As if 2 birthdays within 5 days weren’t enough, Wednesday 18th of May was my nephew Billys 6th Birthday. (My sisters little big boy) We spent the morning starting a project on Romans, sparked by our recent visit to Bignor Roman Villa. Inky also started her own project on Egypt. I spent a couple of hours reading and printing things off from this VERY valuable pdf file ANCIENT ROME. I’ve had it saved for a while after coming across it on one of my home ed groups and it is finally being used. It’s Grade 4-8 whatever that is, but we don’t go by the age of stuff anyway. Just whether its appropriate for what Inky is currently studying and that its not too ‘young’ for her. Even after 2 hours of looking through it, it wasn’t enough. I ordered a second hand Usborne book about Rome on Amazon to add to our collection of books we already have on Rome. Most of these we found in charity shops. From around 1430 – 1700 we looked after Mums doggy and done some more work on Romans/Egyptians. Then when Mum picked Shadow up, she also picked us up to take us to my sisters for Billys birthday party with just family there. He has another football themed birthday party this Saturday which Inky will be going to. It was a lovely afternoon and Sam my man came there straight from work for a few hours before we all headed off home.
On Thursday 19th May the children and I went for a long walk in our gorgeous local woods. The weather was beautiful and we only needed light cardigans on, which we all eventually took off. We all love to explore the less beaten track (especially our dalmation, Shadow!) and wound our way through the trees. Perfect. On our way back home we stopped at a local organic farm shop and bought a couple of bits before heading home for lunch. After lunch Bri had a long nap and Ink and I continued with our Roman project.
Friday 20th March Inky didn’t fancy walking but I really did so she stayed with my Grandma, Oma, (obviosuly her great Grandma) for a couple hours and I got some alone time with my Mum and Bri. Inky ended up going to a local street market with Oma and Omas partner from where we had to collect her after our walk. The rest of the day was pretty much the same as yesterday…. which brings us to the last day of this particular diary entry…
Saturday 21st May. In the morning Inky and I had chiropractor appointments – Inkys gets aches in her neck sometimes, since she started back at gymnastics in September last year and this would be her 3rd session. 1 more to go and she will be ‘fixed’. Me on the other hand, I have more aches and pains which need ‘fixing’. Especially since my MY ECTOPIC EXPERIENCE. We came straight home after and Inky had just about enough time to get ready before my sister and her partner picked her up to take her to B’s 6th Birthday football party. Mum and I went to pick Inky up from the party when it had finished. She had an amazing time, even if it was a 6 year olds party :p she was happy that she got to spend the time with her cousins, Aunt and Uncle. And that Mummy wasn’t there to regulate the sweet intake. As it was Saturday night, Inky stayed at Mums after to watch Britains Got Talent, their little thing they like to watch together. What a ‘social’ life our home educated children have. Oh, and they learn along the way too for those who only care about the ‘fact’ (NOT TRUE) that home educated children don’t socialise… not just ‘book’ stuff, but also real wordl stuff through interacting with family, friends, strangers, tutors, trampolining/gym coaches… they definitely aren’t ‘hidden’ and right now i feel a bit like saying nah nah nah nah nah (sticks out tongue 😉 )
I had to share this, its so cool and inspiring. Don’t forget to show it to the family too and re-share 🙂 Go out in to nature alone or with your partner, family, friends etc and have a go at creating your own.
Scottish sculptor Andy Goldsworthy creates transitory works of art by arranging leaves, sticks, rocks or anything else he can find outside.
Most of Goldsworthy’s art is considered transient and ephemeral, causing people to perceive it as a criticism on the Earth’s fragility. However, for Goldsworthy, the meaning is more complicated.
“When I make something, in a field or street, it may vanish but it’s part of the history of those places,” he says in an interview. “In the early days my work was about collapse and decay. Now some of the changes that occur are too beautiful to be described as simply decay. At Folkestone I got up early one morning ahead of an incoming tide and covered a boulder in poppy petals. It was calm and the sea slowly and gently washed away the petals, stripping the boulder and creating splashes of red in the sea. The harbor from which many troops left for war was in the background.”
For more and to see some of the artwork he has created go to:
What an absolutely busy, yet fun, action packed week! And it hasn’t stopped. We had a fairly laid back day on Saturday. Our main thing was grocery shopping and catching up on household chores… On the Sunday morning, Inky and Bri, picked Inkys bestie up for an all day play-date in the morning. We had a fun day. My man Sam took the morning off from working on his camper, and we went to the local playground on the seafront, expecting it to be warm as it had been the past week or so, but it was freezing. So we went and got ice creams at the local lake where we found some wind shelter. Bri had a nap when we got home. His eyes were real watery from teething and were made worse by the incessant cold wind outdoors. I had some ‘me’ time whilst Bri was napping and Inky was occupied with her friend. She got picked up at 6 and then we went to my dads for dinner. Inky ended up staying there for the night….
The next morning, Monday 16th May, my Dad dropped Inky off early before work. We walked to my Nans house, who lives a ten minute walk away (5 without kids :p ) and had breakfast with her and a couple of guests who had come over from Germany for my Nans (we call her Oma in German) birthday. Both our children are fluent in German and its always nice to show off their skills, especially to Germans. Plus its proud Mummy moments hearing them talk accent free and totally fluent not just in English 🙂 We stayed till around midday before walking to out local town with the scooters and buying ingredients for Inky to make cookies for Omas birthday tomorrow – again, single handedly. Sams Mum came over for dinner in the evening after work to see the kids. Inky wheedled another sleepover – this time at Sams Mums….
Tuesday May 17th – My Omas birthday. We munched our way through quite a lot of the cookies Inky made yesterday afternoon last night, so Inky had to make another batch this morning. This resulted in us missing trampolining and so we went to Omas early to wish her a happy birthday, taking home made cards, cookies, flowers and a gift. My aunt was already there, as was my sister with her baby, my Mum and a couple of friends. We stayed till late afternoon, went home to hang up washing and mundane stuff like that, then went back to my nans at 6. My eldest brother and his girlfriend, plus all of my cousins (4 of them) from my Mums only sister and their partners plus one of their children were there. We ended up staying until really late catching up with everyone. Another pleasant home ed day…. those of you reading these diary style entries will see how sociable and outgoing the home ed world really is, with plenty of learning mixed in…..
Thursday 12th – my mums birthday of course! My sister picked me and Bri up after she dropped her eldest son to school. She also has a 3 month old little boy. First of all we went to pick up a gazebo my Nan had gotten my mum for her garden for her birthday so we could put it up for a little garden birthday party Mum had organised for that evening. Then we drove to my Mums from where we walked to the local cafe for breakfast, smoothies and coffees. Our Dalmatian, Shadow, came too. Brian took his scooter down the quiet residential streets and him and Inky took turns on it. It was a lovely mild morning and we sat outside in the sun. The atmosphere and company were perfect. We stayed there a good few hours. After walking back to mums, we all went off to sort out various things, Inky stayed with my Mum. My sister picked me back up after picking my other nephew up from school and we went back to my mums for the garden party. 2 out of my 3 brothers turned up and my sister of course with her 2 boys, and everyone’s partners…. more lovely family time 🙂 The only downside to the day was our Dalmation, who is epileptic, having 5 horrible seizures after 4 and a half months of none. My mum was very sad, but still had a lovely time with her children and grand children.
The next day, Friday 13th, my man Sam gave me and the kids a lift to Inkys best friends house. From there we grabbed a lift toBignor Roman Villa with her family. I only have use of a car a couple days a week at the moment, it’s a bit challenging to get places sometimes but somehow we always manage… we got to the Roman Villa just after 10am and met up with around 10 other home ed families to attend an organised ‘educational’ day. The kids got given Roman robes of varying rank and then were talked through what their status would have been. Inky was dressed as the rich wife of a villa owner. There was a longish workshop before lunchtime, a guided tour by an amazing lady called Liz. She captivated the childrens attention entirely with her enthusiastic and passionate way, talking them through the history of the villa and explaining the mosaics, what they thought the missing pieces may be, what they thought the rooms that had been preserved were used for…. I was so proud of all the home ed lot, especially as ages ranged from toddler to 10/11 years of age. They were all attentive, inquisitive and polite, as well as some of them being rather knowledgeable about Romans when questions arose. Lunch was a happy affair, in the West Sussex sunshine surrounded by rolling Down land and woods. Again, I have to say that all the children got on wonderfully, all ages mixing. The older kids, including Inky, played some game with the younger kids they made up and which evolved in to something that was lovely to watch, all of them, running around. Once or twice an adult had to step in but nothing bad…. After lunch the group was split in 2 for a hands-on workshop. The first group used beeswax tablets, similar to those which would have been used in Roman times, as well as trying their hand at mosaic patterns. The other group got to make flour the good old Roman way. The groups obviously swapped activities when they were done. After the workshop finished, approx 330, we stayed another hour hanging out with our friends and Inky got to choose a couple things from the gift shop. Oh, and there was ice cream for everyone of course 🙂 Inky went back to her friends for a sleepover, and Bri and I got a lift home… Inky changed her mind about the sleepover though so I went to pick her up at 8pm, just when I was about to get Bri to bed. Luckily I had use of the car in the evening!
Well, last week was a very busy, fun, happy ‘social’ week for us.
On Monday 9th Inky had her third session of English film literacy group, run by another home ed mum. She has just completed a training course in teaching this and offered to run a six session course for up to 10 home ed children. 6 attend. The same 6 who also attend history and art history sessions run by the same Mum. She is very good at delivering the material in a way that engages and motivates them.
On Tuesday 10th Inky had a chiropractors appointment and then her and Bri had an hours trampolining lesson. Inky has been going for a year and a half and is working on badges. Bri just started trampolining about a month ago. Starting age is normally 4 unless they have an older sibling attending. Trampolining lessons are run by yet another mum. There is a waiting list! Late afternoon Inky had gymnastics from 16:30 – 18:30. This is NOT a home ed group, its open to all. Inky went to gymnastics from age 2-8, then had a year and a half gap and did kickboxing instead as well as go horse riding. She then stopped these and has been back at gymnastics for the last 8 months…. SO SHE DOES SOCIALISE for all you worry warts out there… and not just with kids her own age, or home ed exclusive :p
On Wednesday 11th we went to Inkys monthly art and drama home ed session from 10-12:30 in a very rural location, the hall surrounded by forest and some cool sand cliffs which the kids over course climb all over! My Mum dropped us to my nans after where I spent a few hours cleaning her 3 bedroom house top to bottom and changing the beds ready for some guests who were due to arrive on Friday for my Nans birthday next week Tuesday 17th May. On top of our already busy day, when we got home Inky baked fairy cakes all by herself for my Mums birthday the following day, the 12th May. We sampled some of her creations, she’d topped them with molten dark chocolate. YUM. She then made a card and wrapped the presents she had bought with her pocket money. Inky stayed the night at my mums so she could wake up with her tomorrow on her birthday…
Read why two head teachers, once passionate about their jobs, have felt forced to resign their positions because of plans to turn all schools in to academies. They are angered and saddened, heartbroken, at what has become of the system and what is yet to come.
Manor Field head teacher resigns : I have increasingly felt that we are ‘factory farming’ our children and failing to prepare them adequately for a successful future in this changing world. The recent announcement that all schools should become academies has further strengthened my belief that now is the time to leave a career that has been central to my life for twenty three years. I strongly believe in a state system in which all children have access to a good, rounded education and where staff are treated with respect and enjoy fair working conditions; I do not believe this will be possible under our progressively fragmented educational system….The decision to resign from the post of Headteacher and bring to an end a career that I have loved so very deeply has been incredibly difﬁcult: it is no exaggeration to say it has been heartbreaking. However, I do know it is the right decision.
Dedicated headteacher resigns in protest over Tory plan to force schools to become academies : A primary school headteacher has resigned in protest at Tory plans to force all schools to become academies. Jeremy Gargan, who runs Aycliffe Village Primary School in County Durham, wrote a searing dissection of the direction being taken by Nicky Morgan in a letter to parents. In the scathing letter, he criticises changes to school funding and says children as young as six are being “set up to fail” because testing is too difficult. He said: “This is not the education system that I signed up to when I left engineering to pursue a career helping others fulfill their own potential.”I feel that I have taken the school to a strong position, but do not feel that I am the right person to take the school forward with an education system that I do not believe in.”
“The fear is that the English system, introduced in 1870, is now causing profound damage”
AT WHAT age should children start formal schooling? England is one of a few countries to say the answer is as young as 4… A long-running debate on this question has been reignited by a letter, signed by about 130 early childhood education experts. It called for an extension of informal, play-based preschool provision and for the start of formal schooling in England to be delayed until the age of 7, from the current effective start at age of 4. This would bring it in line with the overwhelming evidence showing that starting school later is best, and the practice in many countries, like Sweden and Finland. These countries have better academic achievement and child well-being, despite children not starting school until age 7.
Learning and ‘education’ are not the same thing. Our children’s happiness, time and unique individuality are more important and worth more than Sats. I have mixed feelings about school. School could be a great place for all. If an individual was actually allowed to be an individual…. Not just those who thrive on the system.
I’m sure there are more good (passionate, creative, caring, love their job and bringing out the best in children) teachers than bad out there, but in the end all the good ones will end up leaving because they are disillusioned by the broken system, being replaced with drone teachers who are trying to mold children also in to drones and just do the job for the paycheck.
The education system is more broken than ever – by not allowing passion and creativity any space nor giving them any value is swallowing our kids alive. Those that can’t handle it, that is. I’m guessing here that that’s the majority. I really feel for the kids who just aren’t cut out for the one size fits all education system and rigorous testing. Nicky Morgan, some of those before her and the government are responsible for mentally torturing our children. It’s not the schools fault that our children are being subjected to this. There are MANY teachers leaving the system, teachers crying WITH their children, teachers complaining but NO ONE IS LISTENING. Nicky Morgan continues her best Professor Umbridge impersonation on a daily basis. People bitch about her and her draconian expectations and about the crappy education system, yet generally no one does anything about it. If all those parents/carers who opposed the Sats actually would have taken their kids out of school for the entire Sats week, perhaps then Ms Morgan would pay attention and realise that she can no longer be a bully.
If kids are happy in school, fair dos. But if they are unhappy there is a choice. They only have one childhood and it is our responsibility as parents to make sure they have a happy one so they become balanced, happy adults. I would not want my child wishing the weeks away to the next school holiday. No one should wish their life away. Life is way too short.
Dear Nicky Morgan Secret Teacher: Dear Nicky, I cried at the SATs hell you put my pupils through, A letter to Nicky Morgan from Anon Teacher
Sats answers published online Fresh humiliation as Sats answers published online for second time 10/05/16 . Test paper and answers to spelling test for year 6 state pupils in England posted online by education department’s contractor – I wonder if they were trying to get the Sats cancelled because they genuinely care about our children 😉
Keeping Britain dumb… why not follow continental Europes lead more. Then school going kids would be happier too! See what happens when the English SATS tests are translated in to Hungarian and then taken by children in the same age group there – with 2 years less formal schooling. They talk about ‘socialisation’ and social skills… So glad we home educate ♥
Too much Too Young – Dispatches Ch4 – (Why British primary schools fail their children)