Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Home education group work - The Plague

We met our friends yesterday for our first group session of the year. We did this last year in a hired Church hall room and will be continuing this term. We did a lot of science based activities previously and will be including some different themes this time. We are also trying to keep to more of a timetable so the children know what to expect and to make our organising easier. I met the other mums one evening last week to plan some ideas for future weeks, which will include Chinese New Year, World War I and Ancient Egypt.

We started with circle time, where we discussed ideas for a history timeline. Each child is going to prepare a display sheet for one historical period or event to bring next week and share with the group. There are three families with eight children in total so it is a small enough group to do this. We also voted on titles for a group story and shared ideas about the plot. We are going to work on a story through the term with one family taking it home each week to add to it. The title is The Mystery of the Silver Hook and we have the responsibility for starting the story ready for next week!

After this we played a BBC Schools radio programme about the plague, which required listening, acting out scenes and working in pairs or small groups. It finished with the song ring-a-ring-a-roses, which Harry has been singing today. It was part of the 'first steps in drama' series.

During the drama session, I did some activities with Peter and another small sibling, who is 3. We read a book, Blueberries for Sal, then traced lines, counted blueberries and spelled their names with blueberry letters. We also played the Insy Winsey Spider board game.

We had a snack, then one mum read some stories while we cleaned up (to encourage sitting down). The children then had some free craft time to draw, colour or cut and stick. 

This is the format we are going to adopt for the next few weeks, to see if it works well. The children seemed to enjoy the circle time and did lots of talking. We will also be doing some specific circle time activities in future weeks. 

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