28 Sept 2007

Happy Days

Wednesdays are busy days. Thomas has a gymnastics class at 3.15, Lady has gymnastics at 4.15, the boys have an art class at 4.30 and Lady has Brownies at 6.30. Thomas has also just started Jujitsu on Saturdays with Lady. He really loved his fist class. He always gets stuck in at these things and really tries so hard.

At home, the children have been playing and learning. I had a look through Lady's Brownie badge book to see what badges she might go for. It seems like she already knows enough to get most of them, or already can do the activities for the practical ones. It was quite reassuring to see, that she has picked up so much knowledge and skills.

Thomas was recently reading a story with me on the Starfall site. Duncan came and sat behind me watching and listening. Each time we went to a new page, Duncan would read it, really quietly to himself. Thomas took a lot longer to decipher the words. Duncan seemed to find it easier to read, when I wasn't focusing on him. So I just kept on with the activities, and he kept getting everything right. He actually knew a lot more than I thought. He has been playing at these sorts of sites by himself, especially the Starfall site. I can often hear him repeating the words after the narrator. Yesterday, I overheard him practising how to say 'Jacques Offenbach'. It's really good for self-directed learning; the type he's best at.

Thomas has been asking lots of questions about numbers recently. He keeps doing sums in his head. He'll come up to me and say, 'I know what 7 plus 7 is; 14.' I taught him how to do more sums, by 'putting the number in his head' and then counting on using his fingers. He picked it up right away. I can really see how just learning these things as they come up naturally works. I didn't have to sit down with a workbook and tell him, 'today you're going to learn to add'. Lady spent ages on these things at school, and we still had to re-do them when she started to learn at home.

Another thing we've all played at recently, is making little films with our photos and music. I was inspired to make one about Duncan when I was sent a link to a beautiful song on a comment here. Duncan loved the film about him and decided to make one of his own. It was a very serious undertaking. He decided what photos to use, the order the should go in, what to write on the titles and what effects to use. He's very happy with the finished product. Of course, Lady and Thomas wanted to make films about themselves too, so they each helped me make a couple more funny films.

We've also had many pleasant, dry days and been able to play in the garden or the park. The children were feeling so sorry fr their schooled friends as they collected conkers and went on the swings and roundabouts on a sunny autumn morning.

A couple of days ago, a woman who has just started out with home-education, contacted our local support group. I mailed her back and after a few messages, we discovered that she lives just round the corner from me! So yesterday she visited us with her 2 young daughters and baby son and we all had such a nice time. Home-educating neighbours, how lovely!


Anonymous said...

Hi Sharon!

I wanted say I recently came across your blog and have enjoyed reading it so far. I really like how openly you express your opinions and experiences. I look forward to reading more posts!

PS I myself am a huge Harry Potter fan, and my younger brother grew up loving Thomas trains - I spent many hours playing with trains / watching the videos :)

Anonymous said...

Days like that are lovely :).

Sharon McDaid said...

Hi EKC. Thanks for reading and telling me about it! Nice to find another fan of Thomas and HP too!

The big things here right now are High School Musical (the Disney film), Doctor Who and Legoland trains.

Yes Bullet, we have so many lovely days!