Wednesday, 21 March 2012

LUTT Blog Ring

I am now part of a home education blog ring and the ring is called Learning Under The Trees. I had to learn how to put the code on my blog in order for other people to follow the ring and read other members' blogs.

Welcome to any new readers who come here via the ring! This is exciting and now means I will need to be blogging more regularly :-)

We've been taking advantage of the gorgeous weather and hanging around outside, under the trees and it's been wonderful.

The girls have enjoyed it and so have I.

We have our flat travellers here from Hawaii, and my visiting flat travellers have their own blog and you can find them here. We have been learning a lot about the United States because we have been swapping flat travellers with people in Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma and now Hawaii. It's been a lot of fun.

L is going to be starting a GCSE in History within the next couple of weeks and we will be enjoying that. That will obviously take priority because there is a deadline of an exam at the end of it all.

M is reading so well, this morning she came down wearing her dirndl and had a book in her hand. She said she was Gretel and had the story of Hansel and Gretel and proceeded to read me the story. It had a lot of complex words for a five year old that you can't just sound out by using phonics.

Thought and though, enough and rough, Slough (a place in Berkshire, England pronounced to rhyme with the word for a female pig [sow for those without a farming background]).

She has discovered Zoodles which are free games that children can play and there are the characters from Sesame Street on there. I also took out a membership with Grid Club those are games that she needs me to sit with her for as they are beyond her level but I teach her as we go along and so she's learning skills that are for an older child (in the school system that is).

I have had to completely re-think my ideas on what education is and I have now successfully deschooled myself! We continued to do structured and curriculum based work during that process but now we are doing things very differently and I don't actively separate things into subjects (except the History because we have to as it's a course with an exam at the end) and we are now working on themes and doing unit studies. Unit Studies are something that you do which uses skills and knowledge from various 'subjects' across a curriculum.

For instance, if you were enamoured with the Victorians, you would study that period of history, you would be studying more than just 'History', it would include Geography (how big the Empire was then and what it looks like now and all the country names then and now), reading literature written by Victorian authors (that's your English Lit and discussion), looking at technology that was available back then and how it compares now (many of the systems that we have in place in England today are from the Victorian era) and that would be Design Technology and more than likely would include some element of Science. Listening to music that was popular back then along with new music composed in that time period incorporates another 'subject'. Looking at paintings from the era adds another component and school subject to your experience. We even tried our hand at learning handwriting the way a Victorian child would have learned in school and it is very elegant I have to say!

We have been doing things differently again to that, and L has been studying a lot of science-based things such as Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Caves, Quicksand and the Periodic Table of Elements to name a few subjects. M has been studying the various days like St Patrick's Day, Christmas, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and we've studied food and farming, plants and their needs and animals and their needs. We also do a bit on the seasons and have learned about clouds (a unit study not just standing outside and gazing up). Obviously L is older than M and so her themes and units are more complex.

Once again, welcome to any new readers from the blog ring and I look forward to reading your blogs as well. Now would anyone like a cuppa?