Posted in Home Schooling

Den Building

As the rain has stopped we headed out to the woods behind our house and to work on the den that my daughter had started building. The rain and winds had taken a bit of a toll on it so we had to fix the roof!

Using sticks, leaves, moss and fallen pine tree branches we fixed the roof and hopefully made it a bit more stable!

Next time it is time to add some walls using longer sticks, and an ambitious idea to use mud to seal the walls.

Lets hope the rain holds, and the roof stays in place.

Posted in Home Schooling

Our first week back!

So today is the first day back at ‘school’ for my daughter. As we home school the lines are blurred somewhat as we have done things over the holiday that are actual learning opportunities, but today it is back to more formal stuff

This week we will be looking at:

  1. Solids, Liquids and Gases: what they are, how they work and examples we can find. Design a hot drink cup, concentrating on what made of (insulating etc), how you carry it, does it get hot on the outside or do you need a handle, anything else?
  2. Stickpeople: Make Stickpeople from resources found in our woods. Give them some background and make an animation.
  3. Make a mini den for something / someone. Discuss what is needed and why, who will use it (fairies, bugs). Take photos and present your findings.
  4. French Conversation practice. (design a conversation to have with horse riding teacher – we live in France at the moment so this is not as bizarre as it sounds!)

This is not exhaustive, there will be Maths, Coding, sport and random things we decide to look at they may just present themselves. Reading too! though luckily I have to admit that getting her to read is never a problem!

Whatever you choose to do, I hope you have fun!

Posted in Home Schooling

Should we Home Schooling?

When we were planning our adventure, we had to decide what to do about our daughter and her schooling. It was actually quite an easy decision to decide to home school as we had considered the idea before whilst in the UK. When we were due to leave my daughter had been in the school system for 5 years and had been to 2 schools as we had moved areas.

School in the UK:

My daughter is an August baby, and so she started in our local school nursery every afternoon when she had just turned 3. She is an awesome chatty girl and she settled in well and enjoyed being there. We were still relatively happy when she went into reception as the teacher was nice and very organised, but even then we felt that the amount of paperwork each kid needed as evidence was detracting from actual time spent with the kids. This was a class of 30 kids, so did impact no matter how organised they were.

By the time year 2 came around the teacher was less organised and did not really seem to know the kids very well, and we did not think that our daughter was making any progress at all. It was around this time that we had to move to a new city for my husbands job and were hopeful that this time we would have more choice in the type of school she could attend. With this in mind, after viewing a few schools we chose a small village school about 10 minutes away from us in the hope that the small class sizes would mean more time for the kids, and also a greater way to make friends in a new environment.

Initially things went well, the teachers were nice and they had a lot of assistants so ratios etc were good. There were some early warning signs that maybe the teaching was not as good as we had hoped it could be. Early on in the school career the big thing for learning how to say letters was not to say ‘b-uh’ or accentuate the ‘uh’, which I guess makes sense. At the small school, they said she was talking funny and not spelling out words correctly. This was really only a minor thing, and the thing that really began to bother me was her reading books from school. She has always been an awesome reader and will read anything, I found that she was put onto books that were too easy and boring for her. I went in so many times to discuss this and was told that they would look into it but nothing ever changed. I eventually only recorded only books that she read at home and not ones from school and was never challenged on this.

Whilst reading was a major strength, maths was a weakness that was not addressed. We were very disappointed as her year group only had 5 kids in it and they could still not find the time to help, and fobbed us off with she progressing well which we knew was not the case.

Eventually, at the end of year 3 we were able to make a decision to leave the UK and spend some time house sitting and travelling and therefore decided to home school. It is one of the best things we have ever done.