So that is it then – the last day of the academic year over and an end to home education. Not exactly how I had imagined it would be and rather sad that so much has been missed. What we do have at home though are three happy children who are looking forward to their summer “off.”
What has the last term looked like?
Well actually the last term of has looked pretty nice I guess in the fact that the boys all have each other. I can imagine it being very different if they were alone. Also all three of them are gamers and so they have kept talking with their peers whilst playing with them online – I think this has helped. Coupled with going outside for exercise either a run, walk, swim or on bikes – generally with another member of the house (only the teen has gone out alone).
The Workload in the final term at home
Workwise again the tween it seemed to be not getting much work set by the school. At a stretch he it was lasting him until Tuesday (set on Monday’s for the week). Some other parents were finding the same whilst others the work was taking all week. Other parents had gone through all the work set and I was lucky enough one shared it with me so I can check that nothing had been missed (some things were sent by e-mail and had not arrived). The school have sent regularly e-mails throughout, stating that they would be in touch for children who were not completing work. Sure enough one arrived for me, but not for the tween but his teenage brother! In the end I e-mailed the Year 7 Head of Year and asked her – and she said he always has been quick to finish his work. To occupy him I got him to join in work with his home educated brother – including joining us with an art tutor; he also had extra tuition with My Tutor as part of my review in Maths (not because he needed it because he is behind but to just stretch him a bit) and as well as the exercise and game playing as mentioned before,
Apart from the obvious academic subjects and additional art the tween did a lot of cooking (including making me a delicious chocolate birthday cake),played board games, and spent a lot more time bonding with his bearded dragon (which he got last autumn). We tried the Pringles challenge (trying to make a standing up circle out of them) and also discovered that Flakes don’t melt in the microwave! Go on give it a try!
The school told us quite early on that the year 7s had already completed the work on the curriculum and so that they were stretching the normal activities fortnight to three weeks. There was basically a big list of tasks and they had to pick form them. Doing a minimum of one hour a day to completing the lot. I did actually write down the ones I thought he might be interested in doing, or were fairly easy to be incorporated into doing with his brother.
Things he chose included learning about budgeting, tying knots, building a LEGO dream house and stationery holder, meditation, cipher challenge, Alien invasion (maths), card tricks, circus skills, running challenge (which we met up with a friend from school for too), first aid and we did two art projects.
Helping Around the Home
There were some great activities on the list that were really helpful for me. One of the activities was literally help around the home – so he picked that one; another was learning about different labels on clothes and how to put a wash on, then to iron a shirt (which was really scary because his brother was accidentally burnt by an iron at his age); another to make Spanish tapas, and finally one about cooking a meal – he decided to plan and make dinners for the three weeks (including roasts on Sundays) – mostly of which he just did all by himself!
Back to School
Apart from all that they were also asked to help with the year 6 transition. They wrote a letter to a year 6, the same as they received last year; but they also asked them to make a video. Our tween made one on joining a club. I am not sure if it was ever sent because it was mostly about his love of rugby – and as it is a contact sport it is unlikely it will return when they go to school. The year 8 rugby trip has been cancelled and we were given a full refund (which we passed on to him).
I am really happy with the grammar school and how they have dealt with the situation, as well as how well he has settled in to it all. I hope the youngest returns back to school from home education in September just as well.