This week saw Monday begin with Joshs trip to duxford. He went with Ryan and his nan and really enjoyed himself. He took part in a workshop looking at flight and lift, volunteering for the demonstrations and helping to build a scale replica of a plane. Alana went to her science group leaving me to have a morning with just little Nick.
Tuesday we had a couple of visits. The first was from a policeman to take a witness statement following an incident. I allowed the children to remain in the room with me to listen in and we had a brilliant discussion about why the policeman could not hear anything from them and how many different questions he asked, getting quite repetitive. We discussed why this may be the case. Our second visitor was the Attendance Improvement Officer from our local authority. I know that legally I am not obliged to meet with her, I could very easily have declined her visit and requested to be referred straight to the elective home education advisor. But I allowed this lady in. I trusted my instinct (and that of my dogs who didn’t bark at her) … It went really well. The children were eager to show her their project work that they had been doing by choice. I informed her that I was taking a hands off approach to their learning and that we were following their interests and that this seems to be working very well. Bottom line is that we got her paper work through the post today and it’s all extremely positive. I felt under no pressure to try to send either of them back to school and they were both able to be present during the visit.
Wednesday was Alanas 13th birthday and also the launch of my group / session. I have arranged hire of a local adventure playground for a 4 hour period. On the first session I got a good number turn up and had some very constructive feedback. I was able to cover my costs from how many people came so that was great.
There was children of all ages, from nicks age up to 15 yrs and all of them were kept happy. I have now aquired some baby / toddler toys to use for the next session and I have people interested in hosting other activities there such as art, Zumba, bushcraft, natural skincare. I also plan to organise other events such as Christmas parties, emergency service visits and perhaps a mobile library. The possibilities are endless if it takes off. For now the children and parents all seemed to enjoy it, itbwas a good opportunity for all of us to socialise, to drink tea and coffee without the cost of sitting in a cafe and kept all the children of all ages happy, and we are booked again for November.
Thursday we attended a sports session that I had organised with a local coach. There wasn’t a great turn out but Josh enjoyed it and we are hopeful that it will take off with more people coming along. It’s a great chance for kids to take part in planned and structured physical activity and team games outside on astro turf.
Alana began her volunteering at a baby and toddler group. She helped with the refreshments, setting out toys and engaging with the toddlers during activities. She really enjoyed this and will be studying a free online child development course to go alongside this experience.
On Friday we played about together on a website called the literacy shed. This involved watching short animated clips, adverts or music videos (there is loads of choice) and then doing various written tasks. Josh doesn’t like writing very much, he was prone to refusing but this has inspired him which has been great to see. Alana has worked on different styles of writing, writing scripts, diaries, stories….. she is eager to begin her English igcse study and loves to read and write. Literacy shed is encouraging her to try different forms of writing as well as encouraging her to think about and discuss what goes on that you don’t see. What happened before, what happens next, what are the characters feeling etc….
So its been quite a busy week when j see it written down like this. It hadn’t felt so busy but so much has been achieved. Josh has continued his work on animals. He has completed watching all of “the life of mammals” and is now on to “planet earth” these documentaries are really great to watch alongside the research he has been doing on food chains. He has gained so much knowledge of habitats, climates etc..
Both children have visited the skate park with their scooters (they each got new 360 stunt scooters for birthdays) and have enjoyed practising new skills on these and on the skateboard.
We have a trip to Thorpe Park tomorrow and Alana is back to science on Monday while Josh and I will be going to get him some new clothes…. but the rest of the week is unplanned. I think perhaps some look at engineering / roller coasters may be in order, some more literacy shed…. who knows. Like I have said, I will follow their interests and learn with them.