For traditionally schooled children it was half term where we live. Usually I find that we’re all limping towards it; the girls are starting to come down with coughs and colds and we’re not doing much better. October half term usually sees me or Andy coming down with something and developing a cough that last at least until Christmas.
This being our first year of home educating, we hadn’t really thought about whether we were taking “time off” when everyone else did. So this week we kind of carried on with a few things, but also took time to rest. The result being that our half term health curse seems to be broken; we’re all still feeling raring to go.
Sometimes home education happens at the weekend too! Today we walked up to our local farm shop. They’ve recently installed some play equipment which the girls love so they had some time on that in the sunshine.
When we got home they asked if they could make potions in the garden. I sent them outside with metal pots and pans from their kitchen, some water with orange food colouring in and a bucket of water. They added some mud (lots of mud!) and had a great time exploring measurements and doing a bit of chemistry.
A quieter day today, the only thing we did was go and meet on of Phoebe’s friends from school to play badminton and go to the park. Karate lesson tonight too.
This morning we had a go at baking a Madeira cake. The girls weighed out the ingredients and did the mixing.
Eleanor decided that she was going to make her own board game. She created some interesting pieces using pipe cleaners, came up with a concept and started the board. It’s a work in progress, but looking good so far. I was going to take a photo of the pieces but she’s hidden them! Whilst she was doing that Phoebe was making a picture of Eleanor, for Eleanor. Pipe cleaners are a huge hit with both of them at the moment!
In the afternoon, the girls went out into the garden. They decided they wanted to clear out the greenhouse, and then they were planting some seeds. When they got too cold, they came in and played together on their Kindle Fire tablets. A much busier day for them both than if we were having a traditional half term holiday.
The girls were booked into a home education session at The Jungle Hut over near Solihull today. I’m part of a Facebook group that books various outings and activities (like our visit to the Lord Mayor of Birmingham) which is great for being able to do things like this with other home educated children.
Today’s hour long session was about animal habitats. The girls had started to draw a few different habitats but the real fun was handling some animals. They got to meet various types of lizard (Eleanor loves lizards!) and a snake too.
We had a forest school session today. I’ll write a longer post about it later but I’d asked a local company if they did sessions for home educated children. They didn’t and so today’s session was put on as a trial.
Phoebe particularly enjoyed making stick dens for some lovely little cuddly toys. She cried when she had to leave the hedgehog behind, so at least that’s an idea for something to put in her Advent calendar!
Other activities they girls had a go included playing in the mud kitchen (always a favourite), sawing bits of wood, making things with pipe cleaners and playing on the swings.
The Half Term That Wasn’t A Half Term
Something we are all really appreciating with home education is the flexibility we have with our schedule. I hadn’t given half term a second thought until it was upon us! We did slow down a little and had Monday and Friday “off”, catching up with friends and the girls’ half-sister. I think most half term holidays will be the same. The best thing about this one though is that we all got through it without even a sneeze!