Friday, 25 July 2014

Summer Fun

We have been enjoying the summer sun and having some fun. We have gone to park meets with other home educators in the area and we even went to a National Trust property. We went to Dunham Massey and really enjoyed ourselves. We had a lovely picnic with some friends and we found nature's climbing frames to play on (fallen trees). We have done butterfly counting, had a birthday party, gone swimming at the local pool and went to some museums.

This year I ran two local groups one for people interested in doing lapbooks and a music group. In the music group we learned the recorder (and can play five notes now!) and guitar. M is going to go to a local recorder college in September and L will continue with the local youth brass band. The two local groups will start back up in September.

Here is a list from another home educator of summer fun ideas. Enjoy!

Monday, 19 May 2014

Sadly Neglected Blog

I have been neglecting this blog because I have been very busy with both of my daughters' education.

This year is an important year for L with all of her exams that she is doing and so I have been driving her to and from school each day. I've been supporting her with her exam revision and making sure that she gets to the right activity on the right day for the right time.

I've also been supporting another young person with an IGCSE that they are working on in addition to attending school full time. It's very intense!

M has moved on from the Solar System and now we are studying Oceans. We did a lapbook from In the Hands of a Child called Under The Sea. It's a multi-level/age/ability project pack. It is for Grades K to 2 (K = Kindergarten or Year 1 [5 years turning 6] and Grade 2 is Year 3 [7 turning 8]. It covers the types of sea creatures, the four oceans and acknowledges that some people consider there to be five oceans [Southern Ocean is not classed as an ocean by some scientists/oceanographers].

We are studying another type of ocean unit study by Simple Schooling called Let's Learn About Oceans which is a unit study that I found on Currclick. It is for multiple ages and has 19 units which have reinforcement activities for reading comprehension. We will move on to In the Hands of a Child's Ocean Habitats project pack. I think Under The Sea gives a good starting point to studying about the oceans and the next one takes it farther.

We are enjoying the sunshine and going out to play while the school day is on.

We attend music group and lapbook group each week and it's really nice to have those activities.

Until next time :-)

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Solar System Lapbooks

This term we are working our way through the Solar System at the lapbook group I run. We have a few new people coming this term which is nice for us. We are working our way through 15 lapbooks starting with the Sun and working our way to Pluto and other dwarf planets. It's a short and sweet entry today. :-)

Friday, 20 December 2013

Lapbooking, GCSEs and College Places

This school year I am running a weekly lapbooking group for M and other children around her age. The group is free because I found a free venue and the parents stay with their children and work with them. It makes it a learning experience for the family.

This term we covered the human body and did 11 lapbooks on various parts of the body. The final lapbook we did at home which was on the body systems. I thought it would take longer to do than the others as there was more cutting out to do and writing.

We worked our way through this bundle: Human Body Bundle by homeschool bits.

We did them in this order:

Human Body: Skeleton

Human Body: Joints

Human Body: Muscles

Human Body: Brain

Human Body: Heart

Human Body: Lungs

Human Body: Senses

Human Body: Stomach

Human Body: Intestines

Human Body: Cells

Human Body: Body Systems

In January we will be working on the Solar System Bundle which has 15 lapbooks in it.

We have not been using Easy Peasy very much as M's preferred way of learning is with lapbooks. Even when M isn't at lapbooking group, she still does lapbooks at home.

L is now working on more GCSEs and is at school finishing the last few off. She has three offers for college places next September. She chose this particular school and the staff there have been enthusiastic about working with three formerly home educated teens. She and two of her friends started there in September. They said that these three really want to learn and it is nice to work with people who have such a positive attitude to learning.

Today is the last day of term for the schools but we all know that learning never stops.

Have a Merry Christmas, a Blessed Yule (whichever you celebrate) and all the best for 2014.


Friday, 25 October 2013

Laugh and the World Laughs With You

I think jokes play a very important part of education and life in general. There are many types of comedy and jokes. We've learned about satire, parody, slapstick, and hyperbole to name a few.

Jokes are a wonderful tool for teaching literacy skills because some jokes have to be said aloud to be understood and some are best read or seen, as I found out this morning.

Let's look at this joke:

A man moved to Ireland because he got a job. He needed a new clock and it was a special kind of clock.

He went to the first shop on the street and asked if they sold potato clocks. The clerk told him no.

He went to the second shop, asked the same thing, the clerk told him no.

He went to every shop on the street and word started to get around.

He walked in, and asked if they sold potato clocks. The clerk said they didn't but then asked him why he was going into every shop and asking for a potato clock. He said we sell cuckoo clocks, carriage clocks, grandfather clocks, alarm clocks... what is a potato clock?

He said, "I don't know, but I start my new job at nine tomorrow, and my boss said 'You'd better get a potato clock."

A few people didn't get it because this joke needs to be heard to be understood. I had to type out the the other way of saying the punch line and then they got it (You'd better get up at eight o'clock).

This joke is joke that is funny whether it is heard or read:

Joe was driving through a little town and lost his way. He stopped someone and asked them for directions.

Joe said, "Can you tell me the quickest way to London from here?"

The man replied, "Are you walking or driving?"

Joe said, "Driving."

The man said, "That'll be the quickest way."

I enjoy a good joke and my favourite type of joke is of course the pun. I love playing with words and hearing how people react (or reading in the case of a Facebook share).

I will leave you with The One Ronnie to give you a good laugh or groan :-)

Now it's your turn to go and find a funny joke to comment on my post. Let's see who can come up with the best groaner. A joke a day keeps the doctor away because laughter is the best medicine.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Easy Peasy is Easy Peasy for the Parents

M has been working through an online curriculum called Easy Peasy All in one Homeschool. I like how everything is planned out day by day and we just go to the computer and look at what the day's subjects and tasks are.

The curriculum is set out with the subjects divided into two sections on the website. First you work on a 'level' (not a grade or school year but level). In the level, you have English, Math, Computer and Logic (Thinking). English is divided into Reading, Spelling, Writing, Grammar, Vocabulary, and finally, Speech and Speaking.

The second component of the curriculum is the program year. There are four years (three of which are complete) and in those years you have History, Science, Music, Art and PE. A daily Bible passage is also included in the year program. The program year is meant to be used to teach multiple grade levels/ages together. The program year has two levels in it, Level L which is for elementary (Grades 1-4 or Years 2-5 in the British system) and Level M which is for Grades 5-8 or Years 6-9).

As the program year is intended to be used with multiple levels and ages there are times when it is too advanced for M and if I had a child in the Grade 4 age bracket there might be times where it would not be advanced enough. I am not particularly worried because I can either explain it to her, or we can skip over it because I know it will be covered again if we are working at the upper level in a few years from now.

Easy Peasy is easy for the parents because all of the planning is done and it's very easy to access everything, and at the same time it challenges the children and is fun for them.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeasy

We started working through the Easy Peasy All-in-One-Homeschool curriculum which can be found here. It is a 180 day curriculum that has subjects laid out in a nice format.

We are working on Year 1 which is a programme of study for History, Science, Music, Art, PE and Health along with the main level which has English (which includes reading, writing, spelling, vocabulary, speech and speaking and grammar), Math, Thinking/Logic and Computer.

I do find that some of the History and Science is a bit advanced because it is meant to be covered with multiple grade levels (1st Grade to 4th Grade) but as I am working 1:1 with M it just means that I have to explain things when she doesn't understand them.

Yesterday we did a reading test and M who is not yet 7 has a reading age of 12 (Grade 7 or Year 8)! I find that fascinating. I looked at the list of high frequency words that children in British schools are expected to use and know by the end of Year 5 (age 10 or Grade 4) and she knew those words at the age of 4. Her reading age has come up two full years this year.

Given that this curriculum is more advanced than what they are doing in schools, I think her reading age will come up again by the end of this 180 days (however long it takes to complete the 180 days).

We have finished all of our lessons for the day and we are off out to the playground just because we can. Enjoy your day!