How to Homeschool?

So week three of home schooling has come to an end and we have stuck with a set structure as much as we can. I know, I know, those among you who home school will be shaking your head in dismay. Home Schooling should be about relaxed learning but set lesson plans however the girls want to have some semblance of normal school so each morning we have lessons for reading, writing and mathematics with the idea that everything else will fall into place through our adventures or play.

We have had lots of fun together in the afternoons and have been swimming, visited museums and swapped books at the library. We have cooked together (Daddy’s cupcakes were more like rock cakes!), built a castle together and jumped in big puddles. The kids are happier, they are playing nicely together and I am still managing to get my work done in the spare minutes that I have. In fact my productivity is a lot higher than it has been before as I know I have to do things a lot quicker and stop wasting time on social media.

When it comes to home schooling I will be trying to follow the EYFS for Alison and Key Stage 1 National Curriculum for Elizabeth. I am doing this so that they can integrate into school again in the next school year as having them home schooling is only a temporary measure whilst Elizabeth is still ill. The school have been nice enough to let us know that a space will be available at the school for both girls whenever we need it which definitely eases the stress involved in home schooling temporarily.

One thing I have found is that I want to make our setting more like a school environment to help the girls to concentrate. We have been using the girls table that we have in the living room, it is where they usually have breakfast and do their craft activities. I don’t really like trying to do learning with them at this table though. It doesn’t make them think serious learning, it is usually used for fun or for eating. I want to develop a space that makes them think about learning but also one that grows with them as they get older and that can be used for homework when they go back to school, I was read a great GLTC article showing kids desks as well as other learning aids and it really resonated with me. I find it harder to concentrate on my work when I am sat on the sofa with my feet up than I do when in a more office like environment. In fact when I travel to London and go first class I usually make sure I head to the first class lounge at least an hour before my train as I manage to do so much more work in that environment than I do at home. Having a learning space will in my opinion give them focus and hopefully make them concentrate more.

That is not all I found on the GLTC website though, the national curriculum magnet sets are fantastic as is the magnetic money chart and I absolutely love the sentence building dominoes. I am always on the hunt for great learning materials and we have a whole host of books and learning apps to help us but I know that Elizabeth in particular would learn better with a more tactile approach so these might be just what she needs.

I am also going to hunt out some Lego after being show how to teach the girls fractions using Lego and as learning simple fractions are in the Key stage 1 curriculum I know this is something that I can put into practice. In fact it is pretty amazing the everyday items or toys that we already have that we can use for learning and it is not just the normal ones like our Bananagram tiles for letters and spellings but even the joy of sharing a cake can be a great lesson in fractions, after all half the cake goes to Mummy, a quarter of the cake to Daddy and the girls can each have one eighth.  Now that is a fraction even I can enjoy!