I had a horrid feeling on Monday that the honeymoon period was nearly over! After the ‘easy’ day we had on Friday I put pressure on myself and C to achieve a lot more on Monday. Not sure why I put this pressure on us, but I did nevertheless and poor C was having none of it! He was still incredibly tired and just couldn’t focus. We spent a ridiculous amount of time on what should have been a 10 minute exercise. Suffice to say that had I found an apostrophe shaped implement I probably would have done some damage with it! Apostrophes for omission should have been omitted from our day, and yet still I persevered and still the battle and the nagging (me) and the staring into space (him) continued! On reflection though, we had been to a barbecue the evening before and he was clearly still tired. We gave up in the end and continued with our deadly animals research and a bit of maths. Making green slime in the afternoon lightened our mood. It didn’t work – it is basically regular gloop with food colouring. But we do like a bit of gloop: Sensory exploration isn’t just for Early Years!
Normal, apostrophe free, life resumed on Tuesday once we had managed to recap the rule for apostrophes (sometimes I just can’t let go!). With a letter for Steve Backshall copied out and posted we headed to the garden to play crazy golf, incorporating a scoring system involving addition of number bonds to 20. The crazy golf was actually set up by little brother the day before, so by adding the scores they could both play at their own levels. I was very impressed by C and his ability to mentally keep adding until he got to 90, applying his knowledge of number bonds to 10 in order to add beyond 20 and 30.
The individualised learning comes into it’s own here as from this we have then re visited adding 3 or more numbers, looking for pairs or facts already known. This flagged up his confidence when adding 9 or 11 and so Thursday’s maths was a lesson to explore this pattern on a 100 square. I use number splat on the iPad. He could see and explain the pattern and applied it well to some addition and subtraction problems. We’ve introduced number arrays with a bit of baking for our lunch – tasty bread tarts from Amanda Grant’s Cook School book….these were tasty, nutritious and cheap! And mathematical of course, if you want it to be.
We have finally fitted in our den building, involving a LOT of mosquito bites, 24 on one leg at last count, but a lot of fun. We were lucky to take along the expertise of a guide leader friend- thank you, and sorry about your legs! We left a stick trail so that we can find it again another day when I have promised we’ll be covered from head to toe in thick clothing! Week 2 has ended with our visit to Down House to learn about the work and life of Charles Darwin. Not something you would normally build in to a Y1 child’s learning but I credit the wonderful Y1 team at my old school who created a hugely successful topic around this. C has been wanting to follow it ever since I told him about it! Down House is beautiful, inside and out.
We were all fascinated and enjoyed our audio tour using our little iPod touch type gadgets, learning a lot and, importantly, asking a lot. C had written some questions he was hoping to find answers to. He was excited to find all his answers. I recommend doing this before a visit as it helps re focus if they are wanting to just wander from room to room. Of course a free trip had to end with a large souvenir bill but at least today we managed to come away with only books. Books on bugs, Charles Darwin and of course evolution for kids. I’ll post links to these once we’ve read and reviewed if they’re worth recommending.
When we were holidaying in France we introduced in car bingo for the longer journeys. This began with us verbally giving one another 3 things to spot and developed into me, and then the boys, creating little cards to give out. L’s were a little bizarre, one green duck on a pond, a rocket and a rainbow were on his card, but generally it worked well and made us all pay more attention to the view! For our visit to Down I managed to squeeze in a little Geography before we set off: We looked up our route on the map and C made us all a bingo card of things to spot based on this route. I’m pleased to say no rockets or rainbows were included and his knowledge of local landscapes is on track!
Edited further to our reading of the Charles Darwin books. I can highly recommend the book What Mr Darwin saw, it is accessible for all ages, with beautiful illustrations. Evolution for Kids is a brilliant account of the story of Evolutionary science and C loves dipping into this one.