ayrshire’s primary schools have also been encouraging pupils to create colourful displays in their windows for neighbours to see.

Children from Springside Primary School in Irvine have been painting rainbows.

Corsehill Primary School in Kilwinning have been painting teddy bears, and St Mark’s Primary in Irvine have encouraged pupils to paint sunshines.

Additional resources from the BBC have been widely promoted to assist with providing children with age appropriate learning material for them to engage with outside of the classroom.

Secondary schools across the area have also been offering assistance and advice for pupils to continue with their educational activities.

With exams being cancelled for the first time ever due to the evolving situation around the coronavirus, the SQA are working to develop an alternative model for awarding grades.

Schools have been sharing example timetables on social media for pupils to follow that, while allowing for academic learning, emphasises mental wellbeing. These have allocated time to encourage young people to take time outside within social distancing guidelines and participate in hobbies that they enjoy.

This is equally relevant for parents.

Above all else, being mindful of your physical and mental wellbeing is of paramount importance during this time.

Parents who are feeling an intense pressure to manage everything for their families should have compassion for themselves.

Normal life as we know it is on hold for the time being.

There’s no need to beat yourself up over a missed exercise or surrendering to the pull of Netflix for an hour or two.

It’s not realistic to expect yourself to manage everything at once during this time for your children’s education while balancing your own working responsibilities and household priorities.

We will all struggle during this period, and that’s okay.