Ya Boo Sucks to the HE Unbelievers

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!



2 thoughts on “Ya Boo Sucks to the HE Unbelievers

  1. It’s very encouraging to read this. We took our (almost) 8 year old out of school towards the end of November and it’s great to be reminded of the learning opportunities surrounding us. We’ve not jumped in fully yet (next week we will get down to things “properly”), but I’ve been amazed at his ability in Maths when allowed to explore outside of the curriculum for his age. He’s also come up with a great list of topics he wants to learn about, so I’m feeling positive about the future.


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