Thursday 30 December 2021

The Ups and Downs of Home Educating in 2021

  • 2021 has been an unusual year for all of us and home educators are no exception. There is a bit of a folk tale going around that home educators have been affected less by lockdown than everyone else; after all, don't their children stay at home anyway? Not completely true!

Anyway, the ups...

  • Lockdown was difficult but it has been a time to appreciate real friends. Those people who were willing to meet in parks or gardens on cold, wet days. The people who sent WhatsApps to keep in touch. It turns out that many of these are from the home education community and I am very thankful for them.
  • Our home education group which has had to meet partly online; partly outside-sometimes in rather interesting weather conditions and more recently, inside but we have met! 
  • It also turns out that there are new home educators. This has led to an online meeting about setting up new groups and a new Christian home education group starting. 
  • Free online resources. This year, we have particularly used Corbett maths, Maths Genie, FreeScienceLessons and Malmesbury education.
  • We have continued morning time with some books which worked well
    and others which weren't so popular but provoked a fair amount of discussion. Oliver Twist definitely fell into this category.
  • Dreaming Spires history course, Longbows and Roses for my youngest. I have wondered about using Dreaming Spires before but this summer with a child who wanted to learn more history and wasn't ready for a GCSE course, we registered. I  must say that this was with some trepidation. The workload is quite heavy and it was either going to be a bit of a disaster or would feed his history interest. Anyway, he is loving the course and we have worked out a plan for the week so that we can fit in the reading, watching and writing.

And the downs...
  • It hasn't been the easiest year. We all missed seeing friends during lockdown. 
  • Catching Covid over the summer meant that we went into the Autumn term tired.  

We look to 2022 knowing that hitherto has the Lord helped us. 

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Tuesday 7 December 2021

Wulfgar and the Riddle

 Wulfgar and the Riddle is the last in the trilogy of Wulfgar the Saxon books by Christina Eastwood. These books are historical fiction set in Southern England in the days of Alfred the Great.

Wulfgar is a Saxon wood carver who has spent the last eight years at a monastery in East Francia (part of modern France), learning his trade. He is now returning to his native village of Leofham in Wessex. However, home coming isn't as smooth as he had hoped both physically and in terms of working out whether the old ideas which he had been taught in Leofham were right or the newer ways of interpreting the Scripture which he learned in France. Wulfgar has to work out the puzzle of whether we are meant to look to the plain meaning of Scripture or whether the glosses and works of the Church Fathers bringing out allegorical meanings are more important.

Wulfgar doesn't stay in his home village for long before he is sent to work on the new Abbey church in Shaftesbury. He leaves pondering his riddle. The abbess of the convent at Shaftesbury is the daughter of Alfred the Great but really the abbey is controlled by another nun. Will Wulfgar be able to help the oppressed nuns? Will he find his vocation in carving religious images and what about the disturbing thoughts about Scripture against tradition?

This is a fast paced book for older children, probably 9-12ish. I recommend this book, indeed, the whole series and look forward to further books from Christina Eastwood.

My reviews of the first two books in the series can be found here and here

It can be purchased on Amazon or here

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Disclaimer: I was provided with a review copy of Wulfgar and the Riddle. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions are my own.