Sophie Ellis Bextor is taking it handy with the whole 'home-schooling' thing. She fessed up on Thursday’s Ray D’Arcy Show, during their chat about her weekly Instagram Live show Sophie’s Kitchen Disco. The singer is socially distancing at home with her husband and their five boys aged between 1 and 16.
The family began isolating on doctor’s recommendation a whole week before everyone else in the UK as one of her sons had a cough. Sophie says they were already feeling a bit anxious and stir crazy when the lockdown was called and the Friday night kitchen antics have been kind of therapeutic.
"It was born out of firstly, a thing to distract ourselves, to bring a bit of fun, but also a desire to kind of connect with people, really. I honestly thought there was a good chance people would be like, ‘Whoa – that woman’s gone completely mad,’ and this would be the end of everything I’ve ever done.
"But I sort of felt like, music and performing and singing is a real tonic for me. That makes me feel better and cheers me up. So I thought, why not? Let’s have a little party, a little family party and see what happens."
Sophie’s husband Richard (bass player with The Feeling) films her for the live stream. Once or twice he’s stepped on one of their smaller children as he’s walking backward with the camera. Sophie says people tune in expecting both music and mishaps:
"Probably half the people watching are actually waiting just to see if anyone does get injured."
When it comes to homeschooling, Sophie says she and her husband tried it at first but then it just became too hard to keep it up:
"I have to confess, I’ve just left a lot of that by the wayside now because it was just really stressful for us. I think it’s very hard to introduce a new dynamic into your family that’s never existed before at a time when everybody’s already feeling a little bit anxious."
Sophie’s been letting her kids do some self-directed learning; she says boredom is actually a motivator:
"They follow their noses for their own projects, really. I mean, being bored actually leads to folk finding things to do. So there are ways to learn, but I don’t think being a school teacher is my second calling, if I’m honest, no."
Sophie confides in Ray about her ideal duet partner, and chats about being cut from Game of Thrones and her love of the name Ray on the full conversation here.
You can stream Sophie’s Kitchen Discos live on her Instagram page on Friday evenings at 6.30. Sophie’s latest album The Song Diaries: The Orchestral Greatest Hits is out now.