Science / Nature: While we were passing through King’s Cross station this week, we saw the Harris Hawk, who works there to scare the pigeons away. We spoke to her handler and asked questions about her diet and temperament. She was later outside and was flying onto the low buildings. W asked why she wasn’t in a cage and why she followed her owner so well, so we talked about imprinting too. W was so pleased to have met her!
On Saturday, we took W’s stepsister, D (7) to a dance class at a school, where W explored the ‘nature’ part of the school playground, in which there were woods! She loved the fact that there was a school with woods….. but when we saw a shed called the ‘behaviour shed’ which children are put in for time out, W didn’t seem to like the school any more…. and neither did I….
On the way home, we saw lots of dogs being walked and we said hello to every single one (after asking permission from their owners first, of course). We learned about breeds and also about muzzles and why we shouldn’t stroke a nervous dog.
We saw a sunflower with a bee on it and this led to a conversation about how bees communicate with each other to find the best pollen.
The next day, we talked about how trees and humans help each other by converting oxygen and carbon dioxide.
On Monday, W helped to cook risotto. She doesn’t usually ask to cook dinner, so this was a great ‘home economics’ learning opportunity for her.
Tuesday was Rainbows day and it was W’s special ‘promise’ day, in which she had to recite her promise and become a fully-fledged Rainbows member with a badge and a certificate. We decided to bake cakes for all the children and leaders, so we spent some of the day doing that. W managed to almost do the whole bake by herself.
Then came her promise. She remembered it all and recited it well in front of everyone and the leader cried as she pinned her badge on her and welcomed her properly. W absolutely loves her Rainbows group and although we are not religious (Girlguiding has a religious Christian aspect), W gains so much from participating in the group and seeing her friends there.
On Wednesday, we were going to do some learning from W’s encyclopedias, but when we got up, we saw that Watson the cat wasn’t well (she had been off-colour for a couple of days, but definitely wasn’t herself today). I had to make some calls to see if we could get an appointment at the vets for her. We eventually got an appointment at the animal hospital and when we arrived, we saw that it was very, very busy, which was great as we got to see what animals had what problems and what medication they needed (it wasn’t very private at all). W chatted to the other customers a lot and then got to watch the vet examine Watson and diagnose a large abscess. The vet then took Watson into a different room to operate and brought her back to us, dazed and rather sore.
We had instructions from the vet to clean the wound twice a day with boiled salty water and to give Watson a tablet once a day, which W was happy to do. She asked the vet herself whether she needed to keep the other cats away from Watson – something that I hadn’t thought of myself.
We read a few of W’s encyclopedias from the library about cats and big bats.
Geography: On the train home, W asked about zones in London and we talked about zones 1-6 and where we live. She thought that we live in the furthest place from the centre and was surprised that there is even more of London past our house.
Politics: At dinner, we talked about the Royal family again and how their ‘wages’ are our taxes. She was interested in what our money pays for, such as bin collections and schools and learned that everything costs money.
Literacy / English: Our board game for a couple of days this week was Articulate, which W is great at. She guessed really well and described things really well also. It is unsurprising as she is such a chatterbox….
There was the book fair at the school when we went to collect W’s stepsiblings, so the children all got new books. D sat and read to W, which she loved.
Later, when we were all playing charades, W said that she wanted to write down everyone’s initial and make a tally of how many goes each person had had. She did this entirely by herself and it was really good.
Art: W again did lots of colouring this week.
Play: W played lots of imaginative games with her stepsister, D (7 years old) and their My Little Ponies.
On Sunday, I had a cold and we were meant to go to a museum, but I didn’t feel up to it. Instead, W and D had an amazing day together, just playing with their toys. They also went outside doing tricks on scooters and bikes, which was actually quite good. W has been quietly practicing riding her big bike (donated by a friend) and is getting quite good at it now (with stabilisers)
Also this week, W helped me with my work, packing parcels and sticking stamps on the letters, which was great as she doesn’t usually want to (and doesn’t have to). I made a big box for a parcel and W climbed in, so I let her play with it for a while and she turned it into a car, a lorry, a cat bed, a regular bed etc. She had fun in it.
Numeracy / Maths: When we played Monopoly Junior, W was again great with her mental maths.
At breakfast, W decided to randomly tell me the answer to some sums, such as ‘Mama, did you know that 3+2+1 is 6?’ And then she would show me how she worked it out. It was great to see her do that entirely by herself.
Later, we went into town to buy a toy with W’s earnings from her work earlier this week. She was really brilliant at knowing what she could and couldn’t buy. She had £12 and was saying “I can’t buy that because 25 is bigger than 12”. She settled on a toy from TK Maxx, which she was overjoyed with and played with over and over again.
At dinner, W was talking about numbers (I can’t remember why) and did some addition and subtraction on her fingers, completely of her own choosing.
Thursday brought more addition and subtraction during play. W wanted to tell me how many of a certain thing that she had and what the difference was between that and another group of toys.
Socialisation: Monday was our social group day and we were lucky enough to have D there with us. They played a lot with the other children and generally had fun outside and inside with W’s friends.
….So that rounds of another week of home education with us. Next week, we are playing a game of W’s choosing, which is apparently called ‘Unicorn Vets’…..