Home Educating Thirteenth Week

We’re now in our 13th week home educating and I haven’t written a blog post since the 6th week! I’m a bit disappointed that I didn’t document the last 7 weeks, they’ve been full of ups and downs, trying out new learning techniques, establishing routines and managing my work load. It’s safe to say there have been a few wobbles too, ‘Can I do this?’, ‘What am I doing?’, ”Have I made the right decision?!’  I’ve been advised by more established home educating parents that these wobbles are normal and get easier as time goes on so I’m trying to keep that in mind…

In terms of T’s learning journey, we had another breakthrough with Maths. T liked Maths in school, (up until Y3, when his confidence started waning) he’s been working on a Y4 maths curriculum book almost daily since February, but kept avoiding doing fractions. I decided to try out Prodigy Maths, an online game, and to cut a long story short, some fraction based questions came up and  T (after a few attempts) was able to understand them and answer them correctly, which made him very happy! I’m not sure if prodigy maths do this purposefully (they probably do), but the  questions are asked using audio and lots of visuals, and I believe this is completely suits T’s learning style – a learning style I’m still learning about…

We’ve also discovered OutSchool, a wonderful website full of online classes, from art classes to virtual field trips. T chose to do one about Electricity, led by a super knowledgeable Engineer and home ed Dad of 10) based in America. I wasn’t home when he took the class, but by all accounts, T was fully engaged for the entire hour, and was joining in asking questions. He was very talkative about it when I got home, and is looking forward to signing up to more classes.  We have also implemented library visits to our weekly routine to help T focus on and work / topics without the distractions of home…the big one being our dog & DanTDM!

Overall T is much happier and a lot more content. He is enjoying his weekly climbing sessions, has advanced to the next stage in swimming and is looking forward to starting a forest school 1 day per week after the Easter holidays.  In the meantime we’re embracing my time off work and spending lots more time outdoors . This week we have been kite flying in Lytham, and walking up Rivington Pike (see instagram) and we have lots more planned for the next week!

Until then!

First Official Week Home Educating

Its been our first week of no school runs. I actually used to enjoy the walk to school, what I didn’t enjoy was the alarm at 7.30am, and the mad rush out of the door!

This week has been focused on ‘deschooling‘ i.e. treating every day as if it were a Saturday. We didn’t really do much on Monday, he spent most of the day making a book case for the second hand Minecraft books that he bought using pocket money savings from Ebay, and googling for Duct tape (the best quality at the least cost!) and he later attended his drumming session when I went to work. On Tuesday, we decided to walk the dog to the meadows, 10 minutes from our house to do a little exploring. We would usually take her to the dog friendly field, but as this was an exploring / non rushed day, we went to a different part of the meadows. While there T decided he wanted to explore the wooded area, somewhere that we’d never visited before. Once we got there he quickly decided that we build a Den, so we got to work collecting logs and large fallen branches, and soon his den was forming nicely!

Wednesday morning he accompanied me on a couple of errands, and in the afternoon we drove over to see my Sister who lives about 30 minutes away by car. It was great to hear him talking to her about home educating and discussing the things that he’s interested in and wants to learn about. At the moment he is purely focused on making things!

Thursday he spent the morning playing with his cars. I was completely shocked at this…I hadn’t seen those cars for around a year! It was lovely to hear him engaged in imaginative play, something that I’d not witnessed in a long time. I worked that afternoon / evening and he went to cubs with friends so he had lots of fun!

Friday we revisited the den, once there he decided that he wanted to go further in to the woods, so we did. After about 15 minutes of exploring, the dog had found something. T quickly ran after her, and as I approached he was shouting “Wooah, look at this, treasure!” We soon realised that he had found a jewellery box, with lots of costume jewellery (in his mind it was pure gold!) After his initial excitement had calmed he decided that he would bring it home, clean it up and take it to the Police station as it was obviously stolen. It was a joy to see him explore and find something special, and do something good about it. As he said, “I would never have been able to find this treasure if I was in school!” – I very much agree!

Saturday (today) he wanted to revisit the den, this time armed with gardening gloves, tape, a pen and glue (?!) he was amazed that everything was still in its place, and wanted to explore to find some metal objects to add to his den. Oh and also revisit the jewellery box scene. We did and he found more jewellery! On returning home he spent over an hour on the kitchen floor cleaning / sorting the items and talking about the ‘crime scene’ and declared that he is going to write a story about his & our dogs discoveries. We later played scrabble for the first time and T WON (the adults were actually trying too…!) and now he’s looking up the ‘fastest dog breeds’ on Youtube. So all in all its been a great week!