The weather has been wet this summer! And now it’s autumn weather! The kids had a busy day today! They got more done then I expected as we are watching another Little person twice a week.
Yesterday was also a good day for learning! We have hit the ground running!
Because my eldest has ADHD, I’m attempting to create a better schedule. She needs to know what we are doing and how long we are doing it. This can be annoying for me but then I realised she NEEDS to know! It causes anxiety when she doesn’t know. I personally find it difficult creating a schedule we follow all the time because we are a home, not a school and I didn’t really want it to mimic school. I guess I’ll try somewhere in between!
I’ve not written in a long time but I’m hoping to change all that! Today we went back to non school. It was a mixed day. I felt very stressed and my eldest was struggling to remain calm. But we managed!
In the morning we did some English and geography. They are studying lake Louise in Alberta because Daddy is going there for his friend’s wedding.
They wrote a story and did some Jolly Phonics workbooks as well.
Later on, after lunch, we went to our woods and did some water colour painting of things we found, then they climbed trees. We headed to the zoo nearby (we have a zoo pass this year) and learned about peacocks, peahens and peachicks (I didn’t know they were called this!).
We then headed home, Little man had a nap, cheeky girl had iPad time and lady P and I had a disastrous maths lesson! I should have realised she’d be unable to concentrate but I persevered and made her miserable! So lesson learned: do academics in the morning and learn to let go when you need to!
After all this, they went to swimming lessons, ate homemade pizza and watched The Magic School Bus! I’m exhausted!
Had a really good morning schooling today! Lady P got down to business in anticipation of her friend coming round for a play date.
She completed her reading lesson; practiced her counting by 5s and 10s; counted backwards from 10 confidently and started to count backwards from 20; sorted coins with their number amounts; wrote some more of her story; compared coniferous leaves to deciduous leaves and made notes. Cheeky girl practiced counting objects and writing the number down and she practiced the letter c and d and made pictures of things starting with those letters.
Afterwards, friends came to play all afternoon! It was a good day!
What beautiful weather we had! On Sunday I got the pool out and the kids made a water slide. They were freezing but loved it! Lady P kept thanking me for the best day.
We played in the back garden all day and enjoyed the sun.
Monday was busy but exciting! We went to an outdoor bouncy castle hamlet with friends. Three families, 11 kids! It was great! Afterwards we drove to a picnic site, ate our lunch then went on a walk. We all ended up in the river but the kids had a blast!
I love spending time outside! I truly enjoy my kids the most when they can run around and be kids! In today’s world, they can’t run off and be free anymore because it’s not safe so if I can get as much free play as possible in their life, all the better! I’m so thankful I can home educate them! It is such a blessing!
The last few days have been extremely busy! On Sunday nights, I create a plan for the week. I have found that this has worked the best for our routine. Then, I try to cover most of it throughout the week. Some things happen on different days than the plan but it doesn’t matter.
On Monday we went to the park again and Lady P went on the BMX track with her bike. Nobody was there so it was great. I ended up running around with her so I guess it was a work out for me! Bonus!
As usual, she did her maths and English work, we read, did crafts and played in the garden. She also goes to swimming lessons.
On Tuesday, we had a ridiculously long and busy day! The kids went to the beach with daddy while I was at work. They created beach art and attempted to write ‘at words in the sand. Lady P couldn’t understand that she had to hold the stick different from a pencil so she kept getting frustrated.
Later she had gymnastics and did work in between all our comings and goings.
Today we were looking after our little friend again. Lady P did an amazing water colour of a Georgia O’Keeffe close-up of a flower.
She is loving all things art related! She also did her reading lesson and maths lesson and we continued reading the BFG. Phew! I’m exhausted!
I am trying to spend time outside every day I can with the kids. On Wednesdays, we have a little friend who comes to play as well: so going outside is the easiest thing to do!
This week we went to a small wooded area near our home and just spent time exploring. When I asked Lady P if she wanted to go to the playground after, she responded: ‘no thank you, I want to stay here!’
WHAT? This is a first! My experiment is working! She is slowly becoming an outdoor child! Whoopee!
Picking the flowers of wild garlic
The boys exploring wood chip and crawling in the dirt
We did eventually go to the playground to wait for our little friend’s mummy to pick him up. The girls practiced balancing and ran around with no shoes on. I read an article about the importance of walking with no shoes on. ‘Walking barefoot…develops the muscles and ligaments of the foot, increases the strength of the foot’s arch, improves proprioception (our awareness of where we are in relation to the space around us) and contributes to good posture.’ (The Guardian
) I’ve decided to let them go barefoot as much as possible, where it is safe to do so. (One step closer to tree hugger)
In the morning, it was raining heavily so we did our schoolwork then.
It was a wonderful, stress-free day! It’s days like this that make me glad I made the choice to home educate!
Today I took Lady P and Little Man to the park with some friends who also home educate. We went to the playground and had a picnic in the cold. We spent most of our time on the skate park running up and down the ramps. I’ve never seen Lady P so pink cheeked!
Afterwards, she saw some ants outside our house and wanted to know what would happen if she touched an ant. I told her if they are black, nothing. Then she did something she’s never done in her short little life: she touched a bug! Amazing!!! What progress after only 4 days of spending our time outside!
My closest friend of 31 years recommended a book by Ann Pelo called The Goodness of Rain. I’m really enjoying it and it’s really pushing me to rethink my home education philosophy.
I feel pressured (by my own mind and teaching background) to push my children to know how to read and do maths and sit there and be good students. But the more I push, the more they hate learning. So I’ve tried to back off a lot and focus on their happiness, on play, on relationships, on art and other interests and enjoying the environment. I want them to enjoy nature, see creation and appreciate it. I enjoy my children the most when they are outside and getting dirty! Why did I not realise this before?
My eldest child hates going in the garden. She is terrified of bugs and creepy crawlies and being dirty. After reading a few pages of this new book, I realised, she needs to be outside as much as possible to get over these fears…and she needs me to help her. So we went outside; she cried and complained while my other little girl dug up worms, but I explained that she would have a good time if she gave it a chance. So I cleaned the spider webs and flies out of her Wendy house, brushed off her slide and let her go.
I began to mow our jungle lawn and soon, I could feel her little eyes on me. She wanted to help me rake up the grass. I handed her a rake and she started. Soon after, I asked if she could pick up the grass and put it in the bag. She looked at me and said,’but won’t my hands get dirty?’ I suddenly realised she wanted to know it was ok to get dirty. I really hope I’ve not made her this way but I reassured her that it was fine and we’d wash her hands later. So she got stuck in.
As I continued mowing, 3 frogs jumped out of the grass so I stopped the mower and picked them up. Lady P actually asked to hold one. I could not believe it! Later on we found worms and she picked one up (with a fork; she’s not completely nature girl yet) and she helped me mow the grass. We stayed outside from 10 am to 3:30 pm. Not one complaint!
They were filthy! And sun kissed, and happy!
Cheeky girl is already nature girl! She even goes to a forest school two mornings a week for nursery. She loves being outside! So I’m pleased that Lady P is starting to come around. Today she even said, ‘mummy, I’m not afraid of flies anymore..’ She had a very pleased expression on her face! She makes me laugh! So I encourage anyone to get outside and enjoy whatever outdoor environment you have access to! I’ll continue to write about Lady P’s journey.