Now we are a good few weeks into homeschool 2021 I wanted to share what that means for us. Homeschooling has obviously been a hot topic since March 2020 and whilst we have only officially been doing this since September I thought I’d share what an average week or so looks like for us.
It’s worth noting that ‘homeschooling’ and pandemic school / recreation at home are totally different things. I have the upmost respect and sympathy for parents all over the uk who are trying to recreate the classroom at home. Juggling numerous zoom lessons and home learning deadlines as well as multiple children / work / living through a pandemic. It’s quite honestly impossible and an incredible ask for children / parents / teachers combined.
I also think we are in a somewhat unique position to have one home educated child and one school (albeit reception class) aged child at home with us at the moment. Whilst we are checking in with Mabli’s work (she currently has seven zoom calls throughout the week & an hour a day learning tasks) and we are appreciative of all her teachers do for her, I do believe it’s only manageable as we don’t have to juggle a similar timetable for Wilf and we have two adults at home.
I’ve always been the sort of person that works better on my own schedule (which is one of the many reasons I love working for myself). I know that my kids need this flexibility too. Our homeschool days vary massively depending on our interests so I thought it would be fun to share some of the bits and bobs we’ve done lately.
Getting outside has been a lot harder in the almost constant rain but we’ve been trying to get to our local parks as much as we can to stretch out legs. I can’t believe I forgot to share the below pictures with you from a few months back. Wilf and I went to Brandon Hill park and dusted off my ‘big camera’ he took these pictures in manual all by himself and then we got them printed out. He’s done a number of little pictures and clay models of them since and a self initiated writing project on the flying squirrel just for fun.
I often get asked what my thoughts are on screen time with the kids and it’s honestly kind of a little mixed. In terms of how much they can use screens throughout the week they start the day watching a nature program. We went back and forth with whether TV was ok first thing and always found that a blanket no actually led to them getting up and doing something creative or reading instead but lately it’s been so cold and dark and they get up so early we are back with an nature program and feel fine with that.
In terms of using their tablets in the day they can pick up and play anything in their ‘educational’ folder. For Mabli this would be either Number Blocks, Teach Your Monster to Read, Hey Duggie Maths or Endless Wordplay. For Wilf it might be something like Maths Doodle, Alphabear’s, Reading Eggs etc etc
We also have a Google Nest Hub in our kitchen so when they are pottering about the kitchen table they are free to ask Google questions or to play a podcast or something they have that freedom too.
In the afternoons we often have some downtime where they can watch something like ‘Horrible Histories’ or any of the more learning type shows they both enjoy or we can put a movie on if we’ve been out the house and they are more tired.
They are also allowed half an hour a day to play any of their other games (hi Minecraft). So all in all it’s probably a fair amount of screen time but with limits!
Other aspects of our day to day learning have been :
Homeschooling doesn’t have to look like the above (as much as we all loved this little lapbook project!) it can quite often than not look like the below (a request from Wilf to reorganise the kitchen cupboard and stock take turned into a maths game he made for Mabli!).
Often our days start off with an idea from the kids about something they are interested in and then we take it from there. On this particular day Mabli declared it ‘rainbow day’ and so we based a few learning bits around that. We have a home educator subscription to Twinkl and use it almost every day.
For the most part we’ve just been spending a lot of time together as a family. Learning together as a family. A lot of our learning doesn’t looking have to look like learning, more just living.
I’ll probably write more about this in a separate post but having the kids home together has also done wonders for their relationship as siblings. In terms of learning they both learn from each other, whether its sparking ideas, one teaching the other and the other learning how to teach!
You can see my other homeschool posts below