Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Autumn's Definitely Here

Wow, so we're in to November already!!   Happy be-lated Halloween!   Hopre everyone had fun dressing up, Trick or Treating and celebrating however you like to.   We didn't do Trick or Treating this year - I just couldn't muster the enthusiasm to manage the over-excited, over-stimulated kids.  But we did dress up, I did buy them lots of Halloween sweets :-), we did carve pumpkins -

We did get Trick or Treated, which was great fun for the kids as usually we don't get any callers where we live.  And we did also make Halloween cookies with friends -

So, we did celebrate and have fun, I just scaled back on the unpredictability this year, and the kids were waaaaaay happier and calmer for it!

Sadly though, fireworks season has started :-(   We enjoy an organized display but the random exploding of fireworks absolutely freaks poor DS out!  So we will have many extremely late and unsettled nights now, until this annoying pastime wanes - probably not until New Year :-/

Other things we've been up to since my last post include another fab Geography Club.  Last month we did United States of America.  I LOVE seeing what all the kids come up with! 

And DD managed to do 25 of the 50 states for her State Flowers poster -

DS practiced hard on his Show & Tell and accurately remembered dates and names as he told about The Gold Rush and the 49ers :-)    And we feasted on Apple Pie, Brownies, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Bagels while we learned! :-) 

My own personal highlight though, had to be DS sitting at the front taking notes!!

Anyone who knows my DS knows what a struggle formal learning has been for him, and reading and writing have, and are, not coming easily.  So to see him voluntarily engaging in this way was just a joy to the heart and I couldn't have been prouder!

We've also had Half Term - and I love how our days blend and flow now and transitions are much less stark, and therefore easier to manage.  I love that the kids continue doing their own thing, a mixture of playing and learning, and that we don't have that "I'm bored!" "What are we doing today?" to contend with!

Over the half term DH taught a couple of Lego Education workshops for friends at our home.  The kids had great fun building Mr Learnie and then working cooperatively to build a community together, using their own ideas :-)

He's run 6 of these sessions now, with ages ranging from 5-11, and it's fascinating to see how the kids come up with completely different ideas each time. 

Other things we did included catching up on lots of jobs.  DS finished his Solar System model -

and we enjoyed learning about all the planets in the Solar System.

We also started growing crystals, in white vinegar -

This is the BEFORE picture! :-)  They are growing now and it's almost time to add the food colouring and allow that to absord to colour the crystals.  Will let you know how we get on :-)

Another new thing we've done is to start up a Learning Group, in our home, with a few other like-minded Home Educating friends.  Our first meeting was this Monday - we had 6 awesome children and 4 fabulous Mummies (including us) and our first topic was Rainforests.  It was a HUGE success!   The children loved learning together in a fun, informal way and were wonderfully supportive of each others efforts :-)    They made scrapbooks to put all their information in, and we learnt about the animals and people of the rainforests and had a go at making our own ceremonial masks!

The kids also worked collaboratively together to try and make an A-Z of the Rainforest. Fantastic fun!  The following day the first thing my two did was get out their scrapbooks and continue their work!  Awesome :-)

And it was so simple to organize, just a few Mums working together, sharing resources and planning in advance via a simple Facebook group I set up.  Highly recommend it to anyone whose children struggle to be in a formal working environment but enjoy working with their friends.

I'm sure there's more but I've got errands to run now, before our Reptile Handing event this afternoon - soooooo excited!! 

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