Out and About and Brotherly Bonding

Trying to shake off the maladies we’ve arrived home from holiday with, taking it in turns to bounce up and down healthwise. Moodwise though can really feel the difference a holiday and the change in weather has brought. Everyone can summon smiles and has stopped moaning about being hot 🙂

We’ve had two days out this week. First one was with my dad to our closest museum. It’s a replica 17th Century village run by volunteers who do it in character. One day when I manage to conjure up more hours in a week I’d love to volunteer there.  Sunday was a little different to their usual activities as it was their rural crafts day. Lots of external crafts folk around and far, far busier than normal. The highlight was watching the kiln being opened, my morning FB memories told me it was exactly a year to the day since we went to watch last year’s firing of the kiln.

They had a ‘trickster’ there who we’d not met and who Sam spent most of his time with, while my dad chatted with the potter and I wandered around enjoying the crafts and the setting.

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Monday we turned the need to drop off some books into a chance to get out and enjoy a walk I have been meaning to do for 16 years (I get to things in my own time) along the Titchfield Canal.  We’ll be back at some point but next time we won’t have errands to run in Fareham after so we can continue all the way down to the beach.

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Tues and Weds have been catching up on housework, admin and cracking on with work if you are me.  Reading and watching wrestling if you are the boys.

Review 16/17

Struggling to write this one as another very successful year so not a huge amount to say.

Did we stick to all I’d planned? No of course not but managed the majority.  I think the only thing that changed from the plan was dropping the computer science/programming and the art award for most of the year. Although we did pick both up again towards the end of the year when we finished off other stuff. 

One of the big goals for the year was to work on writing. Not so much creatively (although had lots of fun with that) but more working towards being able to answer essay questions. I started off by pushing it as a blogging/typing exercise thinking that would make it easier but it ended up falling by the wayside as felt a bit forced. We talked about answers to questions in books also it became obvious from English writing course that he has got the basic skills there to neatly handwrite and begin to structure answers. We’re not ready for essay level stuff yet but question and answer style paper is not as far off as I thought before this year. Having looked through a couple of GCSE papers this year for minor subjects (General Studies/Classical Civilization) I don’t think either would have been a mammoth ask of him now.

The other big goal was working on control and ‘ownership’. Breaking the work down into jobs he can move about on the planner was definitely a smart move, really helped with him being able to visualise what needed to be done.

We continue to rely heavily on a Charlotte Mason style of education for subjects, lots of reading and documentary watching and discussion. Spent an awful lot of time reading aloud this year which has been nice.

In terms of general knowledge he is thriving, continues to have an insatiable thirst for history of all types. The surprise hit of the year was a visit to a Russian Revolution exhibition at the British Library (we’d actually tried to find a day we could go without kids and failed so he was a tag along really), normally he quietly absorbs things and looks like he’s taken nothing from trips and then out it flows 6 months or so later, this one though has been a big topic of conversation. A year long Victorian project has convinced us both that Prince Albert was amazing in what he achieved for this country. I think the project and particularly our look at the slums and factory working conditions and many conversations about Chartism have fired a political animal in him.

Geography, he has a brilliant knowledge of where places are and flags (I’d love to take credit but suspect his love of military conquest strategy games is real reason). He’s loved looking at Asian culture this year, India and China didn’t excite him too much but Japan and Korea really did. 

Science we’ve had fun with a lot of handson learning how much of that translated to in depth understanding I am a little sceptical on but hopefully it will have sunk in a little.

The most positive thing though that comes from the year is that we’re both still really enjoying home ed. At the crossroads where many home ed kids talk about and consider school Sam is sure it isn’t for him. I have noticed him switch in conversation when discussing this from focusing on perceived negatives of school to actively stressing the good points of HE and that is rather gratifying.  I am happy to admit I’ve found the juggling it all hard over the last 8 months. Work has been pretty full on and I’ve gone from a small number of hours to work around to being able to work as much as I want. Sounds ideal but comes with a load of guilt.  I love my job and am relishing the opportunities to do stuff that time hasn’t allowed but HE is a big commitment and huge drain on time to do well, it is a full time job easily. I know though that I am lucky to love what I do so it’s worth the ridiculously early mornings (5.30am is a lie in!) and late nights and grey hair 🙂


Solva 17

Our family holiday posts are very low on activity content but high on lovely scenery photos. Mind and body relaxed and soul restored 🙂 We enjoyed lots of relaxed pottering at the cottage.
A meal or two out and a check to see if the very, very ancient doddery dog in the local pub was still going, the fact he was made Sam’s holiday.
A trip to Havorfordwest to buy books (lovely lady in Oxfam checks stockroom for Beano annuals for us) and a couple to St Davids for ice cream from the gorgous ice cream parlour, art gallery and a Treasure Trail.
Plus getting knocked about and submerged by over your head waves, bodyboarding and fort building at Newgale of course.