Engaged learner(s)

I haven’t posted much recently as we are STILL continuing our Harry Potter topic!  Fundamentally, this means that I am being truly child led which is exactly how I want to be with our Home Ed.  C continues to be completely engaged and there is so much learning through imaginative play – it’s great.  But possibly not so interesting for others to keep reading about!

IMG_7760We have set up shop in the garden – a ‘Shop of Magic’, and used this to practice adding 3 digit numbers which need constant revisiting in a variety of situations to fully grasp before moving on to more abstract recording.  I’m not sure the pictures are clear enough but I’ve tried to capture how he chose his 2 items, found the coins, using £1 coin, 10 pence pieces and pennies and we then represented the amounts using ten sticks.  We recorded the adding process so that he can see the link between the concrete and the abstract but the focus was very much on using the manipulatives to model exchanging for a ‘ten’ or a ‘100’.  This is important, as if moved on too quickly to recording then there is a chance he won’t have fully understood why we carry and unspotted mistakes could be easily made.  By physically moving ‘ones’ to the ‘tens’ etc the place value is really understood.


Of course the maths was slow here.  First my items had to be corrected.

“What?!  Why is there a basic wand?  There wouldn’t be basic wand!”

“Why is there a basic broom…”

And so on.  You get the picture!

Then there was the matter of the currency.  It took some convincing that we had to use pound coins because we have no galleons.  He spent a considerable amount of time sorting coins to ‘be’ galleons, sickles and knuts.  I’m now toying with giving him a conversion activity, but why did JK Rowling make the exchange rate so difficult?!

Finally the quidditch set.  For some reason he was happy with paper images of most items in our shop (aside from the brooms and wands of course) but decided to search for different sized balls to put together a quidditch set.  Needless to say I made a coffee at this point!  The beauty of HE though, is that he can spend time doing these things, getting it all just right in a way that is so important to him.  It meant that our maths continued for the most part of the day but he loved it.  The following day he went on to recording straight in the maths book, but this was a stage too soon.  He got muddled with the carrying and exchanging so we will spend more time on the practical before we revisit the recording.

Following on from our success writing to Steve Backshall back in September, remember that?, we have drafted, edited and written up a letter to Daniel Radcliffe, to find out what he’s up to these days/let him know of his celebrity status in our world of Home Ed.  I’m sure it compares favourably with his other career highlights!  The rich reading experience that C is having is now influencing his writing as he is embarking on his own Hogwarts story.  It is currently staying pretty close to the original text and I have pointed out that this may not be such a good idea, what with the books being so long, but at the moment it means his writing is full of wonderful expression and his stamina in writing is increasing so we’ll see how we go.

In other (non HP!) news-  we had our first sleep over.  On a school night!  The following morning the boys spent ages playing with remote control cars in the garden; creating obstacle courses, hypothesising, testing, evaluating and improving on their techniques.  They tried to develop a ramp set up which was proving difficult so we devised a scoring system to reflect this more challenging aspect of the course!


the box is the ramp, no fancy building here!




Oh and of course we’ve managed a few trips.  Unknowingly we have visited JK Rowling’s neck of the woods.  How exciting it was to visit the boys’ Auntie and have Mugglewort Woods pointed out to us!  We are now planning  another trip very soon to take a proper visit!

We have enjoyed some excellent outdoor theatre as part of the Medway Fuse Festival, and believe it or not, there is someone up this tree…



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