Thursday 15 March 2018

March Inspiration

I'm afraid I haven't written much recently. Life has been busy. My eldest daughter has got engaged and we are looking forward to a summer wedding. Just alongside this, my husband's Mum has been less well and of course, family life and home education  have carried on. Sadly, the blog has suffered!

We've had snow, in London, in March! The temperatures were well below freezing but now there is no trace of snow.

Seterra is one of our favourite sites with its free geography games. It now also has some anatomy quizzes.

This is report on improving maths at Key Stage 2 and 3. Much of this is applicable to home educators and is worth a read.

Recently, we spent time with some friends painting using a tutorial from Mr Otter Art Studio. I was really impressed with a quality of the instructions and hope we can work on more of these.

This is an interesting list of handwriting resources. We actually use something different: Morrell which uses a more UK style. 

Read aloud Revival has just published a list of books that boys like. There are many that I haven't read but The Mysterious Benedict Society and My side of the Mountain have been real favourites here recently. 

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Friday 9 March 2018

Beginning of the Year Update

We are well into our second half term of 2018.

Our major project this term is around the First World War. I've written about some of the resources that we are using. The Usborne Introduction to the First World War has proved invaluable as a spine. We read a double page spread each day and frequently use the videos linked through the Usborne site.

The other main part of our project has been working on family history. We have made a large family tree and added a sentence of two about family members who were involved in the War. One of my husband's great aunts was a nursing sister in the War and left a diary about her time on a hospital ship going between the Greek Islands and England as well as her time nursing under canvas, at Camiers. We have looked at the diary and one of the children made a poster about her and also included an incident when she was on hunger strike with Mrs Pankhurst.
Hand drawn cartoon found in a commonplace book from a family friend who was killed in the First World War.

We spent an afternoon at the Imperial War Museum looking at their First World War gallery.

This term, we have changed spelling curriculum to Apples and Pears. Our previous spelling programmes whilst highly recommended, just wasn't working for us. So far, so good with Apples and Pears although I have discovered that often spelling/reading resources seem to work well initially, while the work is mainly revision but then breaks down when there is new material to be learned. I'm hoping that this won't happen this time!

We have also started a different science curriculum: Mystery Science. This is very easy for me- videos to watch and easy activities, generally, using household items.  So far, we have used, and finished a chemistry unit. Next up, I plan to use a human biology unit. This curriculum is working very well with my nine year old. My eleven year old finds it a bit young at times.

Our home education group also has a science theme this year although we had to postpone our last meeting due to the snow. The snow meant sledging with friends-three days running! Snow is so rare in London that we have to make the most of it.

Our read alouds this term are
  • Twice Freed by Patricia St John. We have almost finished this fictional retelling of the story of Onesimus. 
  • War in the Wasteland which is a First World War story by Douglas Bond.  
I have another couple of First World War books planned but suspect that we will run out of time. There are so many more things that we could do but sometimes less is more!

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