Sunday, 5 March 2017

A Week in the Life

I suspect this may not be one of my All Time Top 10 Posts, not least because I am two glasses in to a bottle of wine we brought back from Portugal... 😄😄  None the less here's a round up of our Home Ed week this week.

I was asked recently - Wednesday actually, by the same checkout cashier that asked me if my Autistic kids had been vaccinated, but that's a whole other story! - how many hours I spend a week teaching my children? 

Erm....... all of them?  Or at least all the waking ones.  Whether I want to or not.  They are learning from me every moment we are awake - directly or indirectly.  But in terms of structured learning?  Honestly, I don't measure.  For example DD spent 2 hours today working on a craft project, totally self motivated. Do I class that as learning time? Play? Leisure time?  Well, it's all of them.  When you elect to Home Educate a much freer world opens itself up to you.  You can ebb and flow like the tide, as the mood takes you. Over time we've all settled more in to our natural rhythms and these now govern our days.

So, this week, Monday I to call on a couple of friends to come and take care of the kids as I had some important family things to do.  This, in itself, was a huge thing for the kids - as it involved 2 different people coming to look after them, for most of the afternoon and early evening.  So I didn't set them any work, but left our What Next Box? for if they were stuck for ideas, the Lego box, lots of games and a selection of books to help them make good choices.  They played with the first friend's baby then took to their rooms to read 2 Goosebumps books together (DD reading aloud to DS) and do Lego.  With the second friend that came to take over they played a number of strategic and mathematical board games through the afternoon -

On Tuesday we had a very low key, to allow them both time to process the change in routine from the previous day. We read lots of chapters of the David Walliams book (Grandpa's Great Escape) we are reading at the moment, and just hung out together, cuddled, snuggled and reconnected. Oh, and of course we made & ate pancakes, pancakes and more pancakes!

On Wednesday we were on that World Book Day mission for, of all things, a school uniform for DD who wanted to dress up as Ginny Weasley from The Chamber of Secrets.  So we popped to the library while we were in town, and also posted DD's entry to the Royal Mail Christmas Stamp Competition (See more here - that she has been working so hard on -

And she really did work so hard on this. She planned what she was going to draw, did multiple drafts, even a colour guide before deciding on the final version.

We stopped off at the library to return a load of books DD had finished with and then did a bunch of errands and the weekly shop.  When we got home we read together and made Blox for our model garden we are working on -

Oh and we did a few improvements to our Fairy Garden too -

On Thursday the kids had Gymnastics at a big Home Ed class they go to.  DD loves it, although DS chose to sit out a couple of terms he has now decided to start up again so he was quite anxious about that, but it all went smoothly and there was no major fall out in terms of delayed processing.

Afterwards we hung out with friends and ate lunch together, then headed over to another library with friends. They were doing some work on some projects and DD & DS just read and chose even more books to borrow!  When we got home, as you can imagine, the rest of the day was spent reading, reading and more reading! And DS decided he would try his hand at making movies -

On Friday played some board games together -

We find games are a great way to stealth learn :-)  Not only are you learning the actual subject matter of the games, but many other valuable skills as well - patience, turn taking, encouraging one another, tactical planning, being gracious in defeat!! Genuine and important life skills :-)

And after lunch we headed off to a Home Ed World Book Day party some friends had organized.  It was wonderful to see all the kids dressed up, clutching their favourite stories.  DD went as Ginny Weasley and DS eventually conceded to be Robin Hood as it meant he could take his bow (but not arrows, as apparently they have all mysteriously got lost in the bush at the bottom of the garden........)
In total there were 2 Ginny Weasleys, a Harry Potter, TinTin, The White Rabbit & Alice, Milly Molly Mandy, Annabeth & Percy Jackson, Mildred Hubble, Klaus (from A Series of Unfortunate Events), the Giraffe (from The Girraffe & Pelly & Me), 2 BFGs and a Borrower. Oh and a Cyclops and Professor McGonagall! All the children got up on the stage at the front of the hall and told everyone about their character and why they had chosen the book they had.  Afterwards there were several tables of activities laid out for the children to pick and choose from including Story Cubes & HeadBandz, making 3D corner bookmarks and pop up bookmarks, character write up sheets and drawing, and a craft table for making your book characters.

The children all had so much fun, working, sharing, learning and playing together.

Then Friday evening the kids had their club at a nearby church, for children aged 7-10.  This week it was an egg breaking competition as well as Bible stories and activities.  They really enjoy this club and it is something they are able to do independently, which is an actual real Godsend for us as the volunteers that run it are able to understand and work with the children's additional needs and be inclusive.

Oh, and in case you're wondering where we get all our wonderful resources from - Charity Shops!  Charity Shops, Car Boot sales, Amazon & Wilko's. And Poundland!  It's true that you can Home Educate on any budget - with no curriculum to follow you are free to make use of bargains, offers, freebies, off-peak, end of season and so on. So the sky really is the limit.

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