One of the most useful things I’ve found about writing this blog is how it has helped me to gather my thoughts. I find I have SO MUCH to think about that it’s a relief to get those thoughts out to stop them running round and round my head.
Another useful thing is that it’s a great record of what we’ve been doing. Some days I feel as if we haven’t really done a lot but when I begin writing it down I realise how much we’ve done. I don’t feel very busy most days, the pace of life compared to school days is incomparable: no early starts, stressful school runs or angry homework battles. But looking back on our first 4 months in home school… we’ve been so busy! But it’s not like ‘school-busy’: it’s fun-busy; exciting-busy; and happy-busy.
We started HE for 2 reasons: firstly, because M wasn’t interested in anything she was learning at her £10k a year school; and secondly, she was miserable there. Given that both girls clamour to show off their work to anyone who walks through the door I think we can definitely say that both girls are engaged in their learning now. As for the latter, M is 200% happier and calmer. She wakes with a smile on her face rather than looking like an angry grump. D no longer wakes with the question ‘is it a nursery day’ followed by tears.
For my own pleasure, I have trawled my posts and written down EVERYTHING we have covered since home-school officially started in September (we still use the term ‘home-school’ though I can see it is nothing like school as we know it). I have to say it is an INCREDIBLE list, and I am feeling quite smug about it. This is a ‘ya-boo-sucks’ to those teachers who said: ‘but you’re not a teacher, ARE YOU?!!!’; ‘Oh your poor children: they really need to be socialised’; and not forgetting the corker ‘but she’ll [M] be missing out on debating skills in Y6’…
- English: Reading, Reading Eggs, Junior Scrabble, crosswords, word search, letter writing, library Summer Reading Challenge, handwriting skills, verbs, nouns, adjectives, antonyms, compound words, poetry, using a dictionary, alphabetising words and writing book reviews.
- Science: colours/mixing colours, sundials, cooking using the sun, structures, cooking, leaf identification, Butterfly iDial, growing a courgette, germs on hands, digestive system/body organs, how lungs work, how your diaphragm works, gloop, bubbles, nutrition, making butter, solar system, and the weather.
- Maths: Mathletics Year 2 completed, Numberjacks Mission to Learn, Numberjacks CBeebies Programme, 2D/3D shapes, times tables, Arithmasticks, addition & subtraction, division & multiplication, bar charts and tallies, counting to 100 and beyond, reading the time (analogue and digital) and regrouping/borrowing.
- P.E.: trampolining, judo, swimming, cycling, ice skating, dancing, gymnastics, climbing trees, parks and walks.
- Art/Creative/DT: watercolour, oil pastels, poster paints, Klee, Mondrian, using shapes in pictures, cross-stitch, collage, junk modelling, air drying clay modelling, rangoli patterns, tessellating patterns, making a pulley and marble run.
- Music: Peter & The Wolf, The Nutcracker and Melody CBeebies Programme.
- Day trips: Wollaton Hall, (Nottingham) Newstead Abbey (Nottingham), Kensington Gardens (London), Kew Gardens (London), Wimbledon Common (London), Cutty Sark (London) and Painshill Park (Surrey).
- R.E.: Diwali
- ICT: LightBot (programming), Mathletics, Reading Eggs, Leapfrog computer games, Use of various Android tablet painting/drawing apps
- History/Geography: staircase historical timeline, map reading, map making, India, passports including flags of countries we’ve learnt about
- Games: chess, pirate ships and ship wrecks, travelling the world on a raft with a globe, spies, Lego, schools, Snakes and Ladders, shops, dolls, Connect 4 and jigsaws
- Life skills: tying shoe laces, telling the time, doing up zips
- Clubs: social groups once/twice a week, judo, swimming, nature club, and chess
- Random conversations: death and inheritance, theft, fences and prisons, viruses, supply and demand, slavery, contracts and rental agreements
I can’t wait to see what 2014 will bring!