Home Education Diaries – May

I always get to the end of the month, ready to write down what we learnt and then think ‘what have we done?’.  Then I list it all bit by bit and realise we have learnt a fair bit together as a family.  We are mostly unschoolers with no curriculum, but it’s really interesting to see how the children pick up so much just by watching, listening and questioning.

We’re making the most of the summer months with trips away, in the UK and abroad, plus some camping too.  There’s many studies showing how good simple outdoor play is with younger children, so I’m glad we have the time to just spend hours outside playing together or with friends.

Anyway, here’s what we learnt in May.

The 6 Year Old

Art and Design

  • Drawing Pictures of trains and other transport items for Maths sheets he wanted to make.
  • Chalk drawings outside in the garden.
  • Helped to create a theatre out of a cardboard box and tissue paper.
  • Built Lego, some with instructions and some of his own design.
  • Made a rocking snail from a paper plate whilst learning about snails.
  • Building wooden train tracks to his own designs.

Science

  • Designed and made solar ovens using cardboard boxes and tinfoil to melt s’mores.

making s'mores with DIY solar oven

  • Learnt about bone structure and human organs at a weekly science group.
  • Drew around his body and then filled in the organs inside the paper, including lungs, heart, throat, windpipe, blood vessels, stomach, intestines and brain.  Then drew it again in chalk outside!

making organs out of different materials

  • Finding insects whilst outdoors and learning more about what they are and what they do (including frog hoppers in cuckoo spit, caterpillars and ants).

looking at a caterpillar on the grass

  • Discussed how dock leaves help soothe nettle stings.
  • Found a wasp nest in the playhouse and investigated the material after the nest had been removed and the wasp disappeared.

wasp nest hanging in kids playhouse

  • Discussed seeds and their growth and planted his own courgette seed.
  • Found fossils in peak District caves and learnt how they got there.
  • Talked about how flowstone and stalactites were formed.
  • Discussions on rock formation and evolution.
  • Talking about how steam engines work on both trains and steamers.
  • Learning about how the cable car at the Heights of Abraham was constructed and how it works in general.

heights of Abraham

Language

  • Reading stories together, daily.
  • Writing his name on items he’s made independently.
  • Enjoying ‘reading’ books independently where they have pictures to help him understand the story.
  • Occasionally spelling out simple words.

Maths

  • Created ‘colour by sums’ worksheets, he draws the picture and I add in sums in the picture and answers in a colour key.
  • Playing board games.
  • Discussing prices of items in shops and whether they are the lowest price (not too early to learn budgeting!!)

History

  • Learnt about the history of life on our planet, understanding that life evolved from very little to humans over a VERY long timescale.

double decker tram at Crich tramway museum

  • Visited Crich Tramway Village and discovered how trams used to work and even had a chance to ride in a horse drawn tram.
  • Learnt about the lead mining industry in the Peak District and how children his age used to go down the mines to work and crawl into small spaces.

 

Geography

  • Discussing the purpose of stamps and which countries they come from.
  • Visited the Peak District and learnt about the type of rocks that make up the area.
  • Listened to a talk about glaciation and meltwater carving out a cave.
  • Discussions of travel in the past through the book ‘Around the World in 80 Days’.

Social Groups

  • Visited the local fire station with other home educated friends to find out more about the fire engines and fire people.

kids covering ears as the fire engine siren going off

  • Weekly Beavers meetings, including several outdoor trips.
  • Weekly home education meet.
  • Weekly home education science group, with time to play afterward.
  • Weekly drama group.

duck race, kids helping ducks move along the river

  • Meeting with friends, including playing in a river at a duck race, playing in the woods and over open grassy areas with lots of things to jump, climb and avoid (think nettles!).

Sports

  • Continuing to enjoy swimming and has begun to swim lengths with a couple of stops.  Seeing a lot more confidence when we were at a swim party recently too.

jumping in the swimming pool

  • Weekly multi-sports group where they try different skills each week.
  • Playing outdoors A LOT!
  • Cycling to the next village and around our area too.

The 4 Year Old

Art & Design

  • Made his own rocking snail with a little help.
  • Helped create a cardboard theatre.

Exercise

  • Weekly ballet lessons.
  • Weekly gymnastics class.
  • Weekly multi-sports class where he won the trophy again.  His catching and throwing abilities were commended.

child running on rocks beside a river

  • Playing in rivers barefoot, around streams, woodlands and open grassland areas with friends.
  • Swimming several times whilst at Darwin Forest, getting used to his face being wet a little bit when jumping in.
  • Cycling around the local area.

Maths

  • Identifying numbers when we’re out and about.
  • Playing board games.

Reading

  • Discussing rhyming words.
  • Reading daily as a family.

History

  • Learning about lead mining industry in the Peak District.

looking at exhibits in Crich tram museum

Science

  • Watched real snails moving and escaping from a paper plate.
  • Found insects outside and recorded them on a sheet.
  • Learnt about bone structure and where different organs are located in the body.
  • Yet more discussions of where babies come from!
  • Helped create a solar oven to melt s’mores.
  • Learnt about bone structure and human organs at a weekly science group.
  • Finding insects whilst outdoors and learning more about what they are and what they do (including frog hoppers in cuckoo spit, caterpillars and ants).
  • Discussed how dock leaves help soothe nettle stings after being stung at the park.
  • Found fossils in peak District caves and learnt how they got there.
  • Discussions on rock formation and evolution.
  • Talking about how steam engines work on both trains and steamers.

Social Groups

  • Weekly home education group.
  • Weekly science group, playing after science activity.
  • Visited the local fire station with friends.
  • Playing with friends outside in the woods, grassy fields and rivers.

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