Monday, 9 May 2011

Teaching My Children.

The Boys. (James, right, Daniel, left).
Following on from last week's post about focusing on one thing at a time and becoming good at that thing, I'm going to spend the next week or two really looking at home education. In particular, what I am doing with James on a daily basis. I've got lots of ideas, some more well-formed than others, about projects to embark on and trips to take, as well as weekly and daily routines. I've taken a semi-structured approach to James' education so far, partly because he likes to know what is going to happen each day, so a daily and weekly structure (I use that term loosely) is helping to keep things calm, and partly because I like the freedom of being able to 'go with the flow' of the day's ups and downs, and, if necessary, throw the routine out of the window and escape into the wider world or just veg if we need to.

Since we began home educating at the beginning of February, we've sort-of stuck to a general theme for each day -

Maths Monday (mainly maths, obviously)
Try it Tuesday (a chance to try something new - be it food, handstands, cycling uphill, or whatever)
Wordy Wednesday (reading, writing, listening to stories, talking, etc)
Thinking Thursday (sciencey stuff)
My Day Friday (A project or some such frivolity)

So far, this seems to be vaguely working, except when it doesn't. There are weeks when we get loads done at home, and weeks when we spend loads of time out and about. At the beginning of April, I did a little evaluation of what we had covered so far, and it was really reassuring, because in black and white we have actually done quite a bit of stuff, which put a stop to my panicking that we might not have made any progress. Since the Easter break, which for us was about two and a half weeks, I've been easing James in gently with some worksheets and games that basically reinforce topics we've already covered in maths (one of his stronger areas). He's especially keen on counting and spending his pocket money! (Who isn't?)

I would like to tackle some more challenging stuff, for me I mean. I feel I can handle the maths and English quite well (James is only seven, I should add). It's the sciences, geography, history and such subjects requiring a bit more planning and preparation that I need to get my head around. So I'm going to be doing some research and preparing some activities, as I really want to do stuff that captures James' attention and enthusiasm for learning. (I know it's in there somewhere, I've seen glimpses!)

This needs to be an area of ongoing focus for as long as we home educate, and that is why I'm choosing to start my 'one thing at a time' here.

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