Welcome to another round-up of our Home Education. November seemed to come and go rather quickly! It’s felt like a busy and productive month and we are all certainly ready for the relative quiet of December. We have done quite a bit in November and it’s felt like a good month. There are some small bits I want to finish before the end of the year, but I am happy with where we are at.
As ever, we continued with maths. D hs finished the book he was working on and we will start the next one sometime in December, but we will probably just consolidate his learning so far.
Em and H continue to progress well with their maths and H, in particular, has a gift for maths. He is away ahead of where the books are at that we are working on, but think it’s important to follow the structure and make sure he is familiar with the language (eg: Sum of, Product of etc). He has pretty much mastered his times tables now and is able to apply them when working out things (or playing).
The Twinkl maths mosaics continue to be a hit with the younger two so we have been doing those and I have also printed some Christmas-themed maths books from Twinkl for them to work through. I find this to be a good exercise to work out where they’re lacking a bit of confidence, or need a refresher for skills they’ve learnt in the past.
H has hit a bit of a roadblock with his reading, and we really do need to be more consistent with him and practise his reading. We need to find the best time of day to fit it in; a time that works for H predominantly as he has been a bit resistant now it’s getting trickier. I am relaxed about it as I know he will get there in the next few months or so but I think with some more consistent practice with Damian and I, he’ll have it cracked.
This main project work this month was the children’s ‘energy and the environment’ project. We did quite a lot on this and built solar-powered lights, a wind turbine, and used lemons to power an LED. We did a lot on COP26 and the history and changing ways we produce energy. We finished this mid-November and presented to some other families at the end of the month. The project fairs are hard work in terms of organising and getting our own projects ready, but hopefully, everyone gets a lot out of them.
We also looked at the Guy Fawkes story and Bonfire Night and we used this free download from Chatty Zebra to frame our learning. The children enjoyed this book a lot and each took a fair bit from it. H, in particular, took great joy in demonstrating what you should do if you set alight at a Bonfire, much to the amusement of my parents!
The start of November also saw Parliament Week so we did some things around this, culminating in a visit from our Local MP that I had arranged. This went brilliantly and the MP was superb with the children. The children asked some difficult questions of him, and he didn’t shy away from the answer nor, importantly, patronise them. He was very good and I think all the children took a lot from the visit. I am hoping to arrange a visit to Parliament next year for the group.
The final project this month was to begin our Australia project. This is something D mentioned he wanted to do when I asked the children what they had wanted to learn about. This is going to be a really big project that will probably take us towards the end of January when we present at the Geography fair. We have so far looked at The First Fleet, New South Wales, and at some of the unique wildlife. There’s a lot more to do on this project so look out for more on that one soon.
Swimming has continued for the children and they’re really enjoying it. Both D and E have earned two awards and D was named ‘swimmer of the week’ one week.
All three are enjoying their Spanish lessons and H is really happy to go in now, after a hesitant start.
Em and D are still really enjoying their music lessons and are continuing to work on a variety of Christmas songs. D seems to have picked up the music really quickly and he practices a couple of times a day. Em is a little more hesitant as I think she is adjusting to feeling dizzy if she plays too long and she is struggling to hit one of the lower notes consistently. I know she’ll get there with some more practice though.
Athletics continues to be a big hit and it’s been a great way to start the week for them, we have a break in December for Christmas but it’s been a great first term for them.
We had a lovely morning at Quarry Bank Mill this month (linked to our Energy project) and had a great time at the Van Gogh Alive Exhibition which was fabulously done. This was a Home Ed group visit that I had arranged and I think everyone took a lot from it. It was noticeable that a week after H was still recreating the Starry Night drawing and talking about it, so I think it certainly made an impression.
We also did the Illuminate Blackburn trail which the children really enjoyed and we have followed that up by re-visiting the Snowman and Snowdog story. This was a lovely afternoon out and a great way to get into the Christmas mood.
Other Bits and Pieces
We have also been working through some crafty bits and pieces; Em tried her hand at crochet but decided that knitting might be a better bet for her. They are all endlessly fascinated with my needlework and enjoy seeing the pieces I am working on come to life. D also took great joy in sewing on his own cub’s badges this month! One less job for me to do!
D and E have continued to enjoy Beavers and Cubs which is great and H is looking forward to the time when he can join in too. Our weeks are feeling very busy and I am looking forward to things slowing down over Christmas and the New Year.