Home education during 2019 has felt both a mixture of being very successful as well as being frustrating! I feel I’ve found my feet a lot more within the ‘community’ and I’ve grown a lot in confidence about delivering lessons to my children.
2019 has seen us settle into a reasonable pattern of regular groups, the weekly lessons in Spanish and swimming, as well as the weekly drop-in PE and Football groups, provide some key constants to our weeks. It helps the children feel settled and gives us that much-needed structure and breaks in the day. Until the autumn H was also doing a preschool football group but he has since finished that and joined in with D and E at the home ed football group.
I like the regular groups, and in the autumn term, we added a history group in. We will continue that for the next block, and see how we get on. Each topic runs for six weeks and I think I want to use some time to consolidate the learning that they’ve done at this time. We have been looking in more depth at the Romans in Britain topic, and need to finish that off really in the coming month.
Less frequent groups
A big success in 2019 has been our speaking and listening groups. These run more or less monthly and they’ve been great in terms of having short projects to focus on as well as getting the children to work on their public speaking skills. This was a big thing for us at the end of 2019 when Daniel confidently did a reading at his uncle’s wedding in a large church. We were immensely proud of him, and I know the work he has done through this particular group helped with this.
We have taken part in all the local project fairs that have been run (all except one as we were away on holiday). There have been STEM fairs, Literature Fairs, Geography Fairs and a Home Ed Bake Off. Next week we have the Board Game Fair so we are busy working on that this week and next.
2019 has been the year when I’ve felt confident enough to host groups and events at home. I’ve hosted a lot including learning about Great British Wildlife, Artists, Christmas and Hanukkah. I have some more planned for 2020 and we will see how that goes. It’s a lot of work hosting things at home – just the time in preparing and printing materials so I need to be sure I don’t overstretch myself to the detriment of Daniel, Emma and Harry.
I also ran a CREST award group, and I have some vague plans to do the next stage this summer if I can find the time to do so.
I’ve enjoyed hosting events, and I think our friends have enjoyed joining us too.
The high this year have to be getting Emma up and running with her reading. Its all clicked into place for her and she’s often found with a book reading away. It’s lovely to see her make that move into chapter books. For Daniel, it has to be things finally clicking into place with maths. I had thought in September that we might change our curriculum for Maths, but it seems that it’s all finally clicked into place for him, and we are now working through the work in a much better way. He still gets frustrated at times, but things are working better for him (and I)
And for H – he’s really come into his own. He wants to be involved with his siblings and has really taken to colouring in and developing his pencil control this last month. He likes doing projects for speaking and listening group and it’s lovely to see that engagement.
We also loved taking part in the annual sports day and nativity shows.
Of course, it would be easy to say that it’s been the perfect home ed year. But that would be untrue. The year has had its challenges. Behaviour has been difficult at times, and attitudes have been found wanting. I’ve had to really battle at times to get work done and I’ve often felt like I’m failing the children. I think it’s natural to have these doubt, and finding friends you can chat this through with really helps!
I’m sure 2020 will be an exciting year for us as we move into more and more topics and get deeper into the subjects we are learning about.
You can read my monthly round-ups (where I’ve written them!) at the links below: