Friday, 2 September 2016

Home schooling in a school-centred family.

Although we are now a seasoned homeschooling family (my youngest is now entering the final year of the primary phase) we are a very school-centred family due to dh working in a school.  We follow the school year quite closely (homeschool holidays tend to be a little bit longer than school holidays though) and when dh is at home we don't get involved with homeschool events and meetings. Consequently August isn't a very homeschooly month for us.  I think a lot still gets learnt though - books are read, role play games are invented and resourced, musical instruments are played, television is watched (dd1 is now our resident Olympics expert), cakes are baked, DIY is helped with, the wonderful stories of older relatives are listened to, shells are found, friends are played with, beaches are explored, historic sites are visited, neglected science kits are completed, toys are played with, new places are explored, museums are visited and much, much more.

There has been a lot of arranging ...

and re-arranging of the Playmobil.

Dd1 made these vegan Viennese biscuits to give to a relative.

Left over chocolate did not go to waste.

This kit had been waiting around for a while and finally had its day ...

and the crystals are still growing over a week later.

Shells at Hythe beach.

Hythe beach.


The stones.



Plymouth museum.

Plymouth museum.

Plymouth museum.

Amazingly, this 'statue' is made of ...

plaster!  It's very light and fragile, despite its appearances.

Fishing for plastic ducks at Saltram, Plymouth.

Saltram, Plymouth.

Saltram, Plymouth.

Hmm ...

That's better.  Kind of.

The Barbican, Plymouth.

Bodmin Jail - we were wedding guests, not inmates.

I was surprised at how many holding cells there were at the jail.

The adults loved the sweet cart at the wedding as much as the children did.

Dd1 baked something every week - this one is a blackcurrant swirl cake - delicious.
Having started back to slightly more formal studies yesterday (we ease ourselves in gently by starting just a few bits and pieces, normally on a Thursday so that the weekend is in sight) I am yet again relieved to find that having 6 or 7 weeks off doesn't seem to do any academic damage.  I'm looking forward to telling you about later this month which is already proving to be a hit with dd2.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Not quite the usual end of summer term

This time of year usually involves lots of going out for us, but a sudden and serious illness changed all that this year:

This end-of-summer-term was more about thinking of others and making sacrifices, than previous years.  These are, of course, valuable lessons in themselves, but after several weeks of not being able to go far or leave our dog home alone, we were all getting cabin fever.

Some traditions carried on as normal.  We made emoji cakes as thank you gifts for tennis coaches, Girls Brigade, Guide and Brownie leaders:

Dd1 made her first batch of chocolate brownies unaided (except for the in and out of the oven bit) for dh to take to work on his birthday.

We also had our annual end-of-school-year lunch at Sainsbury's.  Marking this point has become more and more important as the years have gone on, and having this carrot to dangle has made it easier and easier to get the last of the work finished off.

On the second day of the holidays, the girls had a couple of friends round to play and asked me to make them a parachute challenge - to give them identical 'kits' and they had to make parachutes for playmobil people.  As always, it's hard to tell where homeschool stops and holidays start:

I'm pleased to report that Honey, the dog, is making a great recovery, and we are getting out and about a lot more now.  

I have managed to start quite a bit of my planning for September, but still have the bulk of it to get through and a few books to order.  Usually this gets left until quite late, but I'm planning on getting it done earlier in the holidays this year.  Next year I will be doing more separate learning and less shared learning with the girls which will be a new challenge, but hopefully I can get it to work.  Time will tell!

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Creative learning

It doesn't feel like there is much going on here at the moment: warmer weather, less motivation to work, just trickling along with the basics and counting the days to the summer holidays ... but this is okay I think.

Playmobil gets centre stage in the garden:

The dog's outdoor bath is now the ocean:

Both dds made and decorated cakes for the Queen's 90th birthday celebration in our village:

Needless to say there have been hours and hours of conversation about politics:

Old projects have been picked back up again:

Origami cranes have been made:

Dd2's tomato plants have been nurtured and nourished:

Dd1's strawberry plants have led to all kinds of learning (mainly to do with pest control!):