Home Education Reception

This year, my youngest would be starting school. So, I thought I would share what home education looks like for him. This is a week of reception home education in our house:

Monday

Youngest usually gets up earlier than the other boys. He got up and played with his Lego while daddy made breakfast.

When I came downstairs, he showed me what he’s been playing with while I ate my breakfast.

Then Youngest did his reading.

He was interested in the workbook on offer this morning, so we looked at that together straight away. Youngest has really enjoyed doing the Songbirds workbooks alongside the reading books, but since we only use the workbook once a week, I’ve had to stagger the reading books so he doesn’t get completely out of sync.

After lunch, we had Poetry Club. I run this for home educated children of all ages (since all my boys come along). Youngest enjoyed learning about onomatopoeia by trying to mimic some of the words in ‘On the Ning Nang Nong’ with musical instruments.

He also liked snack time, and coming up with alliterative names for cuddly toys. All the children took turns identifying alliteration in some poems and youngest managed that well.

He was less interested in our long discussion about assonance, however, and spent part of that drawing all over his face with felttips.

After Poetry Club, we went to the park, and most of the children came with us. They played together, while the parents chatted.

Then we had to drop Youngest’s brothers off, and we had a bit of special Youngest and Mummy time. I read to Youngest, then we made some Paw Patrol cakes.

On the way to pick up the big boys, we collected a parcel. Then all the children watched part of the Minions movie while I made tea.

At bedtime, we’ve been reading Grammarland to all of the boys. Youngest giggles and giggles. There are some very simple grammar questions at the ends of chapters. Youngest takes turns with his brothers to answer them.

Tuesday

Youngest and Daddy were up first, again. Youngest had a look in the craft box and made himself some wings. 

Yes, he did simply sellotape feathers to bits of paper. But, it was adorable  when he draped it over his arms and ran around trying to fly!

Youngest was eager to read today, so we did that straight away. Then he messed around with the feathers, trying out various ways of attaching them to his arms. He was quite pleased with himself when he found a long piece of elastic. He wrapped it around his waist several times, then tucked the feathers into it.

After breakfast, Youngest and I did some German together. We listened to a CD and had a go at greeting each other in German. Youngest traced some German words and we sang along to a song together.

After our German, Youngest ran around the house trying his German greetings out on everyone.

Then he set up a toy shop using a calculator and some bits of wood. Eldest and I took turns buying things until it was time for lunch.

After lunch, Youngest joined Middly in playing with his pet rats.

Youngest likes making bridges for the rats to scamper over, but they’re so fast that all my pictures are of blurry rats. They’re only still when they’re eating.

The RSPB sent a paper bird mask with our new membership cards, so I helped Youngest to make it. 

Then we had to go to Middly’s swimming lesson. We arrived a bit early so the boys could play in the park together. 
During Middly’s lesson, Youngest and I looked through a Spot the Meerkats book, played with some lego and then played on the CBeebies Play Island game on my phone. I had also taken a fossil sticker book that Youngest had enjoyed looking at at the weekend, but he wasn’t keen, so we didn’t do anything more with that.

When we got home, Daddy had made tea, so we ate and then it was bedtime. Youngest had a couple of Mr Men books, then all the boys listened to Grammarland again.

Wednesday

My husband went to a client’s site today, so I actually had to do breakfast myself! 

Youngest loves his current maths workbook, so we did a bit of that and then he did some reading.

I had to get things ready for Science Club, so Youngest played independently for a while. He had lego, feathers and elastic and seemed quite contented.

After a quick lunch, we headed out to Science Club. Youngest isn’t keen on colouring in, so I wasn’t surprised when he drew on his face again while everyone else completed in a sheet about colour mixing.

I encouraged him to sit next to me, then, so he joined in  with the chromatography experiment and really enjoyed it.

After snack time, I showed the children some teabags and we talked about how bug the holes need to be to make effective teabags.

Then, the children all made their own tea bags. Youngest helped clear up by putting away the crayons. Then we all went to the park again.

After the park trip, we headed home and Youngest was eager to use his new teabag. 

It was a good excuse for a cup of tea and a sit down! I read a pile of books to Youngest.

Youngest got dragged about a bit this evening, dropping the big bboysat their seperate clubs, then going back out to pick them up late in the evening. We started listening to ‘The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark’ audio book in the car. Youngest was pretty tired, so we just watched cartoons between the driving errands. 

Thursday

Another Mummy-breakfast morning. But, we had a brilliant reading book about frogs, so that cheered us up!

Then we all went out to the library, because it closes early on Thursdays, and we’ve been caught out by that before.

We read a couple of books there, then chose some to bring home.

We went to the park in town for a good run and some fresh air. Then we strolled around town so the big boys could play Pokémon Go.

Back home, I made lunch. Then Youngest did his writing.

We listened to this week’s German song again. I read the books Youngest had brought back from the library to him.

Then Youngest turned my hat into a gun.

We took Eldest to tennis club and, while he played, Middly, Youngest and I kicked a football around and had a run through the woods nearby.

Back home, Youngest played with the rats and Middly again. Then Youngest played with Lego again. He plays very long involved games, occasionally stopping to show me what he’s made.

This, for example, is a Musoupal. Which is ‘something small and rectangular, which likes soup; and this one is an amphibian’.

Youngest came to help me with tea today. He topped and tailed the green beans.

Then he watched the rest of the Minions movie while tea cooked.

Friday

Youngest had breakfast with Daddy again. He played with play dough while everyone else got up and ate breakfast.

When he’d finished with his play dough, Youngest came to find me and read his book.

Then he played with Lego for a while, until I asked him to look at his science book with me. He did a page about bees that involved finding squares on a grid, then we read some facts about butterflies and he drew a few of his own. He told me that he was drawing a ‘night butterfly’, and I tried to tell him that usually it’s moths that fly at night. Turns out he was drawing a ‘knight butterfly’ riding on a caterpillar!
Having finished his drawing, Youngest ran to see if Middly knew what ‘metamorphosis’ meant. Middly chatted about the lifecycle of butterflies with Youngest for a bit. Then went back to his book, so Youngest returned to his Lego.

After lunch, we went to a new park, with some friends. There was lots to explore, plenty of trees to climb, and we found a duck pond. We listened to the rest of ‘The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark’ in the car.

Back home, Youngest had a snack, then I read his library books to him again. Then he went off to read them to himself.

I got out the CD player and we listened to this week’s German song again. Then I offered to do a puzzle with him, but he wasn’t interested and returned to playing with the feathers and elastic. He interfered with a game that I set up with Middly, which was a bit unusual for him, but after we finished playing, Youngest explained that he had lost the end of the sellotape. I found it for him and he happily returned to sticking feathers together.

Middly made balloon-powered cars out of Lego. Youngest was very impressed and tried making a balloon-powered ship of his own. It did fly a little way. 

Summary

All in all, I think it’s been a pretty typical week. I think there were a few more parks than usual. We go outside every day, but it isn’t always to the park. Friday trips aren’t always to parks, either, we’ve been to museums, art galleries, farms, zoos and fire stations too. But, overall, I think this is pretty much what Youngest does all week.

Putting this blog together has made me realise quite how much time Youngest spends entertaining himself. He seems happy enough, and it’s a great help to me, since I have the other two boys around as well. 

Workbooks

At the moment, Youngest is doing several workbooks from Schofield and Simms. They’re very good value and the pages are quite plain, which Youngest likes.

He is also working through the Songbirds activity books, which tie in with some of his reading books.

I put a workbook in Youngest’s box every day, along with his reading book. We usually do a couple of pages at some point in the day.

Reading books

Youngest isn’t keen on re-reading books. He likes to read a new one each day. Our library isn’t equipped with reading schemes, so I have purchased quite a few for Youngest to use. Book People do a lot of good value packs. 

Some of the books take him more than a day to get through, so here’s this week’s selection:

Seeing them all together, I realise that they’re all Oxford Reading Tree, but he does have some Collins Big Cat Readers sets as well, and one from Marvel kids too, he just didn’t read any of those this week!

Poetry – Rhyme

I’ve put together a six week course on poetry for local home educated children.
We’re using The Works poetry anthology as it gives a fantastic selection of different types of poem.

The first week, we looked at Rhyme.

Arrival Activity

Colour in rhyming words in the same colour.

rhymesheets

 

Introduction

We’ve got six weeks to look at poetry together. This week we’re going to start off by looking at rhyme.

Can anyone tell me what it means to say that two words rhyme?

Rhyming is about the sound at the end of the words, not the letters. So ‘snow’ and ‘now’ don’t rhyme – even though they end with the same letters, and ‘chair’ and ‘bear’ do rhyme, even though they don’t end with the same letters. If you’re not sure whether or not two words rhyme, try saying them out loud and listen to the sound.

Rhyme is an important part of a lot of poetry. And you can have different effects by using rhyme in different ways. There are two main types of rhyme: masculine rhyme and feminine rhyme.

Masculine rhyme is when only one syllable rhymes (like ‘cat’ and ‘bat’, or ‘acrobat’ and ‘laundromat’)  and feminine rhyme is when two or more syllables rhyme (like ‘stoney’ and ‘bony’, or ‘on a pony’ and ‘macaroni’).

We’re going to try and put the words on these cards into rhyming pairs, then sort the pairs into feminine and masculine rhymes.

Give out cards with rhyming words on, children should pair up the rhymes then peg them on the ‘masculine rhyme line’ or the ‘feminine rhyme line’.

rhymecards

The exact effect of masculine and feminine rhymes varies with lots of other factors, like whether the rhyme is a hard consonant sound or a soft sibilant sound, whether the rhyming words share the same rhythm or not, and what other effects are going on in the poem. But, you can expect feminine rhymes to sound more lyrical and – sometimes – more light-hearted than masculine rhymes.

Rhyme is one of the main ways that poets structure their poems. So, one of the important ways that we talk about poems is by looking at which words rhyme.

The rhyming shape of a poem is called the rhyme scheme, and they are very easy to find. We’re going to find the rhyme scheme of a poem together, and then you can all have a go on your own.

To find the rhyme scheme, we’re going to focus on the words at the ends of the lines.

‘There’s a Monster in the Garden’ page 406-7.

This is a nice easy rhyme scheme, it’s four stanzas, each made up of three rhyming couplets.

 

Individual Task

Give out rhyme scheme work sheets, for children to have a go at finding rhyme schemes themselves.

rhymescheme

Those who can manage the nursery rhymes can try ‘Jellicle Cats Come Out Tonight’, page 394.

Older children could also find the rhyme scheme of ‘Sonnet’, page 511.

 

Regroup

Work out the rhyme scheme of ‘Sonnet’ together.

Christina Rossetti’s poem is a very special type of poem, does anyone know what this type of poem is called?

It’s a sonnet.

Sonnets were incredibly popular in the 16th and 17th centuries, and hold a special place in English and Italian literary history. They are also very easy to spot. They should have fourteen lines, and a strict rhyme scheme.

Christina Rossetti was writing much later, in the 19th Century, when sonnets had a brief resurgence amongst the Romantics.

The first step in looking for a sonnet, is to count how many lines it has.

If you’re feeling clever, you can then work out the rhyme scheme and you may be able to match it to the rhyme scheme of other famous poets.

Ask younger children to have a look at the poems on pages 510, 513, and 516, can they count the lines and identify the sonnets?

Give older children a Shakespearean sonnet and a Spenserian sonnet and see if they can spot any similarities between the rhyme schemes of these and the Romantic sonnets.

sonnets

Younger children could make Jellicle Cats from plasticine.