This week has been a tough one, we are sure we have all caught the virus, yip, all of us, luckily the kids have managed really well but the 2 adults in the family have been struggling. So what have we done with the home education?
Well, we did not Stop 100% (in all honesty home education never stops even when scheduled learning activities do not happen – my kids have been reading, writing, helping with housework this week all without me asking) but we did scale back. Over the years (this is our 8th year of home education) we have realized that our kids do not do well if their routine is abruptly stopped but at the same time I suck at explaining anything when I feel sick. So we did our normal sick day routine.
The kids still did Maths and English in the morning but it was practice / revision. Nothing new. I have tried this before and trying to introduce a new concept when the person explaining / facilitating is sick – DOES NOT WORK !!!! So whenever I have sick days it is practice / revision activities. And I am really glad we did this. My daughter worked through some Maths pages I already had printed in her Maths file and for English she worked part way through a KS2 English Grammar book. Now my daughter is actually Year 7 but I had total brain fog, I could not think of any suggestions for English for her and I had zero energy so I grabbed an English Grammar book and asked her to work through it. Yes it was for a younger year and yes most of it was a breeze but it did highlight a section that we need to go back to. So it was not a waste. Revision is never a waste.
Now I had already planned that we were going to continue working on our History, Geography and Biology topics this past week (we have on going topics that we are working on) but I there was no ways that was going to happen. So I asked the kids that each morning they select and watch 1 documentary. I have a number of documentaries that I have taped and lined up for projects and normally we try and watch the documentaries that tie in with what we are working on. And normally I watch the documentaries with the kids and we pause and chat about different things as we are watching them. But this hit me hard and I needed a lot of sleep this past week so the kids choose whichever documentaries they wanted. And for those you may be curious they choose some fascinating ones – two documentraies about how areas like the Alps and Yellowstone were created, one about a River in the UK, one about the Moon and some Vet programmes where they watched some operations (my kids are not queasy about that type of thing). And yes they did also sneak in some other TV – they watched the Sound of Music for I think the 5th time.
The other activity I asked them to do was to select an audio book to listen to. And I asked that they select a Michael Morpurgo story (just because I think his stories are amazing). They choose The War Horse and listened to it over a few afternoons – it is quiet long. I am a HUGE fan of audio books and I often turn to them whenever one of us is sick (they are also brilliant when kids are sick). I like audio books for a few reasons, the kids hear a story read with emotion and they get pronunciations of tricky words (especially good when the kids listened to Viking stories which had strange names). But I also like audio books because the kids are not presented with a visual representation of the story so they still end up using their imagination to think about how a character looks or how an event unfolded. I find with audio books there is still a good level of interpretation. And after finishing the War Horse my son came and told me he thought there where lots of similarities between the War Horse and Black Beaty and he started explaining which characters or events he thoughts were similar and how they differed and why they differed. So yes audio books can be powerful. Also I need to mention listening to an audio book has never stopped my kids from reading the book themselves, in fact it often prompts them to read the book.
So that is what I asked the kids to do this week – some Maths and English revision, documentaries and an audio book. They still read, wrote, built their K’Nex, cooked and baked without my asking.
For us keeping a bit of a routine is important, it helps our sensory kids deal with uncertainty especially when they are worried about me being sick. And I must stress because we home educate and have done so for years I already had Maths and English resources that I could quickly turn to and I had a documentary and audio book selection already lined up.
I was very much out of it this past week so I don’t have lots of photos from the week, but this is my daughter making me a yummy breakfast.