W’s education this week seemed to take the form of her explaining things to me that she has learned over the last few weeks. This really helps to ‘solidify’ her learning and I can add in any bits that I think she has missed. She loves to explain things to me (probably because she is tired of me constantly telling her things……) instead of just listening to my voice all the time.
So here is what we did this week, in order of subject:
Nature / Biology: W explained to me how bees use their 5 eyes to see and then went on to explain the differences between insects and spiders. This is something she picked up on a TV program ages ago, but had remembered those facts from it.
W later told me how some baby fish hide from predators in their mothers’ mouth. She wanted to know how baby fish are made – we discussed this and looked for clips on Youtube. She also described the blue whale and then explained how big it is.
We played at vets with her toys and within the game she told me all about blood tests and what they are for. She knows a little about blood cells and this was all incorporated into our game.
W has also been learning the names of different plants and flowers, when we are out and about. She can recognise quite a few now, which is impressive since I know very little about flowers…
We learned about how wheat is milled with an educational resource that I had from a while ago. It has packets of wheat from various different points of the milling process and it explains what happens to is and what each different part is used for.
Literacy / English: We got W’s activity books and magazines out and she did quite a few pages of colouring-in, spot the difference, copying pictures, stickering and writing practise.
Also, we again categorised some of her Shopkins toys (this time into ‘seasons’) and she wrote labels for each section.
Maths: On the train to a park, we did some mental arithmetic (she was giving me sums to do, then working out the answer herself), which W worked out in her own way. For some questions, she counted on her fingers, but for others, she seemed to just know the answer.
On another day, W bought a couple of new toys with her pocket money (more about pocket money here) and added up how much money she had for them, to work out if she had enough.
We later watched a few episodes of the number show from Alphablocks, on CBeebies together.
PE: At swimming, W swam on her back this time and generally played a lot in the pool.
Politics: I took W with me to vote in the local election, where we talked about the political parties, government, what they do and how they are funded. This is something W is really interested. In the past, she has asked lots of questions on democracy and why people vote differently from each other. I’m sure we will expand on this a lot as she grows up.
Play: W, D and J played a long imaginative game, where all of their soft toys went camping. They packed lots of items for the toys and brought them downstairs in suitcases, then put up the tent and played at camping with them. It was great to see them playing together so well and collaborating well on what should happen next in the game.
Although this seems like a lot of learning now that I have written it down, this was definitely one of our ‘quiet’ weeks. However, it goes to show that, whether I am actively ‘teaching’ Willow or not, she is learning all the time of her own accord. I see that my role here is to facilitate her learning and to be guided by her. She will learn what she is ready to learn, when she needs to learn it. I am so struck by the fact that she is so eager to absorb information and facts, without me instigating it. When I first found out about home education (when I was pregnant with W), I thought it would involve much more guidance from me. I must say that I did think W would want to do nothing all day if I let her. As she grew, she showed me that she was always learning and that what I needed to do was to simply observe and to provide opportunities for learning. The rest is down to her. And she is doing brilliantly.