The New School/ Home Ed Term

We've been dropped on the shore of a new term, today our first day back, having ridden the crest of a wave all through the summer holidays.  

It was our best summer ever, the girls were super company, got on well for the most part, and the house was filled with visiting family end to end. I think we only watched Mary Poppins about 87 times too, which wasn't too bad going ;) Read about our summer experience here : Looking Back, Looking Forward

Now we are ready to plough on, full of enthusiasm and determination to be better organised, get up earlier, work harder and happier, fit in more play and leisure time and ditch the stress. (ahem, that is not unrealistic is it?)

Natty has moved up into year 1 alongside her peers. New classroom, new teacher, new (slightly higher) loos. The few teething troubles of last year have hopefully been ironed out. The new class format is more table-based and formal, in a warm, colourful welcoming way. Gone is the role play corner and boxes of dressing up. This could go one of two ways, but I'll wager that Natty will thrive and soar with less distraction, freedom, (chaos even) and will don the more grown up hat of a year 1... we'll see. Maybe it was the exciting air that made it seem OK for Natty to push her classmates. I hope that this behaviour will also dissappear. We haven't seen it over the summer.

Also new for this academic school year is that I will be teaching Natty from home for one day a week. This wouldn't be for everyone, but I felt it was right for us.  I didn't want to Home Ed entirely, as Natty thrives in the school environment, a popular and communicative pupil. She has learnt so much from the daily routine of school and I cannot begin to compete with their resources, and quite frankly, I'm not sure my sanity would stand up to 24/7 education. But this particular balance feels right. Our amazingly supportive Head is behind us, understanding fully my reasons and thinking.

Essentially on our one 'playing schools at home' day, I will stir a mixture of what is going on currently at school with what is coming up in the following week. I will add a generous measure of life skills and a sprinkling of sporty fun.

Why can't you do all this in the evenings and at weekends? I hear you cry. Well, when the girls are at home I treat them equally. We play and bake and read together, but it's impossible to tell one to go away while I quietly work with the other. This way I can have undisturbed learning time with Natty without Mia feeling pushed out of the equation, or, as is more likely, feeling she wants to be the teacher.

Our Wednesdays will be fluid and subject to change, but tomorrow's plan looks like this:

Drop Mia at school

Do a short shopping trip, using a magnetic shopping list. Ask Natty to pint out the right shop then  encourage her to ask for the items such as apples and bread, help bag them up and pay.

Go home for a good 2 hours formal learning comprising:
Reading current school book - reinforce with key words and flashcards. Make sensory words, using sand glued onto card.
visit website for additional, alternative activities for the same book.

Finish summer scrapbook by sticking in photos, leaflets from places visited, adding drawings and labelling.

Begin our Days of the Week project, incorporating Makaton, pictures of what we do on different days, using our velcro calendar and wearing the appropriate socks and pants for that day! Make colourful shapes with each day of the week and blu tac onto kitchen window!

Then we will do some life skills in the afternoon.
Having collected eggs and looked after the chickens, I plan to make cookies tomorrow (constipation-busting ones of course). I have printed images of all the ingredients and we will do a matching game with them, then find the ingredients in the kitchen. When we've made the cookies we will glue the cards into our book and Natty can write 'and' between each one. Her first recipe card!

Then we'll get Mia, come home, run round the garden, plan tea, do homework, bla bla bla.
Don't expect to see me on Twitter on a Wednesday evening. I will most probably be tucked up in bed at a reasonable hour for once.


  1. Ooh i love this idea, especailly as my daughter will start in a school based nursery class full days at only 3 3/4. Thanks for the thought

  2. I never knew of this option (well, today was my daughter's first day at school- sometimes i feel I don't seem to know anything about schooling!) thanks for the heads up! I end up doing most of her SLT /physio homework as and when we get time (mostly with my 18 month old son in tow), this concept of 'one day home Ed' opens new doors....
    Goog luck ...and looking forward to reading how it goes.

  3. please can i come too!- sounds utterly wonderful functional and fun- you rock!... i promise you that home ed is just a massive blessing for those it " feels right" for....we havent looked back...xxxxxxx


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