We had a lovely get together with some of my NCT group at Jesmond Dene on Friday. We have been friends since pregnancy and have had lots and lots of group play with the children, nights out, Christmas and birthday parties and the birth of several siblings. The time has come for the children to start school next week and this has understandably been a hot topic of conversation within this group of friends for some months, so it has got me thinking in depth about our plans for September and going forward. I am really pleased that we made the decision to home educate over a year ago as my thinking time since then has all been really positive and focussed on what we want to achieve and how, rather than all of the 'what if?' questions I had before then.
Harry knows that these friends are starting school and that he also has friends who won't be going to school and he seems fine with that. It seemed a good time to introduce a couple of new elements which we will try for at least a couple of months to see if they work for us. I have made a very simple calendar which I will set up each night to show Harry what we will be doing during the day. There are pictures for most of the things we do and places we visit. Obviously lots of free play at home and some unplanned things will still happen around that but he often asks what we are doing tomorrow and what day it is so this will hopefully cement a bit of understanding in that respect.
I am also going to use a workbox each day to hold the 'work' I would like to cover. This will be really helpful for me as I like to have a vague plan for the day and will contain something every day, although I do plan to include treats sometimes rather than work! The work at the moment is mainly going to be a few literacy or numeracy activities and will also include our Five in a Row activities when we are in the process of doing them, or work based on any projects we may be doing. Harry's box is ready for tomorrow with some reading eggs worksheets and an activity from Ferdinand, which we are rowing.
Harry starts classes next week too and will be doing gymnastics, enjoy-a-ball and tennis (he was already doing the latter two last term), together with French. I am still planning to use Five in a Row on a monthly basis as we get on really well with it and we will be attending local workshops with other home ed families, probably on a monthly basis.
So, alongside all that we have time for play at home and away and with friends, craft, baking, riding bikes, getting wet and muddy and spending lots of time together and I can't wait to see how Harry and Peter develop this year!