Thursday 21 January 2016

Our #RealHomeEd Day

On Tuesday of this week a group of like-minded home-educators over on twitter documented our day using the hashtag #RealHomeEd

I was happy to join in, sharing what we do with other home-educators and anyone else who is curious.

Kids Drawing at The Kitchen Table - Our Handmade Home

For those that don't know here's a little about our kids -
Small is 9, she has never been to school. For the first few years we just played, read and cuddled lots. At age 7 we started with a more formal home-education curriculum which we have tweaked over the last 2+ years.
Teeny is 2, he hasn't been to school either (some kids around here do actually start nursery at 2) His education is just as important as Small's but is very different. We are in the 'play, read, cuddle' stage and enjoying it immensely.

Today is very quiet we have no visitors, no appointments, no clubs or groups or lessons. I must say, it is a fairly typical Tuesday in our house. We usually do go for a long country walk on a Tuesday but I was back on crutches for a few days when my pelvis played up big time - I couldn't walk unaided around the house, certainly wasn't about to  push a buggy for 3 miles.

Here is a blow by blow account of our day.

* * *

0800 Teeny has woken up and is bouncing happily in his cot while I get up and get myself dressed and fetch a cup of tea, Dad was up and off to work early.

I get Teeny dressed and get the table set for breakfast. I remind Small to get up - being 9, she finds it hard to get out of bed in the morning, but today she managed for 8:30. We always have breakfast together and chat about what is happening during the day. There was lots of singing too, quite normal.

0900 Time for chores. We each have a checklist of chores, though there are large overlaps (obviously I do the biggest or dirtiest jobs) and sometimes it is just a matter of whoever gets to it first.

Teeny gets to watch 'Bing' and 'Something Special' on CBeebies - We try not to have the TV on too much but he enjoys these shows and learns from them, plus I can get housework out of the way first thing.

1000 Schoolwork starts. Small works through a checklist of schoolwork for each day that I set at the beginning of the week (She is not particularly self-motivated just now, and we have found that this helps her understand what is expected by the end of each day)
Morning session is always Reading, Writing and Maths -She likes to do it in her own room, it usually takes about an hour.

Sometimes writing takes the form of 'copywork' She copies a couple of lines of text from a classic book or poem - This week it is Red, Red Rose by Robert Burns in preparation for our family Burn's supper where she will recite it.

In retrospect I realise us playing with musical instruments downstairs probably doesn't help Small's concentration... oops!

1100 Now we have the Duplo out all over the floor. 2YO and I build various structures while Small finishes off her morning school work reading the David Walliams book Awful Auntie. She picks her own reading materials, She knows not to read 'Princess Rainbow Fairy Starlight and her Glittery Unicorn' type books during school hours - though it isn't explicitly banned.
toddler with duplo - Our Handmade Home

Then this happens

This is sadly typical behaviour and we can't figure out how to beat it. Each strategy we try works for a limited amount of time. It isn't EVERY day and no one ever gets hurt, but is very sad that it happens at all. Divide and conquer is the only sure fire way to stop it...

1200 Small goes to read 'Little House On The Prairie' by the woodburner in the living room. Teeny brings me stacks and stacks of picture books which we snuggle up to read before lunchtime.

1300 Small helps prepare lunch and set table, it is tinned soup today, which she can prepare on her own. I get dinner started (slow cooked pork in tomato sauce... if you are intersted) and we chat at length throughout lunch about all the books read in the morning.

1400 We have subjects assigned to each day of the week, trying to encourage a range of activities throughout the week. Tuesday's subjects are Geography and Nature Studies Small's geography project is a map of the River Clyde; she is currently working on a final draft for the kitchen wall.

1500 Teeny goes down for a nap (after a couple more stories of course) We can then focus on any tutoring or help that Small needs. I've tried with Teeny around but it just doesn't work. This is our chance for some one-to-one. Today after a little assistance with geography we cover some Khan Academy on the computer, Small asked for some help learning how to measure angles.

Tuesday's nature studies usually involves a walk in the local countryside, but over the weekend I hurt my pelvis badly and had to get my crutches back out again - there is no way I can safely take both kids out in this condition - and besides, it is cold out there, with snow still on the ground.

Small has a hot chocolate while watching out the window and listening as the birds in the garden sing.

Afterwards the Wii Fit gets set up (an interactive sports computer game type thing) and Small plays various sporty jumping about games. It is not the same as a walk and fresh air, but it will have to do today.

1600 with Teeny up from his nap time for a snack

1700 I put The Gruffalo on the iPlayer for Teeny - he gives a running commentary throughout

"Own scared Gruffalo"
"Wee mouse walking"

Small is playing with lego.

1800 Dinner will be a little late tonight; to keep spirits up  I put on some music and we all dance around the house singing and dancing till Dad comes home. It's part of their musical education

1900 During dinner both kids will give an account of their day to Daddy. Small is very good at this and needs to be reminded to eat. Teeny needs quite a bit of prompting, but will recount books that he has read or games we played quite happily (if incoherently)
During the tidying up of dinner things Small puts 3.14159265 up on the fridge in magnets and asks "What is Pi for?" (I can't find the symbol on my keyboard) We have a quick lesson while Dad gives Teeny a bath, now she knows how to calculate the circumference of a circle.

2000 Teeny is off to bed and Small has asked to watch the final episode of Victorian Bakery on BBC2 before bedtime.

We only watch the first half because it's bedtime and Mummy needs the living-room for exercises, to see if I can sort this pelvis thang out.

* * *
What a dull day... but as I said typical of a day at home.

Had this been another day of the week we might be off to a club or lesson somewhere, or on a field trip, in summer we might have been outside all day building dens and climbing trees.

We don't do anything very exciting but there are always smiles and giggles, we rarely have raised voices and we are never bored. 

Have a read of some other #RealHomeEd Blogs and see how different our home-education days can be.
Making Clay - Lynn came up with the idea of us all sharing our days on twitter (thanks Lynn)
Scarf Lady Chronicles - Read about her lovely long walk to the library

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