Planting Seeds

Learning is a lot about planting seeds. Trying something new, seeing if it takes and grows. We’ve been collecting lots of resources, so on Saturday I had a jig around with the shelves, books and boxes of crafty bits, cards, learning toys and activities. I also mixed up the posters dotted around the house to keep the children interested and added some new ones. One of the new posters is about seed dispersal that I got free from the Royal Horticultural Society. R and I had already discussed, in brief ,seed dispersal after she blew on a Dandelion head. An activity I think most children love to do with no thought to what it actually is. So at dinner we were all chatting away about different plants and how they spread their seeds. We were amazed that some plants grow where naturally occurring fires happen as they need the seed pods to be heated in order to spread.

My parents came round at the weekend and took the children to the park and popped into a local jumble sale where they picked a great book about natural herbal remedies. As a little girl I loved making potions from flowers, a hobby that once got me in trouble for destroying a prize winning gardens beautiful plants! I think my girls (and boy) will also love mixing up herbs, plants and leaves from our own garden to make ointments, tinctures, balms, scented oils and learning all about what they can be used for and they can help us. We can also learn what not to use as of course there are many plants than can be harmful to use. The book also talks about plants we can eat and what foods can aid good health and it has a recipe for stinging nettle soup and a dandelion salad recipe.

We all plant seeds we think may of interest to our children, some grow and flourish while others don’t. When the children turn 3 they start swimming lessons as we feel that it is an important life skill. E didn’t enjoy it particularly so has chosen not to continue, S enjoys her time there but it’s not her favourite activity but R loves it. At only 7 she is far better at butterfly than I am and her others strokes are excellent too. It was a seed that was planted in her and one that has grown and grown.

As a parent and an educator my role is to set up opportunities to try something, to plants seeds, and nourish those that need it. All the children have the same opportunities and activities available to them. They are all different and each one will focus on what they enjoy and what interests them, it gives them a chance to specialise in something that is important to them.

Daddy and E have taken up a new hobby together, collecting, building and painting Warhammer figures. While this may not seem educational to some it is fantastic for fine motor skills and therefore will help with handwriting. It is creative and a calming task for E to do, and it can lead to social activities as many people go on and get together to use their armies to battle tournaments.

Of course planting seeds can be just that, growing vegetables and fruits. We have been learning a lot about where our food comes from, growing our own, using it in cooking and trying new foods. We’ve looked at foods from around the world, been to farms and shops, with even more visits planned as the children all enjoy this topic. I except it will be ongoing throughout our education, even now as an adult I still enjoy growing food, watching it and tasting it.

 

Questions

Some days I think we don’t seem to have done much but then I look back at our week and see that we are always doing something. Even quiet days we talk a lot, which at this age is how they learn. They ask questions, so many questions! What’s this called? Why does that happen? What’s in there? Why? A lot of the time I know the answer but sometimes we have to look it up together. I’m learning all the time too.

IMAG4665IMAG4660

 

 

S and I went for a walk to the shop and every time we saw a plant she asked the name and I told her, the next time we saw it I’d ask her to see if she remembered. She loves being in the garden and helping, she loves plants and flowers. She enjoys sowing seeds and watching them grow, planting veggies that we can eat and putting new plants in the garden that she can watch turn into beautiful flowers.

 

E loves asking questions about cars and trucks, sharks and snakes, about things that go fast and things that are big. Every night Daddy or I read to E, non-fiction books full of facts because that’s what he loves. He loves finding things out, he soaks it all up and remembers every bit. How big is that Dad? How fast does it go? Is it poisonous?

IMAG4743IMAG4756

We’re always learning wherever we are. If we go for a walk, spend 4 hours running around in the woods or play in the park. When we’re at soft play with friends or out in the garden. When we go to the shops or visit grandparents, have a meal or bake cakes. When we look in a pond and ask “what’s that in there?”. When we’re painting, building with blocks or reading a book. All of these things and more we have done this past week. We love learning because learning is great.

IMAG4766

Easter holidays

The schools are all off for Easter and like many other home educators we’ve sort of gone into hibernation! Everywhere gets busy when the schools are closed so we haven’t done much out and about stuff. But this has given the children more chance to play with their schooled friends.¬†We’ve all been struck with colds and I’m on antibiotics for an ear infection, a little rest is just what we all needed.

IMAG4493_1

Just before the holidays started E went for a sleepover at Nanny’s and then she took him to the Dinosaur Museum and Dorset County Museum. He thoroughly enjoyed his day and being spoiled my Nanny. Nanny said he whizzed round at top speed but despite this he seemed to learn loads as he came home and quizzed me on lots of dinosaur facts.

Daddy was off work for five days over the bank holiday weekend and we managed a little picnic in the park. We also had a lovely day at Nanny and Granddad’s playing in the garden in the sunshine with some of the cousins. Nanny treated the children to a McDonald’s too.

IMAG4505

Over the last 2 weeks we have done lots of playing, and of course with playing comes learning. S has been playing with her flashcards, matching letters to pictures, practicing letter sounds and blending. R has been doing reading and practicing sentence structure. We’ve played with Playdoh, making shapes, models, aliens, and R made an “old fashioned man” complete with lawyer wig and admiral hat. We’ve done lots of gardening and seed sowing. S is growing her own peas and we have a little bit of growth on our potatoes.

We have been to a home ed meetup at Butchers Coppice where the children were able to do an agility trail, play on trampolines and meet other home educated children. We have 2 or 3 more meetups planned for next week.

IMAG4627

One excitement in our house this past week has been the emerging of our Painted Lady Butterflies, the final one hatching as I type this. We have been surprised at how quickly they emerge from their chrysalis. Releasing them was lovely as we got to hold them and take pictures. We have had many questions about the life cycle of butterflies, including “do they sleep?”. It is lovely learning alongside the children and finding the answers to their questions together. (In case you don’t know the answer is No, butterflies don’t sleep they become quiescent or restful.)

IMAG4616