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Rough guide to what you do in a day?

(25 Posts)
Whatalotofpiffle Tue 18-Jun-13 19:06:27

I love the idea of home ed - dd is 2.6 and I am dreading her starting pre school

Jarvis75 Mon 17-Jun-13 12:33:29

Thank you for all your positive stories and advice. We have actually had a good morning and managed to do quite a bit, so I have let him play on the computer!

maggi Mon 17-Jun-13 10:44:07

Boring - well all the subjects can be boring even when they are incredibly exciting in reality. The trouble is he doesn't want to do anything scholastic. My ds will try on the 'its boring' if there is something more exciting on offer i.e. something he would like to chose to do. Two routes to go down: insist or give in.
Or are there only two routes?

In the beginning I temporarily took control and said we'd do no formal work for 6 months. In that time we trialled many things and I explained this was not learning or schooling but I was investigating what style of homeschooling would suit him. I never insisted he did any particular thing I'd picked to try out but I did insist we dicuss the benefits of the particular thing ('thing' being online-learning/workbooks/outings/groups etc). I did insist he gave me input. This proved to him that I was interested in finding what suited him.
We also investigated what time of day he would work hardest doing the formal stuff and where he liked to do this. He made a list of equipment he'd like and we shopped for all this stuff for his learning.
We set a date to begin.

In this instance he was given time to recover from school without being allowed to vegetate. He was taking an active roll in the preparation for his new life. He had an element of control but I was definitely steering.

Did it work? When we began learning again we had a few weeks of grumbles and testing moments. And boy, did I hear the word 'boring' often enough. But our ethos was to start formal learning at that time and I was not about to let him learn that grumbling meant work vanished. I kept asking him whether he'd prefer to return to school and whether he'd like to change our learning system to suit him. (Just beware of the request 'to-do-it-tonight', then when tonight comes the request changes 'to-do-it-tommorrow'. Because that will quickly change to the wail and foot stamp of why-do-I-have-to-do-it-anyway? )

One year in, the word boring crops up once a fortnight. The forfeit for which is ds has to tell me 3 sentances which don't include the word boring but which will impart to me the fact that he is not enjoying something. I find this helps him analyse why he finds a particular thing boring and he tends to get on and finish it.

IWipeArses Mon 17-Jun-13 10:29:11

Minecraft sounds brilliant, building, strategy etc. There's actually a move to get it into schools as its so full of potential.

throckenholt Mon 17-Jun-13 10:21:17

How about make a rule - he can play mine craft for 1 hour in the morning and one in the afternoon (or whatever you think appropriate). And the rest of the time he has to do something else - some of which must involve some reading, and some maths.

Mine had great fun working out ratios - for example how big would their model car be in real life, how big their toy tiger, how small would the car be if it was the same scale as the tiger etc. Involves fairly simple maths, and can use a lot of tables. Maths - also in cooking - if we double the recipe how much of x do we need. If we wanted to make it enough to feed 20 how much would we need ?

Sit and watch a documentary with him - stop and talk about bits as they come up.

Get a magazine like national geographic - just flick through and look at the pictures - talk about anything at all that is interesting - for whatever reason.

Look at your area on google maps , then look at somewhere else - mine had great fun with that - found an active volcano with a lava lake in the middle of the ocean.

Randomly pick something on here and follow wherever it takes you. He might find that chameleons are fascinating.

One of mine spends ages reading What Car each month - and then following up things from it online - has done wonders for his reading smile

Maybe get him to plan his ideal holiday - let him google places to go, things to see, how much it would cost to travel, where to stay, how much it would cost.

Get him to find somewhere locally to visit.

Just try and think out of the box - don't go for academic stuff at the moment - he will still learn

Jarvis75 Mon 17-Jun-13 10:10:33

Thank you. He plays minecraft- a lot!!! Maybe I just need to deschool myself for a while!!

IWipeArses Mon 17-Jun-13 09:55:07

He's nine, he's only been out of school for three months and does lots of other activities.
Computer games have been found to be good for children in developing decisions king skills etc.
There's a study that found children who had no formal maths education up until the age of eleven did better than those who'd been learning maths formally through primary age.

Honestly, I don't think you need to worry. smile

What games does he play?

Jarvis75 Mon 17-Jun-13 09:29:53

Thank you for all your replies.

Unfortunately, all he seems to want to do is play computer games.

I have bought mathletics for him, which he says is boring. We did try other maths sites, all boring according to him. Have tried bbc bitesize to look up history and play history games, which he said he wanted to learn about, boring! Tried doing art - boring. Cooking - boring. Nature walks - boring. I could go on!!!

He does do a lot of extra activities, sport, forest school etc which he enjoys. Visits out and we read a lot at bedtime.

I just feel like I am failing him. I am not trying to copy school at home and I wanted to make learning fun for him. I do feel that he does at least need the basics in maths and literacy.

Fiona - you are right about his mental health. School did mess him up completely.

IWipeArses Sat 15-Jun-13 10:14:27

Picking up on what they're interested in and then facilitating that would seem the way to go with er, self directed children. grin
Eg ds, 5, wanted Chinese food when we were out shopping, so we chose books about China at library, found it on our globe, watched Mulan etc.

lapumpkin Sat 15-Jun-13 09:46:10

Hmm, that's really interesting Fiona. I think that I would like to make a plan but then use it to weave in and out of... and try not to be too nailed down to it. (Although I do like ticking things off lists etc... so that might be a challenge to me!)

Saracen Sat 15-Jun-13 09:43:49

That's very astute, Fiona.

FionaJNicholson Sat 15-Jun-13 09:37:25

What I've noticed about planners is their different attitude to things not going according to plan.

Some planners will say "oh this week/month term is hopeless because xyz I think we'll just start again properly at such and such a time"

Others may say "home education is a failure and I'm a failure because he simply refuses to do anything"

I'm a planner because I don't like The Void but my plans have to include contingency plans for if the plan doesn't work, and my plans also have to take into account my family's extreme resistance to having any of my brilliant ideas imposed on them.

As a consequence, my micro-planned life probably looks entirely haphazard from the outside.

MariscallRoad Sat 15-Jun-13 09:35:49

Jarvis75 children develop interests in their own ways and pace. Finding a interest is a challenge and takes time. Finding how to learn is a challenge for a child. Some children like to observe long, some draw around the topic they like, some read longer, some like hands on and some like discoveries. As parent you can try and introduce your child to a lot of things as Fiona says. I would also try and read out to him stories or books he might like.

tweety76 Fri 14-Jun-13 23:19:49

Lapumpkin, we have just started HE with our eldest,8, and will do the same when our youngest is in reception. We will follow Galore Park books which will give structure.
If it helps my blog is a day to day diary.
Next week will be more structured as the books are all here ready to go.
It is the best decision we ever made. We put it off for years and I do regret waiting this long.
For us structure is good, I am also a planner! He is academic and benefits from this style, but they are all different! Good luck

lapumpkin Thu 13-Jun-13 22:58:32

Watching this thread with interest as I am so nervous about HE-ing but really believe in it so trying to find the confidence in myself to just go for it. DD (4) only little so I know I don't need to worry yet, but I just want to have an idea of what other children will be doing in Reception. While I think that I want to verge more to the informal learning style, I am naturally more of a planning type person, so I'm trying to think through what would be a happy medium. Has anyone used whole curricula books that at least set out what could be covered, and then you can move around from there as much as possible? For example Structured Home Learning or anything like that? Thanks!

morethanpotatoprints Thu 13-Jun-13 21:51:02

Hello jarvis.

My dd is 9 and was similar during the first 6 months. It takes them a while to get the school day out of their mind. My dd thought because she wasn't sitting at a desk with a teacher she wasn't learning anything and sort of didn't bother to find something she enjoyed doing.
I think it could be a good idea to start with a hobby or an interest your ds has. My dd loves music and will do this all day if we let her.
So she practices during the morning and afternoon does maths english and a subject she chooses, usually history or a language.
She also dances several times a week and is in a couple of choirs and string ensembles.
I think in terms of structured academic work, a couple of hours seems to be the norm from what I gather.

throckenholt Thu 13-Jun-13 16:56:52

I also meant to say - we rarely do more than an hour at a time - they we all have a break for 15-20 mins to do our own thing. Sometimes I send them outside to have a good bounce on the trampoline - it seems to concentrate their mind a bit more when they come back in.

FionaJNicholson Thu 13-Jun-13 15:33:02

It's going to be self-protective to an extent if he says things are "boring". He might also fear that he'll be expected really to get into something if he expresses the slightest interest. I guess my advice would be to think of things that you would like to find out more about and take him along with you looking at the internet, books in the library, exhibitions, talks, playing a musical instrument, finding wildlife in the woods, going to the zoo or whatever. Tell him if he's bored that's OK because you'll be doing something else soon.

The other thing that occurs to me is people find things boring when they are depressed because they can't invest much mental energy in anything. So while I wouldn't advocate that you enquire after his mental health, he is probably still in recovery mode from school.

throckenholt Thu 13-Jun-13 13:28:57

Find what he is interested in and look it up on the web - it encourages reading if nothing else ! Mine for example variously look up owls, tractors, and cars - it stimulates interest in for example where they are built (or live), which brings in maps and geography - and it sort of snowballs.

Don't try anything formal until after the summer, but don't let him do nothing too much - try and engage him by looking up things that interest him. Or maybe start by looking the web for what there is about the area you live in - might bring in history, geography, interesting stories, places to visit.

Jarvis75 Thu 13-Jun-13 13:15:32

Thank you for the replies. You both seem to be doing so much. Every time I suggest something to my ds he just says everything is boring. He has only been out of school for 3 months though after having a really bad time, so I suppose we are still deschooling.

Might just leave it until September. Just worried that he will never discover that learning can be fun. He just does not seem to be interested in anything.

throckenholt Thu 13-Jun-13 11:36:02

Meant to say - we also cover lots of stuff in conversation, often over meals - often current affairs in response to something on the radio.

throckenholt Thu 13-Jun-13 11:34:52

I have 10 year olds and an 11 year old - so similar to you.

We try to do about 4 hours of formalish work about 5 days a week. I tend to spend up to an hour on a subject - but play it by ear - if they are getting tired then cut it short, if they are responding well then extend it - if they find something particularly interesting it may take over the whole day.

A couple of times a week I try and do some formal english with them - we wizz through the age equivalent work books you can get( eg letts ones).
Reading we do all the time in the other work we do - but every now and again I make sure they all get to do some reading out loud.

Maths we tend to do little an often.

There is no right way - if you think your DS is making noticeable progress and is covering a wide subject range then it is probably fine.

My older one is more able to work on his own now, the younger ones not really yet. Although they do spend ages googling things that interest them - which covers a wide ecclectic mix of subjects.

We also watch documentaries with them - lots of science, history, and nature stuff on BBC 4 and BBC2 - mine are gripped by Springwatch at present.

Jarvis75 Thu 13-Jun-13 09:14:57

Thank you for replying . Your routine looks really good. Think I need to organise myself a bit more!!!

maggi Wed 12-Jun-13 21:20:41

I work from home as a childminder. I set formal work early in morn and ds does this for 1-2 hours mostly by himself whilst I do the school run and get set up for the day. We then go out for the morn with little kids and ds aids me with my work (I dont ask him to, he just joins in and gains child care skills). In the afternoon we discuss his morn formal work, or he watches documentarys etc. We pick a topic to work through (Concorde this term - specific Concorde stuff then different countries, history of transport, impact of transport/people travelling upon Maths/religion/politics/money, hospitality, travel writing and biographies, literary terms, Maths of vectors/maps/fuel etc, business viability and more just from that one word 'Concorde') . We do related trips eg camping and walking, motor museums. Alongside this ds goes to the gym at dawn, does lifsaving swimming classes, is a Ranger, does long distance cycle rides, walks a neighbour's dog, is a member of an adult Art club, is doing an electronics course and draws in all his spare moments. We also join in HE events and activities locally. Ds is 13.

So my formal input is probably just 1-2 hours and the rest of the time I just facilitate his activities.

Jarvis75 Wed 12-Jun-13 12:50:25

Was wondering if anyone would be able to tell me roughly what you do during the day/week with your home ed dcs.

Do you stick to a plan/schedule etc. How much time you spend on a subject. How do you go about it?

(Just having a panic that I am not doing enough with my 9 yo ds)!!!

Many thanks.
(Apologies if this has been done before).

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