Monday, January 30, 2017

Catching up on our days...

I’m a little late with the new year greeting I know, but finally I feel we are finding our feet again and starting to feel our way around some sort of daily rhythm.
2016 was a great year for us in so many ways.  It had so much going for it – until the closing months when things took a difficult turn.  Our eldest daughter was in and out of hospital from September until just before Christmas (thankfully she is doing a whole lot better now!), and we received awful family health news which took us on a downward spiral.   We were knocked for six for sure and it puts a whole lot of things into perspective.  Don’t take a single day for granted – live life to the full, each day is an absolute blessing to be grabbed hold of and hugged.   Who knows what the effect on 2017 will be, but for now we stay positive and march on.
Talking of marching, we have had a few lovely lane walks recently – trying to get back out there, needing to experience the fresh air and great outdoors.  For me, there is something really healthy feeling and invigorating when I’m out strolling with my family, especially when we return home to a hearty home cooked meal.   It’s a feeling that is hard to beat, and I know I’ve said it before, but when you live in such a beautiful area, with views like this right on your street – well, what’s not to love?
I love the fact that even the younger ones are happy to just go for a walk.  They don’t need to go where there is play equipment, they don’t need to go where they can ride on things or do stuff – they are just happy to stroll, chatter and take in all they see.  I love that.
We have made a start on tidying up the outside space we have in preparation for the coming months.  For the past few days we have had copious amounts of rain which have meant we are almost back to mud bath field again, but we can’t really complain about the winter weather experience thus far.  The younger ones have been enjoying spending time outside with me, sometimes helping with whatever task I am doing, and sometimes exploring alone.
Amara found an old unused birds nest…
I’d really like to turn our outside space into a wonderful child orientated area, with plenty of learning experiences available and space to just be.  I’ve got a few ideas whirring around in my head that I would love to bring to fruition in the coming months, so watch this space!

So on to today.

Our morning started nice and relaxed – one of the big bonuses of home-educating for sure.  When I think back to the mama beast I used to be during our time within the school system, I shudder.  I was shouty mama.  I was frustrated mama.  I was desperately trying to be organised so things run smoothly in the morning mama.  I was failing at it mama.   It is such a relief to be able to start the day at our own pace now, particularly when Amara hasn’t had a good night’s sleep and she is able to lie in until her body is ready for waking – it makes for a much happier young lady.
We pottered around doing our own things for a while.  The chickens and ducks needed cleaning out, the goats needed tending to – choosing today to stay in their stable as the rain was thrashing down hard!  Cats needed feeding, the dog needed a stroll out, laundry had to be started, the old piano apparently needed to be played, and so much more.
When all had been done, we piled into the car to run a few errands around town.  We took the opportunity to explore the local charity shops which proved to be a wise mood as we picked up quite a haul including an electronics kit, fuzzy felt, and a magnetic maths set.
Once home our charity shop purchases were immediately brought into action.  The electronics kit was a fabulous buy at just £2.50…
You can find out more about the kit here:  Cambridge Brain Box Primary Plus 2 Electronics Kit
Amara really liked the fuzzy felt set, and this magnetic maths set.
Today was just about exploring the new things.  No instructions from me, no lessons, no expected learning outcomes or plans – just open the boxes and explore.  Feel the pieces, experiment, and go with the flow.
As we were all together in the same room, I thought it would be a good time to start up our family reading time again.  We started reading a new chapter book  – The Ice Thief by Susan Gates.  We read the first two chapters today and even Callum enjoyed it, and he isn’t big on fiction books, much preferring the non-fiction variety.
I had printed out a few things for us to do today with a focus on the Chinese New Year celebrations, but they shall have to wait until tomorrow – another plus to home-education, we can go off on a tangent when we feel like it and don’t have to worry about sticking to timetables and lesson plans.

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