Well, January 2019 has been a good month. I’ve felt that I’ve settled back into the groove of Home Education and that things are going well.
I’m also beginning to start to take a bit of a lead in organising things for the local home ed community. I sometimes like confidence and I am confident that I can deliver something for my own children, but I also know the benefit they get from working alongside their friends.
The Formal Work
So…. the formal bits and pieces. I have been dipping into a range of maths books with Daniel – trying to find the one that works best for him. I think the Letts ones that I wrote about here as well as the Schofield and Sims series work well for us. He has also expressed an interest in the Scholastic books so I am tempted to buy a maths one of those and see how we get on. I’m keen to not rush things too much with Maths, I want the children to really understand things before moving on.
English work – I’ve been doing a lot of reading with Emma as she is keen to get going. She’s at an in-between stage that, if I am honest, I find really hard. She can read with assistance but isn’t confident enough to pick up a book and read alone yet. She will get there, I know, and things will click for her, but it’s hard going in the meantime. We are working through the Good and The Beautiful Language Arts curriculum at the moment and I think that that suits her learning style. Daniel continues to read at a remarkable pace and has recently enjoyed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He has, this week, picked up Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator from the library. We are also continuing with our weekly poetry tea time – something we are all enjoying and an activity that allows for the creative side to come out as well as spending time the four of us doing the same activity – a rare occurrence these days!
I’ve also been looking at writing prompts with the children – basically a box full of prompts. Emma draws something and I annotate her drawing and Daniel writes. I’ve enjoyed doing this with them and it’s shown me the words that Daniel struggles to spell, as well as demonstrated just how good his spelling actually is. We have been working through a spelling book and a comprehension book and I like the short quick ‘lessons’ that they offer. It’s working for us at the moment so we’ll continue on.
We had the science fair this month which was wonderful and we have been preparing a short project on dinosaurs for our speaking and listening group which takes place in February. We also started on the Sassafras Anatomy book and will pick that up in February and get moving a bit more with that.
And, for the final formal work, the children recommenced their Spanish lessons. I must admit I miss not being in on the lessons myself, but they’re enjoying it and their teacher tells me that they are doing well.
Getting out and about
We have had park visits with friends and park visits just the five of us. We have had walks with grandparents and they’ve been to support me at the local ParkRun. We went to a friend’s house for the most fabulous Burns Night celebration where they learnt about Scotland, Robert Burns and got to make some shortbread. It was a wonderful afternoon.
We have been to take the cat to the Vet for his annual vaccinations (which always sparks lots of chatter about per ownership) and the month ended with a special treat. I took Emma ice skating, Daniel went to the National Football Museum with my dad and my mum had Harry for the day.
The older two also came with Damian and I to the Royal Northern College of Music for a production of the Nutcracker which was superb.
Other Bits & Pieces
In amongst these things we have sorted through books, clothes and toys for the charity shop. We have talked about how to better organise our clothes (ie: not by throwing them all over the floor) and Daniel joined Beavers – something that he has fallen in love with!
We have played any number of board games and these are fast becoming a staple of our weeks.
Daniel made banana bread on his own, with minimal input from me (just the things like helping him put it into the oven) and I’ve noticed that he has got more into drawing. He has drawn pictures of daffodils unprompted, created his project book on Aguero and is endlessly reading. He would, quite happily, spend the day reading, and he will often come and tell me about things he has read.
Emma seems to be developing her personality further, she is keen to read and she really enjoys learning her maths work. We play lots of games and she really enjoys the Haba games. I have a whole stack of them on her birthday wish list for next month as she just loves them so much. I’ve commented before about her innate sense of justice, and we had an (unplanned an unexpected) conversation about the civil rights movement and that’s prompted all sorts of conversations that we have come back to again and again. There’s a book about Bold Black Women that I might get her for her birthday. I want to demonstrate that there are always people fighting for social justice.
Harry continues with his football and, next month, I plan to let him join in at the PE group we go to. I need to do more work with him I think but he is fast learning his numbers and colours and is endlessly fascinated with colouring and doing jigsaws.
Next Month’s Plans
Next month is already shaping up to be busy, and I’m trying not to panic about how much we have to squeeze in!
We start the month with our speaking and listening group then we have a trip to Liverpool planned in with a friend and her two children as well as Poetry Tea Time afternoon at a friends house. Emma also turns five in February so we have that to look forward to as well.
I want to plough on with some project work – Daniel has mentioned he wants to do something about trains so I need to help him frame that a little and he can get started, and I think I might explore some people of note in more detail with Emma. I might look at Rosa Parks with her – any book suggestions gratefully received. I also plan to continue on with Emma and her learning to read, as well as our usual maths and English work.
I also want to get stuck into the Sassafras work again as this lends a nice structure to our week I find.