The start of the new school term in January saw us become official home educators – up until this point D was under Compulsory School Age (CSA) and so we weren’t legally required to provide an education. CSA kicks in the term after a child’s fifth birthday, so for us and D, that is now.
In reality, nothing has changed for us. We still are doing the things we have always done, and still approaching things in the same way, and I don’t really see that changing too dramatically over the rest of the academic year. That said, people often wonder just what it is we do all day so I thought my monthly round-up posts could take the form of rounding up what Home Ed looked like for us in the month. As reception (in England) sees children complete the Early Years Foundation Stage so I will group our activities under those headings. I don’t have any real regard to these day to day, but it’s a good way to group the things we do into a way that has some sort of meaning.
It’s important to note that this is our home education journey, and our approach is unique to us. Home Educators take many different approaches and there is no right or wrong; it’s whatever suits your family and your circumstances.
Overall, January is probably best described as frustrating and challenging. We had some *really* tough days and days when I found it hard to manage everything and feel like we were achieving something. Taking a step back and regaining a bit of focus helped, and we finished the month in a much better and happier place.
This has been a big one this month for us; D has really cracked reading and is increasingly more confident. He has read so many books this month.
- Libary visits
- Took part in the Read Aloud Revival
- Wrote thank you letters for Christmas gifts
- Worked on some phonics wipe clean activity books
- D is beginning to be able to read Spanish words and is getting better at this
- Listened to audio books together
- upper and lower case letter matching
- Wrote a story of the first journey on Stephenson’s Rocket for the history fair project
- Working through a book of activities I bought from Aldi – E really enjoys this and has been doing lots of things on shape and patterns. She asks to do her maths each day and it really enjoying it
- Roman Numerals – we initially wanted to look at the Romans for our History project so we did some stuff on Roman Numerals which was fun
- Lots of boards games and card games – counting caterpillars, Top Trumps etc.
- At Spanish, we have been learning about shape names in Spanish and counting the sides they have
- lots of lego building!
- We made a timeline as part of our History Fair project
Understanding the World
- History Fair Project was the biggest example of this-this month – we learnt a lot about the world and it’s development
- Weekly Spanish lessons and the children learnt about the Epiphany celebration in Spain
- We looked at the Winter Sky and talked about the changing seasons and the impact of these seasons
- Completed the RSPB Bird Watch
- Attended the Chef School and followed up with some activities at home
- Completed the Glow themed Letterbox Lab
- Went to a Home Ed meet that has a theme of Australia. We completed a lapbook at this group and then added to it at home the next day
- Took one of our cats to the vet for his annual check-up and vaccinations
Art & Design
We do Art & Design daily! The children are always colouring in and drawing. Specific activities have included:
- Colouring in and decorating a January Calendar to display on the wall
- Painting with water colours
- Made pages for the History Fair which included designing them on the laptop
- Designing their model for Stephenson’s Rocket and then making it
- Making plasticine models
- Building towers with H with some large blocks; talking about the best way to make it to ensure it was built as high as possible
- Weekly music lessons
Personal, Social & Emotional
We have covered this in lots of ways including their regular groups with both home ed and non-home educated children. We have met up with friends and attended the history fair where they chatted to others about their projects and explained their own project to the judge.
D has struggled with his emotions in many ways this month so we have been working on helping him to calm down and not get so cross at things.
Communication & Language
We have noticed a real change in E this past month; she seems much clearer in her communication and uses increasingly complex phrases.
- Working as a team to build large towers
- thinking of ways to display and communicate their learning for the history project
- Participating in the Chef School and Australia themed home Ed day by answering questions etc
- playing lots of board games including those that require team work
- problem-solving lego building
- D explaining to E about counting and how to do basic addition
This is one that we do in spades. Our ‘formal’physical development this month includes:
- Weekly PE classes (D moved up to the older group in the last week and the teacher noted that E then went on to take a leader role in her group which was nice to hear)
- Weekly Football -These are good fun and we spend time in the park afterwards
- Weekly Gymnastics (twice a week for E)
- Weekly Swim lessons
Other activities have included:
- Park walks including on the scooters
- Soft play with friends – lots of climbing and jumping
On the more fine motor skills, we have been doing lots of:
- writing and drawing
- playing with plasticine
- junk modelling
- tower building
Other Bits & Bobs
As well as all those things we have been playing with the learning resource coding mouse, seeing family, been out for lunch in local cafes, helped take the Christmas tree down (and found a nest inside it!) lots of imaginative play, been on miniature steam trains and read lots and lots of books.
February promises to be busy and lots of fun!