Today was my last working day, so we said some sad goodbyes. It has been a privilege to be a part of these children’s lives over the last year. We had a Christmas party to keep us cheerful, with lots of balloons and bubbles!
I haven’t posted about home education for a while. The truth is I’ve really struggled with my energy levels this term so we haven’t “done” much at all, let alone blogged about it. Forget setting up inspiring learning activities and opportunities, a successful week has been one in which I manage to get the bare basics done! Of course the children haven’t stopped learning though.
Tabitha’s 1:1 correspondence came on in leaps and bounds after we purchased the board game Ludo and she now accurately counts objects up to at least 10. She can recite number names up to at about 30, although she sometimes misses a teen number. She has started to talk about simple addition, for instance earlier this week she placed little jingle bells in my hand and we added them up to 6. Recently I bought a tell-the-time clock for the playroom and was counting by fives with Aaron. When I got to 55 I paused, about to explain why it went back to zero, but Tabitha shouted out “60!” I think it was a fluke though, as she gave a different answer when I repeated it! She loves to recite the months of the year through to August, but tends to get the “-ember”s a bit muddled. She is picking up more and more letter names and sounds, and has finally realised their connection with the initial sounds of words. She often includes letters in her drawings, which have become much more detailed.
Aaron, like many boys his age, is a reluctant reader. I’ve been careful not to push him, as he is still so young and the last thing I want to do is put him off. When he does read, I am always pleasantly surprised because, although he sometimes struggles with basic words, he can read other sentences with speed, fluency and comprehension. Recently he volunteered to read part of the Bible reading at Wednesday Club for the first time. With a bit of regular practice, I think he would soon find reading much easier and more enjoyable, so I’ve moved all the early readers into a basket by the sofa in the hope that it will encourage him. We have continued to do lots of “conversational” maths. This week we revisited odd and even numbers, sparked by a conversation about taking it in turns to do the advent calendar. Out of interest I glanced through the IXL list of Year 1 maths skills and was amazed to see that we’ve covered most of it already without even realising! I’ve been sporadically teaching him to play chess, which he has really enjoyed. Aaron also has piano lessons once a week with my mum and has been making excellent progress. He has an incredible memory for facts and general knowledge. He has learnt a lot about space over the last few months and is now showing an interest in the human body again. He is very creative and has started to express that through a wider range of media.
So there’s a brief summary of where we are at the moment. I’m looking forward to having more time and energy to devote to the children’s education in 2014!