Monday, 30 January 2017

You've got Mail

Enticing my reluctant writer to actually put pen to paper is extremely hard work! She is very, very stubborn, and lacks a lot of confidence in her abilities.

So I am shocked at how well our latest activity has been received. The girls have absolutely adored this activity. So much so that I am seeking out pen pals for them to write to permanently.


Human Body

Before we begin a new project I scour Pinterest for engaging learning ideas, reserve as many books as I can on that topic from the library and buy/make any resources.

Rather than create a tight plan of what we are going to do. I will leave out the books, resources and set up a few invitations. Then I just sit back to allow the girls to explore and investigate on their own. Observing and helping along the way if they need me to.

Here is a little overview of our learning during our human body topic.


Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Chinese New Year

Sometimes we like to throw in a mini project every now and again. We usually do these with our little STEM group and they relate to a cultural celebration, or a special day.

Today we did a little project about Chinese New Year. As usual this is mostly play/art based.

First I explained a bit about Chinese New Year and why they celebrate new year according to the lunar calendar. We have been looking at the moon cycle this week so it led on nicely. We then had a small discussion about how it is similar to our new year, in terms of wishing loved ones lots of luck, happiness and new beginnings. I believe it is super important for the girls to understand that even though different cultures and religions celebrate things differently, ultimately we as human beings all want the same things in life.

We made these cute dragons from paper cups. I think they turned out really well.


Monday, 23 January 2017

Birthdays HomeSchool Style

My Big Bean turned 7 on Monday. When did all of that time fly by?

Last year she was at school for her birthday. Other than wearing a badge on her jumper, her day wasn't really very special.

This year I left the plans completely up to her. She loved this freedom. Her outfit was preplanned for the day 2 weeks before. It was a parrot patterned jumpsuit made for hot summer beach days in July. Did I say "No, it's the middle of January, choose something more appropriate" No I didn't. I reminded her that it may be cold and she chose a jumper to wear over the top and odd ski socks. Nothing matched and it wasn't what I would have picked for her to wear, but its her birthday and she is free to express herself however she wants!

I asked if she would like a party with friends. No, she just wanted a tea party for family with no savoury food; just cakes, pink lemonade, and jam and cream scones. So that is what she got.

Tea and Cakes Mad Hatter Style


Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Home Ed Shed - A work in progress

Thought I would do a  post about our lovely little learning space that has been lovingly nicknamed the 'Home Ed Shed'. Last year the ever increasing amount of resources and the dread of clearing away before we had to use the dinner table led to us having a huge discussion about creating a more stimulating home edding area. It had to be somewhere fun and inspiring, where the girls could tinker away all day and not have to worry about making a mess. Our house is quite small, so the answer was to build a summerhouse in the garden.

I am hugely inspired by Kate from an everyday story. Her blog is amazing and her space is exactly the kind of learning environment I am hoping to achieve. Now I am way off our space looking like hers, but we're slowing making a start. Considering that we only built this 2 weeks before Christmas I don't think we are doing too badly!


Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Alice in Wonderland; and how we use Inquiry Based Learning

When I first started out home edding I had this vision in my head of how our days would work. I had topics I wanted to cover and things I knew I wanted to 'teach' my child. As those first couple of weeks passed by in a haze of tears, tantrums and settling in, I quickly realised that my ideas of home education had to change. I wondered why it wasn't going to plan. Had I made the wrong decision? Then it clicked. I was the problem, not my child. Why was I trying to emulate an environment similar to school? Wasn't the point of home educating to enable my child to learn what they want, how they want, at their own pace.


Monday, 9 January 2017

My Struggling Reader

Now that my little bean,age 5, has decided she also wishes to home educate I worried about big bean,age 6, feeling pushed out. It has been just me and her every day for the last 3 months whilst little bean was at school.

My girlies are only 16 months apart in age. Aside from the fact they both love dolls and playmobil, they are extremely different. This is hugely apparent in their learning. Little bean is very ahead of the game in the literacy department. She is already reading Enid Blyton books and will choose to write a story, 2 sides of A4 with near perfect spelling and joined up handwriting, over creating art any day of the week. I believe she is truly gifted in this department.

I worried and stressed about Big Bean feeling inadequate compared to her little sister. I worried it might bring back some of those awful feelings of worry and anxiety that she struggled with during her brief stint at school.

I was silly and wrong to worry. I have noticed over the Christmas holiday that when left to their own devices they are kind and helpful and really look out for one another. Little bean has been helping big bean to spell words, and big bean has been showing her sister how to draw detailed butterflies and talking to her in detail about polar bears.

But the fact remains that she is still a very reluctant reader and writer. So I have dedicated half an hour every day to focus on her literacy. During this time I usually leave out a pen and notebook for little bean with some Rory's story cubes, or a small invitation to write and she will usually sit and write me a lovely little story. These are some of the methods I use during this time to help my eldest daughter improve her literacy.


New Traditions 2017

As we are now an official Home Edding Family, I've tried to start 2017 with some nice traditions that we can continue throughout the year.

My favourite of these is that we complete a little journal every night before bed. It gives the girls a chance to reflect on their day and is a way of sneaking some purposeful writing into our lives.

My big bean is still reluctant to write, so she doodles a little snippet of her day and I annotate the sentence as she dictates it to me.

My little bean tends to write quite a lot, which is lovely as writing is her favourite thing to do.

The girls really enjoy doing this each evening and often remind me if I'm being forgetful.


Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Home Edding Best Bits from 2016

It has been an amazing first 3 months of Home Edding. I feel like I have learnt more about myself and who I am as a mother. I have learnt to relax and not stress over the amount of 'work' that the girls do, and that it's OK to let go as it's a new way of life for us all.

Here are some of my favourite bits from last year that have inspired me to embrace unschooling and letting my girls education progress naturally, they are really steering our homeschool ship this year.

I will never forget the look of awe and wonder on her face when we made the volcano erupt. She spent 2 whole days making, planning and painting this. So much effort and involvement, it really cemented what she had learnt about the subject.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Home Education: the path we have chosen

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Albert Einstein