OK, so this update is a little overdue but since the big educational centrepiece of the month was the appearance of the girls’ new baby sister, I reckon I’m allowed to be late. I’m hoping to soon write about all my big reflections from our first year of “officially” home educating.
Talitha has a pretty even split of friends who go to school and who are home educated so she’s well accustomed to telling people that she’s “homeschooled” (“home educated” is too long to say, she tells me). She’s also excited about being in “Year 1” though it doesn’t really mean that much here as we move according to her abilities and interests, as well as the rhythms of family life. To her, it means she’s growing up. I’m so aware that she is. I am challenged by what it’s going to mean, keeping up with her this year.
That I mostly look forward to that reminds me that this is once again the right choice for our family. We have a lot happening this year that home educating fits well with. I’ll hopefully be able to share that soon too. For now, on to a little of what we got up to in the month of July (what I remember at the moment anyway!).
Like most young children, the girls are always fascinated with stopping to notice the small things. They’re always asking me what things are called and more often than I’d like, I don’t know the answer, so we take a picture and they look them up in our books at home or we have a look online.
A week before Delilah was born we took a walk in Leigh Woods which I actually had to coax Talitha into by offering to print out a nature scavenger hunt. She loves having a list to tick! I gave Ophelia one too and they both had great fun finding different things in the forest, especially birds. We had some time just being quiet and listening carefully then talking about what we’d heard. The girls even got to build their first den.
They’ve also done quite a lot of nature walking with Laurence, which saw Talitha start a nature journal and he took them to a nature spotting session with the RSPB at democratic community The Garden, in Bristol.
Words and numbers
We actually haven’t done much in the way of formal work for a while as Laurence has been around more than usual and we’ve fallen out of routine. I was pretty tired and distracted towards the end of pregnancy and have been a wee bit, um, busy, since. But late July Talitha started bringing books to me and surprising me by reading them. They were books we’d laid aside weeks before because she was finding them too difficult.
Then I realised that she is almost constantly working on reading in moments alone. She’s also reading lots to Ophelia. She’s still in the process of figuring out that she can read quite a lot, which is interesting to see. Ophelia is now insisting on “reading self” by making up little stories to go with the pictures.
Adding, subtracting and counting in twos and tens are games of Talitha’s own making. Ophelia continues to count everything and the two can now decently play certain board games together with a bit of support.
Other than that, we’ve just done bits and pieces off the cuff as we get a pocket of time when the mood strikes, as with this Olympics print out from Twinkl.
Chapter book of the month
We had to abandon The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe in the end as Talitha was just finding it too scary. She kept worrying about what would happen when they eventually found Mr Tumnus and the white witch. So I figured that what happens to Aslan at the stone table might be a bit too much just now. Instead, she asked to read The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton. She was so taken with The Magic Faraway Tree that her godfather and his family bought her its prequel for her birthday. She’s enjoying spotting familiar, well-loved characters as they’re introduced in the book.
With Laurence around and me needing a fair bit of space, the girls have spent a lot of time gardening. They harvested their potatoes from the Grow Your Own Potatoes scheme and have observed butterflies and bees taking in their wildflowers from a Kew Gardens’ educational project we started back in April. They’ve also done much else with him, planting, weeding, harvesting. This is an exciting time of year when the garden gives us almost all the vegetables we eat.
Ballet and music
With the term ending, Talitha finished another year of ballet, complete with a big show. At her age, it really is just a bit of fun but she takes it quite seriously and never wants to miss a class. Having to get dressed up in different costumes and performed learned routines for a big audience was extremely exciting for her. She’s also finished her first term with Blackbird Early Years Music and is keen to keep going with that.
I think things will continue to be easygoing over the next month as my hands are full of newborn, my mother is staying with us for the summer holidays and Laurence is away at least one day a week with work. By necessity, we will have to do some structured work as Talitha is actively requesting it, though. We will probably get back into routine at some point in the new “term” but with a new baby, I can’t say for sure what that will look like. There’s a lot of learning in rolling with that too, for all of us.
Do you home educate? Please do consider linking up any post about something you’ve been up to below. All approaches welcome! x
Other posts in this series:
Every month, I’ll give a little update on what we’ve been up to as part of This Homeschooling Life, a new linky I’m hosting with blogger friends Jess, Polly and Laura. If you blog, consider linking up.
This Homeschooling Life is a linky sharing a week, a day or even just a moment from your life as a homeschooling family. We are hoping it will be a great way to discover new blogs and learn how we all do things differently.
The linky will open at 8am on the first Monday of every month and, throughout the rest of the month, the hosts will share your posts on their social media channels.
1. Link back to one of the hosts. You will find the code for the badge at the bottom or if you prefer you can use a text link.
2. Link up a post from your month, no more than 3.
3. Link directly to a specific post, not your main blog.
4. Follow the hosts on at least one of their social media platforms.
5. Visit and comment on some of the other blogs linking up.
6. If you share on social media then you can use the #thishomeschoolinglife so we can all find each other.