Friday, 7 November 2014


We've been enjoying autumn, in the town and going outside every day.

There was renewed interest in outside art and plenty of choice of leaves.

Very recently, we have started to use All about Spelling. It seems to have a slow start, almost too easy as it starts with letter sounds which the younger children know well. Still, I think that the systematic approach will be helpful. Recently, I found a fascinating article about why children can't spell and advocating making learning spellings more interesting using an etymological approach. Now to work out how to put this into practice.

All about Spelling has a particularly useful post outlining the components of the Orton-Gillingham approach to teaching reading and spelling. This approach is used particularly for children who find reading and spelling difficult. In retrospect, I would have used a scripted method to teach reading which uses this approach. Even main stream synthetic phonics schemes seem to miss some of these components, in my opinion.

I love reading about books so was delighted to find 1001 Children's Books you must read before you grow up in the local library. This divides children's books into ages and gives a synopsis of each. There are many books that we love included but it is also helpful to read about books to look out for in the library and to be reminded to dig some out from our shelves. The summary also provide a convenient way of finding which books we want to avoid.

Home educating families are usually one income families. Additionally, the house has heavy wear and tear and in winter, it may need heating for longer than if the family is out all day plus educational resources cost money. This means that home educating mothers are often some of the most frugal people around. Jen, a home educating mother of ten has written about how she saves over £3000 a year on groceries.

Coming up to Remembrance Sunday, we have been reading an old family letter about how a great-great-great Uncle was torpedoed in the First World War, how he survived, was rescued by a dirty container ship with insufficient food for those picked up and arrived safely in Canada. This man was a Christian believer who was distressed by the behaviour of those on the ship around him but was able to hold a thanksgiving service, as well as start regular services, on the rescue boat. It all seems so much more real when reading an actual letter from a relative.
The remembrance poppies at the Tower of London are worth seeing although currently due to be taken down next week.

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