Thursday, 18 September 2014

A hotchpotch from the end of summer

In the last month or so, our structured home ed has fizzled out. I've had a deadline to meet for my OU course and, as I was way behind with my studies, I decided that we'd resume home ed after I'd finished the course.

So, what was happening downstairs whilst I spent time upstairs with my nose buried in books, ignoring my children?

There were several visits from Charlie's friends, where the boys played with the new kittens or spent unmentionable amounts of time constructing villages on Minecraft.


There were random experiments.

Making sand

Apparently, this gunge will turn into crystals

There was a lot of reading. As well as finishing the Harry Potter series and re-reading a lot of old favourites, such as the David Walliams books, 'Tom Gates' series and the 'Wimpy Kid' series, Charlie completed his Summer Reading Challenge.

There was a lot of playing with Lego.

Recreating the Titanic disaster in Lego, complete with iceberg

In between, there was shopping to unpack...

And my kitchen began to look like this:

Luckily, Michael was able to take Charlie out sometimes, even if it was just to help him at work.

He and Charlie visited Hersmonceux Science Centre, which is one of Charlie's favourite places, providing lots of opportunities for fun science experiments.

And they went to Hove Museum, where Charlie was fascinated by the early film plates in the media and film collection.

And intrigued by the contrast between a Victorian bedroom and one from modern times.

I was so relieved when I had finally completed the essay and could stumble downstairs to see my family again. I half expected them to have grown up and left home in the meantime. 

Now I was back in the fray, the three of us could go on excursions. One day we visited the house of Charlotte Matthews, part of Lewes Artwave. We were so impressed by her work that we ended up buying some of her prints.

Afterwards, we went for a long walk in the countryside.

A red admiral

Last weekend, a friend came to stay and we all went out for fish and chips on the beach in Brighton. A seagull swooped down and stole a chunk of Charlie's fish.

One of these seagulls was the culprit

Eating our fish and chips, whilst the seagulls waited for another chance

Skimming stones

View of West Pier

Having enjoyed such an unstructured summer, I felt the need to get some order back into my life and drew up a timetable. I have put everything on it: home ed; Tom's medical appointments and online lessons; housework; menus; and excursions. It's not set in stone and inevitably changes have to be made, but it gives me a solid foundation. I made a separate home ed timetable for Charlie, so he could see what we were going to be doing each day. He likes having it. He was particularly happy to see that every day begins with a cycling lesson, as he is really enjoying learning to ride.

This week we are resuming home ed, which will include studying our new topic, the 'Titanic'.

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