Wow, time flies when you’re having fun Home Educating two boys! I have actually started several blog posts over the last month but never quite found the time to finish them. I’m always too tired! I also took on a new tutoring student for the month too, to help with some pre SATs nerves. What a star she has been; having changed schools she wanted to just make sure there were no gaps in her learning. I don’t think anyone can have worked as hard as she has this last month!
But back to us – Star wars as a theme fizzled out naturally and together we decided to get back to our history timeline and move onto the Iron Age. Bronze Age had been a light touch while reading and learning about Stone Age, so we recapped this a bit too, the book Life in The Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age was a good introduction. I love how we can be completely child led with how the topics move on, without any pressure to feel that we’ve ‘covered’ everything but simply to have enough knowledge to decide when and how to move on. A great balance of skills and knowledge based learning.
During our first week we visited the Iron Age museum, planning questions about what to learn next. This guided our learning and helped us to plan outcomes. For Stone Age it was the meal, the game and art work, for Iron Age it has been more about the visits and smaller outcomes along the way. Outcomes are important for us, giving the learning purpose and direction.
C had planned some questions based on his reading, and set about finding answers during our visit. The museum in Andover is only small but really well thought through, with lots of hands on tasks to explore in each room (this may have something to do with our moving around in between a school carousel of activities, so I can’t be sure they are always there) which really engaged the boys. Having walked through a cut-through of Danebury Hill fort we entered into a mock up round house, where lots of artefacts and information about excavation could be found. From here, the boys attempted to sort food according to whether or not it was around during the Iron Age or not. This immediately got us talking about trade and import – a really valuable discussion. We moved on to a timeline of artefacts to sort, some skeletons to hunt and then a room to explore weaving.
We followed this up at home with more weaving, some poetry and a lovely visit to Danebury where we painted the landscape before heading off for an explore with a friend.
The only written outcome for this short topic was a very gory poem: Beautifully describing the arrival home of a father, after battle, with two heads to display! We did create some clay pots, following the method described in one of our research books. Suffice to say it’s not a good method as they didn’t make it to being painted, the snaking round technique isn’t very strong!
We have been going to a wonderful art group and as luck would have it, shortly after we had a go at weaving at home, a professional was brought in to the class and the boys got to have a go on proper looms. Really bringing the experience at the museum to life…
It was a very short topic as the countdown to our holiday began and with over excited boys it made more sense to start to research Morocco; building on some Geography skills in preparation. Going away always makes me question why schools can’t be allowed to authorise one holiday on the basis that the child can reflect on the learning – share back at school maybe? There is so much learning to explore by travelling. We all know it and yet so many families aren’t able to go abroad because of the peak season costs. We looked up where Morocco is, and drew maps. L made aeroplane tickets, googling images of the country to cut and paste onto these. So not only was this purposeful writing in role, but he developed some great ICT skills finding his images and dropping them onto his tickets. We played aeroplanes, so going over what to expect at the airport, talked about climate, food and cultural differences and planned some things we wanted to experience and see. Our wonderful chef friend even made us Moroccon spicy sausages and couscous for tea one evening. All this before we even left home!
To keep him entertained on the journey and at times during the holiday, I made L a scrap book to record aspects of the airport, the flight etc. He was too busy to do much of it while we were there but it was a great follow up on our return. Here are a few snaps from the week…
There was an artist in residence at the hotel. The sessions were meant to be for 12 and up but it was quiet and he was persuaded when I assured him of C’s ability to concentrate. Upon meeting, he agreed he would be fine, due to his calmness, hmmmm! I’m so glad he took him in though. He taught C how to paint a sunset, which he then did independently, next the teacher painted the first tree to demonstrate and C did the second. Same for the shadows. The silhouettes they did together. Modelling and scaffolding at it’s best! C couldn’t be prouder of the end result.
Finally some beautiful pictures taken at the Souk. Not all mine, but they are so beautiful I wanted to share!
And what better History topic could be next for us than Ancient Egypt. We’ve already located Africa and it’s position in the world. In my book that’s a start to the new learning already!