reflections from our home learning journey 2/2

This term i can see is going to be one where days may seem long but weeks are going to disappear before we know it. This one seems to have disappeared along with any sleep but hey ho. Right now in this moment 3 children are actually asleep which then begs the question why am I not but somewhere in the midst of it all I wanted some time awake remembering who i am.

We are all still working out what our days look like as Mark is not in full time work at the moment though he has plenty to keep him busy. It has helped though as he has been able to help out with dentist and osteopath appointments and it has meant lessons have stayed on track this week despite the interruptions of appointments.

Two highlights for me this week have been Bob’s writing, while he generally hates writing and will not even attempt to write regardless of spelling he has done really well with the dictation exercises he has had. This is a new part of the material we have carried on using from last year. He is still not keen to sit at the desk to write and needs to constantly move, but he has done really well with this which was one part of the handwriting i was least looking forward to. The other highlight was his maths review lesson today. Friday’s lessons allow him to show me how well he has been learning during the week by himself. Normally maths requires me to sit and watch him and often write down the answers he comes to, he settled down and got on with it. While he often knows the theory of what he is doing he is just not slow enough to pay attention to what he is actually doing and so often writes down any number even if he has told me the correct one. It was good to see that he actually has been learning though, so I know that I need to not worry too much about his ability but help him be more diligent in his work. A lesson I remember my parents and teachers trying to teach me.

With exploring nature this week we have been looking for mini beasts but on our home ed group walk they must have all heard us coming as we basically found none but today while gardening Zog and I came across the most amazing caterpillar (Vapourer Moth) only to learn that it would not turn into a beautiful butterfly but rather a dull brown moth. A friend then told us that often the most amazing caterpillars turned into the least exciting while the most unassuming of caterpillars turned into beautiful butterflies. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orgyia_antiqua

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We have been looking at Pluto this week and no doubt more will need to be done as reports in the news this week indicate that the photos sent back do not match with what was expected. We have also added our model of Pluto to the solar system pictures the boys are making.

We are continuing are studies in art on Picasso and the boys decided they wanted to copy his rose and blue period so got themselves set up outside with a copy of one his works and paints and had a fantastic afternoon painting. The actual lesson did not have artwork with the next session but they were so caught up in it we ceased the moment and it lasted an hour which was wonderful. Bob did not paint on his side but the computer is not accepting my edit of the photo to turn it the right way round.

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There is as ever much learning and growing to do in character as well and we seem to be up against boys finding new levels of identity and dynamics so that brings with it plenty of new challenges for them and us to navigate and sadly I have missed the heart on many occasions this week thanks to lack of sleep. Kanga also keeps pushing limits and while she is still not bothered by the use of actual clear words she has no problem in communicating and making her opinions and desires known. Zog continues to enjoy dipping in and out of his folder of weekly activities from letter of the week from confessions of a homeschooler as well endless hours drawing.

One aspect of home education that came to mind this week and may not have a correlation with home education as such but that the context of it allows for it to happen more naturally, is in regard to friendships. It struck me after another mum was sharing with me the struggles of playground friendships and I considered the lack of friendship issues we have encountered in the home educating circle. It may be that we have simply been very blessed with the friends we are home educating with. (though we are blessed in that our children have some great friends).But I also wondered if there was a greater security in the friendships and while we need to work through dynamics when a new family has joined us, many of the friendships are done within family contexts and so the children know not just the ‘friend’ as such but siblings and at least one of the parents really well. So while we often give them room to work through disagreements though on hand if things are too complicated or someone is very clearly hurt (though that has not yet happened thankfully) there is not the same drop you and ignore you attitude that can occur in the playground and I wonder if that is because the friendship context is wider and more secure with the inclusion of whole families building friendships and speaking into each others children lives as well as our own?

Right, three children are still sleeping and I have had some time to stop and breathe and the ironing can wait, so I am going to go to sleep too.

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