Home Education Sound and English

I am writing regular updates on our Home Education journey because I think it will be interesting to look back on, makes me feel like I have some sort of record and to be honest seems to be the only chance I have to blog! I refer to it as Home Education rather than Home Schooling due to reasons I have heard about the history of the term and the way in which I am helping my children access an education right for them that is not in a “school.” I do admit it is taking up a lot of my time/energy and I am not getting as much time to blog – but hey my children are more important. Besides things may change once I find the right rhythm for us. In the meantime I am behind on updating about what we have been up to AND there seems to be so much to tell you about that actually I may have to break it up into parts smaller than a week!

Week Three of Home Education

Monday Home Education Sound (Science)

As we ended the week with science we were pumped up for more. We had already decided that we were going to cover sound and we couldn’t wait to get stuck into the topic (that and my husband getting fed up of the millions of empty milk bottles in our kitchen, wanting to know if I was ever going to do anything with them!!).sound home education

The morning began by giving the boys some of the equipment that Dave from Cheltenham Science Group had lent us that helped to think about sound (a tuning fork, a thunder tube, a slinky with string, and a sound hose). Then I told the boys to collect as many different things as they could think of that would make noise!

I got them to write down some things which they could think about as they experimented with the sounds – such as what different ways could they make sound? What did they think was causing the sounds? How could they make the sounds louder or quieter? I think they really enjoyed just generally being noisy for about 2 hours. I didn’t set a time on it at all I just wanted them to let me know when they were done! They then read about sound in our new science book before moving on to the milk bottle xylophone. They correctly predicted how they sounds would change depending on how much water was in the glass milk bottles. If you haven’t done this before simply put the bottles in order with high to low amounts of water in them – blow across the top of the bottles or tap with a wooden spoon to hear the different notes. The 10 year old also observed that if you hit the very top of the bottle from above they all sounded the same!

What happened by the end of the day was that we were discussing sound in terms of farts! How the vibrations differed if you were standing up to sitting on a laminate floor; What happens when someone farts in the bath, and why you can hear it downstairs – in terms of the materials, shape and water!


I have previously mentioned that the boys regularly do some things for English – the 10 year old has a word of the day and The Sensory Seeker has spellings. I have actually made these less regular this week, plus they have the option to write whatever and whenever in their own books. After making so much noise and being crazy they really focused on sitting quietly to work on writing. The Sensory Seeker did some comprehension work (again printed from the very wonderful TES free of charge) and did really well. He is struggling with things that aren’t in the actually text and I am hoping to get some feedback from our Parents Meeting at Explore next week on how best to help him with this.English home education comprehension

Our 10 year old worked through the Year 6 advanced workbooks I have bought him, wanting to know why they are so easy if they are for advanced children in the year above. He also did his word of the day, and instead of using the internet I got him to use our new Collins Children’s Illustrated Dictionary and Thesaurus. Both books are visually appealing to children, with very helpful artwork by the talented Maria Herbert-Liew. Aimed at children preparing to go to secondary school I felt there was the right balance of imagery that makes them fun but not too immature. Designed to build confidence and develop language and dictionary skills, covering an up to date range of everyday and curriculum vocabulary.

Collins dictionary and thesaurusPriced at just £12.99 they are the newest editions to the Collins Dictionary and Thesaurus family and are a perfect addition to any child’s library. The only problem we found is that some of the words he is trying to find are too advanced and so were not in there. But generally they are really good, and the explanations are appropriate for the target audience.

For lucky readers I have FOUR SETS of the new Collins Dictionary and Thesaurus.

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Please tell me in 10 words or more what you have liked about our home education journey covering Sound and English?

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In the afternoon we went to soft play and then of course The Sensory Seeker had swimming. At the same time our 10 year old went to an extra workshop at Explore Learning to help with exam technique for the 11+.



I was sent the Collins Children’s Illustrated Dictionary and Thesaurus for purposes of review. All opinions are honest and my own.

33 thoughts on “Home Education Sound and English”

  1. I love the way you have made science exciting for your children through exploration. Children learn so much through exploration of the world around them and when they discover for themselves! Well done!

  2. I like the depth you’ve gone into with the learning. Asking them to think about how sounds are made and where they come from is very interesting – with some things, I don’t know if I’d be able to answer those questions even now!

  3. I like the way you let your children learn without time limits. Learning based on interest is much better than learning based on the clock

  4. I think it sounds brilliant that you let them explore and find out their own ideas about sound using the tools available and the milk bottle xylophone sounds cool. With the English it sounds just like my 10 year old is doing at the moment as she is preparing for the 11+ although comprehension is her least favourite – the dictionary and thesaurus sound like they’d be great in helping and inspire her to improve!

  5. I might have to try the bottle xylophone with my son. Done it before (with wine bottles, ahem) with Guides but I think my son would enjoy It too 🙂

  6. I really like how you involve your children in the ‘lessons’ by asking them about the sounds they think about prior to starting.

  7. As a teachers assistant in a primary school I really love how you are making learning so fun – that’s one of the great things about home schooling.

  8. i like the way you have made learning exciting as sometimes some things can be a bit boring unless they are made fun

  9. I have a 13 year old & I still think these would be incredibly useful for her to use for her studies & to extend her knowledge. So keeping everything crossed

  10. Its a great way to learn about science for children,as well as being educated its fun as well which is always great

  11. You have some really creative ideas. I love the milk bottle xylophone, I am going to try that with my son

  12. I love that you dont set a time limit, and that it looks like alot of fun which I believe helps children remember better

  13. I love the sound experiments and particularly laughed at the thought that at the end of it you were discussing sound in terms of farts!

  14. I love the fact it’s given me some ideas. I like how you show that home education doesn’t just have to be learning from text books, you can use things that are everyday objects as a learning tool


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