• Karen

One week in

One week in and we're all still talking to each other. So far so fun.

Day one was good. It went very quickly and we set off at quite a pace; the children were excited and happy to engage.

Our "school" day typically starts at 8am because we're usually up and dressed and breakfasted by then anyway. So they start with some maths practice worksheets which I generate from Math-Salamanders. We used to do this when we were in school and it works well for mastery.

Then they tested each other on their spellings, which they both enjoyed more than they thought they would. I get them to read the word then put it in a sentence and then the other one has to spell it out. Ten words in all, and if they get one right three days on the bounce they get a new word.

Exercise on day one was yoga because the weather was lousy. Lots to choose from on YouTube. We like Cosmic Kids, though it's a bit young for The Big One.

Piano practice next, then something they want to study - The Big One did some coding and The Small One did art. Then Karate classes as usual and that's one day done already.

Tuesday is going to be club day. This week we started in Maldon for an art class at The Creation Station where they did a painting of their initials in the style of Jasper Johns. I learnt something new too!

It's a bit far for us, about 35 minutes drive, so we did spellings and show practice on the way which worked well and we made an event of it by taking a packed lunch and enjoying Promenade Park afterwards. They exhausted themselves in the playground for a while then we went for a walk and did some bird-watching by the water.

After lunch we went to Home Ed Book Club at our favourite bookshop, Chicken and Frog Bookshop in Brentwood, which they really engaged with and which gave me a chance to get some work done, thanks to their WiFi and espresso machine.

Finally we went back home to try to identify the birds we'd seen in Maldon that we couldn't find on the information board. We think we've solved it. Anyone?

Wednesday is when I show my face in the office, so I left them in Daddy's capable hands and let them have some down time. This is where I currently feel I have to justify to myself and others that letting them do nothing much on a weekday is compensation for the after school clubs on other days and stage school at the weekend. But I'm hoping I'll get over that way of thinking soon enough.

Thursday is "adventure day" as named by the children. We went to the Natural History Museum in London. We took a packed lunch and I planned to be there for 4 hours. Which turned out to be plenty of time. I planned in advance roughly what we were going to visit so we wouldn't end up wandering around randomly - which is easily done. We went to see the dinosaurs and fossils, as that's what The Small One was learning in school. I printed out some worksheets in advance which they completed during the visit (while I had a well-deserved coffee). We had our lunch next to the blue whale and got an impromptu session with a volunteer who talked them through the sea food chain and hands-on with shells and fossils. It was unexpected and very cool.

Friday was lousy weather again so we stayed in and did English and maths practice using IXL and their iPad apps. We have implemented "Friends round Friday"so when school finished they each had a couple of mates over to play. I got to focus on work for a bit and they got beans on toast for tea and a lesson in quite how messy you should let your room get because you'll have to tidy it all up afterwards!

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