Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Number surprise


Due to speech delays (which weren't actually delays if I talk to other parents, but seemed very delayed to someone who parented Cosmo) it's been difficult to tell just how much Lychee actually understands. At 22 months we know she has been able to sound out her alphabet and a few words for a while (apart from saying 'snake' instead of 'ssss' for 'S') but today she completely astounded me.

I was sitting with Cosmo, working through some of the free section on Clever Dragons, when he decided it was too hard and he wanted to do the kindergarten area. I allowed it - he was very tired and it usually doesn't help to frustrate him - but to my surprise Lychee started shouting out the numbers before he'd had a chance to move the mouse to click on them!

We were a little late for a children's group, so I waited until we got there, then grabbed a crayon and some paper to start drawing numbers for her. Turns out she can recognise and say all of them except seven and one (seven is 'shhhh' and one just gets me the evil eye). She's also enjoying me writing words and asking her to point to which one corresponds to the toy she is holding (e.g. she was holding an elephant so I wrote down 'pig elephant' and asked her to touch the word for ^point at elephant^). She still can't say elephant, but she knows what one looks like and can read it.

I think she might be coming up to fast mapping stage, so I need to get the pen and paper ready.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012


Today, recognising that it was a tuesday, Cosmo pointed out to me that we needed to tidy up for our cleaner. Unfortunately she is ill this week, so I told him that she wouldn't be coming today.

'But who will clean our house for us?'
'We will.'
'I don't think you know how...'


Epic parenting fail.

When he was younger Cosmo did all the chores with me, but since we've employed a cleaner to help keep on top of things, I've relegated all the chores I still do to early mornings, nap times and bed times, or to when he is quietly working on something else, so that when we are together I can be doing something 'constructive' or 'academic' or just having plain old fun.

The reality is, that unless my children see me doing these chores on a regular basis they assume that they are done magically and that I have nothing to do with it.

With that in mind I started some domestication with Cosmo today. He helped me take apart the dishwasher and clean it with vinegar and bicarbonate of soda. He was impressed with the smell, and didn't want to touch any of it (in his defense I was wearing rubber gloves) but he did watch me do it and knows that we have to do it to keep our dishwasher in good working order.

Similarly I've made him help me with sorting laundry.

We invested in a cleaner because we thought I would be able to dedicate more time to schooling, but the reality is that I've lost the importance of why we are home schooling. I want my children to see real life and understand how it works. I shouldn't be shielding them from the day to day stuff in order to teach them how volcanoes work or what vaccinations are. Those things are important, but not more so than how to run a house. The reality is they will definitely run a house, but the chances of becoming a geologist or a medical research assistant are much slimmer.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Bubble hunting

I love that pretty much anything counts as educational when you home school. Today we are mostly working hand eye co-ordination by bubble hunting.
Cosmo had a question he wanted answered yesterday; what happens if you shoot a bubble with your water gun? Does it get bigger, become lots of small bubbles, or disappear?

Obviously I wanted to conduct a scientific experiment (plus it was sunny and sounded like fun) so we invented bubble hunting.

I make bubbles, Cosmo shoots them.
Actually it's surprising how quickly his accuracy improved. He can now hit a bubble from a fair distance.

Lychee is chasing them down too, although she is just smacking them with her gun.

Mostly she is just playing on the slide though.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

The World Peace Games


The World Peace Games looks like such an incredible learning tool. Matt plays something similar (although less detailed) called 'the trading games' with his geography students. I'd love to find a way to get enough homeschooled children together that we could take a few days and play this out properly.

The rules state that you can't win the game unless all 50 global problems are solved (issues like global warming, racial inequality, famines etc...) and all of the countries increase their assets (naturally the poor get poorer unless there is some form of coalition/intervention which the children have to come up with by themselves).

The website is here if you want to know more, I personally cannot wait until my children are old enough to take part in something like this. This kind of learning is why we home educate.