What are we learning? There were all these plans and I know we have done a lot of them, I know in my heart that progress is being made. But sometimes, when we haven’t really been out and done very much, when we have been hit by tummy bugs and post holiday blues, when all it seems we have done forever is watch TV, it is worth looking back and thinking, putting it all into context.
The television we have been watching has been mostly a mix of documentaries and historical dramas. The historical dramas may not be the most accurate of programs but actually we have been learning about the historical accuracy. When one of the children watching Reign, or Tudors, says to me “did that really happen?” a google search, a grab of one of our books and reading follows. When a story line is found to be false a discussion about ratings, drama and script writers swiftly ensues. Programs such as a”The British”, “Back in time for the weekend” and “Call the Midwife” cover a range of history, along with a movie night settled down watching “Braveheart” before heading off on our own adventure to Scotland.
Because as much as it can feel that we have done nothing, realistically we only got back from Scotland last week, and the following day a stomach bug swept through all three of the children.
While away we visited castles, museums and took part in an interactive battle game to learn about the battle of Bannockburn. We learnt about Red deer and how the wildlife in the Scottish highlands is maintained. We took a trip into the mountains where the children experienced “real snow” even though they questioned this as they both thought it felt like fake snow… “no children, this is what real snow feels like!” We toured a whisky distillery, watched a water rapids rescue team have a practise session and the children had fantastic opportunities to practise their photography.
J was able to answer a huge number of questions put to him by our safari guide about different species of animals and he even managed to impress his Grandad with his knowledge. He had several passionate conversations about conservation and his opinions of humans which, while sad to hear, I was proud at how well he was able to express his opinion.
We attended a marine conservation workshop where the children were able to experiment at cleaning up an oil slick, they learnt about plastics, and whales and our impact on the world. Even the adults learnt something new! All this refers them back to the past few months and the whales that have been washing up on the east coast of England.
Even whilst poorly the television programs of choice have been educational. From biographies about various sports stars and historical figures to wildlife and nature documentaries through to various you tubers who they follow.
We have attended the adventure playground social meet and A returned to science after our holiday, she is also back to her Duke of Edinburgh so all is well and back to normal there. They are both due to have another set of kayaking lessons from April and will continue to progress with their climbing. Other than that we are aware of the need to cut back somewhat to allow A time to focus on her studies ready for her exams but we are running on a promise of a trip around Chessington, Thorpe park and into London from the end of May through June.
July will bring us focusing on the Battle of Britain along with a weekend away to Dover and then it will be full steam ahead in preparation of Septembers cruise during which we will take in Pompii, Rome, Florence, Piza, Monte Carlo and Barcelona.
Small is learning something new every day. His speech. his socialising, his knowledge grows and he makes us all laugh about something different all the time. He gets to experience and explore so much, he benefits every day from his older siblings and their friends and the whole home education community being around. I am excited at his progress, excited that I know that I will never have to send him into school and watch his spirit and confidence fade. Excited that I will never miss his key learning milestones. He will be able to follow his heart!
So in answer to my opening question “What are we learning?” Well, EVERYTHING! ,Whatever we want…. Whatever interests us….. Sure, the learning doesnt look like being sat at a desk, reading a book or writing out pages and pages of various stuff that is just for someone else to look through and mark and realistically who even remembers…. But that doesnt mean that the learning isnt alive and well and happening each and every moment!