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.

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!

 

#Walk1000Miles Challenge – End Of The First Month

Well, we did it. We got to the end of January and we walked everyday. If the weather was really bad we just walked to the local shops, the long way round, which can be as much as a 2 1/2 mile round trip.  We’ve been out in the rain, high winds and temperatures of -2  but I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed every walk.

The walks also act as a replacement for the school PE sessions the children miss from being home educated. A 3 miles walk and 30 minutes on the play equipment in the park more than make up for a couple of 30 minutes sessions they would have at school. Abbie has mild asthma and used to get out of breath regularly when we walked and also got ‘stitches’ in her side quite often.  All that seems to be changing after such a short time, no more stitches and she can walk a lot further without stopping.

The walks are also very useful as topic starters. We have spoken about so many things over the last 4 weeks ranging from evergreen trees through to the hole in the ozone layer and so many things in between. In seems that almost everyday we see something that sparks a conversation and quite often a project to do at home.

Now the important information, the mileage:

I managed 113.62 miles

Abbie did 104.46 miles

Jessie did 105.36 miles

I should point out that these are ‘boots on’ miles, we only count the mileage where we have purposely gone out for a walk. Miles around the house aren’t taken into account. it is amazing how many you do. Just in case anyone is interested my total mileage for the month was 228.14 miles WOW!!! This is just me, I just keep track of all my fitbit miles.  I make sure I do a minimum of 5 (fitbit) miles a day, even if that means that I end up jogging around the kitchen at 10pm to make sure I get to my target (and yes I’ve done this several times).

I’ve taken so many photographs and it was so hard to choose but here are a few of my favourite photo’s from January:

#Walk1000Miles Challenge Week 1 Totals

We went out walking everyday this week, only local walks though. Jess managed to go for a walk  everyday which made her happy as she didn’t think she could o it.  We saw a couple of interesting birds but the weather was wet and miserable most days so not many scenic shots.

Blackbird with partial albinism

Blackbird with partial albinism

Treecreeper

Treecreeper

The 1000 miles sounds very daunting but it works out at just 2.74 miles a day. The weekly total we are aiming for is 19.18 miles a week. Of course if we do more we will be finished earlier.  Our total miles for the first week were; me 29.11 miles; Abbie 27.11 miles & Jess 28.29 miles.

I think we did brilliantly for the first week!

I’ll be updating on a monthly basis from now on. Back with an update at the end of January.

#Walk1000Miles Challenge

Today is the first day of our challenge that will take up to a year to complete! The challenge is to #Walk1000Miles this year.

There are several different ways to complete the challenge, some people count every step they take during the year to reach the total, others exercise at home on treadmills  or you can do what we are planning on doing and only count ‘boots on’ miles which means we only add up the mileage when we are purposely going for a walk.

The ‘we’ is myself, Abbie who is 11 and Jess, 9. Jess has said that she doesn’t think she can do the 1000 miles but as it’s only 2.74 miles a day (if you walk everyday for the year) I think it’s well within her ability to do it. We will encourage her to join us on the walks and see how she does.

Most of our walks will be just around the local area, which luckily enough includes woodland and a country park on the doorstep. As Sherwood forest is also very close by (and the parking is free during the week until the end of April) so we might have a few walks around there as well.

There are several reasons for me wanting to do this, the main one being that I need to lose weight and get healthy. It also fits in well with the home education as it’s not only giving the children exercise but we will be combining the walks with nature lessons. There will be lots to see on our walks and we’ll be identifying trees, fungus and birds amongst other things. Finally I want to do just so I can say I did that 😀

 

I will be doing regular updates to let you know how we are doing, plus I’ll post photo’s of some of the things we see along the way.

Watch this space, or check out the hashtag #Walk1000Miles 😀 for more posts.

Fitbit & A New Health Regime

I received a fitbit for Christmas which is going to be perfect for my new health regime. From tomorrow I’m setting myself a goal to walk a minimum of 5 miles a day and  do 10,000 steps a day. This will fit in brilliantly with my #Walk1000Miles challenge. More about that on the 1st January.

Due to an ongoing stomach problem I need to lose weight and also change my diet. Once all the ‘nice’ food has gone from Christmas we will be starting, as a family, reducing the amount of processed  foods and ready made foods that we eat. We are also cutting out chocolate, cakes and sweets for a couple of weeks as the children will have eaten a lot more than normal over the holiday.

I’m not actually going on a diet at the moment but I’m hoping that the lack of sweets and junk foods plus the walking will result in the loss of a few pounds.  This will all be starting as soon as possible but I’m estimating that it will be the 8th of January and will carry on until Abbie’s birthday on the 3rd February.

Once I’ve worn the FitBit for a few weeks I’ll do a review on it to let you know how it performs.