Thursday, 27 August 2015

USA Homeschooling Infograph

This is an interesting infograph that I have been asked to share. It looks at the history of American homeschoolers from 1977 and shows how the number of homeschooled children in America has doubled since 1999.

Home Schooling

I'd love to see something similar for UK home educators, statistics and history-wise. I wonder what reasons UK parents would give for their choice to home educate?

I'm not so sure about the last three tips for homeschooling though.

Establish Expectations? Maybe that's got something to do with American home education laws. I don't really go in for evaluation by subject. I take a much more holistic approach to learning within our routines and loose structure. I know that learning happens all the time and often the outcome can not be foreseen at the outset. We often digress and what they actually learn can look very different from what I thought they would learn. The important thing is that they DO learn and that they ENJOY the process :)

Set a Space? Again, I view learning as part of life. I WANT the task of learning to be perfectly intermingled and integrated into the household.

Don't Forget Friends? Goes without saying, doesn't it? And as for children being at home with parents all day every day, that's very far from the truth in this family and other home educating families I know.

And just to add, if you do want to know the law in regard home educating in the UK, useful websites include:
Education Otherwise
Home Education UK
Home Education Advisory Service
Ed Yourself
Educational Freedom
Elective Home Education Wales

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Gods Group

No, there's no missing apostrophe.
Today was our local themed group session. The children chose the theme themselves a few months ago and the theme was Gods.

It was a fairly quiet session (August usually is) with just 6 families with 12 children in all, age range 1 to 14.

It was beautiful day for a change, so the kids all spent a lot of time outdoors playing a very complicated role play game that involved super powers. It's great to hear a wide age range of children negotiating and building characters and plot together, loudly and happily I might add. No arguments or tears. Bliss!

There were Spirit cards to look at, colouring pages of Egyptian gods, a couple of Roman Gods minibooks left over from a previous session and a story about the Hindu gods.

They also looked at the names of the days of the week...

...fictional gods, the focus being on Arnold Bros (est 1905) from  Truckers: The First Book of the Nomes by Terry Pratchett...

  ...ancient local gods and making your own god statue...

...and Green man mask making.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Currclick Summer Sale

Currclick are having a summer sale with 259 reduced items available until 22nd June.

Why not pop over to Currclick and bag a bargain?

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Sewing Boy

One thing I really like about home education is that there is less pressure to stick to traditionally gendered activities. It's never been too much of a problem for girls to like and enjoy 'boy' stuff, but boys are often ridiculed by their peers (and, unfortunately, some adults) for taking part in and enjoying anything deemed to be 'girlie'.

As a family, we attend a local sewing class that's aimed at adults. The Girl is developing her patchwork skills and I'm learning just how much bodging has gone on with my sewing projects for all these years. It's actually really nice to learn how to do things properly and not to be allowed to be lazy. (Think ironing seams :/)

After two lessons these are Boykin's creations, both are his own design :)
He's learnt how to pin a pattern, how to applique, how to use a sewing machine, how to handstitch a seam and how to embroider.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Bank Holiday Monday

I spent the morning working on a new project and trying to organise another qualification course for The Girl and some of her friends.
Boykin was mostly playing Minecraft and the Girl mostly slept, recovering from her Duke of Edinburgh expedition.
In the afternoon , we got out for a walk with our neighbours. The sky was grey and it kept threatening to rain but it felt so good to be outside...

...swinging on ropes...

...climbing trees...

...walking in woods...

...and making flower garland crowns :)

How did you spend your Bank Holiday Monday?

Saturday, 23 May 2015

What we've been up to...

We've been really busy. Too busy to blog really. And too busy for very much maths, much to Boykin's delight ;)

So far this month, we have been to our monthly table top games group session where they enjoyed playing Diavolo , Knock Your Blocks Off and Snake Oil amongst others.

We also had our monthly themed session which was about physics. They really enjoyed learning about Newton's Laws and doing the experiments that involved spinning eggs, dropping marbles and playing with a skateboard. I also used the opportunity to test the science activity from the new Picture Book Explorers ~ The Little Ships.  (Use this link to get a 20% discount until 4th June.) It went down a treat and engaged all the kids from ages 3 to 15. Woohoo!

They're both still enjoying the study group that they attend, both doing two classes each, unfortunately for me, not at the same time.
They've been to the new local swimming pool which has slides and better family changing rooms.
The Girl has continued working on her patchwork quilt at the sewing classes we attend together; I made a cushion cover :) And I'm quite chuffed because on the very last session Boykin joined in and made a pincushion. Consequently, we're all going back to beginners again so that The Girl can finish her quilt and Boykin can make something else. It's great when they discover a new craft that they enjoy :)

Boykin has also recently been enjoying building and playing with remote control cars outside. His main indoor activity is making Minecraft videos so that he can have a Youtube channel when he's old enough. Look out Dan TDM ;)

The Girl has started volunteering at a not-so-local Montessori school one morning a week as part of her Bronze Duke of Edinburgh, and she's off this weekend on her expedition. Here's praying that they get good weather and don't get lost!

They're both working towards the Explore Arts Award with the library service who set up a CILIP shadowing scheme for our book group concentrating on the Kate Greenaway Medal. The group is from aged 5 to 15 and they all seem to be enjoying it. I'm very impressed with the way it's being run and will be incorporating some of the ideas into our own book readings at home. I'm also very impressed with the things my children come out with when discussing the books. Our litereature heavy approach has really paid off :)

We've been to the theatre to see "I Believe in Unicorns" which was sad but hopeful, and "Bromance" which was funny and breathtaking.

I finally finished reading The River Singers to them and they've both read piles of books to themselves. Boykin has just discovered the joy of Roald Dahl.
On the film front, he's had me watching every version of The War of The Worlds that he could find on Netflix, which has lead to lots of interesting discussions. I'm thinking Day of the Triffids next as a good scary sci-fi story....

Oh, and they went to a dry slope skiing centre for their cousin's birthday :)

What has your family been up to?