Emily’s First Day… Of Not Going to School!

Home education starts from birth – at least if that’s what you’ve planned from the beginning anyway! Nevertheless, this week still marked a special milestone. Emily’s first day… Of not going to school!

This week would have been Emily’s first week of school, she would have started reception. I know. We home educate so there’s no actual start date but I still wanted to take lots of photos and mark it as a big milestone because that’s what it is for us.

Some people may think it’s ridiculous to take lots of photos of another day of what is essentially her just doing what shes been doing since she was born – learning at home. But for us it was important to document, because these ‘first day of..’ photos symbolise something more than that.

When we look at these photos we have a memory of the day of course, the milestone, the ‘I can’t believe how fast you’re growing up!’ moment, but what we also have is images that makes us feel so grateful that we are able to home educate, images that say ‘You don’t have to wave goodbye for six hours a day, the fun still carries on!’

These images represent our freedom of choice, whether to home educate or otherwise and I am incredible grateful to live in a country that allows us those freedoms.

We have images of a little girl that is happy because she feels safe and because of this, she is open to learning and engages in the activities presented to her. For those of you that know Emily personally, you will know that she is extremely shy and she shuts down in very large groups. She refuses to engage. She is such a gentle and sensitive soul. My point is that these photos paint a bigger picture for us; they remind us of how we are doing the right thing and how we are on the right path, for us.

Whether you are home educated or you go to school, we hope you all had a fantastic week starting the new term! Good luck to all the new starters of 2017!

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Gone longer than expected…

I don’t want to make this a particularly long post but I know in the last post I said we would be gone for a while, while we set up YouTube. After much thought I decided against the idea. It’s been the longest that I’ve gone without posting. To be honest after I decided not to go down the YouTube route, I didn’t really know what direction the blog was going and decided to take some time out for myself. Home educating can be hard work at times and so it’s really important I have down time.

I want to start this blog up again but simply as a casual thing for friends and family to follow (and anyone else who is interested of course) which is actually what I originally intended when setting it up. I will still offer educational ideas and I do want to start making free downloadable content for my readers as I do really appreciate the support. I just wanted people to know that with life being so busy I cannot commit to weekly posts at the moment… I’m going to aim for once a month, maybe once a fortnight kind of thing.

I sincerely apologise for the absence and hopefully by setting myself some boundaries, I can continue to produce great content that others enjoy. Please let me know what kind of thing you’d like to see on here and I’ll do my best to put something together.

I know this was a bit long winded but I wanted to be 100% honest with my readers as I value you all very much. I want to thank all my readers and followers for sticking with me through my absence.

Spielgaben: Activity 3

As part of our Spielgaben series, this week we have been exploring the alphabet.

In this activity children will learn lowercase letter recognition. This activity in particular is designed to improve early reading skills. As always, although this is a Spielgaben activity, I will do my best to provide alternative ways to get involved at the end of this blog, even if you don’t own a Spielgaben.

I would recommend this activity for children aged 3+ but obviously it doesn’t matter what age your child is as your knowledge on their ability will be more relevant.

All you will need is the Alphabet Grids which are free to download and five medium circles from the number 9 Spielgaben drawer in whatever colour you prefer. It may also be beneficial to have some lowercase sandpaper letters for this exercise, although it’s not a deal breaker – some lowercase flashcards would also be fine if you have them.

If you would like the grid in a specific font then please feel free to drop me a message and I will do my best to assist you.

The objective is simple; encourage the child to identify the most common letter on the grid by placing the circles on the correct squares. There should be five of the same letter on each grid among a selection of other random letters. Take it slow – keep doing the same grid over the space of a couple of days before moving on to another. Most children learn best by repetition.

I also find sounding the letter out the same way as I taught animal noises effective. For example ‘This is the letter E. E says (or makes the sound) eh’.

If you don’t own a Spielgaben then instead, why not get your child to colour in the letters? Or you can use some hair ties or rubber bands to place on the correct squares.

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Things might be quiet for a while…

Just a quick post to apologise in advance. We may not post over the next few weeks while we plan curriculum, crafts and of course set up our YouTube channel. 

Soon as we’re back, we will post content on here at least once a week! 

We hope you enjoy the rest of your summer. Feel free to share what you’ve been getting up to over on our Facebook page. Are you on instagram? Check out ours by clicking here, and don’t forget to follow to keep up to date with our adventures.

We Couldn’t Believe It!

Today we visited the woods. As most of you know it’s our favourite place to explore, play and unwind. We never get bored with the woods as there is always something new to discover. Each time we go, there are little changes that make it a whole new playground. Nature is always renovating its landscape.

We spent extra time in the woods today at Ava’s request for her birthday. We got up to lots! We played with our new go find it cards (post reviewing the cards can be seen by clicking here).

We also managed to feed the squirrels! This is by far one of our favourite things to do when visiting the woods. It’s not always possible as they only tend to come out in the early morning. It was about eleven so we were really surprised to see them.

How adorable is this little squirrel!? I feel so grateful to have been able to get so close to these beautiful animals.

We were also lucky enough to spot some more exotic wildlife… Wild parakeets high in the trees! We couldn’t believe it! We live in London so we were really surprised to see a such brightly coloured birds! It turns out that there’s quite a few of them in the UK as they’re the only parrot to be naturalised in this country! So keep your eyes peeled next time you’re out as you may be lucky enough to see one of these beautiful birds! What’s the most colourful or exotic animal you’ve seen in the wild?

And look what is almost fully formed on the trees! We’re super excited that autumn is just around the corner! It’s our favourite season! The season to cosy up with hot drinks and craft lots. We can’t tell you how excited we are!

What’s your favourite season? Are you looking forward to Autumn? Let us know in the comments below! Be sure to share your photos of what you have been getting up to this weekend over on our facebook page too! Once again, we hope you’re enjoying this wonderful bank holiday weekend!

Go Find It!

The woods is our favourite place in the whole world! 

It has the power to engulf you with it’s lush tall trees and winding branches! Your imagination can run wild with it’s many secret pathways and hidden treasures! It’s like being encapsulated in a completely new world. 

With all this being said, we thought it was the perfect place to play with our new go find it cards.

Go find it cards are an outdoor treasure hunt, there is a descriptive word on each card. The aim of the game is to pick 3 cards at random and find an object that fits all three descriptions. There are 33 different descriptive cards so the possibilities are endless. 

For Emily, who is still young, we just gave her one card to hunt with. They were so much fun to play with, they really encouraged the girls to be even more explorative than they already are.

I imagine these cards can be used anywhere. Where is your favourite place? Perhaps it’s your local park or the beach. Wherever it is, why not have a go at playing with some go find it cards and turn anywhere into an adventurous game! You can buy the cards featured in this post by clicking here.

We hope you are having a wonderful bank holiday weekend! What have you been getting up to?

Don’t forget to share your adventures over on our Facebook page, we absolutely love hearing and seeing what our readers are getting up to. Are you on instagram? Feel free to check us out by clicking here.

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How To Clean Block Crayons

Am I the only one that loves block crayons but hates how dirty they get?

Ours had gotten so speckled with the other colours, they just didn’t work the same. We would use the yellow and we would end up getting little streaks of green, brown, black and… you get the idea!

Anyway this is just a quick post to share how to clean them as I was honestly worried that we would have to buy a new set they were so dirty! I didn’t think they could be saved – if that’s what you’re thinking then don’t worry because it’s easy to get them good as new!

All you’ll need is some kind of oil and an old cloth of some kind (I used a flannel and sunflower oil).

Simply put the oil on the cloth and wipe the crayons and they’ll be good as new again. It’s really that simple!

And just look how pretty the flannel went!

I hope this post helped! Don’t forget to head over to our Facebook page and give us a like. Also don’t forget to follow us on instagram too!

We hope you’re having a wonderful week so far.

Goldilocks And Just The One Bear

“Goldilocks and just the one bear? But Mummy, there are three!”

This morning Ava read and reviewed the book Goldilocks And Just The One Bear by Leigh Hodgkinson. The story is about a little bear who gets lost in the city, only to stumble upon Goldilocks’ house!

This story is cleverly written and really funny, it’s a great spin on the original fairy tale. Ava laughed a lot through the whole thing and I think other children will find this story amusing too! If you want to buy this book for your children then click here. I highly recommend it – even I thoroughly enjoyed the story! It’s not too long-winded, it’s really entertaining and it is jam-packed full of beautiful illustrations.

We used a free printout from Twinkl for Ava to review this book. We love using this template for all of our book reviews. It’s so engaging! If you want to have a go with your children then you can get this template by clicking here. I find that getting Ava to do these book reviews is an effective and enjoyable way for her to practice reading, writing, critical thinking and comprehension skills. It also encourages her creative side as she loves to draw!

There’s been quite a bit of formal learning this morning and now we will enjoy the rest of our day together. The weather is a bit gloomy here today so we will cosy up and play some board games and perhaps do some baking together. (No doubt Ava will play some Minecraft as well!) All still educational but a little less formal. Perhaps we will head out if the weather perks up.

What are you up to today? Let us know in the comments, we love to hear from our readers.  Don’t forget to head over to our Facebook page and give us a like. We also have an instagram if you fancy following us on there too!

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We hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend. What have you been up to? Let us know in the comments and feel free to share your photos over on our Facebook page!