Well, nobody actually believed I’d show up every single month on here did they? Alright, I had planned to but you know how it goes. It’s New Year, then January, then April! I would say I’ll try harder but to be frank, that’s completely unnecessary pressure and nobody needs that.
I’ve backed off with the formal learning these last few weeks and we’ve just been learning through everyday life. I like to call it ‘intentional unschooling’. I may talk about that another time. I think it’s working okay for us and as long as the boys are progressing and being Nice Human Beings I think we’ll continue with this for now.
This month I’m moving toward reward-based projects and a kind of real life replication approach with EJ. We’ll be doing some more Pawprint Badges, and creating a ‘home corner’ café in the lounge. I’ll download everything I need for this from twinkl. I’ll use the café to teach him about money, customer service, cooking and baking, and etiquette. EJ’s pretty excited at the prospect of opening a café and has asked me to invite his friends over to be customers, so we’ll arrange a big play date too towards the end of the month.
We’re also booked in forna water sport session at Hollingworth Lake. The boys did this last year and loved it so hopefully it’ll be another great day.
As far as Pawprint Badges go, we have a few I bought yonks ago when EJ was a bit too young and Rowan was a bit too old for them, but they were cute and I liked them. So we’ll have a look through what we have already and EJ can choose which ones we work towards.
Rowan has started going out each week with Louise from Let’s Go! and he is thriving. Whilst we have taken a step back from formal learning, seeing him happier, more confident, and less anxious in general has meant that he has started to come to me and actually ask to do some structured work. This is amazing to me – for years I’ve struggled to get him to sit and work at core subjects with little success – turns out all he needed was a little more breathing space. A lesson learned for me. The only sit down ‘proper’ learning we’ve done really has been science with Abbie at Love Science who I honestly can’t recommend enough.
April for Rowan will continue to be more relaxed. He’ll be off out with Louise a few times and we’ll get back to the science too (we’ve been a bit forgetful there these last couple of weeks). We’re also returning to Mathswatch some mornings and I will use EJ’s café set up to prompt a topic with Rowan around the finances involved in running a business.
Both boys will continue to work towards their John Muir Awards as well as working through the Exploring Nature with Children curriculum.
With all of us in a good, happy place and the weather starting to warm up, I’m really looking forward to seeing how April pans out for us.
It may be useful to some of you if I link to the things I mention in my posts.
Let’s Go! – day trips for home educated kids aged 8+. Leaving Prestwich Mon-Thur mornings term time.
Love Science – curriculum based online science lessons for KS1, 2 and 3. Free and paid memberships available.
Pawprint Badges – these self-led project style badges work in a similar way to those earned by uniformed groups such as scouts and guides.
Twinkl – downloadable and interactive resources for all ages. Free and paid memberships available.
Mathswatch – NC based, child-led maths tutoring with explanatory videos and accompanying questions. KS2 and 3. Paid subscription.
John Muir Award – an award you can work together as an individual or a family, based on the philosophies of Naturalist John Muir. Free to apply.
Exploring Nature With Children – a complete year round, nature based curriculum for children.
Hollingworth Lake Water Activity Centre – water sports, birthday parties and more for families, groups and individuals.