As most children are winding down at school I find we are really packing a lot into our home education before things get really busy. In fact this was the last full week of home education just the three of us for this academic year, as the teen finishes on a half day on the following Tuesday. This is our record of our home education – not because we have to but because I want to. I think it is nice to have something to look back on and so how far we have developed and grew.
Monday 9th July
Since tidying up the 10 year old’s room at the weekend we came across his old school work which included his work on the Vikings. So I got him to go through it with The Sensory Seeker and see if there was anything that he would like to do that his brother had. He decided that he wanted to make a top trumps kind of dragon card. I was really surprised at their computer skills and The Sensory Seeker quite happily filled in not one but two tables – selecting an image online as his dragon and then filling in the details.
The Sensory Seeker then revisited some sheets similar to those that he had done previously – including one on German colours (which involved colouring in and writing out the colour) and a spelling test. I then got both boys to see how fast they could fill in a jumbled up times tables grid. The 10 year old also worked through some maths to help try to discover which areas he could do with some more support.
After lunch they both played in the paddling pool for an hour and then took turns to play Fortnite. The Sensory Seeker played first and the 10 year old continued his maths work, and then the 10 year old played and The Sensory Seeker opted to peel and cut food ready for dinner again. After dinner the 10 year old went out to play with his friends. He discovered that there was a pool to play in at the local pub (where one of the girls in his old class lives) so all 3 boys went round there (with myself) after dinner. Unfortunately a lot of the children had gone (probably to bed) and so the older two boys went back home and had a water fight amongst themselves. The Sensory Seeker stayed with me at the pub and went in the pool with some of the other children. We discovered that another family had left their old school and were currently being home educated (the second child from the 10 year olds class in the last few weeks, and his two brothers). I popped round to their house and spoke to their mother to see if she knew what groups and things were available and told her about the local Facebook group.
Tuesday 10th July
Getting very excited about Festival season in the near future we experimented with an InterplayUK Fab Lab Tie Dye kit we had been sent (RRP £9.99)
The dye only lasts for 45 minutes and we had totally not read that it covered 5 t-shirts (you can do other items) and after doing the two white tops I had bought for the boys we went in search of more white clothes to dye (and still had dye left!). Eventually we had dyed a t-shirt for all 5 of us and left them drying in bags as we went out for the afternoon.
We headed to a home education group a little way away from us (it should have taken around 40 minutes but was more like an hour) to a new group set up for those over 10 years old (but siblings welcome). The lady who organised it wasn’t sure who would turn up (ages as well as numbers) but had a small variety of things prepared. She had sheets printed out for them to colour and talk about food and the body – but the 10 year old seemed to know more than all of us and I don’t think he learned anything. In fact he got a bit silly and (although not at all excusable) I think he was bored. The boys (there was just my two and the lady’s son) played a game of catch with her before a good few games of Fortnite themed hangman. There was also LEGO to play with, stained glass window to colour in and an electric keyboard. She said she could tailor it to their needs/wants and as the 10 year old loves cooking she said that she could arrange that for next time he comes. We then had Union Jack ice-cream before heading home. My husband came home and cooked us omelettes before I went to running club and the 10 year old had swimming.
Wednesday 11th July
Our tie dye tops had been left to dry for long enough so we rinsed them with the hose outside and removed the bands. They each then needed to go into the washing machine separately – so we had to do this between ducking in and out of the house. There was a home education session at the library and this time it was on tricks – I remember reading all about different tricks when I was the boys’ age and they made some great crafts (such as the tray of brownies (brown Es). We then did the usual home education sports and Explore Learning.
I decided that I should lead by example and also read so finally took the plunge to borrow Tortured by Victoria Spry – a local lady who was severely abused. Our 10 year old is such an amazing young man and picked up straight away on my face changing as I read a really bad bit before the tears sprung from my eyes – asking if I was ok.
The 11+ session was quiet as it was when the England semi-final was on – but we aren’t into football. We did let the boys stay up and watch the end though (apart from the youngest who was supposed to be in bed but just not settling).
Thursday 12th July
We heard that the Aldi Special Buys this week were workbooks and so we headed there first thing in the morning – buying all sorts of English, Maths and Science books over a variety of ages to help The Sensory Seeker work independently and build his confidence up (as well as discovering where his gaps in learning are). I also got some in French, Spanish and Coding (one each for the boys) to learn something other than the 3 core subjects.
Wearing our tie dye tops we headed for the Cotswolds Lavender Fields. The boys were given quizzes to complete, read all about lavender in the distillery and again took photos and drew pictures. We tried lavender ice-cream (not for us) and bought some lavender chocolate.
The boys then had Explore Learning and Youth Club before we went for a family BBQ night with Boys Brigade.
Friday 13th July
This was Medieval schools day, so all dressed up we headed to the battle field. We all had a great day, only spoiled by the 10 year old’s old class being there and some of them chanting out about how he needed his hair cut. Annoyed that I didn’t hear anyone actually tell them off I have since learned that they do it at youth club too. But he still wants to go because his friends are there too.
They got to see about weapons, food, how they lived, what happened, weapons, have a fight, archery, play old games – oh gosh so many things. Some of the re-enactment actors had even come from France and set up a French camp! It was really nice that we were stopped by them and told what wonderful manners they had (apparently the French children would not have sat quietly when asked).
Despite my better judgement I took them to their comprehension workshop at Explore Learning and was really pleasantly surprised to pick them up and hear that they had had a really good session.
Saturday 14th July
Saturday was Medieval parkrun where there were medieval signs and we dressed up. I didn’t fancy trying to run in my cloak and so had volunteered for tail walker and the boys joined me. I think it is really important to show the boys that we give back as well as take. The rest of the day was the usual tidying of the house and playing computer games. The difference to this day was that there was news that they were going to get a new cousin. The boys were meant to get up the next day and take part in the medieval parade, but as it seemed no-one else from Home education was going to do it then I wasn’t going to force them to.
Sunday 15th July
News of their new cousin made us stop and release that we hadn’t seen people for a while. So off we went to Cadbury World and met up with my brother, his girlfriend and their two daughters. The teen isn’t very happy how the older of the two (who is only 4) hasn’t bonded with him much and so he is all the more keen to make as much effort as he can with her baby sister (who is 6 months old).
We then nipped quickly into a pub with a play area in the garden for the boys and rang my husband’s parents to see if they would like to join us (as it is down the road from there house). Unfortunately his dad had been drinking but invited us to their house, so we went there for a bit.
I finished the book I had got from the library.
We were sent the InterplayUK Fab Lab Tie Dye kit for purposes of review. All words and opinions are honest and my own.