Home Education Diaries – January

I’ve decided to keep a little ‘diary’ each month of everything the boys have been learning and what home education looks like for our family, month to month.  I am hoping this will be useful to other home educating families who wonder what home education looks like for others and also for a window into our world for those considering home education.

If you have any questions about how we do things then please do send a comment or message me.  Happy to answer any questions!

Home Education With A 6 Year Old

This month has been like any other, days out with friends, visiting a variety of places and lots of play both indoors and outdoors.  We managed a trip to York to see family and also some of the sights and there has been a fair amount of snow to play in too.

snow 2018

I thought I would go through everything by bullet point.  Next month I will be keeping track of things daily and add to the list in draft form, as it’s actually quite hard to remember exactly what we’ve been doing at the end of the month!

  • Art and Design
    • Practicing drawing in pencil and paint, including making some pictures of scenes from Moana and Frozen for his little brother.
    • Craft group – We attend a monthly home ed craft group and the last one had a theme of snow. My son made a little snowman by colouring in wood chips and hot glueing them together as per instruction.  Then went on to make a whole array of other animals all by himself.  I love his creativeness!
    • Sewing a sock monkey, almost finished!  The fine motor movements of using the needle helps with pencil control.
    • Made keyrings and pencil toppers and magnets with Shrinkles.
  • Science
    • He has a weekly science class at a community centre and this month they have been learning about germs, electricity by making circuits and magnets.
    • Visited the zoo and learnt about different animal behaviours, including meerkats looking out for danger and ants cutting leaves to take back to the nest. Five sisters zoo
    • Visited butterfly world and learnt more about the lifecycle, watching butterflies lay eggs and watched butterflies emerge from a chrysalis.  Identifying some butterflies using an ID guide.
    • Looking at Tim Peake’s capsule that he returned to earth in and watching how it came back to earth on video.
    • Identifying certain trees when out on walks and cycling.
  • Sports
    • Swimming – Each week our 6 year old has a swimming lesson and he’s gone from strength to strength and can now swim for a short distance unaided and further with a float.
    • Cycling – We cycle a lot and he’s improving his stamina, managing once a week to cycle 6-7 miles or so to his brothers nursery and home again, including managing to cycle up the steeper hills that he fairly recently would only walk up.
  • Drama class
    • I don’t know exactly what they’re doing each week (when I ask I get ‘I don’t know’), but it does seem to be building up his confidence.
  • Maths
    • We use an online mathematics app called Mathseeds. Currently he is learning about adding/subtracting larger numbers, quarter hours in time and problem solving math questions.
    • Measuring using scales whilst baking and a tape measure for items around the house.
    • Mathematic board games, including Magic Maths and Monopoly
  • Reading
    • We read stories every night and also during the day when we’re at home.  We spotted a good train book recently, with in depth knowledge of locomotives.  So that has been keeping his interest.
    • He has also completed some sections of the Reading Eggs educational app. and is improving his word recognition.
  • Writing
    • Recently we’ve realised he loves writing on little notecards, so we have begun writing thank you cards for Christmas presents using the notes.
  • History
    • Jorvik – We all learnt together about how Vikings lived and worked, what materials they had available and saw demonstration of stamping a Viking coin.vikings
    • DIG – Getting hands on with archaeology and excavating different replica objects from the replica sites.  We also discussed what animals different bones were from and what type of work people might be doing for certain items to be found in their house (i.e. lots of iron slag might be a blacksmith and lots of shells might be someone who collects and sells shellfish)
    • Stirling castle – Learning about Scottish battles and art work.
    • National Rail Museum – History of famous trains including Mallard (and of course it’s world record speed), Duchess of Hamilton and the bullet trains.
  • Engineering
    • National Rail Museum was great to learn more about how trains worked, especially in the works section where we could see a train being reconstructednational rail museum
    • After seeing a friends creation he helped create a zip line in his bedroom for his Playmobil figures.
    • Creating new tracks for his wooden railway with intersecting junctions, loops and turntables.
    • Creating new Lego models both to instructions and his own design.
  • Geography
    • Looking at his new atlas and our globe to see where we have visited and enjoying studying maps to see where he would like to go and also which trains are in each country!
  • Cooking/baking
    • Making pancakes mostly by himself, with a little help from me
    • Making own sandwiches by himself
    • Baking cakes with my help (mainly so he didn’t eat all the mix before it was cooked!)

And of course there was plenty more play on top of all that learning!

Home Education With A 4 Year Old

First off he had his 4th birthday this month, but his list will be a bit different to his brothers as he is’t even school age yet!  It will be interesting to see his diaries develop over the next few years though.

moana birthday party

  • Learnt to ride his pedal bike (only had a balance bike previously), which is a fab milestone and hopefully the start of lots of adventures.
  • He has become a lot more sociable recently and makes new friends easily
  • Learnt that people lived differently in the past after a trip to Jorvik.
  • Maths
    • Can count to 20 and loves singing counting songs
  • Reading
    • More story books, any are good, but particularly rhyming books
  • Art
    • Beginning to make specific line movements for objects rather than circles/dots
    • Loves practicing with scissors and cutting anything he can
  • Visited DIG in York and learnt about archaeology

Jorvik

  • Practicing forward rolls and jumping from height at gymnastics class
  • Learning different positions and feet movements in his ballet and tap classes
  • Getting the hang of breaking eggs whilst helping baking
  • Learnt about the butterfly lifecycle at Butterfly World
  • Learnt about otter and meerkat ecology at the zoo.
  • Plenty of play, particularly acting out being a knight or princess, singing, dancing and ‘fishing’.

It will be interesting to see how this progresses and hopefully I can keep up with this every month!

2 Comments

  1. February 1, 2018 / 9:36 pm

    This is a great idea, really interested to see what you have been up to. Drama classes are great for confidence aren’t they? Made such a difference to Lib.
    Nat.x

    • February 1, 2018 / 10:20 pm

      They are definitely good, I just wish he would actually tell me what they’ve been doing! Ha ha! 🙂

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