Monday, 4 March 2013

Backlogged but Blossoming

I've got the most horredous blogging backlog!  Last week was so busy and I was so tired, I kept meaning to write in my blog, but then something would come up (usually my pillow calling my name!)... so apologies to my lovely faithful readers who I have neglected shamefully.  I hope you've all been having a good time!  Anyway,  for today I'm going to have to just give you the highlights of the past week, and then try harder to get back into a blogging rhythm

So we've still been carrying on in the same way: mostly child-led but with a few parent-led aspects.  Middle has spent a lot of time recording videos and playing with effects on his kidizoom camera.  He's also been just finding books and picking them up to read... more evidence of his increased confidence in his own ability  These aren't the picture-books that he previously beleved he was restricted to, but older books like The Story of the Olympics that is well within his grasp, and even Bulging Brains that he would have completely ignored up until a few weeks ago!  I still remember that in September he said he wanted to read "big books" like the ones Eldest and I read, and I was slightly baffled about the perceived block in his mind... I'm so happy for him that as per everything else in his life, it just took time with no pressure - and he has done it, by himself! He really is blossoming into the beautiful person he was created to be.  Happy boy, happy Mummy!

Youngest has also been blossoming - he is starting to make more sense of the world around him, particularly regarding how the skills he has been learning (mostly on Reading Eggs) apply to everyday life.  He has started to blend the letter sounds on labels of things in the kitchen cupboard, and titles on books and boxes around the house.  In one sense, reading is such an abstract skill to learn, but it is one that it is very difficult to live without - and it's just lovely to see him applying that concept to life in general.  He's also been learning everyday life skills... there's been a lot of wrestling with scissors and sellotape, buttons, zips and other things that I would usually ask if he wanted help with.  To be fair, he usually says no anyway, he's such an independent little thing - but lately I have consciously held back from asking as I don't want him to get the message that I don't believe he can do it - and it does seem to have increased his confidence (if such a thing were possible)... or maybe it's just increased my awareness of what he can manage by himself!

Eldest has been enjoying a bit (OK a lot) of a nature documentary-fest on TV.  Every now and then I catch mysef thinking he's "not doing anything", but that's ridiculous.  It's well known within the family that if you want to know anything about undersea creatures (and an increasing number of other wildlife), we ask Eldest: he knows way more than any of the rest of us, and how does he know so much?  simply because it's his favourite subject, so he absorbs like a sponge the information presented in books and on his beloved documentaries.  It really is easy learning!  Fortunately as we've gone on in our HE journey I'm getting better at recognising my illogical twitches  (such as 'learning is supposed to involve hard study'), and am getting faster at silencing them before I try to make the boys conform to my old mental programming - yay!  Oh and Eldest also found an electric circuit-maker that produces animal sounds - it was given to him a while ago, and he just found it and decided he wanted to have a go.  I was glad he found it as it was amongst the things that were buried in piles in the study where we've been sorting out ready for our new shelf unit to arrive and be installed in the front room (much more accessible for spontaneous inspiration).

Of course, I was over-the-moon at a beautiful new storage unit (I feel like I've turned into Anne from Enid Blyton's 'Famous Five'), and the boys were even more happy when I told them they could have the four 6ft boxes that the unit was delivered in. First they got some paper and blue felt-pen to draw up some blue-prints (I didn't even know they knew what blue prints are.. gotta love HE) and then they commenced construction.  I even managed NOT to tell them "don't waste the parcel tape" - see, Mummy's learning too!  The only problem is, we now have a cardboard structure that almost entirely fills the front room, so I'm not going to get to enjoy the longed-for sense of order in my lounge for a while yet until the fort has been removed (I want to try and get it upstairs, but that's going to be a 2-person job at least!) 

Other than that, the boys have also been continuing with Reading Eggspress (which they all really enjoy and more often that not, spend more time on it than their required thirty minutes) - and MathsWhizz (not quite so loved, but they have still been known to be on it for hours)... and the lapbooks are a continuing succes story.  Middle is getting onto a roll, he's been thinking of loads of subjects that he wants to do, and seems to be really gathering momentum.  It's just so lovely to see, given what he was like (depressed, anxious and zero-confidence) this time last year when we were about to start home educating.  So today I'm going to leave you with Middle's completed "My Body" lapbook.  He calls it the "biggest, most flappiest lapbook ever".  Most of the flap templates inside came from Jodi Small's Human Body unit, on the HomeSchool Share website, and a few from the My Body unit by Friedrich, Franks and Sako.  I actually prefer the bits that Middle does entirely by himself, they're so cute - but the HSS templates are awesome for when he runs out of ideas!

Happy Monday everyone!  Have a lovely week - and I'll try to be back here sooner than I was last week!

front cover

inside front cover


inside right flap

 right flap

And some of the fold-outs/ flaps...

Middle's depiction of the body's various systems (top left to right: digestive, skeletal, nervous, muscular, circulatory, urinary, respiratory) - he did these entirely off his own back, after watching our Human Body DVD

 This was Middle's favourite bit: he loved having me measure him

 cue much sniggering...


  1. Although we're in a real slump at the moment, it's actually really encouraging to hear how well things are going for you (and other home-edders) - it reminds me that it's just a temporary thing and we will hopefully find our rhythm again soon! Yes, it's full on wobble time here, I think the looming anniversary of starting home-ed is making me over analyse everything a bit! Keep up the good work, the lapbooks in particular are looking fabulous!
    R x

    1. Thanks Rachel! It feels like the discovery of lapbooks has been just what we needed! I mean, I found out about them quite early on in our journey, but it was several months before the boys were ready to have a go! Whether it's lapbooks, workshets or total autonomy for you, I hope you find your groove soon xx