I am delighted by the response I had to the first Big Kid link up and I want to thank everyone who linked up and also commented. There were some splendid resource ideas for our older children including ideas for making chores more enticing, day trips following in the footsteps of historical people and events, Minecraft inspired learning activities and good old fashioned adventures in the mud. If you haven’t had a look yet then click here to revisit the last link and catch up on the brilliant ideas.
Two posts really struck a chord with me. The first was a really interesting piece by Kate from Musings of a 21st Century Stay at Home Mum. The post raises questions about children’s gaming habits and if gaming can be a positive experience. We set boundaries for our children so they know exactly how long they have on their device but the lines have become blurred since Theo began coding – when does gaming become active learning? Do I restrict learning by restricting his computer time? Kate raised some interesting questions for me which I think will have to look at more closely in a future post.
The second was a great post centred around a wall book written by Frogotter from Frogotters Blog. The activities which she came up with helped her children engage with the topics covered on the chart – it is an impressive post by an inspired parent. I am desperate to get hold of a wall chart now and will do as soon as the budget allows.
We have been continuing our scientific studies using the book about the elements and keeping up to date with the ‘COSMOS – A Space a Time Odyssey’ television series. Theo comes to life when he learns about any scientific topic – he is a natural born scientist and wants to find evidence for how everything works. Our best home school purchase last week was a prism. It was an inexpensive item but it has unleashed so many questions about light, wavelengths, space and even philosophy – lots of why’s and what if’s. One of our objectives this month is to conduct the famous ‘double slit’ experiment and if you aren’t aware of what this is then come back soon when I will share the results with you.
We have also been spending lots of time outdoors. I believe strongly that children need fresh air and excercise every day to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It isn’t just good for their bodies – it is good for their minds. When my children haven’t had time outside their behaviour is different, they are grumpy, they become agitated and even twitchy and worst of all they are unable to concentrate. To keep everyone’s mental well being in tip-top condition, including my own, we go out for at least one hour during the day regardless of the weather. The boys enjoy playing in the woods, climbing, hiding, making dens and inventing games together. We also often use resources from the Nature Detectives website which, as I have said before, is an excellent place to find fun and interesting printable activities. There are resources for older children such as ideas for story writing, word searches and information about various plants and animals. Theo is also working through the National Trust challenge ‘50 things to do before you are 11 3/4′ which is another fantastic resource for a slightly older child. There are 50 activities ranging from simple outdoor tasks such as rolling down a hill or climbing a tree to much more adventurous ones involving being on the river. Theo visits the website and ticks off the activities he has done and he sometimes uploads photographs as evidence. He has completed 35 tasks so far which isn’t bad going for a nine year old.
Theo has started skateboarding lessons which he is really enjoying. I am very pleased that we came across the home education session at Projekts MCR each Friday because he is being taught how to use a skateboard properly which makes me feel much happier about him using one. I am amazed by the level of balance he now has compared to last year – yet another sign of maturity. This lesson makes up part of our physical education along with athletics and general everyday outdoor activity, of course.
I wonder what physical activities other children are involved in? Do your children attend groups or classes? I would love to hear about them.
I am really looking forward to finding out and seeing what fabulously inspired learning resources, tips, tricks and ideas will be shared here over the next two weeks.
Thank you for taking part – I will read and reply to each and every one of you.