a summary of January

We have reached the end of January.  We have spent time learning about the human body looking at the brain, organs, muscles, skeleton, digestion, circulation and reproduction. We will be finishing off tomorrow with a gross science kit to make snot. A good fun family activity! (Apparently)

The children have decided that a topic a month is a good idea, and the topic for February will be the solar system. We have selected some themed movies to watch as a family in the evenings and we will be making a model solar system. We plan to cover star constellations, space travel, planets and the sun. They have already decided that earth will be our topic for march so it will follow on.

Josh has been enjoying his work on dinosaurs and evolution, we have looked at fossils, eggs and a time line of evolution. We have talked about paleontology and Josh has done some brilliant written work and research.  We plan to continue with this project for as long as Josh is happy too as there is so much to cover and he is fascinated by it.

Our Spanish is improving and we are all very pleased with our progress in this area. Work has included Spanish letter writing, Spanish cross words and vocabulary following online programs. We are planning a trip to Spain after the summer so our work will continue and spread to include some learning about spain.

Maths has been practised by fun together playing board games. At the moment this is the best way of working for us and the children are building and improving their mental maths abilities, and we get to do something fun as a family so it’s win win!

Our days are getting booked up with trips out and experiences. Josh tried his hand at skiing, he was really good and loved it! And Alana continues to study her science and gain valuable work experience volunteering at toddler group.

Alana has been told she would probably learn more at school. It saddens me that anyone who would claim to have half a clue what she was going through and how she was doing at school would suggest this. For starters her attendance was awful and secondly when she was there she was so miserable she wasn’t learning anything anyway. Aside from that anyone who knows her and cares for her can see how much happier and confident she is now, surely any concerns could be raised with me and I would actually be able to explain what she is doing, what she is learning and how well she is doing!? She is getting valuable and brilliant life experiences and she is learning by being hands on. Sure she has made the decision to work towards qualifications, she will be sitting her science exams just before her school class peers go into year 10. We have also put her name down for an art award which we are hoping to start in the next few months. She has learnt so much since not being in school and has come on in leaps and bounds, so has her brother. How can anyone suggest she would learn more by sitting cooped up in a classroom, miserable, bored and uninterested?

In response to such a crazy suggestion, I decided to once again part take in the 100 home ed days hashtag challenge  where I document every day. This demonstrates that learning isn’t always done 9-3 Monday to Friday. It is around us every day and presents in many different ways. I have done days 1 to 5 this week sharing on Facebook and will continue this.

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6 months in!

Wow! That’s all I can think! Time has flown. I didn’t update at all for the last half term before Christmas and here we are 6 months since we began our home ed journey. Most children are heading back to school following the Christmas break, I have seen my news feed full of mixed emotions of parents between being sad that their time with no school runs and lazy time spent chilling with their children is once again coming to an end in favour of routine…. to those who have once again been wound up and fed up by their small ones and who can’t wait for normality to return.

In our house not machine changes.  Sure certain clubs resume for another term, Alana returns to her science class, sports, toddler group, gymnastics all start up again along with our fortnightly use of the adventure playground.

Both the children have decided that a little bit more structure is required to help us stay on track as last term we totally lost ourselves.

Josh thoroughly enjoyed learning so much about animals around the world and totally submerged himself in  documentaries and books, but very little else. He is still very interested in animals but has opted to focus on evolution for a while, so will be going right back to prehistoric times. We are both fairly excited at this project.

Both the children have also shown great interest in learning more about the human body and nutrition, and we will be continuing with our maths and Spanish.

We had some great days last year, we visited London on two occasions making sure to see the tower of London poppies, the Christmas tree at trafalgar square and the south bank Christmas markets. We attended home ed Christmas parties and visited the historic dockyard in Portsmouth where the children took part on workshops around the Mary Rose and HMS  Warrior.

This year looks set to be just as action packed. We have our not back to school bowling trip on Wednesday,  Josh has a go karting session booked we have a trip to Shepreth wildlife park scheduled to include workshops and a visit to Lego land including a computer control workshop. That sees us through to May when we are off on holiday to Norfolk.

I find myself looking back over the last 6 months and seeing how far my children have come. My relationship with them is so much stronger,  they have their moments like all kids do but generally their whole attitudes are so much better. I am aware of key triggers for Joshs melt downs so rather than us all being on eggshells most of the time I know what to look for, what to protect him from and when to step in. Most importantly I have met people and made friends  with mums who know what I am dealing with and are helping me find the strength to address those issues. Admitting there was a problem was one of the hardest things, being forced to face it bought me tears but now we have come out stronger for it and are pushing for appropriate support and recognition.

Alana hasn’t had a single “sick day”….. my girl who was physically sick, tired yet not sleeping and generally unwell is bright and healthy again. It has been such a drastic turn around. It’s amazing to see.

As my maternity leave draws to an end I find myself dreading the inevitable  return to work. It’s not something I want at all. Home ed was supposed to be an experiment to see how we get on until January,  and now that time is here and I can’t imagine sending them back to a school. It just would not be right. And so I find myself on a search for work and income that can fit around the children.  I have a couple of ideas up my sleeve but only time will tell. One thing I am sure of, this family will not be re entering the world of school runs, uniforms and stress again any time soon. We have far too much fun stuff planned!