Home Education

Week in the Life: Home Ed.

The seasons are turning and the evenings bring a chill that sweeps across the last few hours of the day. It’s time to start drawing the curtains again, and the days are tumbling quickly into autumn. Amongst the rainy days we celebrate two birthdays this week and enjoy a relaxed fancy dress party with friends. As I sit drinking tea I send messages inviting people to our annual bonfire party. It’s that time of year. 

We recreate the classic science experiment everyone can remember doing as a kid: carnations in coloured water. 

The littlest fella helps to make a wholemeal loaf topped with salt and pepper. The boys and I spend the afternoon devouring the entire loaf, dunking slices straight into a pan full of homemade soup, feral and undignified as we fail to even pour soup into bowls – instead we stand at the stove, huddled around a hot pan as if we haven’t eaten for days.

On a wet afternoon I introduce the boys to Shakespeare. I’m reading The Winter’s Tale at the moment and when I saw a sticker book all about Shakespeare I had to get it.  It introduces the reader to London in the 1600’s and explains plays and playwrights and The Globe. It goes on to explore Shakespeare’s early life, and then gives a brief synopsis of his most famous plays. On each page you can create your own scene with the stickers provided. It’s magical. 

We spend time in the kitchen making chocolate chip cookies. They’ve been asking me for weeks to make them and it was good to just say yes for a change. 

Getting out in the garden, the boys help me to harvest the potatoes. We fill an enormous plant pot with them which was later dragged into the kitchen ready for scrubbing the first few for dinner: potato wedges and lentil chilli. A simple dinner that’s fast becoming a firm favourite.

The boys spend time working their way through some Horrible Science experiment kits, given to us by the dearest of friends. They shriek with delight, firing rockets into the air with Daddy – oblivious to the rain hammering down around them – as the rocket hits the roof before rolling back down. Over and over again. 

In the meantime, my living room windowsill is littered with science experiments in various stages of completion. I briefly wonder what the milkman thinks every time he places the bottles under the window – dyed carnations, a half built Lego battleship, a cardboard tree growing multi-coloured crystals, a rock in a yoghurt pot, crystals growing in a bright pink bottle….. 

And the plans for a Saturday afternoon? The new issue of Whizz Pop Bang arrived yesterday so we intend to snuggle on the sofa to read it together. We’re going to check our growing crystals and make rosemary cheddar scones. 

Simple weekends trying to get over snotty noses and aching limbs. 

Snippets: reading the best ever book on volcanoes, discussing acid rain, diamond mines, counting backwards, Reading Eggs and practising their spellings, getting more confident typing on a keyboard, learning about mass and density, capillary action, writing letters to their favourite people, Lego creations, building boats, helping Daddy finish rebuilding a retaining wall, looking at the Great Fire of London, introducing timelines, Samuel Pepys, amplifying sound/sound waves, reading about how sat-navs work, planning a trip to Yorkshire for some camping and fossil hunting. 

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