Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Getting Back into the Swing of Things

OK so screens are definitely back to stay!  The Wii U is fully installed and in regular use; the boys' computers are wired up and running; the DVD player is connected once again to the main TV.  No Sky TV as yet, but only a few more days to go until that is due to follow.  With almost all screens fully functioning we need to reset some limits, so gaming has been restricted to an afternoon activity once again.

There is still an awful lot that needs to be unpacked and organised around here, but although it would be incredibly easy to keep focusing on the house until it is all organised to my liking, I am not comfortable being inattentive to the boys' education any longer.  They have started to show signs of restlessness and needing more input from me, so I informed them that today we would be resuming Mathswhizz and other "learning stuff".

Middle sat and did his maths with me while Eldest got on with his on his own as usual. Youngest also did his alone in the Den - I'm not convinced he achieved/ understood much, as I had a look at his exercises later and he had taken a long time to get only low scores.  It doesn't matter - he is young and according to them he is still ahead of where they would expect for his age, and today I felt it was more important to help Middle get refocused into Maths zone.  It was a good strategy - he was able to focus and regain his confidence where left to himself I think he would have really struggled to do anything.  Next time I will spend more time with Youngest and we'll see how we get on.

After Maths I asked Eldest if he'd like to choose an Art project for everyone from my Pinterest board. He chose this one, using shades of colour to paint a wintry tree scene.  In retrospect I think I may have been better off choosing one myself, as this one proved to be more technical than it looks, which resulted in me needing to suggest they re-did some parts where they had misunderstood the technique (such suggestions are not always well received!).  For their first day 'back' it would probably have been better if they had been free to express themselves with no sense of getting it right or wrong, but just enjoying themselves. As it was we would have got better results if we had left it to dry between each layer, but there's no way any of us had the patience for that today!  It was a nice little project though, and the end results are sweet...

by Eldest

by Middle

by Youngest

by Mummy

After Art, and while I was getting lunch, Daddy found a slowworm outside on our drive, so we all rushed out to have a good look.  The boys gave it a very gentle stroke each, and then I relocated it to some leaf litter where it could hide safely (rather than under our car where it had been headed).

It looks like this is going to be a good home for continuing to enjoy wildlife, not least because we had a little hedgehog visitor on Saturday evening who needed rescuing. At 350g he was too small to survive the winter and he also just looked a bit poorly (after a while of looking after them you get to recognise a poorly looking hog).  I was a bit concerned as I'm not geared up to receive prickly patients yet - no vet or meds, and most of the necessary gear still packed somewhere, but happily I know a friend nearby who also rehabilitates wild hedgehogs, so I took little hoglet (named "Teazel" by Middle) in to keep him safe for the night and arranged to take him to my friend the following day. She has already started giving Teazel treatment for various found parasites, so I'm glad we took him in.  Hopefully once he's finished his meds we can have him back to fatten up for hibernation - we'll see.  It's a bit sooner than I was expecting to get involved with hogs again, but we couldn't ignore him in his hour of need!

Anyway, with slow worm successfully relocated, we decided to revisit our old tradition of having a "learning lunch", aka picnic lunch on the lounge floor while watching an educational TV programme.  Today's viewing of choice was "The Hunt" on iplayer.  Middle deliberately closed his eyes and ears briefly while the baby humpback whale fell prey to the Orcas, but other than that it proved to be completely gripping.

So that was it, our first day making an attempt to resume a degree of routine.  All things considered, it went quite well, but given that I still have half a house to sort out, plus Christmas things to start planning, plus GCSEs to start considering again, I don't think we will really settle for a good while yet.  Happily we are very familiar with the need for flexilbility, and that is the beauty of Home Education, that it works best when it fits around the family's needs, rather than us trying to fit around a rigid routine.  It's a bit of a crazy ride, but we love it still!

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