And then there were 3

For a large part of this week I’ve only had 3 children at home. Monday to Wednesday R stayed at Granma’s house and Thursday to Saturday S stayed at Nanny’s house. Both girls enjoyed getting lots of one to one time. R made cakes, recycled one of my old school books into a diary, played playmobil, and went out for dinner.
S went to the garden centre and played in the little soft play there, made cakes, went to the shops, and stayed up very late!

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Home seemed rather quiet with just 3 children. E and S spent an evening playing playmobil together, it was really lovely to see them and we let them stay up a bit later as they were playing so nicely.

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We spent time making a puppet theatre and colouring little finger puppets. We then did a little show and some songs.
E painted some dinosaur models and learnt about mixing colours to make different ones. Little S made some pictures for all the grandparents.

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We met up with some of our home ed friends at soft play in the week after taking the guinea pigs to the vets to get their nails cut.
E and I have spent the last few months reading The Hobbit together and we we finished the book this week. We’ve now started The Lord of the Rings although I think it may take all year to read!

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It’s been a quiet week but one I think we’ve all needed. The flowers are starting to grow in the garden and we’re looking forward to spring.

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My Random Musings

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What a year!

This time last year the children were still in school. And they were miserable. The daily tears, the tummy aches, the sleepless nights and bad dreams. Since then a lot has changed. We made the decision to remove them from school permanently and educate them at home. It was a scary and exciting decision. The first few weeks we just breathed a massive sigh of relief, spent time together and met with other home educators.

It was wonderful watching the children learn to be children again. To let go of their stress and anxieties, and getting to know them and their interests.

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Whilst they were in school we tried to fit things in to weekends and holidays, and invariably ran out of time. This year we’ve managed to do things we’ve wanted to do and even better, do them when everyone else was at school and it was quiet.

We’ve been to country parks, theme parks and swing parks. We’ve seen explosive science shows, and Steve Backshall. We’ve played in the snow, in the trees and in rivers. We’ve been to the library many, many times, and we’ve read book upon book.

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We’ve woken up in the middle of the night to watch the moon turn red. We’ve cooked and hosted dinner parties. We’ve watched 1st hand the life cycle of a butterfly. We’ve welcomed a new cousin, two guinea pigs, and two dogs to the family. We also lost our dear Willow, the dog of my teen years, my parents dog.

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We’ve made so many new friends of all ages. Spent hours and hours socialising. Real socialising, not half an hour in lunch break or the odd whisper during class. The sort of socialising when you spend hours running around together, playing, talking, inventing, creating, and truly mixing with others. We’ve been able to include Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles in the children’s education and spend quality time with them.

We’ve learnt so much, me included. We’ve learnt about animals, the Tudors, and the solar system. We’ve grown vegetables, and plants and learnt how to use them medicinally.
We’ve hand fed birds, and held snakes and spiders.¬†We’ve painted and drawn, made models and crafted. We’ve flown kites, baked, run, swam, coloured, climbed and decorated.

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We have done so much and we are much happier. Of course we have off days and bad days, everyone does. On the whole though life is so much better for all of us. So here’s to never going back to school!

Happy Diaries

Everyday maths and fun

One of my favourite things about home educating the children is being able to spend so much quality time with each of them. This morning I sat on the sofa snuggled up under a blanket next to E whilst he played his Jurassic park game on the iPad. Watching him learn without him even knowing that’s what he was doing. For instance, he had 15,765 coins and he needed to spend 6000 on an infirmary. He knew he would have nine thousand, seven hundred and sixty-five coins left. Or when he needed to buy 3 ferns at 4120 each so he needed over 12 thousand coins but he only 5 thousand. He worked out how many coins he needed to save to buy the ferns. No calculator just all in his head. To him he was just playing his game while I marveled at his maths skills.
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After breakfast we went to a friends house to spend time with them and play in their swimming pool. They all went in for a play, although E only managed a short time he did have a go and I am really proud of him for that. S did a few lengths with her floats and Little S jumped in from the steps a few times, for me to catch her. R was in her element as she adores swimming.
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Yesterday at home ed club we iced biscuits, planted broad beans in plastic cups so we can see them growing and made dens. The children all had great fun charging about playing and at the end of the session they headed out to the park whilst the adults tidied up.
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On the way home E asked how long he could have to play on the PC when he got home. I explained that both E and R could half an hour each before Daddy got home from work. We then worked out how many minutes half an hour is if a whole hour is 60 minutes. E said to me that there are 24 hours in a day then asked how many there are in a night. I explained to him that 24 hours is the day and nights, that in the summer days are longer and nights shorter and in the winter it’s the other way around.

After two busy days we are looking forward to a quieter day tomorrow and the older girls swimming lessons in the evening.

Pizza, soft play and romans

Living in the countryside it’s amazing how easy it is to clock up the miles driving from place to place. Tuesday we met up with some home ed friends at soft play in Blandford. 12 children (and a baby) playing together whilst the mums chatted and drank tea.
Wednesday Poppy had the vets for her first vaccinations and check up in Verwood and afterwards we went to Granma’s for a spot of lunch and a play.
Thursday the older girls had their swimming lessons in Ferndown.

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Friday we were in Dorchester learning about and making pizza, afterwards we popped over to the skatepark for a run around.

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R helping S put on her apron

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Today R had her first session at the Youth Archeology Club in Salisbury. She was learning about Romans, making Roman masks and clay models. She thoroughly enjoyed herself and came out beaming. She’s looking forward to next month’s session and I’m thrilled that she’s found something she really enjoys.
160(ish) miles clocked up in just a few days! Although it’s not necessary to travel this much when educating your children at home, we do love getting out to different or new places, visiting people and exploring.

A winter week

One thing I’ve discovered since home educating, especially in the winter months, is that the days all seem to blend into one. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but it makes it difficult remembering what we did on what days!
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Last week we went to home ed group on Tuesday, I know it was Tuesday because it’s always on a Tuesday. It was in a new hall, a hall with fantastic outside space. There is also a swing park just outside. We’re really looking forward to exploring this new area. At club the children enjoyed making sweets, painting pasta necklaces, playing together and getting exceedingly muddy in the park.
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As for the rest of the week, the older 2 had their hair cut, and we’ve spent lots of time playing with Poppy.

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She was happy, honest!

E made some chocolate chip cookies, the best chocolate chip cookies I have had in a long time! We used a basic shortbread recipe which we adapted a little. Delicious.
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Thursday afternoon we had some home ed friends round to play. A little girl to play with my little two and two older boys who got on really well with my older two.

Granma and Aunty A popped round for lunch one day, homemade leek and potato soup and homemade granary bread rolls.
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The rest of the week we’ve spent time reading, playing, R has been practising her typing and spelling on the PC with a new game she’s discovered, whilst E has been learning about DNA and dinosaurs.

We have a few things to look forward to this week including soft play and pizza making.

A new addition

Back in November a fellow home educating mummy posted some pictures of her dog’s nine new born puppies. Instantly the children, hubby and I fell in love. A couple of weeks later we went round and the children picked which one they wanted. Thankfully they all picked the same blonde girly pup.

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Over the next few weeks we tried (and failed) to agree on a name for our puppy. We bought her a bed, a lead, bowls and too many toys.
Yesterday we went to pick up our new baby. Poppy was chosen by majority vote after it proved impossible to unanimously agree on a single name.

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The children adore her, even E has given her a few cuddles. Daddy stayed up with her last night to help her settle, so tonight I’m on night duty. Hopefully she’ll settle ok, she already seems very happy here.

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The children are looking forward to all sorts of adventures with her, and can’t wait until she’s ready to go out for walks.

My Random Musings