Home education review: Reading Chest

Talitha’s been trying out and thoroughly enjoying a levelled book subscription service called Reading Chest. The idea is that your child receives books in the post and when they finished reading them, they put them in supplied envelopes and pop them in a post box to receive more. She’s actually a proficient reader now so she doesn’t need levelled readers. She’s just finished reading The Railway Children, borrowed from the library, for instance. However, she’s enjoying the Reading Chest’s “Extended Readers Book Band”. They’re fun, quick reads and I like that they often raise interesting points for conversation, especially if…

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Eight reasons we home educate

I started this post on a day that took it out of me. I’d texted a friend earlier admitting that I was finding everything too hard, that school looked like an attractive option. And actually, come September, I could have two kids in school since Ophelia would be reception-aged. Almost as soon as I’d offloaded and she’d empathised, though, I knew that I didn’t mean it, as is often the way. The reasons we homeschool run deep, our third year in. Every now and then someone asks why we home educate. I wrote a little bit about it back when…

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Our homeschooling month – October

November is well underway but I don’t want to miss the opportunity to look back on what we got up to in October. Reflecting helps me to make sense of what our lives look like right now. Yet I’m also cautious because I would hate for someone to misconstrue this as any kind of “how to”. The shape of our home education mirrors the shape of our family in whatever season we happen to be in. For this reason, comparison is unhelpful. That said, I like seeing what other people get up to and perhaps the same is true for…

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Starting history with my six year old

We’ve changed a few things in our routines over the past couple of months and one of the things we’ve enjoyed adding in has been a history curriculum. Talitha’s at an age now where she’s really interested in different historical eras and can start holding onto and arranging this information. Following something just allows us to make sure to make time for it and keep it going. So I’ve been reading her Story of the World and using the activity book that goes with it to give us ideas of how to take things further. She’s also started a monthly…

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Beautiful reads for kids – Storytime magazine

I love a good print subscription. We have a few for the kids and they get such a rush opening the post and looking through new magazines when they arrive. Magazines often throw things up for us to explore further or new activities to try. In the past, we’ve mostly done science and nature ones but every now and then I’d eye up a fiction magazine. I finally got my chance to get a closer look when Storytime asked if we’d like to review their magazine. The illustrations are fresh, colourful and quirky, in the style of modern storybooks. The…

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Our homeschooling month – September

September brought with it that predictable back-to-school feeling, even though we don’t particularly pay school terms much mind. Learning is woven into our living. A book is read while a baby is fed, French phrases are practised conversationally over meals, giving and spending pocket money sparks addition, subtraction and multiplication. We don’t do school at home. Yet after a summer of disruption, with visitors coming through and home ed groups pausing, we’ve been craving routine again. The weeks are gradually taking a recognisable shape as we refine where to go and what to commit to. We’re probably doing more groups…

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Why give children “real” art supplies

Moving into another year of home education, I’ve been reevaluating our approach to the way I offer the kids art opportunities. It’s changed so many times. I’d set up an art station with everything available so they could help themselves then move things in sight but out of reach so they needed to ask me to reach them. Then I’d totally revert. There’s been paint on cushions and glitter embedded in carpet. There’ve been times when I’ve needed to ask a baby to give me a pair of scissors left on the floor by a preschooler who’s moved on to…

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