Little Star Homeschool

"Do not train children to learning by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each." Plato

Took some books out of the library for Robert yesterday and bought a new fridge, the old one is quite literally blowing hot and cold. Having to buy chilled food almost daily til new fridge is delivered next week.

Robert's been busy painting and adding and doubling numbers while I've been rearranging our "library" - we have twelve (I think) bookcases which I am organising to make a quiet reading area on the landing and thus freeing more space in the office so Robert can have his own desk. We've installed a chest freezer too so I can store more bread from Tesco when I do the main shop rather than paying convenience store prices through the week. The chest freezer will also mean I can double up when cooking stews, shepherds pies, curries and chillis and freeze portions for the weekends when we John and I find ourselves too busy to cook something substantial for ourselves.

For national science week in March I am looking out some simple experiments to do with Robert, will post more about them in a couple of weeks.

Robert's drawing is improving. He produced this self-portrait today.

He also wrote this poem, he began with making a fish sound with his mouth then writing what came to mind.

They swim about
do fish shout?
I think so
they shout like this
bop, hop, pop.
I made a huge chilli con carne for dinner, John and I had chilli stuffed pancakes, Robert had freshly squeezed orange juice and sugar on his. I would have cooked the pancakes for breakfast but we have been busy wrestling with a new secondhand staircarpet for two days from morning until teatime. We are also rearranging furniture to fit in the inherited pieces we have gained from John's late grandma. A fantastic vintage sideboard, new dining table and other smaller bits and pieces. I just stare in wonder at the sideboard, its walnut lacquer and if you saw it in a shop you would think it ugly but it suits our house and I can't figure out why. Anyway more storage equals less chaos and I can't bring myself to send stuff like that to landfill. Its not worn out enough!

At first we only told the people that mattered we were home educating Robert, family and closest friends. Recently we have been telling the wider audience of aquaintances. I must admit I was suprised by the enthusiastic response and the nods of agreement when I explained my disappointment in the current state educational system, other parents admit to feeling let down by their child's school and teachers and wish they had had the time and /or dedication to home-ed. Some asked lengthy questions about teaching him higher mathematics and the pedantic rules of English grammar and others asked the simpler questions like "what do you teach him?" and "how do you keep him interested?" I must look the truly proud parent when I reply "I just teach the rules and concepts, he learns from the world around him because he is receptive and naturally capable of grasping new concepts."

Now he is learning to multiply, divide and I am introducing fractions. We take a little bit of time each day phonetically spelling out medium length words. Today he made a desert island and yesterday a collage. He is snoring very loudly as I type this, he's caught my tonsilitis.

Almost forgot...John was making some notes in a notebook and Robert wanted to see. "Oooooh, Daddy" he said " you have written a lot. You deserve a hug for that" and gave his Daddy a big hug.

Its a new year and yes we are still here, home-edding. Sorry peeps for the gaps between posts but life is so hectic now I rarely sit at the puter. Robert is coming on in leaps and bounds especially with his maths, adding and subtracting small numbers with ease and getting to grips with tens up to millions. he has a fundamental grasp of 3 dimensional shapes and his knowledge of the natural world simply amazes me. his handwriting is gradually gaining in legibility, as with most boys its not his fave activity and he would rather use the puter sometimes than paper and pen. hes a happy chap tho and grasps new subjects quickly and has a phenomenally good memory.

Another reason I have been busier than usual is due to the arrival of my first step-gransdon (if thats the correct term) Lisa, my step-daughter gave birth to a healthy baby boy last October and the phone rings nearly every day with her news, worries and general moans and groans. She lives in South Wales now with her boyfriend but she still managed to visit a couple of times before Christmas and we are thrilled at becoming grandparents.

And yes, we have Guardian posters everywhere!!! Its the new wallpaper.

Johns maternal grandmother passed away a couple of weeks ago and while it wasnt unexpected, she was ninety-four, it was still an emotional time for all the family.

Meanwhile I have been going slowly green, hehe. Onwards and upwards from composting to switching to a green energy supplier for our electricity (its generated by wind turbines I am told) and running about the house changing all the bulbs to lovely energy efficient ones. We are looking at installing a wood-burning room heater later in the year and improving our homes insulation.

At present I am getting over a bout of tonsilitis, The winter viruses have hit me hard this year and for a good couple of months I have hardly been well, the doc put me on yet another gruelling course of antibiotics. I cough as I type...Robert however has a cold for two days and is up and running again, ahhhh what it is to be young *sighs*

I will blog more often....I'm sure I will, if I keep telling myself one day it may come true.

Thursday it began to we threw snowballs...

Made a snowman...

Felt how cold it is...

And just looked in awe at it...

By saturday it was all gone. Robert said "snow is my favourite and my best mummy."

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