To structure or not !

A decision to be made about home education is whether or not to add structure. what does this mean ? It means for me to decide whether or not to work to structured learning material, whether to plan a daily timetable and or whether to follow a certain curriculum of work.

An interesting part to whether or not to add structure to home education is it can be added full time or part time or not at all. Structure can be done via curriculums and topic work.

Many families decide to steer away from structure all together, where some families may replicate the school day and work to a time table.

Other families may add part structure and offer a semi structured school day for their children.

There is no right or wrong approach to adding structure or not to home education.

The only right way is to find what works best for each child.

There are now many resources for families to use in home education. They may choose to replicate the national curriculum or even use curriculums from other countries for example many families in the united kingdom use American home schooling curriculums. The point is to use resources which you feel comfortable with and the children can best learn from using.

The internet is also a source of free resources for all child learning whether in school or home educated.


Geography: Ravensburger 3D puzzle of the world.

We have been building a 3D puzzle of the world as part of learning Geography. What a brilliant way to build motor skills and also learn about the world. Talk about the countries, continents, weather science etc just building this model jigsaw is stimulating such conversations of interest.

The Ravensburger 3D puzzle is helping with learning the difference between north and south poles, including where penguins live and all the other wonder whys.

Today I watched him playing with the jigsaw puzzle and yes it was lovely to seem him engrossed in play, chattering with enthusiasm as he built his model. I guess this is what is meant by learning through play.

home education

It has been a while since I posted. Where have we been ? We have been doing our home education.

I am posting today just to touch base and say Hi to all who may read this.

Our home education is running smoothly and happily along. Our little tiger is the most happy child and still says every day how much he enjoys education at home.

What have we been doing?

We have been enjoying each day, whatever the weather may bring us.

Home education is not for everyone or would not fit every persons life style choice. However, it is what is working for us and our family at the moment. It is the right choice for us.

best wishes

Metal Detecting for hidden treasure

Metal Detecting for hidden treasures.

Our little Tiger has just taken up a new hobby. He has just started metal detecting.

when he and his dad said they were starting this activity I have to admit to being a bit Oh this sounds boring. Anyway I have been proven otherwise. What a brilliant hobby ! He chatters and laughs whilst searching and it is an outside fresh air activity.

It is such fun, fun, fun for him. He is loving it.

He has found all sorts of hidden treasure. Nothing of money value, but old coins and bits and bobs he has researched about afterwards. Each evoking discussions about history around us.

He is now trying to work out whether there may be a Roman or Saxon burial ground in our local area as he wants to discover a hoist of Roman treasure ! It is certainly making his thoughts run riot.

Happy metal detecting………

Summer Reading Challenge

I am posting today about the summer reading challenges being run from local libraries. The groups are run for ages 4 to 11 years of age.

The website for this is www.creepy-house.org.uk.

Children attend the library each week at a set time for group work and games focussed on the theme of a creepy house adventure.

Children are encouraged to read a book a week and are rewarded by stickers and awards.

My little one attended last year and is also attending this year. They are also a good social meet up for children.

The children are rewarded at the end of the six week holiday by a certificate.

Contact www.creepy-house.org.uk for more information and story writing competitions.

Schools out but learning is still in.

School is out but learning is in

As you probably already know we are home educators.

We have been home educating for a year now and it is the best decision we have made about our child’s education.

We decided to take a little bit of structure to our educational day whereby we make the time each day to cover maths English and science. We let Tiger take the lead with his geography history re and other projects he likes to research. ( it is also surprising how topics do over lap across subjects)

Any way my post today is about school holidays and learning.

I really do believe and have much evidence through home education that just because children are on holiday from school that they do not stop learning just because they are not in school.

If children are given opportunities to explore and interact with people to talk about their interests they will learn. Just as home educated children are learning at home, the children not in school because of school holidays will still be learning just because they are not in school.

Just as children learnt to walk and talk before they went to school, children are still learning in the home even when they are on roll at a school.

My little tiger is home educated and he is officially on his school holidays. By this we mean that he is not making time each day to sit down and write his English work, his maths text book work or write up his science experiments.

However his is still learning and wanting to learn and he simply can not stop himself from being inquisitive about the world. I believe this is inbuilt in children as part of their make up, it is existential for their human growth. for me this where home education works, if children are given the opportunities they will learn.

Yesterday, was an example. Yesterday I was out in the car with our little Tiger and he saw the moon during the day. From this a conversation developed about the moon, it gravitational pull compared to the earth. the structure of the universe, planet sizes it was an endless science lesson on route in the car.

Fast forward to the after noon. Out of the blue tiger asks.

Mum, What do you think the world wiil be like in a million years ?

I don’t know, what do you think Tiger ?

Well, will humans have adapted to survive, or will we use technology so we don’t have to adapt to survive?

Or do you think monkeys will have adapted to develop a language part of their brain or possibly the dogs may have overtaken us and taken over the world. ?

Phew such a big question !!!! on a non school day lol. such an imagination.

We had a long discussion on evolution, adaption, the psychology of the brain development and intelligence and communication in animals. We imagined a world run by our pet dog !!

In the garden, later on, tiger watered the flower garden and hanging baskets, “Look mum, I can make rainbows, Look at the light ” Tiger wanted to talk about light spectrums and what we see and what animals can see and why ?

Tiger has also watched a programme earlier on CBBC about sharks and we talked about the shark senses and why they need to detect movement and electricity from birth.

When his dad came home from work, he wanted to tell his dad about how sharks can be hypnotised and put into a trance sleep by flipping them over onto their backs and how chickens can also be hypnotised by a chalk line.

I really do believe that if children are given space and time to be allowed to think and follow their interests they will learn. It is natural for a child to want to explore their world. They have imagination which can whisk them to worlds of learning.

As the great late Vygotsky says children are our little apprentices. They develop through their interactions with the world and human relationships. follow this link www.infed.org, a site for information on informal education. Information from Piaget and Vygotsky

School summer holidays

School summer holidays
The school summer holidays are upon us. The children have been excitedly waiting for school to end.

I remember how it felt as a child to have the summer holidays. It seemed as if we had forever off school. It was wonderful to be off school. Back in the day we would play outside all day ( get from under mums feet). We would play with silly things like boxes, or make dens with the clothes dryer and a blanket. We would race each other on roller skates or simply sit and make daisy chains and blow dandelions to tell the time.

The long school holidays were a time to be cherished. A time spent at home, to be children and play.

The Beach

The beach as a free gift from nature
We are lucky enough to have access to a local beach, and during this hot weather it is a relief to escape to the shore to access a few moments of fresher cooler air.

Yesterday during a particular hot day we escaped to the sea. I walked along the waters edge and marvelled at the beauty of the coastline and the beautiful horizon. On this cloudless blue sky day the blue sea and sky merged in the distance. Have you ever thought, that this beauty is only viewable from the coast as the inland does not have the same horizon view.

Yesterday on the beach,

Boats sailed by, slow and fast, while fishermen landed their crafts.

Families ate their picnics, children laughed whilst they played and adults soaked up the sun.

Dog walkers walked and walkers, well walked along the sands.

Me, I love to paddle along the waters edge and in usual form I think ( I’m a reflective thinker and probably think too much !), digress and think again about how these free wonders called beaches are such a wonderful diverse leisure place for us all to harmoniously enjoy.

Sweetners in diet drinks

New research from America is saying that diet drinks containing sweetners is harmful to the body. Although the British doctors are stating that the diet products are useful. the link to the article is here http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2359821/Sweeteners-diet-drinks-dont-cut-weight-just-harmful-regular-versions.html

American research is now saying that the diet products may not stimulate the brain and we therefore then overindulge in sugar.

Who are we to believe ?

As a parent it is very confusing as to which product to buy for our families. Do we buy the sugar drink and limit the intake or do we buy the diet version as it may be kinder to body and teeth due to less sugar.

Does this research extend to diet yoghurts and sugar free jelly, angel delight etc.

As a parent with responsibility for raising my family I am left wondering which is best for my family. Water, organic milk and watered down organic juice are looking favourable options at the moment.

Project work

Today we have started a new project on our home education learning journey.

Project work is a brilliant way for children to follow their own interests and be independent learners.

My little one is studying dinosaurs. What a brilliant way to learn geography, biology, history to say the least.

He has started by making a huge and brilliant mind map of what he knows already and questions he would like to answer.

He has now chosen the direction of where his interests are going to take him, but it really does not matter if he goes off on a tangent.

It is wonderful to watch a child be so interested.