100 Ways To Home Ed: A Week In Our Life

Today I’d like you to join us to see what a typical week is like in our family. This post is being written as part of a series, #100waysofhomeed, in which home educators give you a glimpse into their daily lives. We are all part of a blog hop (see all the previous posts here) and each day a different family will write about how they educate their children. Yesterday we heard from The Purple Sheep about world schooling which is something we would love to do but maybe on a more part time basis.

Our family is probably a little different from most of the families you will hear from as we are grandparents to the children we home educate. We have special guardianship of them so we have full control over their education.

We started off using a structured approach when we took the eldest (Abbie) out of school when she was 10 and in year 5. The very first morning we worked out a timetable which covered the majority of the school curriculum, which we thought it was best to stick with. Well that was what we thought at the time, it lasted for a month at most!

Now 21 months and quite a few changes later, we are following a semi structured approach, and Abbie, who is now 12 has also been joined by her younger sister Jess who is 9. Apart from some set subjects our weeks vary and there is no such thing as a typical week, so I’ll tell you about the last 7 days:

We don’t tend to work on Saturday’s as the children normally visit their cousins. This week though we didn’t go and Abbie decided to write a blog post on the whales that beached in New Zealand a few days before (she does write a fair bit on animals – blogs by the way form part of our teaching, the idea is that it helps with their grammar spelling and punctuation etc, not to mention keyboard skills), and Jess finished off the gingerbread house she was making from an empty cereal box. Abbie then decided to make some Rocky Road and wrote another blog post on that.

Rocky Road

Sunday as we were staying in, I let them choose what they wanted to do. I was expecting them to play on the PS3 all day but they surprised me! Abbie decided to make croutons while Jess was learning online with Prodigy Maths and Nessy Reading. After that they sat down to watch a couple of episodes of Inside Natures Giants.

Probably should mention at this point that we use any and every resource that we can think of to help us, this includes documentary programs and educational sites that we find on the net, we are also teaching the children cookery, which in our view is an essential life skill (it also helps with weights and measures), plus the children enjoy it. Add to this helping with our business accounts and basic website building and they are getting quite a rounded education.

Actually Abbie has always enjoyed baking, but has now asked if she can start cooking full meals. I’m assuming that she has an interest due to seeing us making meals from scratch on a daily basis. But, I suppose it might the fact she hates our cooking and so wants to learn to cook herself so she doesn’t have to eat ours!

On Monday we were back to our ‘normal’ routine. They both do maths and English most days, Jess loves history so we quite often fit that in for her. Abbie likes science so that is a part of her daily routine. Another big part of the day involves a walk. We are taking part in the #Walk1000Miles challenge to complete that in our 12 month timescale we have to walk just over 19 miles every week. I try to do a fun activity when I can and today it was building a bridge from spaghetti that would hold a bag of sugar.

Spaghetti Bridge

Tuesday was pretty much the same as Monday with the maths, English & the walk (we did 6 miles today) but we also did drawing. Both children did an animal fact sheet that involves drawing an animal of their choice and then researching some interesting facts about it which include its diet and where it lives. Abbie also read about the digestive system and drew it.

Wednesday is our busy day, it starts quite early with a 30 minute drive to a home ed parkour class. Once we get home we have a quick bite to eat and then out for a 3 mile walk. We have our evening meal early as Abbie has to leave for St John ambulance cadets just after 4.30. We don’t do any ‘sit down’ work on Wednesdays but we do talk as we are walking around which could be anything from identifying a new bird or a discussion about pollution and the hole in the ozone layer.

We went to see another home educating family on Thursday afternoon. Before we went Jess did maths and some more on her lapbook about volcanoes, Abbie spent the morning doing GCSE maths & some physics. It was nice to sit down and talk to another adult, other than my husband, and the children enjoy spending time with their friends. But, the learning for the day wasn’t over. Abbie spent a couple of hours making a chicken & vegetable soup from scratch, then croutons to go with it and finished off with a banana cake.

Today will be some more GCSE maths and biology for Abbie and I’m hoping that Jess will complete her lapbook, and will also be spending some time on Nessy numbers. As we’ve just got a boxset of the Victorian & Edwardian Farms & the Victorian Pharmacy I think we might have a few hours watching those in the afternoon.

For our family having a semi structured approach seems to be the best for us. The children have a sense of direction and we have found they work better when they have an idea of what they doing on a daily basis. We have the freedom to change things around as and when we want to but it is a constantly evolving process.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about how home education looks for us. Coming up on Monday is the lovely Elin at Elin Sion.

#100daysofhomeed – Week One

Taking part in #100daysofhomeed has encouraged me to take photo’s of the things the children do on a daily basis.  It’s amazing how much they do that I don’t even register as learning.

This week while we were taking part in the #walk1000miles challenge, we have identified trees and worked out the age of trees plus learned the names of a couple of new water fowl that we didn’t know before.

They’ve met up with other home educated children at the local park and also at parkour. A lot of painting and baking seems to have happened this week plus a few blog posts. And all the usual English, maths, science and history of course.

I wondered what would happen today as I didn’t ask them to do anything at all. I was quite surprised though as Abbie asked if she could make some croutons to go with the chicken soup that we made yesterday, Jess asked to go onto Prodigy maths and then they both asked if they could watch a couple of episodes of Inside Nature’s Giants.

All in all not a bad week.

 

It’s Wednesday Again!

Since Jess joined us at home, mornings have been a lot more relaxed. No rushing to get up, dressed and out by 8.40, unless we have a meeting or trip to go to. Apart from Wednesday’s.

Wednesday is busy from start to finish. The children have to be up by 8.30 at the latest, that doesn’t sound too bad, unless you have an Abbie! This strange creature doesn’t seem to like surfacing before 10am (11 if she can get away with it). I now try and organise things to start after this time where possible as she’s like a bear that’s been woken early from hibernation when she’s made to get up and she doesn’t want to.

We have to leave the house just after 9.30 (this will change to 9 in a few weeks but I’ve not given her the bad news yet) to get to their parkour session. The 30 minute drive though gives her time to properly wake up.

We got home again just after 12 and grab a bite to eat then it’s out walking. We try to do a minimum of 3 miles a day as part of our #walk1000miles challenge. We did 4 miles today but Jess cheated today as she took her scooter 🛴  😠

Back home again after the walk and we have around an hour until Abbie goes to St John ambulance cadets. Tonight they were doing casualty simulation and Abbie did a bullet wound on her friend with latex. I’m impressed!

 

Parkour & A Very Busy Day

We’d read about parkour on one of the home education groups. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a child’s version of free running. Both Abbie & Jess wanted to try it and so we went to our first session this morning. The girl’s loved it, this is an excerpt from Abbie’s blog post:

” It was honestly LOADS better than I thought, and the instructors were quite nice as well. I can do a lot more than I thought I could. There’s a huge pit as well full of foam, so you could either jump off the baby ramp (like Jess did) or you could climb up to the high one (about 2m up), the first step is easy the second on too…. but the third is very hard to get on but it’s worth it when you jump off!!!!”

We will be going back as I think the children will make my life unbearable if we don’t.

After we got home it was a quick bit to eat then out for a walk as part of our #Walk1000miles challenge. We managed just over 3.5 miles so not too bad.

It’s now almost 5pm and I’m finally sat down, Tom has just taken Abbie to St John ambulance cadets so her day won’t be over until around 8 when she gets home.