Once we were up dressed and breakfasted, the girls had a quick disco on our bed and then we tidied and cleaned downstairs in preparation for this afternoon’s visit from the Local Education Authority. M did a great job of tidying the lounge and then got down to some Mathletics while D & I swept the floors. The new structure is working very well for M so far: she loves looking at her list and checking what she has to do next. D isn’t so keen but it’s early days. She was sure she didn’t want to do Reading Eggs today but she happily sat down and worked out a few subtraction sums using her Arithmasticks while dressed as Tinkerbell.
Then I got out a weather wordsearch I had printed out earlier from Lesson Library. They were both very keen to do it and it seemed to get them in the mood for further work on our weather project.
So after we’d had a snack and I’d printed out a few bits and bobs for the project (I don’t know why but I always end up doing it last minute), we sat down with a new weather book I’d bought for them last week. The girls couldn’t decide whether they wanted to sit at the table or on the sofa to read it so M had the idea of sitting on the stairs instead! Bit bizarre but they loved it.
The girls are very different in their approach to learning: D will just soak up everything you teach her – accept it, and memorise it, and move on. Whereas M has to know the minute detail of everything she is being told. She will accept nothing at face value unless she has a solid understanding of it. Both are excellent ways of learning but it did mean that while M was asking lots of questions, D lost interest and asked to play with the pulley instead. So M & I moved back to the table to continue reading but before I left I reminded D of the time she was really disappointed when she didn’t have a lapbook to show Daddy and that if she gives up on this project now, the same is going to happen again. Did the trick. She was back at the table in minutes.
We covered how weather is caused by three main things: heat, water and air; how the Earth is wrapped in a thick blanket of air called the atmosphere and from space, this looks like a hazy blue ring around Earth. Look at M’s picture of it!
We also looked at how water is always moving between sea, air and land. M had a very interesting question which I need to find the answer to: why do the water droplets move up to the atmosphere – why don’t they just stay down near the ground?. Then we did a bit on clouds and had a look at the ones going past outside. What amazed me about this whole episode is that M was much more patient with herself (and me) about trying to understand everything. And that they were both so ENGAGED AT THE SAME TIME LEARNING THE SAME THING!!! Magical and near perfect. They were like the best students you could wish for.
They were also both completely honest about wanting to go and do something else after an hour (rather than having a flop about it) so they watched half an hour of telly as it had been such a full-on morning. I made them some lunch and then we got out the marshmallows and cocktail sticks so they could make some shapes and structures.
Then the L.A. lady arrived. She was so nice! I have to say I was feeling a little defensive about the whole thing as I assumed she would be coming from the angle of ‘they should be in school’, but she assured me she wasn’t there to trip me up. The girls were all over her from the get go, she could barely get a word in they wanted to tell her so many things! She asked M to read a page from a book and she looked through D’s space book with her. The girls were like model children: they were gushing with pride at all the work they’d done and all the stuff they knew. I was beginning to wonder if she would think I’d primed them! I’d also got out all the written things we’ve done since starting home-school and it seemed like rather a lot! She was very impressed by it all and said she could see how engaged the girls were. Phew, I was so relieved! I know I don’t need the L.A.s approval but it was nice to have some formal input and approval from outside.
After she’d gone, we chilled out in front of a movie and then the girls asked to do some junk modelling. M made a lighthouse and D asked me to make a house for her Louis bunny. It was so popular that M wanted one too.
What a great day, and what model children I have 🙂