Thursday 23 February 2017

A day in Education at Home

There isn't an average day but I thought that I would write about a fairly ordinary day. Like most days, there were some differences: on more days than not we see other children and not going out because of the weather is a very rare event. Anyway, here goes:

 We were about on time starting, today. Sometimes, we lag. I don't like dragging tired children out of bed and the children can be a bit reluctant to have breakfast when there are carers in the kitchen but today, things went fairly well. When we start late, I try to stop a bit later for lunch.

We start Morning Time with prayer, a reading from The Ology,
work on our memory work which is currently Psalm 98-today we focused on verse 4 and sang our hymn for the week: Before Jehovah's awesome throne. We then did the day's problem from Bedtime Math. Today, this was about Lego towers. 

Younger Daughter then went to read The Thieves of Ostia while I read Charlotte's Web to Youngest Son. 

 We went onto English/literacy/language arts or whatever you want to call the subject. This included

  • reading for both children.
  • spelling. Both children use All about Spelling.
    Younger Daughter had a day off spelling as she had put in tremendous effort to finish her book yesterday. I hope to start the next level with her on Monday.
  • Writing with Ease for Youngest Son.
  • Latin for Younger Daughter. We started Minimus Secundus today,
    having finished the first book, yesterday. Minimus is a primary Latin curriculum which is working well for us. 
  • Younger Son working on a talk for our local home education group. The children take turns to give a short  talk and Powerpoint presentation to the group. As we are studying countries, this is currently about a country. Younger Son's talk is about the USA so he was finding pictures of early explorers and putting these into the presentation.

Today, Younger Daughter wanted to do a Skittle and water activity. The results were splendid.
She and her younger brother then went on to make lava lamps with oil, water, food colouring and a vitamin C tablet.
I used the break to spend a bit of time with Grandma and sort out some household tasks.

Both children start with 10 questions which I write in their maths books, the previous day. These questions are usually around tables practice. After that, they go onto Galore Park Maths. 
My daughter was working on transformations and enjoyed this. 
Youngest Son continued work on equivalent fractions and then all three of us played Fraction Bingo which looks, again, at equivalent fractions.

Youngest Son requested another chapter of Charlotte's Web so I thought the lunch could wait!

Break for lunch/answering door to carers and district nurse and being around for them.

After lunch, both children spent about an hour on the trampoline and in the garden. It was very windy and we ended up sorting out some fence repairs from the wind.

We had a read aloud from Children of the New Forest and then about how bicycles work from Can you feel the Force?
At this point, the wind was howling and small branches were hurtling around. I had planned to go out, look at our bikes to fit in with the reading, do a nature walk and end up in the playground but I lost my nerve. Usually, we go out whatever the weather and  think that there isn't bad weather only bad clothes. Today, I wasn't sure how clothes would protect us from the wind so we stayed in and watched a video about Home Science activities. 

 Younger Daughter went on to make coloured sand (rice) from the instructions on the video and then a file to hold her books from another video on this channel. 

Not a bad day but not a perfect day. I would love to know about your day and in particular, what has worked well for you.

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Friday 10 February 2017

First half term 2017

We divide our year into half terms, like most UK schools. This means that we never go too long without a break. Today marks the end of the first half term of the year.

This has been an odd half term. Grandma came home from hospital near the beginning and then my husband and the children had a trip to Moscow to meet up with our eldest daughter.

Having Grandma home has led to changes. Strangely, although we have more carers visiting and more visits, having the first visit earlier in the day has led to fewer interruptions in the morning. Although, we have had a spate of late morning visits from various professionals which has been rather disruptive to maths and led me to wonder whether we ought to change to a computer based programme. I'm not sure yet and would prefer to leave things as they are. 

The Moscow trip was exciting, in many ways because there was proper snow.

The children were also able to see some of the main sites in the city.

Moscow photos by kind permission of Younger Daughter

Youngest Son hadn't flown before and Younger Daughter had flown once when she was too young to remember so this has been an important trip.
We have spent time learning a little about Russian history, music, food and geography.

Our read alouds this half term haven't been around the Russian theme but were Little House in the Big Woods and The Long Winter for the children's book clubs. We have also started Children of the New Forest which fits in with our history and has led to a fair amount of discussion around the sides in the English Civil War. For morning time, we are reading

  • The Ology
  • Claude Monet: Magician of Colour
  • The Ultimate Book of Science
I'm looking forward to having some time to evaluate and read over half term and maybe have some rest!

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Thursday 2 February 2017

February Inspiration

February is the next month to March! And, there is plenty to read.

Growing book by book has a Family Dinner Book club. It sounds a great idea although currently, I am struggling a bit with having care givers arriving in the middle of our main meal and needing to sort out a second different meal. Perhaps, this might work better for us at a different time of day. I don't know most of the books although can recommend Boxes for Katje,which is a real tear jerker, and The Pumpkin Runner.

Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin's house is for sale, if anyone has a spare almost £1.9 million.

A lovely thought about home educating teens, from Kat at Boyschooling. 

Thoughts about helping children who have a maths phobia. The second point is really important. People often say negative things about maths in a way that they never would about reading. How often have you heard an adult say 
I never really liked/understood maths. 


Algebra/statistics isn't useful for everyday life?

Last, a most enormous list of poetry anthologies for children which cover so many subjects. I have been drooling over the grammar and spelling books but there is so much more.

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