Last year, I blogged about a week of home ed for each of my boys. I thought that it would be fun to do the same this year, to see how things have changed. I’m going to start with my Youngest. This is what he was doing last year: Home Ed Reception
A year is a long time for little ones. Youngest has come a long way since last year! He’s reading much more fluently, writing pretty well, and he’s discovered a new love of drawing. He still enjoys Lego a lot.
We have also moved house since last year, so all our home ed groups have changed! Youngest has found the house move unsettling, and is taking a little while to relax with our new groups.
This is a quiet day for us, we don’t have any groups, so it makes a relaxing start to the week.
Youngest began the day by continuing his duplo game from yesterday. We left his duplo out overnight.
Youngest was very engaged with this game (he’s built our family as superheroes) and needed quite a few reminders to eat his breakfast and get dressed.
Just before ten, Youngest took a break from duplo to read to me. He’s been enjoying the Project X Alien Adventures series by Oxford Reading Tree. We’re on the short chapter books now, so he generally takes a week to read each book, at one chapter a day. This week it’s ‘Operation Holotanium’.
After reading, Youngest returned to duplo, and played until I asked him to come and do his workbooks.
Youngest does a couple of pages of workbooks four days a week. Today he did a bit of handwriting from his Wild About workbook:
Youngest enjoys these books because they have animal facts on each page. We read about polar bears sneaking up on seals and acted it out in the kitchen.
Then Youngest did his maths. This is a CGP workbook.
I joined Youngest for a bit of duplo play before snack time. He had an orange for his snack.
Youngest played duplo again until lunch time. He had ‘cold cheese on warm toast’.
Then we had our History lesson. We’ve been using Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer for a few weeks now. I bought this because I thought that it would be good for Youngest to start doing some history. But, in the event, the older two have been joining in as well. It’s an interesting book, with an American emphasis that makes a very nice contrast to the more British-centric books that the older two use.
I read the chapter and Eldest and Youngest took turns answering some questions.
I use the Story of the World Activity Book as well, which has photocopiable colouring sheets and maps in the back, and a nice selection of three of four hands-on activities to do after reading each chapter.
We looked at the map and I showed Youngest where the Great Pyramid is. He made an attempt to draw it, but them drew ‘Ancient Egyptian gods fighting’ over the top.
For our history activity this week I choose to make scented oils.
I picked a short activity this week because we have follow-up from our last activity. Last week we made clay tablets and paper scrolls and began an experiment to see how they stood up to the weather. My tablet and scroll have been sat on our patio for the last week (the scroll was weighted down with a rock, to prevent it blowing away).
This week we looked at the tablet, which survived well, and the scroll, which looked as though it had been nibbled by sonething!
Then we baked them in the oven on a low heat, to simulate the heat of a desert.
Admittedly, it would have been an even more effective experiment if I hadn’t used permanent marker for the scroll.
Eldest and Youngest ran off to play in the garden. Recently they’ve been playing a game where they pretend to solve mysteries with the aid of Eldest’s rabbit. From what I can tell, it involves a lot of running up and down interspersed with whispering coded messages to one another. They needed a bit of help listening to each other and agreeing on how to play today, but, after I calmed them down and asked a few questions, they managed to resume playing.
When Eldest decided to read, Youngest returned to his epic duplo game. He was briefly upset when his plant monster collapsed twice, but a hug cheered him up and we talked about how bigger feet might make the next monster more stable.
Youngest played duplo for quite a while. Middly joined him for a bit, and the game became very noisy indeed!
Youngest asked me for some string, to build a model hammer. I reminded him that he needed to put away one game before starting another, and we tidied up the duplo together. I gave Youngest string and elastic bands. Then we had a snack (he had chocolate milk, crackers and cherry tomatoes) while he decided how to make his hammer.
Here’s what he came up with:
He ran outside to join his brothers and show them his ‘hammer’. They played in the garden for a while. When they returned to the house, Youngest was a bit tired and emotional, so I put on ‘Hulk’. All the boys settled to watch that before tea.
After tea, my husband put Youngest to bed. They read ‘Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland‘ together. Youngest asked me to buy this after seeing it advertised in the back of one of his other books. It arrived at the weekend.
First thing, Youngest gathered pillows from our beds, made himself a nest and read to himself. He read his Lego movie book and some old ladybird books. He stopped to eat breakfast.
Then he read the next chapter of ‘Operation Holotanium’ to me. When he finished that, he asked me to get the duplo out again. This morning he’s built Pokémon out of duplo.
There was a short duplo pause, when Youngest asked me to help him go online and order a Guardians of the Galaxy mask with his pocket money. We placed the order, then he picked up his duplo game again.
We’ve been going to a fortnightly roller-skating meet-up with local home ed families. Youngest was a bit unsure the first few times, but he’s warming to the idea. This was his fourth go. He skates for about half an hour, then spent the rest of the time drawing pictures of super hero costume designs. Youngest had a cake and squash for his snack and spent some time playing with another little boy.
After the skating session we joined some friends at a nearby park for a picnic lunch. Youngest played with the other children and his brothers, they ran around a lot.
Then we had to take Middly to a club. Youngest and I popped into the shop and he chose a baking kit to do. Back home, Eldest helped him bake cupcakes using the kit.
I began reading ‘The Twits’ to Youngest as a bedtime story.
Youngest read Mr Men books when he woke up. Then the rabbit escaped from his run, so Youngest scampered around the garden in his pyjamas helping me catch the rabbit.
After he’d eaten breakfast and got dressed, Youngest read the rest of ‘The Twits’ to himself.
He read the next two chapters of ‘Operation Holotanium’ to me, then sat down to read Robert Winston’s Home Lab to himself. He asked if we could do one of the experiments from the book, it involves freezing water in balloons, so I found a couple of balloons and helped Youngest fill them with water, I had to tie the necks for him. Then he put them in the freezer.
We’ve started playing tennis with other home ed families, we meet at a local court once a fortnight. Eldest is a keen player, so Youngest has been dragged along, really. This is only our second time attending, and on the first go, Youngest didn’t play any tennis at all. This time he joined in for about three quarters of an hour (the session’s one hour long), which was great. He played various ball games with about a dozen children of primary age. He was very pleased to see some friends from skating were there too.
On the way home, he read in the car. When we got back, Youngest did a couple of pages of workbooks. He was delighted to write ‘poo’ and ‘poop’ when the book asked for two words with ‘oo’ in them! Both of these are CGP books.
Youngest had another look at the Home Lab book and asked to make slime.
He needed a bit of help with measuring. He read the explanation from the book and we talked about viscosity. Then he played with the slime, and made gloop men.
We put the slime away for another day, then I helped Youngest clean himself up. Usually, I like the boys to help clean up after themselves, but I thought that might be more trouble than it was worth today. There was sticky gloop everywhere!
So I let Youngest get back to reading the Home Lab book.
Youngest played tennis in the garden with Middly until tea. My husband read ‘The Twits’ for his bedtime story.
A slightly later start to the day today. Youngest put some stickers in the Usbourne Ancient Egypt sticker book. Them he read another couple of chapters of ‘Operation Holotanium’ to me.
He performed some magic tricks for me and Eldest, making a shiny medal ‘appear’ inside books. Then he dressed up in a spiderman costume and a cape to perform more magic tricks with ribbons, cards and a toy snake.
After a snack, Youngest did a bit of his science workbook and made a ‘clapping cat’ from his Kumon craft book. Youngest’s folding isn’t always very precise, so he made more of a ‘face-hitting cat’, which he found hilarious!
The older boys found a frog at the end of the garden and fetched Youngest to go and see it.
Then he remembered the balloons we froze yesterday, so we finished that experiment together.
His brothers came over to have a look, which gave Youngest a great opportunity to explain about salt melting ice.
Eldest and Youngest played with Lego until lunch time. Then, after lunch, we went to the library to change our books. We met another home ed family there, and Youngest showed them some books he’d enjoyed.
Back home, Youngest had a milkshake, then continued to play with Lego for a while.
He came back to watch me refill the dishwasher with salt. Then played with Lego until tea time.
Middly has been going to a weekly after-school club at a nearby church. This is his third visit. Youngest went with him the first week, but wasn’t sure he liked it. He didn’t go last week or this week. It’s a bit later in the evening than the club he used to attend at our old house, so I think he might just be too tired. We’ll have another go when he’s a bit older.
Youngest read library books first thing, and continued after breakfast.
We don’t have any scheduled work books on a Friday, it’s used to catch up on any work that didn’t get completed the rest of the week. I’m really pleased with this recent change to our system. Having a weekly catch-up day takes away a lot of the stress of unfinished work, and results in more work getting completed. This week, Youngest has completed all the planned workbooks.
He helped me put on a load of laundry, then played with Lego.
We have a weekly home ed sports group. This is our third time going. The first time, Youngest didn’t join in at all. The second time, he joined in, but I had to stay by his side for the whole session. This time, he joined in, with some encouragement, for almost the whole session without me. Hurrah!
After the sports session, we played in a playground with some friends and Youngest had a snack.
Back home, Youngest played with Lego again. We had a late lunch.
Youngest has been really enjoying our history sessions and asked if we could have another one today. Unfortunately, I wasn’t prepared to do history today, so I suggested we do some Geography instead. I got out a puzzle, a model and the Treasure Hunt Map Game. When the older boys saw, they decided to join in. We talked about the oceans and the continents and the boys took it in turns to identify a continent or ocean from my clues. First, they put a puzzle piece in for every continent they identified. Once the puzzle was finished, they put flags on the big map when they identified a continent or ocean.
Youngest helped tidy up the geography toys. Then he played with Lego again.
I offered to read to Youngest, he chose A Place for Zero, and Middly decided to listen too. So we snuggled up on the sofa and read together. Then Youngest read me the last chapters of ‘Operation Holotanium’.
After another quick snack, all the boys decanted the scented oils they made on Monday. Then Youngest returned to his Lego, he built a robo-goat and a terrifying fairground ride for Lego men.
Youngest helped make tea tonight. He got some herbs from the garden to season our chips.
I’m not always certain what Youngest reads now that he can reach books (and even put them away) for himself. But, these are the books that I’ve noticed him reading this week:
We have plenty of books at home, most of which I’ve selected. I want the boys to choose books for themselves as well, so I think our weekly library trips are an important opportunity to choose from a different range. At the moment, Youngest likes to take Lego books out.
Looking back over the week, it strikes me that Youngest probably considers school work and trips as an interruption of his important games. He has always played independently for a lot of the day by necessity. I’m so busy with the older ones, that Youngest occupying himself has been vital. I think he gets a lot out of his free-play time, which is lovely to see.
Making this record of exactly what he’s up to has definitely made me pay a bit more attention to Youngest than usual. I’m definitely going to do it again.