Christmas Chores

Christmas chores have been order of the week here. Weds involved card writing and then off to home ed group where we made wreaths. Absolutely lovely afternoon.
Thursday was hectic. Sam stayed in and worked through his maths and English while I went for a blood test and ran errands like posting the Christmas presents and picking up pottery.
Home and went through history, science and geography with Sam. Then he watched a documentary while I tidied up and put away a supermarket shop.
My dad came round and we chatted over hama beads and making a mess. We had some packing noodles and I had the idea of making an igloo with them. We got them a bit wet though and ended up with something that resembled mashed potato.Today was finishing off bits off work and lots and lots of tidying up.
We managed to get rid of 4 boxes/bags of craft stuff by dropping it over to a fellow home eder who runs a local ‘Trash Cafe’. I have promised Sam we will go back to eat when it stops raining for long enough for the river not to be flooded. It’s a nice walk over the country park but the river tends to flood and cut off our route.
Tidying up turned in to playing with knex and reading Beanos 🙂

Contrasting Home Days

We  have had 2 days at home so far this week, two very different days.
Monday was an at home pj day. Efficient though, lots covered. Mainly from the sofa or by the fire as we read and watched documentaries. Today, by contrast, the only work done was sorting out our visiting flat travellers travel journal to send him home. 
Our Citizenship group officially finished last week but we met up today at our house to blow the remainder of the kitty on chocolate. 13 children making things out of chocolate in my living room, I sometimes wonder if I am mad or at the very least I am thankful for forgiving neighbours :D.
They came out really well. We acually got through 2kg of Maltesers on these puds, not a lot got eaten.

One child got left behind (on purpose 😉 ) so they could spend the afternoon on Roblox while I tidied and wrapped.

Perhaps not the best trip ever

Wednesday is our group event/day trip day usually. Today we went to … the doctors. Wahoo!

On the positive, I now have an even heavier handbag to carry about as Doctor’s given us some bits to try to lessen the symptoms/impact of these sudden bouts of stomach ache/sickness/headaches Sam has been getting and we ruled out any real physical problem.

That set us back by what we could achieve today but did still manage to look at more percentages (one of his favourite bits of maths as they are very easy, do some dictation and work on adverbs, do a mapping activity for Florida and look at the need for new housing in Britain and some of the issues that surrounds it. Sam had the idea of developing the Falkland Islands more to provide jobs and shelter for the homeless and others if Britain gets to cramped. He’d also train everyone who went over with guns in case Argentina invades.

We watched another episode of Secrets of the Castle. Science has moved on to reproduction in plants. A lot more comfortable a topic. He watched some videos, read the chapter and verbally did the exercises and then he dissected a flower. Then he retreived my vase and dissected most of the bunch…
I bribed him with Norad games to try and come up with a Christmas list!  Well he put on four books which he could easily buy with the voucher he has but won’t use.  Christmas and Birthdays shouldn’t be so hard!  

Shut Down Mode

I decided that I would only blog every two days this year (apart from Weds because we usually have a trip/group) as having shifted to a more textbook style of learning I don’t have a lot of interesting photos anymore.

Trouble is 2 days is an awful long time to have to remember things for so I feel I am just scanning our planner churning the todolist back out.

Life is giving one of it’s periods of hurling balls of minor crap at us one after the other. Nothing major but I’m exhausted and lacking motivation at the moment. Ready to cocoon for a bit.

Anyway what have we done…
Monday was an at home day so we:
Used OS maps to identify patterns such as the CBD, Victorian terraces, interwar housing, business parks…
Percentages
Carried on reading Machine Gunners
Learnt a bit about Florida
Read about and started planning a short essay on the development of castles
Sam did his online computer science tutorial
We sorted out some donations for various charities

Today was our social day. We had the last of our  Community themed Citizenship sessions and a county councillor came in to talk to them about what the role entails. Have enjoyed this group, definitely doing what a group activity should to me, got them talking, engaging and bouncing ideas of one another. They most certainly did not shame us with their questions to a politician this time (bad – aka hilarious – encounter with MP several years ago had given grounds for nervousness).
We had given ourselves an hour at the end of the session to sort out the group donations to charity. But the Councillor managed to last all session so there was 10 minutes of hurried throwing stuff in a bags and divvying jobs up between the adults before we ran off.
Afternoon was spent painting pottery with friends. A much needed piece of calm and I love watching kids chatting when really you wonder what they would find in common – 12yo boy/8yo girl. They always find something though, it’s one of the loveliest thing about home ed the lack of caring about age/gender.

 Considering that it might be time to start the big pre-Christmas house clean. Although we have 12 of Sam’s friends around one day next week to do something messy so might leave the living room until last 😀

It’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas

Drawing population graphs

I am cold and sparkly, the advent calendars are up and we spent this afternoon at the Dockyard’s Festival of Christmas, all big signs that it is nearly Christmas.

Thursday was a quiet day at home, productive too. Lots of reading done and jobs ticked off list. Nothing exciting done really though.

Today was a busy one. I had my under 10’s group in Fareham this morning so we were off there to get all glittery. Sam went Christmas shopping while I was there.
Then it was to Portsmouth to catch up with friends for our annual pilgrimage to the Festival of Christmas. Think this may well be last year as it gets worse every year and it was impossible to imagine how they can justify charging entrance any longer, on show was all the entertainment on offer out of the tavern. It was a pleasant enough afternoon though even if Sam did take one of his colour draining sick turns. We also have a fridgeful of nice cheese! 
Oscar’s sleeping over. They voluntarily took themselves to bed at 8.30 with books 😀

Compromises

I think one of the hardest things about parenting and home ed is accepting it’s okay not to be perfect, doing it all and giving our all to everything all of the time just isn’t possible, compromises are needed.
Today I put work first, above my child. There was something big I felt the need to do (so big I am typing this over a glass of wine at nearly midnight). And you know what, he’s okay! Happy and filled the day easily enough. He watched a documentary that wasn’t at all connected to anything we’re ‘studying’ but I knew would interest him (Countdown to the Russian Revolution for anyone interested), read a book on American history as well as the new Beano and How it Works magazine.
We did go out for about 3 hours so I could freeze in the park and he could get ridiculously caked in mud wrestling and playing.
Then he filled his time with a much needed bath and a play on the computer.
For a few days now work will go on the back burner as we have plans and things to do. 
I’d love more hours or a clone but hey ho, muddling along is the best I can manage and I think that is good enough.

Test of Strength

I’ve been getting a bit overwhelmed and losing the plot lately with trying to keep all the balls in the air; got behind on where I wanted us to be HE wise, holidays and events coming thick and faster than could keep on top of workwise, one HE/school event after another and the house disintergrating about me.
A quiet week HE wise with a few days off and skipping all groups (although did meet friends for a lovely afternoon in the park), and slowing down in the non-stop holiday calendar that need content for work, plus Sam having his own computer has giving me the break I needed to pause and get back in control of it all.

We’ve nearly caught back up with our reading home ed wise having complete Melusine, spent a long time reading Anglo Saxon Boy (on the list to check for more in series we’re enjoying it) and the Just So stories have been a huge hit. We have had a fun few days looking at the working of joints and muscles and ‘playing’ with a set of Newton scales. A ‘pocket’ of our US history project completed on colonial villages and houses. Plus we finally made it to our new park to meet up with friends on a glorious sunny winter afternoon. One of those afternoons that showcase the best of HE, where you get to sit in the sun chatting watching an eclectic mix of kids play happily. Totally managed to miss all photo opportunities so you’ll have to take my word for it.

Keep Calm and Carry On

Considering Sam and I have been really under the weather this week with colds, and in my case a humdinger of a sinus headache, we’ve been incredibly productive.
Maths has been fractions and English poetry.
We’ve read loads and caught up a bit with History and Geography that we’ve got behind on.
Science we’ve moved on to the human body. I used the fact that we were looking at breathing to get started with some breathing exercises we’ve been given to help Sam manage his asthma better. We’ve a ridiculously expensive set of horns from a therapy place (sure I could have bought it all from the party section of Wilkos much cheaper) so determined that must get money’s worth.

We’ve also looked at the skeleton and labelled some bones.Tuesday saw us at our Citizenship group where we wer looking at designing communities for inclusion.  The session finished off with them designing a home ed commune. Not sure they applied the spirit of what we’d been looking at to this one but they had great fun doing it.

Weds, Sam opted to stay home while I went to home ed group with out him (I had planned the activity so had to go). Was a very calm, chilled session. Sam made himself a paracord bracelet when I got home (I won’t say how many I’ve made the last few days, very addictive).
Thursday afternoon was spent playing games and messing about with my Dad before a bit of a stressful evening at a 6th Form Open Evening with Jack. Bit stressful in own right but they dug up a WW2 bomb on the local airfield which closed roads and combined with rush hour and the local firework display result in complete melt down of the local traffic situation meaning we lost Pete for hours which worried Sam who had stayed at home since we expected Pete any minute.  I was the awful parent who had to run out of meeting to take a phone call!

We’ve finally started reading through this one to go with Sam’s breathing exercises. He’s not happy to hve Anthem for Doomed Youth on his birthday 😀

Boo and Busy

The last few days have all been about adapting to changing plans and inevitably Halloween.

Monday felt like it was our one chance this week to be productive home ed work wise and never really got into our stride. I was having trouble with printing too (trying to prepare for Tues group) just one of those collating going to pot times really. Multitasking never turns out well. I know this so why I keep attempting to do it who knows.

We did manage lots of Maths, plus English , his online Computer Science tutorial, some geography and an activity in preparation for the group that we had on Tuesday. Plus painted some pumpkin tealight holders.

Then it was time for him to suit up in Halloween gear to go to a party with friends.
Tuesday was all go! At the weekend I’d discovered that I needed to use our voucher to get our new Dockyard pass by end of Oct so had to squash in a quick dockyard trip. Then having persuaded Sam that we wouldn’t do Trick or Treating this year a friend messaged me in the morning to say she’d told her kids they were coming with us, so trick or treating needed fitting in too 😀

The day started at our ‘Citizenship’ group. It’s a 6 week block of activities put together by a group of us, replacing the Mindstorm sessions. We talked about communities and groups that they felt part to. Briefly touching on what makes a community. We did some physical sorting of themselves by certain factors about their identity. Then they had a go at filling in a census form. 

We compared the sort of information on the form to what they’d included on collages that they had made about themselves.

We then used a list of things that could be used to define identity and prioritised them.
Finally as we had a birthday in the group it was cake, singing and ending with a few group games.

A friend kindly dropped us at the ferry so it was time to nip over to the Dockyard, pick up pass, quick snack and play at Action Stations and then back to Gosport for a pumkin hunt. I had ordered some with the groceries but hadn’t come. Supermarkets had removed them in favour of Christmas stock but greengrocers in the village had some.

Home, bath and then a bit of carving, decorating and then Sam painted my face before we headed out with friends (group had grown) for some trick or treating. Lovely evening as local community really goes in for it now.

Not my house I should say. A more enthusiastic neighbour!

 

 

Coding Challenges and Cramming

We’re going away for the rest of the week on a history focussed trip so the week so far has been mainly cramming in a week’s worth of Maths and English into 2 days and rewatching a documentary about 1066.
Lots of time was spent on weather related discussion thanks to weird coloured skies and downed planes which left Pete stuck in Ireland. Discovered that Sam seems very knowledgeable about Armageddon theories.
We had the last of the block of Lego robotics sessions today.  Also as it was spreadsheet day some time was spent making a spreadsheet of Sam’s Beano annual collection so we can keep track of the gaps.
Definitely coming down with a cold which does not bode well for the next few days so another short post.