Sunday, 31 January 2010

any derbyshire home educators out there?

have done loads of research on internet blogs etc but am struggling to find uk families, especially in derbyshire/east mids area would love to hear from you and check my blog.


we had another day at grannys doing our good deed shopping etc. L was very good around the supermarket, as it can be quite a handful at times looking after him/and/or my sister who is either in a wheelchair or crutches.


all the family had a lovely day out at thorpe cloud, dove dale. the weather was cold and sunny but we managed to get everyone out and in the car so thats always a bonus and we got there this week after a failed attempt last weekend (despite the satnav!)

we walked along the river pointing out lots of ice puddles, rock falls and icicles that had formed then walked around thorpe cloud itself attempting to climb. we stopped 1/2 way up to have a hot choc, it was freezing.

then moved on swiftly when somemore walkers approached at L's request. we set of to the summit first losing dad who was cold (as usual), then we lost j & b who i thought had carried on to the top. i was panicking at this point as heights are not my thing so i had intended not to go to the top but i was stuck 3/4 up with L who was determined to go to the top and i had no one to pass him on to. eventually dad turned up so they carried on to the top. L was so proud he had done it and kept telling the girls who we later discovered had carried on going around the hill and not climbed any further up.

we even managed to find the car park again without having to go back the way we came. what is wrong with our family days do not normally turn out this good!!

anyway a great day for all and we learned alot too - the girls are starting to see how we relate learning into everyday life for L, i keep asking in they would like to stay at home too - but they are happy in high school.

perhaps my dreams of being a mother hen with all my chicks around me has passed me by. oh well just me and L then!!!!!!!!!!!

we are making much more effort as a whole family now anyway as i am not working to accomodate leo being at home, I am less stressed and have more time and energy for everyone. result its only taken me 40 years to work this out.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

how to motivate a 7 year old.

have spent today at home again. I have been continuning to let L lead the way in what we cover. He is very keen on going on youtube at the moment so we started the morning sitting in "the big bed" (mum and dad's) and watched some spangler science. he is usually very open to doing quiet things such as reading att this time.

did not do any reading as dad and b were around to go to dentist. we got dressed and went ninto town with them and walked the dog around the park - and i promised to get some ingredients for science experients. although i had explained i did not want to carrying things around we ended up going shopping first then to the park - i can;t always be bothered with the battle when he gets an idea in his head.

we then went home as b felt sick after dentists appointment. got be settled then we did some science - leo is very keen on this at moment.

then we went and sat in his room and did some more exercise books - he got one of the answers wrong by rushing in and not thinking so it took alot of encourgaement to keep him going. we then went on to doing more of his indiana jones story as again that gets him writing abit and he like drawing pictures for stories. whilst doing this i have found it is a good opportunity to read something on the topics to stretch his imagination so we have been reading about egypt and hidden treasures etc. however i seemed to go off at a tangent and starting reading about the solar system and every so often he would comment so i know some of it is being taken in.

anaother succesful day. we finished off with more computer time and he has learnt how to get onto internet and type in web address, then we had a go on wii lego batman.

he seemed alot calmer this evening when rest of family got home from work/school so i think it is having some benefit so far from being at home.

would love to hear from any other homeschoolers, especially uk as i am having troubl e finding you.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

its a family affair


we are all trying to come to terms with what homeschooling a child can be and the impact on the rest of the family - in our case our family consists of 2 older siblings, mum, dad and the youngest who we have recently decided to homeschool.

after attempting a typical sunday morning outing and it all going wrong we realised we needed to all understand what is happening and why? and how it will affect the family as a whole? how the kids will all be affected and the fact I will be losing an income so financial restrictions will of course be imposed - alot to ask the 2 older girls - after all what will they get out of it.

as someone said on anohter blog i was reading - i am afriad to say there are good adn bad points that need to be considered and ironed out when homeschooling some/all of your children.


me and L went to grannys for day and had went to the park whilst there so we get outdoor activity time.

B made cooking so we went to local supermarket to get stuff for that - need to try and make an effort with the girls to make quality time so they do not feel left out now because L is at home more. I think we have always tried to do things as a family such as walks at the weekend etc and it is getting harder to get all motivated with same things when there is such a big difference - more 1 to 1 time with them all may benefit more.


L was less keen to work today and took a bit more encourage the sparkle of being at home with mummy is losiing its shine.

however, we did do plenty but its shows how important it is to follow his lead adn not have an hidden agenda. we watched some of his alphabet video he likes - it is circa 1980 carol vorderman but he likes it. we also did some english and science from activity books which inspired us to do some more science experiements in the kitchen with household ingredients such as oil, etc to see how things dissolved in hot/cold water - we even found an old snowball in the freezer!!

When he started to get fed up with writign and stuff we watched some children's school programmes I had taped on tv luckily there was one for older kids about a dad who wrote comics so it was right up his street even though it was aimed at older kids.

I am finding it works best if i follow his lead but have some ideas/resources available to go through. Although he is 7 we want to encourage learnign and reading if possible as and when he is ready to do so any opportunity he can. We have also had a coupel of sessions on youtube so have used this to practise it skills and typing. variety is the spice of life.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

getting to know you .......mainstream/home ed familiies

A nice relaxing day was had by all the family.

In the morning me and hubby went to ikea to get a bookshelf for leo;s room to organise books and study materials. I need to get more organised as i am so overwhelmed with the amount of resources there are out there so need to set up some systems to remember - and to work out this blogging system.

All the kids stayed at home and the 2 elder girls had their friends round who have moved away so it was nice to catch up with them for the day.

I can now blog but I can't seem to find them easily. This week has been a great week in terms of really having the time to get to know leo and recognise his little ways and how to handle him or work with him instead of sometimes against him when we have been short of time. It seems to be the route of all evil.

Having read blogs today of pro/anti homeschooling when people seem to think it is selfish for parents to do this and there is plenty of time to spend with kids after schoo. I totally disagree our experience has been that they get in from school and need down time to get home from, it is then a battle to find time of dinner, quality family time and homework.

We need to now focus on finding quality time for the girls as well as they are very happy in school with a large group of friends but it would be nice to get to know them better and have as much quality time as can be made with leo.

By the way he freaked out about the shelf in his room at first as he doesn;t like anthing different and I had also bought a clock that was too loud - but he came around eventually.

Oh well we will see what tomorrow brings.

how do those people get the balance when they have kids that are homeschooled adn mainstream educated? would be interested to hear.

Friday, 22 January 2010

homeschool week 1

After doing lots of research on teaching styles and philosophies we decided we should follow my son;s leaad as he had already demonstrated his reluctance to learn. However we decided to have some strucute based on topics around his favourite interests Spiderman, Batman, Xmen and Iron Man so we ordered to reading books for beginners from Amazon.

Monday we went to visit the family who require support as their carer - LC looked forward to this although sometimes he does not like visiting even people he knows well. We visited the park on the way there where I had grown up and played on a roundabout which suddently became a science expierent about gravity - our 1st homeschool unplanned life experience. Whilst travelling in the car both ways he also drew a picture about spiderman and used his whiteboard I had bought him to spell batman. a good start so far.

Tuesday we visited relatives again so more socialising he also took his lego batman Wii to show granny. Did some more work on whiteboard.

Wednesday our first day at home - we woke up ususal time so at 7.30 am instead of up and ready for school we watched some Steve Spangler science on youtube. I then had to take my daugher to dentist at 9am then son to docs for constipation meds. Reading books came so we read together nearly 2 books of 30 words each, he would not even look at old school books thought they were boring. we had a relaxing afternoon watching iron man as his constipation was bad.

Thursday - up at 7.30 am we watched more science programmes, read rest of reading books and started his first blog typing himself - all by 9.30 am. Then we took the dog for a walk but the park near us has now closed so he had a panic, I tried to distract him walking aroud our estate looking at house numbers and road signs but he wasn't happy until we were in view of our house as it was an unfamiliar route we had taken.

When we got back I got a kids atlas out and we read about maps and drew our own street map game. Then he asked to write a story about indiana jones in his new exercise book i had got for homeschooling. normally he does/will not write so positve leading from him again. Later we watched some kids programmes i had taped, one was on climbing snowdonia/maps what a coincidence and he asked to go walking at wekend and find a mountain - wow another request - we strucggle to get him out becuase of coat/shoe issues and public places. I was shattered by 2pm my first lesson was i realised you need to pace yourself as they are learning taking in much more with one to one and do not want to overload him.

Friday - visited relatives again. took granny shopping as decided we would not do any specific school work today. then decided to come home and have some quiet time on youtube/computer.

wow what a week!!! roll on next week!!!!!!!!!!!!!

new beginnings - home school 1st week.

What a week.

Last week after much consideration we decided to home school our 7 year old son. From the time he started preschool he has hated in - but once you- get him the system you can't get out as they try and up your play sessions without realising you have choices. Although it can also be a time when parents may secretly think - yippee its m tyime now.

However after months of dragging him and the leader asking why we won;t wear a coat in the middle of winter, we then followed on to primary school and reception class. At his trial day he already decided he didn;t want to queue for school dinners and wanted to take packed lunch. Reception was a crosss between again dragging him in and some ok days - he was invited to parties and had his own but these were not enjoyable experiences for him or us. He hated the noisy play areas when they played the loud birthday songs and loads of kids were running around, although he had enjoyed quiet visits with me when other kids were at school as a toddler.

Then in Year 1 we asked teacher for a meeting to discuss his reading as he could still not read and showed no interest in sitting down to do any schoolwork at home - in fact it took us all everning to calm him down after the day. After meetings had been put off with absent teachers etc we finally saw a teacher April towards the end of year 1 with a child pysch and we mentioned some of the above. We tried to steer the meeting towards the question could there be something here (dyslexia etc) but the school/pysch said they did not like to label/assess until 7 so would review in sept/oct when he had had time to settle in year 2 when we all agreed to try harder wiht his reading.

In year 2 he spent most of sept with swine flu systems et and constipation, then we had the bad snow during december/jan. Finally after 2 weeks of snow in january and my son asking everyday if it was school. Sometimes we could say no, sometimes we did not know as "watch this space" was issued until 10 am then changed to closed. We had had that many parents complain of school closure they were scared to and again this did not help our son psych. himself up for the day. He also got severe constitpation again during that 2 weeks had we had multiple dr apts.

We finally decided why are we doing this to him and ourselves when it is severly affecting his health physically and mentally so we decided to remove him.