Snippets of Our Week 5th October

It feels like it’s been a strange kind of week, with work seeming to take up time and emotional energy. I feel like I’ve neglected the girls, that I haven’t been as ‘present’ with them as I’d have liked, that I haven’t been there to provide activities that may interest them, that I haven’t been good enough! I’ve been overwhelmed by the mess and the piles of washing in my house, so that even when I do get time I bury my head in the sand and do nothing. I really have to work hard to tell myself that the girls ARE happy, the girls ARE learning all the time, the housework and washing are NO BIG DEAL and that I AM GOOD ENOUGH! So here are some of the week’s highlights.

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Lottie’s story about baby ghosts. She gets very anxious about writing, but enjoys drawing and making up stories. She told me this story and I typed it up for her. I know and trust that one day she will choose to write, but only when she’s ready.

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Pumpkin carving, where Lottie decided she was a surgeon and the pumpkin needed an operation.

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Amelia did the messy job of removing the illness (seeds and flesh) as Lottie didn’t want to get mucky!

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Lottie was the lead surgeon and was drawing diagrams of the operation.

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An example of what my Forest School children got up to this week. They put leaves in card, covered it in foil, pressed the foil over the leaf and used Sharpie pens to highlight details. There was also fire lighting, toasting sausages and marshmallows and plenty of jumping up and down in muddy puzzles! Lottie and Amelia go to their own Forest School group on a Friday morning, which they are loving and come home buzzing about what they’ve done!

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Lots of Lego, building cities, working together, problem solving, using lots of mathematical and engineering processes to create their buildings.

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Playing games.

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Painting.

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Reading.

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Drawing.

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Mud kitchen.

So to all the parents out there, whether you home educate your children or not, we all have crappy weeks, chances are they’re only crap in your head and not in reality, but even if they are, that’s part of life. We all have weeks when we feel we’re not enough. WE ARE ENOUGH! We’re all human and I think it’s good for our children to see us as human beings, at times when we’re not happy, when we’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed. I told my girl’s this week that I’m sorry I haven’t had as much time as I’d have liked to play with them, I told them that I was trying  to sort out some things with work and their responses made my heart melt and feel that I’m obviously doing something right. They said  “That’s ok mummy.” “We’re happy mummy.” “It doesn’t matter mummy.” Thank you to my wonderful girls. Here’s to a new week!

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Snippets of Our Home Ed Week.

So it was the first week of the new school year around here and with Stu back to school himself, I wanted to get back into the flow of things.

We started the week with swimming. It’s a short drive to our local swimming pool where we meet some home ed friends. Lottie loves it in the water and spent her time being ‘Swirls’ the alien, whilst Amelia wanted to be a baby and I had to carry her on my back around the pool. Like everything else we do I believe learning happens when children want it to, as long as I’m there to  provide them with opportunites and support them when they need it.

It’s been all about cubes this week in our house. The girls have become interested in cubes because of Minecraft and we’d already printed and made some paper Minecraft cubes at the weekend. Lottie wanted to make her own, but became frustrated that she couldn’t, so I printed off some blank nets and some with animals and houses on them. We had a conversation about a net being a 2D shape that can be folded and stuck to make a 3D shape (and that it was a homonym, which my girls love discovering!) We also spoke about faces, edges and vertices. We cut, folded and stuck a few together. To start with Lottie was happy to watch me cut them out, fold them and stick them. As the week progressed she did a bit more each day. She began to decorate the blank ones, but still  wanted me to do the rest, then she began cutting them out and I did the folding and sticking and then she did the whole thing. Lottie was so proud of a cube that she had decorated, cut, folded and stuck together herself.  This happened after nearly a whole week of watching and learning how to make a cube. She needed to watch me do it first, she needed to take baby steps with me supporting her. When she was ready and only then did she feel confident to do it independently.

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My girlies love a film and this week have watched ‘ The Wizard of Oz’  ‘Legends of Oz- Dorothy Returns’ ‘Home’ and we also went to the Cinema in the middle of the day (I love that there were only 2 other people and us in there) to see ‘Inside Out’ which I thought was fab! I think a lot of it went over Amelia’s head, but she enjoyed watching it nonetheless. Lottie was fascinated about the brain and what happens in our brains. We also chatted about different feelings, how they’re all important and that it’s ok to feel sad , as well as happy. When we got home Lottie decorated the net of a cube and stuck it together to be sadness.

We had a day out at ‘ The Deep’ Aquarium in Hull as part of a home educator’s day. The girls went to a workshop about continents around the world, which was very hands on, gave the children choice over a selection of activities and involved lots of games. We were then able to explore the aquarium. The girl’s had a great time and Lottie was in her element. Fish are Lottie’s big thing and have been for years, as has her desire to become a Marine Biologist and live near the Great Barrier Reef (as long as I can go with her!)

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We usually go to our local home ed group once a week and I really wanted to go this week, as everyone was making some collaborative art that I knew Amelia would love, but it was the day following our aquarium visit (which was a full on day) and they just didn’t want to go. The beauty of home ed is that we get to pick and choose what we do and when we do it. So we had a day at home and got all the My Little Pony toys out and spent lots of time with those. (Over priced and badly made in my opinion, but hey the girls love them, so…..)

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We did some simple art inspired by ‘Merri Cherry’ a fab art teacher who I follow on Instagram.  Drawing on foil with Sharpies. The girls quite enjoyed it, but I loved it. The way the pens slid across the shiny foil! I kept going for ages whilst the girls had stopped and were  playing something else.

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We don’t limit screen time and for us that works. The girls are both aware of when they’ve had enough, stop playing and do something else. Lottie has been playing ‘Minecraft’ on an Android tablet and Amelia has been playing a Disney  ‘Cars’ game on the Leap Pad. The girls tend to sit together when they do this and chat away about what they’re doing and look at each other’s games. I often take this opportunity to read my book and have a cup of tea. I’ve read on a Kindle for years now, but bought a real ‘paper’ book this Summer because I wanted the girls to see me reading an actual book for pleasure and for them to see me not just looking at a screen. I did read in the same room as them and I did tell them that I was really enjoying my book and did anyone else want to do any reading. No, was the resounding response, which was fine.

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Stu always reads with the girls at bedtime. It might be a one off picture book that Stu reads to both girls, or Amelia might like her story without Lottie. She’s been really into a non-fiction book, an animal atlas from the library. Lottie loves Roald Dahl and Stu is currently reading her the BFG.

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We had a day out with some Home Ed friends at Chatsworth. A beautiful old stately home, (just a 15 minute drive from our house) which has the most incredible grounds. We went to the farmyard and adventure playground and spent the whole day there.  The girls enjoyed watching a goat being milked and looking at the animals, but spent most of their time in the adventure playground.

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Lottie loves drawing on a whiteboard (she tells me she likes it because it’s shiny and smooth and easy to rub out.) She has drawn maps of different places. The towns have lots of roads and the villages, only a few.

 

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Not sure what this one is?

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Amelia picked blackberries from our front garden…

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mashed them in a bowl…

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and went outside to paint whatever she could, including herself!

 

Lottie was fascinated watching Stu fix a puncture.

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Lottie was pretending that the pins were children at school and the teachers were shouting at them to get in their lines!

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We went to the amazing Yorkshire Sculpture Park and decided we’d love some sculptures in our garden!

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We also watched some fantastic outdoor theatre performed by the very talented ‘Whispering Woodfolk’. The girls were completely captivated!

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We ended our week by having a lazy Sunday at home, watching films, making a chocolate factory in our mud kitchen and playing with and in big cardboard boxes.

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We’ve had a lovely week and I love our life, but please remember that these are snippets of our best bits.  We have also had our fair share of arguments, tears, housework, cat sick on the rug, washing gone smelly because I didn’t get it out of the machine for 2 days etc, etc!! I just like to reflect and think about all of the good things that have happened in our week and there were plenty of them!

How was your week?

A New ‘School’ Year.

So September is here, which means the start of a new academic year. My children, like all other children are learning ALL the time. There’s nothing we can do to stop them! But things do change in our house over the 6 week school Summer holidays. Stu is at home (being a teacher) which changes the dynamics in our house and this Summer I worked for 3 weeks (running Forest School clubs.) The girls and Stu went to visit his parents on the sunny south coast and we went on our own family holiday for a week. Stu goes back to school next week, so it’ll be just me and my girlies’ during the day. It’s been a great Summer and we’ve all had a fab time, but I’m  looking forward to getting back into our home ed rhythm.

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There’s something in me that likes (needs!) to have some kind of structure and plan in place, but I’m also very flexible too. At the moment having structure doesn’t seem to bother the girls at all, it’s just for me! So that means a monthly planner, which has specific outings on. This month we’re planning trips with other home ed families that include visits to an aquarium, a chocolate factory and a sculpture park, as well as visiting friends and family for a week.

I also have a weekly timetable, which includes swimming, library, home ed group, horse riding (for Lottie) dancing (for Amelia). I’ve thought long and hard about the timetable and have put things in that I know work for us already, so there’s nothing very new or different and no big changes. We only do one of these things in a day otherwise it becomes too much. My girl’s need and enjoy time and space to play at home. We get up and ready at a leisurely pace (Lottie and I are not morning people!) and aim to be out the door by 10am. We stay out for a couple of hours and are usually home for lunch. There is one new thing for us and that is some planned quiet time after lunch for all of us, because I feel we all need a bit of down time then. I plan to read for myself, to the girls, with the girls or them to me and then write and draw in our journals. I’m not sure for how long yet or how it will work, but I will follow the girls lead. If they really don’t want to do this, then that’s fine, but I for one am going to have a cup of tea and read my book. If they don’t want to join me then that’s their choice, but I will let them know that I’m not available to help them at this time. We’ll see how it goes!

I have put in a few planned sessions for the afternoon’s that include baking, art and science activities. When I say planned, it is not in a formal or structured sense, but more that I will be available and ready to support one of those activities within that time slot. I would have an activity in mind or we would choose something from a book or Pinterest and see if they’d like to do it. If they don’t or are busy doing something else, then that’s fine, or if they want to do one of those activities at a different time then that’s fine too. For me it’s about me having that time available to do that activity. I’ve chosen these subject areas because I feel cooking and baking are such valuable life skills to learn and both girls enjoy it. Lottie loves all things Science and Amelia loves all things art. These subjects areas may change, but as ever I will follow the girls lead.

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Lottie has a maths work book that she enjoys doing so I’ve planned in some time in the early evening (after dinner and bath time) when I will be available to help her with that if she needs it. It’s something that she has often naturally chosen to do at that time, so seeing that it worked well, we’ll continue with that a couple of evenings a week.

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I record what the girls have done each day in a day to page diary and I also have an A4 notebook where I record the children’s learning, observations of what they’re doing, questions they ask, ideas for possible next steps, resources we may need . I know I don’t need to do this, but I think years of primary school teaching, my LOVE of stationery and the fact I find it useful and helpful means that I do!

When you look at our week written down it looks as though we’re really busy, but when you’re living it, it feels quite relaxed and with a calm steady pace, (my children are NOT always calm and we encounter our fair share of tears and arguments!) There is plenty of time in our day to play, tinker and do any project work that the girls want to do. There’s also the opportunity to do none of the things on our timetable if we don’t want to or if we fancy doing  something else.

I am so incredibly happy about the path we have chosen. It warms my heart to be able to give my children freedom and choice over what they learn and how they spend their time. So here’s to our first full year of home education!

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Project based learning.

I initially wrote this back in March, but never got around to finishing and posting it. So here it is, better late than never!!

We are using a project based approach to learning in our home that is working really well, so I thought I’d share how we’ve gone about it.

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First of all I think the most important thing that I’ve done is to watch and observe my children. What are their interests? What do they like playing with and doing? It’s no good for me to randomly select a topic that I think they might like, I think they need to have some say in it and have some ownership of it for it to be meaningful to them. Their interest might be sparked by a book, a tv programme, an outing we’ve been on and sometimes ideas and questions just seem to pop into their heads!

Our project at the moment is the Human Body and this was sparked several weeks ago by a visit to the library. Lottie found a great non fiction book on the Human body that had lots of close up pictures of inside the body. She was fascinated by a real close up picture of the tongue. I asked her if she wanted to learn more about it and if she wanted it to be her new project. This was met with an enthusiastic yes!

In the short drive home in the car from the library, Lottie opened her window and held her tongue out the whole way home (Only 5 mins.) When I asked her what she was doing she said that she was testing to see if you could still taste things if your tongue was totally dried up. We didn’t have any food with us in the car that day, but said we’d test her theory the next time we were in the car.

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Given that Lottie seemed interested in the tongue we looked at our own tongues with a magnifying glass, as well as looking at and reading the page in her book. Then it just so happened that we had a science week at our home ed group, so with my help Lottie came up with an activity to do with taste. Lottie knew from our reading that the 4 main tastes were sour, salty, bitter and sweet, so we had a look in our cupboards for food that had those tastes. When we went to group that week children tried the food and said what taste group they thought it was from and Lottie enjoyed being the ‘expert’.

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We continued to look at senses and have looked at touch, using a feely bag to guess what an object is and then describe its texture. We looked at smell, by making smelly pots and guessing what was inside. Hearing, by rolling a ball with a bell inside and catching it while blindfolded (at our home ed group also) and out on a walk in the woods we closed our eyes and listened to the sounds we could hear.       
            
We were then lucky enough to borrow a skeleton and a model of the human body with removable internal organs, which both girls loved playing with! Lottie learnt the names of the organs, where they go in the body and what their job is by playing. Some days just fiddling about, other days playing doctors or scientists and I’ve been there with her, (not all the time) observing and just being present and available when she asks what something is called? Where it goes? What is it’s job? Sometimes I knew the answers and was happy to tell her and sometimes I didn’t. When I wasnt sure of an answer I was honest in saying so and would ask her how we can find out. Sometimes we’d look in a book, other times we’d look on the internet. I really feel this is an important part of our learning journey, as I want both of my children to learn how to learn. I want them to form their own questions and be able to find the answers. Isn’t that how we all find things out? As adults if we have a question that we want to find out the answer to then that’s pretty much how
we go about it.

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In terms of how our projects are recorded I do provide Lottie with a little project folder and she records what she wants to. I don’t make her record anything she doesn’t want to. Sometimes her learning is in her head and if that’s good enough for her then it’s good enough for me.  I take photos when she’s playing and learning to print off, annotate and add to her project folder. In her project folder she decided  to draw a picture of the tongue and write down the 4 different tastes that she copied from her non fiction book. She traced the picture of inside a nose, she wrote sticky labels for different textures she felt. I may say would you like to write or draw about that for your project folder? Sometimes the answer is yes and sometimes no.

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This project has been going for about 5 weeks and I feel her interest starting to waiver. We hadn’t really done anything specific on the skeleton and bones, so I asked her if she was interested in learning about that next but she said that she wasn’t. I’m happy to leave it at that. It’s her learning and her project and if she has lost interest then what would be the point? I’m sure we’ll revisit it at some time and if we don’t then it doesn’t matter. Unless she wants to be a doctor then she won’t need to know about it. If and when she wants to learn about it then she will and I’ll be there to provide resources and answer questions.

To end the project Lottie sat with her daddy, looked through her project folder and told him about the things she has done and what she has learnt. This is something she wanted to do and really enjoyed doing!  I will keep her folder some books on a shelf for her to look at and add to any time she wants to.

I asked Lottie if she knew what she thought her next project might be and knew the answer before she’d said it! She’s been watching a BBC documentary about sharks on her tablet and has been telling me all about it… so sharks it is!  I know very little myself, so we’ll be learning together.

Why I don’t stop my children from arguing.

There is a just over two years difference between my two girls and they are really great little buddies who love playing together.  They play together almost all day, usually creating imaginary worlds. They are currently in the garden where Lottie is an alien who has just arrived on earth from another planet and Amelia is teaching her all about the world!

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It’s not all sunshine and rainbows though! They are both really head strong and competitive! They know exactly which buttons to push to annoy each other and argue over toys and when they’re playing games.

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I’ve made a conscious decision not to interfere when they’re arguing and have learnt that my interference not only makes the argument worse, but more importantly stops them from reaching their own resolutions to their own disagreements.

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It’s sometimes really hard not to step in when I feel one child is being particularly unkind or unfair to the other, but I don’t. I used to step in all the time, to point out what was probably obvious! I’d get them to say sorry or ask one of them to play somewhere else, or give the toy back that they had taken. I thought that was my role as their parent. Not only was it wearing and tiring for me, it really wasn’t helping them to share or be kind. It was a lose lose situation.

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Then one day, when the girls were arguing I felt really fed up of feeling like a referee all the time and wondered what would happen if I just didn’t interfere and get involved, if I just left them to it. The argument got worse before it got better and I almost stepped in to stop it, but didn’t. They eventually sorted it out for themselves. I can’t even remember what they were arguing about (but I guess that isn’t the point!) They resolved their own disagreement, one of them said ok I won’t do that any more, I can see it’s annoying you (well not actually those words, but that’s  essentially what happened.) This was the point I decided that I was not going to be the referee ever again!

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This didn’t happen overnight and it has taken months for us all to learn, that me butting in does not help or teach them to resolve things for themselves. The more I stepped back and let them solve their problems the better they became at it.

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When I stepped in and interfered, more often than not it made things worse. My involvement made it more serious than it needed to be, dragged it out for longer and all three of us were left feeling a bit grumpy. Now when the girls argue none of that happens. In a really short space of time they are playing and giggling as if the disagreement never happened. It’s because they recognise themselves if they are being unfair or unkind, they recognise that they are upsetting someone, or that someone is upsetting them and they choose what to do about it and it’s all on their terms.

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I don’t however see myself as having no role at all as a parent when my children are arguing, it’s just about me not jumping in, right in the middle of it all with my opinions. There are times when I see that one child is about to physically hurt the other (a door slam near fingers, a push off a step) at that point I do step in to tell them that it is never ok to hit, push or kick someone (I told Lottie that to physically hurt someone is illegal and she took this very seriously!) Sometimes I hear them arguing when I’m not in the room and I leave them to it, sometimes they argue while I’m there. I listen to what’s going on and only afterwards do I say something to reinforce qualities that I’d like to encourage: being kind, caring or compassionate. So I may say things like “It was good you stopped doing that Amelia, it was really upsetting Lottie.” Or “That was kind to give Amelia that toy Lottie, she did have it first and you did snatch it from her.” So I use positive reinforcement after they’ve solved the dispute for themselves.

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Again, it’s all down to trusting our children, trusting to let them have arguments and to sort those arguments out. They’re not our arguments, so why should we interfere? How will our children ever learn to resolve conflict if we never allow them the opportunity to?

Thanks for reading.
Laura. X

A day in the life…

So, I’m a few blog posts in now and you may have already read my other posts about who we are, why we decided to home educate our children and what some of our learning spaces look like. Today I thought I’d write about what one of our days actually looks like. It’s quite hard to sum up what a typical day looks like as I’m not entirely sure there is a typical day. They are all so varied and different. So here goes…

Our mornings start in quite a relaxed way with no one particularly rushing to get anywhere on time, which is just so lovely and unstressful compared to our ‘old life’ when we had to get the girls ready for school and ourselves ready for work. We’d rush around with no time to chat, snuggle, or have breakfast together. I felt so stressed and was snappy with the girls and Stu.  We’d have to be out the door by 7.45 to get to the child minder, so I could get to work by 8.15. (Stu is still up and out early, often before we’ve even woken up, but at least he only needs to get himself ready.)

Now, it’s a very different story!  The girls normally wake somewhere between 7.30 and 8am and get into bed with me. We just have snuggles and wake up slowly. This morning I read them a chapter of ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, and by then we were ready to get up.

We always get dressed before going downstairs for breakfast, otherwise it becomes too much of a chore to do it once the girls are engrossed in their play.

We go downstairs and eat breakfast together. The girls get their own bowls and spoons, pour their cereal and milk (I do put the milk in a jug, otherwise we’d have 4 pints of milk in a bowl of Shreddies!)

While we were eating breakfast today Lottie was looking at a new watch that she recently got for her birthday and was asking me why there were only 12 numbers, so we discussed why that was. She thought that it was a shame that there wasn’t a ‘rainbow o’clock’ and and asked if we could draw one. So as soon as we’d finished eating I got some big paper, crayons and a play clock (would like a real ‘learn to tell the time’ one) and both girls drew their own clocks.

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Amelia carefully writing the numbers.

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Lottie choose a gold crayon to draw a golden rainbow. (The books you can see where being used as paper weights, as the paper’s on a roll.)

I tidied away breakfast things and cleaned the kitchen a bit whilst the girls did this. Then we all went upstairs for a wash and the girls put their pjs under their pillows and ‘attempted’ to make their beds.

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They then both played in Lottie’s bedroom with Lucy (a human torso with removable internal organs!) Their new topic being the human body, after Lottie was inspired by a book in the library. They were being doctors and performing operations. I sat in the room, quietly watching, listening and observing their play. Are there any other resources they may need, is there anything I can do to enhance their play and learning, what might they be interested in learning in more detail?

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Amelia set to work on cleaning the brain whilst Lottie removed a disease (a large green marble!)

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Then got some medicine from inside a terydactyl’s mouth to make her all better, deciding that she also needed safety goggles!

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Amelia decided she’d had enough, so we went downstairs leaving Lottie to play. We’d recently bought some new chalk and that was left out on the kitchen table, so she got the chalk board and drew on it for a bit. She said she was just making pretty patterns.

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She then said she wanted the Aqua Doodle, (which we’ve had since they were tiny, but still enjoy.)

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Lottie remained playing upstairs until lunch time. This was her room after her play.

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After lunch we popped out to pick up my lovely, shiny new phone, because normal life happens too and they come with me wherever I need to go! They quite enjoyed looking at the phones and Lottie had LOTS of questions to ask the person in the shop!

We’re very lucky to live about a 15 minute drive from a beautiful,old stately home,which has a fab farm yard and adventure playground. We have an annual pass, as we go there quite a lot, so that’s where we went next.

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Spiders in their web.

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An ice cream break.

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We also looked at some newborn spring lambs and other farm animals (I didn’t manage any pics though.) Lottie got chatting to one of the stable hands who was grooming a shire horse. They had quite a chat and Lottie told him all about her horse riding lessons and what she’d learnt about horses.

When we got home the girls went straight in the garden to play with mud and plant some beans, that we’d been meaning to do for ages. Then it was dinner, bath and bedtime.

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So that was a day in the life of our home ed adventures. Sometimes we stay in, sometimes we meet up with friends, some days there are planned home ed groups. Some days we do writing, maths, art, baking. It is different every day.

I am learning to trust my children, to trust that they will learn what they need to, when they need to, in whatever way they choose. I see my role as an observer, who watches and listens to see how I can best help them to learn. Do they need resources? Can I help them do research? Can we go somewhere or speak to someone that could help? Can I set up an activity or ask them questions to further their learning, extend their thinking and inspire them a bit more!

It’s not always easy (I am secretly a control freak!), but I’m enjoying the challenge and spending precious time with my lovely girlies’!

Thanks for reading.
Laura. X

No School for Amelia

It seems a fitting day to post this, given it’s the day we find out which school Amelia got into. 

If you’ve read This Is Us you’ll know that Lottie (6) was not coping in school, so we made the decision to home ed her.  Amelia (3) was going to a school nursery each day for 3 hours. Now,  Amelia’s Nursery was fab with a child led, play based approach to learning with lots of freedom and the opportunity to be outside. Her teachers’ were knowledgeable,  enthusiastic and caring. She was enjoying her time at Nursery up until a few weeks ago,  when she started crying and getting upset about having to go.  She wasn’t hysterical or anything and once she got there was happy and had a good time, but none the less… 

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Amelia is a bright little thing and knows her own mind and what she does or doesn’t want. It had started to become a real chore to cajole her into going to Nursery. I always tried to make it exciting and always spoke to her afterwards about all the fun she’d had with her friends and teachers,  but it just wouldn’t wash with this little lady.  One morning she said to me,  “Mummy,  I just really don’t want to go to Nursery any more.  I want to stay at home with you and Lottie.”

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I listened and told her she’d have to go for a bit longer,  as I wanted everyone to be sure that Amelia leaving Nursery would be the right thing to do.  Me and Stu discussed how it would effect both children. Did the girls need some time and space away from each other? Would Amelia become reliant on Lottie too much? Would Lottie’s very strong personality over shadow her little sister’s? We thought all of this through and decided that if not going to Nursery was what Amelia needed and wanted then we’d respect her right to have an opinion and a say on what she gets to do every day.  We knew that if the girls needed time away from each other and some quiet time, then they both have their own bedrooms and plenty of space in the house and garden if that’s what was needed. 

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Amelia does look up to Lottie and they are good for each other.  Amelia quite often helps Lottie with things she struggles with,  so they help each other. Amelia is a tough little cookie in her own right and is very resiliant, resourceful and independent (having a sister like Lottie has probably helped that!)

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We had the school Easter holidays coming up,  so thought it’d be the ideal opportunity to see how it all worked in reality.  It was great!  The girls played happily together (most of the time!) And if they needed time apart then they did just go somewhere else in the house. 

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The school term started on Monday and it’s now only Thursday as I write this,  but so far,  so good. They’ve had a wonderful time playing and learning together. I actually feel it’s been better for both of them.  It’s also better in terms of our day to day lives. We don’t have to eat lunch at a certain time,  so that Amelia can get to Nursery in the afternoon.  We can plan and do whatever we feel like with our days. The day doesn’t have to be interrupted by the school run. In fact the girls seem to argue less now that they’re together more.  They always seemed to fall out when Amelia got back from Nursery (I’m not sure why?) So it’s great that that doesn’t happen any more.

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So as things stand at the moment I’ve got both my lovely girls with me, sharing adventures and having an amazing time!

Thanks for reading.
Laura. X