The past couple of weeks have been a bit of a blur. Somehow we have reached a point where Josh is choosing to spend money on books and he has bought himself two new books, he is still staying firmly in team non fiction but is at least reading for pleasure without me needing to prompt him at all.
We enjoyed a day out at Thorpe Park and followed this up with conversations around planning, engineering, speed, acceleration and force. We designed our own theme parks and enjoyed drawing maps of our parks and designing our own rollercoasters and explaining how each one worked and then installed an app on our phones where we build our own parks. This involves keeping your customers happy, earning experience and coins to unlock and build more rides. The customers need toilets, food, drink and benches. A nice looking park keeps customers happier and allows you to earn more and there are times for how long rides take to build as well. This has been something fun that we have all been playing as a family.
In line with our talk of planning, design and engineering the children made a start on their STEM challenges, ( http://www.jamesdysonfoundation.co.uk/resources/challenge-cards-2/ ) they completed the spaghetti challenge to build a bridge which could hold the weight of a bag of sugar. This took them over an hour and several attempts but they were proud to achieve it in the end.
We had a look at a website ( http://www.literacyshed.com/ ) which was recommended by another home educating mum, this is brilliant! it is something that both the children can do together yet they can adjust it to their own interests and abilities. It inspires creative writing and analysing what is happening whilst watching short video clips and there is so many genres to choose from it keeps both the children interested, from video games, to ghost stories and from sport to music videos.
We have done more cooking, with the children cooking meals for the family they are able to do this both working together and individually, we are able to discuss nutrition and balanced meals whilst working to a budget.
The continue with their sports, both enjoy swimming and have lessons weekly, Josh has enjoyed tag rugby at a home ed sports session and both children have also tried their hand free running in a gym hall with all the equipment which we hope to make a regular event in our diaries
I took Josh on a trip to London to the natural history museum with a home ed group, though we arrived too late to meet up with everyone we still had a really good day, it was nice to see Josh choosing to read and being able to get to the exhibits when in past experience it has been busy and chaotic. We had never done this trip during school time before and the difference was huge!
Alana has been volunteering at a local baby and toddler group. She is enjoying this, she helps with the refreshments and engages in play with the little ones and conversation with the adults as well as assisting in the set up and tidy away of the play equipment. She is enjoying looking at a free child development online course as well as studying for her science double award igcse.
Joshs love of animals continues and his interest in David Attenborough and how he got to where he is has lead us onto discussing biographies and autobiographies, which in turn will lead to more reading and writing which can only be a good thing.
We went on our first family term time holiday, it was lovely to get the pool to ourselves. The children were able to explore sound travelling in the pool with Ryan, they used a marble and were able to swim above it with their eyes closed pin pointing from the sound where it went.
We visited the Eden Project looking at environments, habitats and what we use plants for ( answer : pretty much everything!!) and then paid a visit to the historical tunnel beaches at Ilfracombe where the children searching the rockpools, climbed across the rocks, watched the waves crashing on the rocks and discussed how different life would have been in Victorian times when men and women were segregated on to separate beaches.
We used the video cameras on our phones to film waves and the children running using slow motion and fast motion settings which they enjoyed looking at and were then able to identify the different effects on tv while watching movies…… all in good fun of course.
Its half term now, our regular clubs are not running and all the parks, woods and museums are set to be busy so we will mostly be hiding out apart from a few planned activities.