This Homeschooling Life #2 – Finding rhythm

I had a lot of intentions this past month. Lots of plans were going to materialise into pretty pictures for this blog post. In fact, I was going to write a weekly update to keep an eye on what we’ve been up to. I’ve managed one week so far. Looking back, the month doesn’t look like I planned. And that’s absolutely fine.

Between sickness passing from one family member to another and me struggling a bit with low mood (not something I talk much about here), we’ve had to slow right down and reassess. I’ve spent a lot of this month de-cluttering, reorganising, cleaning and re-buying supplies I hadn’t a hope of finding.

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Meanwhile, the girls have spent loads of time playing freely alone and together. It’s exciting seeing what a difference every week makes with Ophelia. They’re doing so much together now: imaginary play, rough housing, mixing stuff in the mud kitchen, turning everything into a game. In fact, Talitha spent the night with my brother and his wife this weekend and Ophelia seemed a little lost without her big sister to play with.

They can play for hours too. One day this week, we hung out at a local park for about four hours. I think Ophelia would have stayed even longer if Talitha and I weren’t ready to go home! That girl just loves being outdoors, running around.

We’re still finding our rhythm. I suspect we have too many days out. I would like for us to have two days when we’re just on our own, primarily because I can’t cope with being out with others all the time but, also, I think being at home or just pottering around on our own locally is good for them too.

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At the moment, we go to a local home ed group, Talitha does ballet, we sometimes go to another group further afield with a wider age group and she has a regular play date. This past week we tried an all-day forest school we’d been wanting to go to for a while. It took us both a while to warm into it but she loved it so much, I think we’ll try it again. Both girls start a private swim lesson together this week and Talitha resumes her once a month horseriding lesson later this month. Ophelia and I are going to a toddler group every other week.

In a sense it doesn’t seem like loads, and there’s easily more I’d be tempted to add if time and money allowed but we need time at home. All three of us do. So I don’t think there’ll ever be a week when we do all that I’ve mentioned above.

We’ve continued to do a few structured activities three times a week (I’ve blogged about what we’re using here) mostly out in the garden. Sometimes we’ve literally just done calendar time and spent the rest of time reading. Some form of art has happened every day, unplanned.

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Talitha’s monthly magazine from Avon Wildlife Trust arrived (she gets so excited spotting her name on the envelope!) so we’ve been reading that and trying to find the answers to the millions of questions each page prompts. I’m seriously getting such an education myself here.

I sometimes find Talitha getting her “daily learning notebook” out on her own and filling it in with her movable calendar, coming to ask questions of anything she’s not sure of. I found one day that she’d also fished a maths book out and done a few pages of addition, drawing objects and writing the answers.

It reminded me of two things. One, it isn’t all down to me. So I needn’t beat myself up when I’m not feeling 100 per cent. It’ll happen. Two, these are things she wants to do. I sometimes feel a little shy of admitting that we’re doing anything structured or formal, feeling (rightly or wrongly) that people don’t expect us to be. That’s funny in a way because one of the reasons we’re home educating is to move at my children’s pace and not worry about external expectations.

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Another cool thing that happened this month… I found all the Autumn things I’d saved from last year, including these great printables from Twinkl. So we put up our display, which both girls love and have been doing the activities again since I laminated them. There were a few Woodland Trust bits we didn’t attempt last year but will this year, like trying to spot nocturnal animals.

We also had a little break in a safari tent in Dartmoor (I’ll be blogging about it this week) and Laurence took Talitha to a Rugby World Cup game. Neither would have been as easily done if she were in school and both were learning adventures so I’m grateful we’ve been able to enjoy them.

Actually, you know what? Looking back on it, that was a pretty good month.

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Every month, I’ll give a little update on what we’ve been up to as part of This Homeschooling Life, a new linky I’m hosting with blogger friends Jess, Polly and Laura. I’m sure I’ll have lots more to share next time around. Do read more about it below and if you blog, consider linking up.

This Homeschooling Life is a linky sharing either a week, a day or just a moment from your life as a homeschooling family. We are hoping it will be a great way to discover new blogs and learn how we all do things differently.

The linky will open at 8am on the first Monday of every month and, throughout the rest of the month, the hosts will share your posts on their social media channels.

The Hosts:

Adele who blogs at Circus Queen
Laura who blogs at Side Street Style
FACEBOOK / TWITTER / PINTEREST / INSTAGRAM
Polly who blogs at Enchanted Pixie
FACEBOOK / TWITTER / PINTEREST / INSTAGRAM

The Rules:

1. Link back to one of the hosts. You will find the code for the badge at the bottom or if you prefer you can use a text link.

2. Link up a post from your month, no more than 3.

3. Link directly to a specific post, not your main blog.

4. Follow the hosts on at least one of their social media platforms.

5. Visit and comment on some of the other blogs linking up.

6. If you share on social media then you can use the #thishomeschoolinglife so we can all find each other.

This Homeschooling Life

An InLinkz Link-up