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Learning at home

A while ago, I was sent The Children’s Garden a book filled with inspiration for things to make and do with children the garden. It’s written by Matthew Appleby, a former primary school teacher and author of The Allotment Planner. An aesthetically pleasing hardback, full of beautiful and helpfully instructive images, it’s a real pleasure to own and lovely book for the kids to flick through to see if anything appeals if they’re at a loose end. The book presents 52 family projects, themed and ordered by season, ranging from

OK, so this update is a little overdue but since the big educational centrepiece of the month was the appearance of the girls’ new baby sister, I reckon I’m allowed to be late. I’m hoping to soon write about all my big reflections from our first year of “officially” home educating. Talitha has a pretty even split of friends who go to school and who are home educated so she’s well accustomed to telling people that she’s “homeschooled” (“home educated” is too long to say, she tells me). She’s also

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias I tried to get some bigger crafts and activities with kids in before the baby came and life inevitably slowed right down and got that bit more chaotic. As it turned out, we managed this windchime made of CD suncatchers literally just before the day Delilah was born. As in, we started it on the due date, finished it on 40+1, I went into labour that night and she was born the

It’s time to reflect on another month of home education. As we come to the end of the school year, a lot of friends have asked how we’ve found it. I have learned so much this year about balance. I started the year flitting between going to loads of home ed groups and outings, and just staying in. I’ve learned so much about the value of self-direction but have also become more confident about when and how to offer structure and support. I worry less about what other people are

Writing these monthly summaries always feels a little odd because I could never include everything that’s happening. Home education really is a whole life pursuit. I find it helpful to look back on some of the highlights, though, and I really enjoy getting glimpses at what other home educating families get up to. Here’s what the month of May looked like for us. Deeper interests Dinosaurs have continued to be a strong theme here. It started with watching Dinosaur Train on Netflix and has gone far beyond that into books

With pregnancy exhaustion getting the better of me most days, it’s easy to look back on a month and think it shapeless. I’ve started writing little notes about what happens during the day and photograph more intentionally so that I remember that a lot is happening even when it feels like nothing at all. The deepest learning doesn’t always look like I might expect. Recording it informally allows me to pause long enough to notice it. We finally finished reading The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. I suggested we

It’s funny how you can feel like not much is happening when you’re in the middle of something but then look back and be blown away by just how much has happened. That’s one of the reasons I value recording these highlights of home education journey each month. March has been a tough one for me because I’ve been tired, irritable and struggling to cope with day-to-day tasks quite a lot of the time. I’ve seen the doctor and we’re doing some tests just to rule out the usual physical

Looking back on the highlights of February, there’s a lot to choose from. But, actually, blogging about it is going to be a little like it was living it – I’m hugely grateful for all we’ve had access to but I’m too tired to dwell much on any of it. Our days at the moment revolve around a few planned fun things then me trying to recover from whatever we’ve done. It’s been amazing seeing both the girls developing in their own right and enjoying each other’s company so immensely.

January has been a strange month. I say that, but with regard to home education, all of our months have been different anyway. I spent half of it still feeling the heavy weight of pregnancy symptoms and the second half being stuck down with what I can only assume actually was the flu, because its still lingering. It’s meant that we haven’t been up to as much as we usually are and after the chaos of Christmas, I admit that I’ve spent a lot of time feeling guilty about that.

Last year when Talitha was three-and-a-half, she and I really got into Chinese New Year with lots of reading, looking and videos and, of course, crafting. Fish appear a lot in Chinese New Year iconography as symbols of good luck. So, this lucky fish craft fit right in with our Chinese New Year wall display on the go (we need to start this year’s!) and worked those fine motor skills too. We used: a red paper plate a marker stick on eyes glue glue pen gold glitter hole punch pipe

Last year we got seriously into Chinese New Year. With it rolling around again, I thought I’d share the sensory box I put together for Talitha to enjoy when she was three-and-a-half. At going on one, this really wasn’t suitable for Ophelia at the time so I put it up on the table whenever Talitha wanted to play with it. I had some rice I’d bought cheaply from an Asian grocers, which I coloured with red and yellow ready mix paint by mixing the colours in separate bowls and laying

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