Monday, 19 September 2016

The Beginning of Term

We've been back at more formal home educating for over two weeks. Two weeks of getting used to having an older sibling abroad and another in the sixth form. Lunch time has been for messaging and talking with the sister in another time zone. Hurray for the internet!

We've had our  first outing of the year to the Fire, Fire exhibition at the Museum of London. This was topical and fitted in brilliantly with the history that we are studying and was followed by a picnic beside the walls of London.

However, there have been challenges:

  • Phone calls/door bells/talking to carers and hospital appointments. 
  • Realising that some subjects continue to need reenforcement.
  • Seeing the government target for physical activity in children which is an hour a day and realising that we don't hit this every day. I'm not hide bound by government targets but for many reasons this makes sense for us.

As usual, planning has had to be modified. I don't think this is a reason not to plan. For me, not planning would mean that we would subside into doing nothing but that doesn't mean that the plans can't be altered. One of the benefits of home education is that education can be customised for the children's needs at any particular time.

So what has needed changing already?

  • Spelling. I had hoped that Nessy would be sufficient but realised that both children could do with some extra, regular spelling practice so decided to use All about Spelling again. I have added this to morning time and both children are learning together. So far, this is working well.

  • Adding in a new daily exercise slot-this has been really positive. In addition, we have continued going out for nature walks often focused around conkers!

  • Latin. This was always going to be a stretch and it became obvious, within the first week, that it would be sensible to use the gentler Minimus rather than starting with Galore Park. Minimus seems to be going well. Learning vocab is always a challenge. Just writing the word didn't seem to work but adding a picture seems to  help. Minimus also has a great website.

  • It really isn't possible to do everything every day. We do English and  maths daily and I have no plans to alter this but there just isn't time to do Latin and English literature every day. 
Do you plan too much and end up having to modify too? I always think that we can do more than is really possible.

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  1. Ah yes, the regular interruptions - I assign these as a subject: Character Building - in the subsection: Serving Others. I hope my belief that this area of learning is as important as Maths and English turns out to be correct - time will tell. And as for plans ... well, just when I was starting HE I received some great advice from a stranger online - if you submit HE 'plans' to your local authority, preface it with the words: 'These plans are written on paper not carved in stone'. What a wise woman. It's lovely to read how you're getting on this new academic year and I hope your daughter is settling well abroad.

    1. Thank you, Helen. Yes, I do hope the interruptions are character building-we seem to have a multitude of them! I love the "plans written on paper not carved in stone."
      My older daughter is settling well abroad. I am so grateful that we can talk to her so easily.

  2. I find it difficult to fit in as much physical activity as I would like. We don't have a garden and live in a first/second floor maisonette, so we can't do anything energetic inside as it makes too much noise for our downstairs neighbour. The children have bikes but we don't have anywhere to store adult-sized bikes. We do try to get out for a walk most days but we really need to fit in more of the "heart-pounding" kind of exercise.