With week one of Home Education being such a success I am pleased to say that week two went even better. We definitely got a lot more learning done (more than I could possibly remember to tell you – and I am not going to even try to record every detail as that is not the approach I want to have anyway). As I cannot remember things exactly I am going to have to go roughly by my photos to let you know what we have been up to. Needless to say I do think that we have more of a routine forming – which is beneficial to The Sensory Seeker for routine, the 10 year old because I am not planning for him to be out of school long and myself – so I don’t go crazy!
Home Education Week 2 Day 1 Monday
You may remember me saying at the end of Home Education week 1 that our ten year old had taken an 11+ exam. We got the results much quicker than we thought and were amazed at how well he did. He scored 83% and was the second highest child (out of 45 taking the test). In some areas he got 100% and others near enough (we later got detailed results and he had only got one question wrong). But now I do have a list of areas that I can plan out where he needs help/practice. One of the areas was the Non Verbal Reasoning and so he has practised with Explore Learning online, Planet BOFA and some sheets I printed out from TES. He mainly did well in areas to do with English and I said that I thought that is was because of all the reading he does (and his intelligence) and therefore he needs to ensure he keeps that up.
Meanwhile I had identified that The Sensory Seeker is struggling with sentences so, again with the help from TES, I printed off this story that had pictures and sentences with words you could cut out. He had to order the words to make sense and then match them to the pictures, putting the story in the right order.
Of course Monday afternoon means a trip to the soft play area. We had no food in the house to grab lunch before we went so we nipped into the supermarket and got sausage rolls etc. We really need to get more organised with food and stuff – I am not sure where the day goes! Of course Monday night is also swimming night. I also had good news that my car was fixed!
Home Education Week 2 Day 2 Tuesday
Again the boys were very keen getting on with Maths and English early in the morning. We then went to collect my car and then went to their Great Nan’s who had one of my friend’s coming out to do her hair. While they were there they completed Maths sheets I had printed off. We came home for lunch and the 10 year old really wanted to cook it. I was quite surprised at how much I take for granted. I taught how to open a tin of soup that has a pull ring, and remind him about safety (such as making sure the saucepan is on the hob properly and the handle is turned away from the edge). They went to an Explore Learning Session before coming home to some more reading of Harry Potter. The 10 year old also had swimming and I went to running club again.
Home Education Week 2 Day 3 Wednesday
I am sure we did some academic work before coming out but then we visited Cattle Country. Only £6.99 per person and it was so quiet. In fact I think there must have been about 5 other children in the whole of the park. Of course the boys ran and played but also there was so much learning. Different types too – as The Sensory Seeker tried to overcome his fear of the drop slide (he didn’t but with no-one around it was a great time for him to try and build up the courage) to what it is like feeding lambs and calves milk. I breastfed my youngest two boys until they were four years old so they had no idea about feeding from a bottle. The 10 year old was surprised to find that the milk was warm, and they both learnt how to tip the bottles so that air doesn’t get into the milk.
There was also a lot of discussion about how there were lots of recycling and food waste bins but very little bins for general rubbish. One of our biggest discussions however was about how calves were given colostrum from their mothers (and that humans do this too) before being taken away and given formula – so that we can drink their milk! They also loved the freedom of less rules because they weren’t being watched all the time. They may have cheekily taken the big ball from the under 6s area and took it down the slides! I am loving seeing their relationship get closer as they spend more time together too. I have recently had someone call my son a bully at school which upset me a lot. It has been really nice to see his kind nature – like today when he let me know that there was a bird trap (and we got someone to come and set it free).
We also picked up some vocab and maths cards from the sorting office before we left and so throughout the day the 10 year also looked at them. The Sensory Seeker went to Explore Learning, so again the 10 year old sorted through his new cards. Of course the 10 year old later went for his 11+ session there. It felt really weird not having any children with me! I even managed to actually submit my Tax Return that evening but I am still not managing to get very much done in terms of the blog.
Home Education Week 2 Day 4 Thursday
Day 4 was reasonable weather wise so we got out into the garden to do some growing. I considered making it all very scientific with reasons why things grow etc but I am pretty sure that they have covered it all before and we have done it with our previous germination experiment : Besides I want Home Education to be fun – and to be honest the 10 year old asks so many questions about so many things it was good for them just to do something practical without worrying too much. We sowed some tomato, lettuce and pepper seeds with a propagation kit I had bought and then we moved onto the My Unicorn Garden (£19.99 from Interplay).
I thought it would be a fun way of nurturing and growing (you have to grow the grass) but actually it came with some problem solving too – as my 10 year old had to think how the well went together in a way where the bucket could move up and down; and The Sensory Seeker had to figure how to get the bunting on to the string – and fit across the My Unicorn Garden. We also couldn’t find our trowel so we had to improvise (we found some gloves and just used our hands). In all this planting we talked about the size and quantity of the seeds and why we thought that there weren’t many tomato seeds provided.
More academic work was then done before the 10 year old cooked pizza for lunch. The boys then had a chill out in front of a film before going to Explore Learning and then Youth Club (where I popped to the local pub with my husband for a quick pint!).
Home Education Week 2 Day 5 Friday
This was definitely a science kind of day. We started by making bath bombs – which lead to all kinds of discussion about citric acid. Today I let the boys play computer games over lunch as they really have packed loads in this week especially English and Maths (we submitted their stories for the Young Writers competition this week too). Then we went over to the Science Centre where there was an explanation about the phases of the moon. There is all manner of hands on science things and the boys had an amazing time. With thanks to Dave who also let us take lots of bits home to help us with learning about sound. The boys then played more computer games whilst I went out drinking with my friends.
Home Education Week 2 The Weekend
Despite having very little sleep I got up with my family to do Parkrun with the bit extra to Run for Matt. Unfortunately I had to walk most of it though as my knee started to really hurt. We tried to see the new Marvel film but alas there wasn’t any suitable spaces for us. We did end up buying the teen new shoes though – and LOTS of books in the Works. Now I have even more I really want to cover and I think I need to sit down and work out what we will do – even if they decide the order. We have things on Science, History and Geography, as I was beginning to think that all my formal work is very Maths and English based and I don’t want them getting bored. Sunday I drove them to London (well I parked at Uxbridge and we got the Tube in – parking was £1.20 from 8am-6pm!). We went to a special screening of The Witch’s Flower. This really pulled together the things that the boys have been learning as it is a Japanese anime fantasy film (remember they did Manga). They made Origami flowers and planted some magic seeds (see earlier this week) before settling down to watch the film.
Altitude Film Distribution and Studio Ponoc have released this family film adaptation of Mary Stewart’s ‘The Little Broomstick,’ which premiers in UK cinemas next Friday 4th May 2018. We were lucky enough to see Ruby Barnhill (previously Sophie in the BFG and the voice of Mary) – both whilst planting their flowers and waiting to have their pictures taken on the green screen. Other big voice names include Kate Winslet (Finding Neverland, The Reader) as Madame Mumblechook, Jim Broadbent (Paddington 2) as Doctor Dee alongside Ewen Bremner (Trainspotting, Wonder Woman) as Flanagan and Louis Serkis (Alice Through The Looking Glass, Taboo) as Mary’s young companion Will. The film was really well animated with the moral message of be happy with who you are and don’t take things for granted.
We then tried again to see the new Marvel film but again it was just too busy. The boys then came home and played computer games and I went off to the Cotswold Bloggers Awards.
Next week we are going to try a Home Education Sports group and the 10 year old is in a triathlon. I have booked for a CSI/Detctive/Escape Room Event for the end of May too. Speaking of that time of year I have also booked our Ferry to get across to Germany!
We received a free My Unicorn Garden for purposes of Review, and tickets to The Witch’s Magic Flower. All opinions are honest and my own.