Happy Halloween!

So this week we’ve been celebrating Halloween. This is my favourite time of year! So, we’ve been baking…

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We baked some Halloween cookies: gravestones, voodoo dolls, mummies and ghosts.

We also baked some yummy cakes too!
The gravestone and melted witch ones were my favourite!

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We have been doing spooky witch craft too!

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And of course, we went trick-or-treating!

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I feel so blessed right now!

Happy Halloween people! We hope you all had a lovely day!

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Keep calm and carry on

I feel so blessed to have two wonderful children.
Ava makes me laugh so much. Today, she was putting her mittens on her feet – pretending to be a monkey. Emily has started laughing when she sees me and Ava being silly together and she is just so cuddly too! I just feel so grateful for the bond we all have. Today has been a good day. We haven’t done any learning as such but it has still been fun!

Being at the very beginning of our journey I am still learning all the time. It’s so hard (in an emotional sense) at times. I keep telling myself to relax as the the beauty of home education is to take things slow but I also fret because I feel everyone is waiting for me to fail. I get waves of ‘what the hell am I doing, am I doing the right thing?’ followed by the sickening worry of friends and family judging me. I’m scared of doing it all wrong.

To be honest though, the majority of my everyday friends have been so supportive – it has surprised me and inspired me. It helps me keep going as I think if everyone was against me I would just give up out of fear of being judged and criticised.

I just need to trust myself and the advice of other home educators that relaxing and going with the flow, taking each day as it comes will work out. I mean… What’s the point in home schooling if I’m just going to mimic a school setting? I think it’s more myself that needs a strict timetable and lesson plans if I’m honest. I haven’t implemented any lessons yet, however Ava has learned loads. Just yesterday night after her bedtime story she began talking about her heart and what it does (she had learnt that from a documentary we watched together.)

At the moment we just read together, watch documentaries together, play together, make together and cook together. She seems to be learning a fair amount so why fix something that’s not broke, right?
I have to say I think I would go mad if I couldn’t write this blog. Just because seeing it all in writing puts it into perspective and helps me break it down in to simple terms that I can understand as sometimes my mind feels overloaded with too many hypothetical scenarios. I just need to keep calm and carry on!

The ‘Calm me down’ basket

The girls are fast asleep, so I wanted to share our ‘calm me down’ basket. This basket is loaded and ready for when I feel a tantrum is brewing! I personally find once Ava is in a full blown tantrum, nearly every parenting tool is less effective. I am more for prevention than cure. If I can see my little one getting ratty, I will just take myself to our cozy corner and ask her to join me. We then have a rummage through the basket of goodies!

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Our basket has:
A pack of snap cards, our homemade glitter bottle, a cuddly elephant toy and several educational/moralistic books such as –
‘All Kinds of Feelings’
‘Hands Are Not For Hitting’
‘Guess How Much I Love You’
‘Understand and Care’
‘1001 Animals to Spot’

I will be adding more books as we go along. I will also be adding a calm task jar when Ava is a bit older and able to read. The jar is basically filled with ideas of how to calm down, they are written on small pieces of card – another fab idea from ‘here we are together’.

 

 

Its all so exciting!

I don’t know what it’s like for other families (in the initial stages) that plan to home educate but I keep getting rushes of excitement! I feel so liberated already – and it’s only just the beginning!

At the moment I’m just planning what I’m going to teach and how I’m going to do it. I’ve decided we won’t be following the national curriculum but we will eventually have semi-structured lessons, at the moment we are learning through play and day-to-day life. My main priority is teaching Ava to read, write and learn the value of numbers. There’s some great books on how to go about it.

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I’ve been reading ‘The Well-Trained Mind’ by Jessie Wise, I’ve also ordered ‘The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading’ by Jessie Wise which has step-by-step lesson plans. The book shown above has quashed all my fears of whether I can or can’t home educate, which makes me feel even more excitement! I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is considering home educating!

Since pulling Ava out of nursery (two weeks ago) I have seen a massive difference in her attitude, behaviour and interests already. She seems more open and interested in learning, she will often ask
“What does that word say?” when looking at books.
She will comment on objects and say
“That’s the bin, it begins with the letter B.”
Overall, our ‘trial run’ is going well, it’s helping me realise how great teaching her myself will be. Even though a few good friends have been very supportive of my intentions to home educate, I’ve also had a fair amount of judgemental, disapproving comments. However, I am so confident this will work that I don’t mind what people think or say anymore. I’m just ridiculously excited!

Preschool fun!

One of my daughter’s favourite things to play with is play dough! I used to buy tubs and tubs of the stuff.

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Now, we make it together. I find she looks after our homemade stuff over the tubs that I have bought for her in the past. I personally love play dough! I find it keeps Ava calm, we also have some lovely alphabet and number cutters that I picked up from a local cake decorating shop so it can be very educational for preschoolers too. Try and make it yourself and let your imagination run wild! Here is my recipe for ‘twilight play dough’

TWILIGHT PLAY DOUGH

Homemade play dough infused with lavender. Perfect to help small children relax before bed or before an afternoon nap! Oh, and obviously lots of fun to play with too – even for grown ups!

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You will need:

250g plain flour

50g table salt

140ml water

2 tbsp. almond oil (or any other unscented oil)

5 drops of lavender oil

Purple food colouring

Sprinkle of lilac glitter

To make:

  1. Mix the flour and salt into a large bowl.
  2. Mix up the water, oils and food colouring into a jug and  then add to bowl.
  3. Gather dough and knead until consistency of play dough, this can take up to 10 minutes. You can add more flour or water if you need to.
  4. Add the glitter, knead until evenly dispersed.
  5. Finally, go and have fun squeezing this irresistible play dough!

You can add different colours and essential oils depending on your preference. Yellow and lemon is a fab combination!