Saturday, 30 June 2012

school 'fun' day :/

As the title suggests, it was the day of the school fun day today.
I woke up listening to Jamie telling Alex a ghost story, well sort of ghost story, she was saying about how the two big soft toy cats we've got come alive at night time and go downstairs and eat all our food. Because Alex gets a bit scared of things like this, I asked him if he was getting scared and he replied " nope, because I like zombies" Jamie said " well I don't think you'd like one if you actually met a real one". No

After making 4 different lunches at the same time (I knew that time working in kitchens would pay off : / ) we set off down the road to the fun day.

As soon as we got there, we got in the queue for the jam jar raffle, Jamie said she didn't want to do it, but Alex did, and I noticed that Jamie was frantically chewing on a bracelet that she had brought with her, she seemed really nervous or something. when they'd got their jam jars (Jamie changed her mind in the end) we went over to where the bouncy castle was and Alex was well up for a good old bounce but Jamie didn't want to, in fact she said she didn't want to do anything - this was after she was really happy about going there in the first place...and then Alex didn't want to go on his own, so we just walked around, looking for the cake stall. we found somewhere in the shade to eat our cakes, then I saw that some of the mums were putting on a belly dancing show(actually, one of them was a dad!), which I wanted to go watch, but Jamie didn't want then then neither did Alex(copycat) so it was just me and Amelia watching them. Jamie kept coming up to me shouting "when are we going to go?" And when I was listening to a girl singing, she stood there covering her ears saying "this is really annoying!"
Jamie did nothing but moan the whole time :( I don't understand. She always does this whenever we go to anything like this, this is why we never go to festivals, or to see any live music, which is really sad because I'd love to go to a festival :(

I am a bit concerned about Jamie at the moment, she thinks that she is so brilliant at everything, she's always saying "I'm really good at doing this" "look how good i am" or "I'm the best at this" and she's a really bad winner, and I've tried to explain to her quite a few times that other people get a bit annoyed if you keep saying things like that, but she says " I wasn't doing doing anything!" in complete denial that she's done anything wrong. She's really controlling (or ties to be). She wont try anything new because she's so scared of failing, and she makes out that she thinks almost everything is rubbish. She is really shy, to the point that she appears rude(refuses to say hello to a friend in passing), either that or she really doesn't care! I just can't work her out sometimes. Is this normal 7 year old girl behaviour??

As soon as we got away from the school, she seemed to go back to normal, I asked her why she didn't like it there. She said it was too noisy and there were too many people. I've been concentrating on Alex's problems all this time, but maybe I've overlooked something in Jamie. She's really smart and popular at school, but does that mean everything's ok?

I'm not jumping to any conclusions, but if Aspergers and sensory disorders are hereditary and theres a lot flying around, then maybe she does have a tendency towards something??

I'm sure when we're all home educating together, I'll get to know her more, and she'll get the school system out of her and she can be herself more. I really look forward to it :)

Friday, 29 June 2012

stress and failed strategies :(

This is a bit of a weird post tonight, probably because I keep getting distracted!
It's been another hectic couple of days.
Yesterday morning I had another session for parents with SEN kids, which does seem to be a lot of time taken up talking about the others trying to squeeze their uniquely shaped children into the perfect squares and circles at school, sounds like a nightmare, in fact, sounds like school is totally the wrong place for these children and I'm so glad I don't have to put Alex through all that anymore! And I'm even more looking forward to not having to do the school run anymore!(15 days to go). They told us about this 'fantastic' method of getting your kids to either stop doing unacceptable behaviour, or start doing something you need them to do, it's called '123 magic', and they swore by it, basically, you give them 2 warnings, then its time out time, you get them to their designated timeout area and they have to stay for 1 minute for each year blahblahblah, but you're not to tell them off, or make them say sorry, and then after the time's been done, it's all back to normal(sounds too easy to me). so I set the plan in action yesterday to try it out, so far so good.....that was yesterday.
We went into town today, Alex is full of it, climbing on everything he sees as we walk along the streets, I think he'd make a great Free Runner :) I popped into to see a friend who owns a little children's pre-loved designer clothes and accessory shop, (the shop's called Funkydory and it's cool!) and had a little chat, which was nice, and then after a quick stop at the big pirate ship play area - where Alex insisted that I was constantly being eaten by a shark - we did the dreaded weekly shop :(( Alex did NOT stop talking and jumping and playing and crashing on the floor THE WHOLE TIME, even though it was SO busy, it was quite stressful, but at least Alex was happy and not having a complete meltdown, and I managed to keep my cool :)

After lunch, and Amelias sleep and picking Jamie up(she was dressed up as ancient greek girl today!), the three of them were playing VERY vigorously in the garden, I told them to calm down, Jamie was particularly crazy, got a bit OTT and Amelias head got bumped on the trampoline. Because I was being ignored, I decided to try the '123 magic' thing ........................................................did it work?................thats a big fat NO. They completely refused to go to their designated time out area!
Is it me? Is it because my children are mad?  
Anyway, the rest of the evening was pretty much the same, the kids being mad, and me being stressed :(

On a completely different note, I'm going through a bit of a transition at the moment. I decided a couple of weeks ago that I'd try out these tablets the doc gave me for ADHD, I know, I hate using drugs for anything, I'm usually completely into natural remedies and stuff but my life had got into such a state, I desperately need some help to get on top of things, and its only a 3 months course, I'm taking omega 3 fish oil too, thats supposed to be better but takes a while to build up. 
I didn't really notice any difference, until about a week ago when I just started to get things done! I'm actually starting to get on top of things! I've still got a long way  to go, and I was worried that while I'm doing this massive clean out/clean up, I'm not doing as much with Alex, BUT! it's 3 weeks till the end of school, most kids aren't learning much at school either, and anyway, I'm realising that boys of 6 years old should only really be playing still anyway, and play is really important :)
So, while I'm sorting and clearing and chucking and cleaning, Alex is having fun learning about bugs and snails, and doing LOTS of excercise!
He's learnt that slugs have a tiny shell inside their body! and the sea snail shells that we got from the beach last year, are Dog whelks, that are carnivorous! they use their tongue to bore a hole into another snails shell and then suck out the insides!! He's also learnt that snails are Hermaphrodites, which means they are both a girl and a boy......Alex hasn't asked me how they make babies yet..................................

so now I'm going to try and enjoy this friday evening (whats left of it, I can still hear Alex playing on his bed) even if the kids wont be asleep til gone 10pm again! :(

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Bugs, the universe and everything

Today was one of those warm, sticky days that feels like a storm should be brewing, I like days like today.
This morning after dropping Jamie off at school (18 days to go), we stopped by the park to let Alex do his bit of spinning and crashing and falling - stuntman style - I bumped into a friend there and had a good chat with her, we managed to get our big bums on the baby swings, felt like a couple of teenagers!  
Alex is still really loving his bug tank, and as soon as we got home, he was studying the dozen or so woodlice, slugs and snails that he put in there yesterday.

After lunch (and after Alex had poured a bucket of water over himself for some inexplicable reason!) we met up with some home ed friends at Ivel springs nature reserve. We decided to do a survey of what bugs we saw. We recorded what bugs we saw, what habitat it was in at the time, and how many - except the ants and flies, I just wrote 'lots'. Alex learnt about the symbiotic relationship between ants and aphids as we saw some on a Burdock.

It was a really lovely walk, we made some new friends and although Alex still didn't join in with the other children when they were playing, he was quite happy to talk to them about what bugs had been found.

More snails were found after picking Jamie up from school and when we got home, Jamie checked up on her clutch of ladybird eggs she found the other day and we were both surprised to see that they had hatched! So we found some aphids to put in there for the larvae to feed on, not sure if they'll turn into ladybirds though, I know nothing about rearing ladybirds! Also our butterfly kit has arrived, just need to wait for the caterpillars now and hopefully in a few weeks, we'll see our own butterfly's emerging!

Just as I was saying goodnight to Jamie she told me she had some questions to ask. She wanted to know  why fish eggs are different to frogs eggs. We talked about DNA, evolution, Dinosaurs, Christianity, the bible and Jerusalem. She discussed why some people believe in god and others don't, she explained that she thinks it's OK for people to have different beliefs and even though she doesn't believe in God she finds it interesting listening to one of her christian teachers talk about what she thinks. We talked about near death experiences too. Very full-on surprise conversation! I LOVE it when that happens :)

p.s. Amelia learnt to bounce on her bum and back up again on the trampoline!! YAY!!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

slugs and snails and puppy dogs tails....

Alex has gone completely mad for snails. He LOVES them. He tells me he loves them at least 5 times a day.
He decided on Sunday that he wanted to look at books about snails, and as we didn't have any at home, he agreed to go to the library monday morning to find some books on snails(yay!)
He still wanted to go on monday morning, and he got a book about snails and another couple of books about other insects(which is handy as I found out that it's National Insect Week this week!)

It was SO much better than our last library visit, because HE wanted to do it! HE wanted to find something out, rather than me saying to him " We're going to the library, you can choose some books" when he didn't have a reason to get a book.....I'm starting to suss him out!

So Yesterday Alex had been playing with snails most of the day, he even set up an assault course for his snail  in his bedroom. We bought a new, bigger tank for our African Land Snail, and I had to make a new lid out of some ply wood and Alex had a go at sawing for the first time - it really helped when I remembered he's actually left-handed! he actually sawed his own bit of wood with me just steadying his arm to stop him going wobbly. Good practice for when he makes his bird box for the RSPB wildlife action awards.

Alex is going to set up the old snail tank to keep his own garden snails, and other little creepy crawlies he wants to study. I have told him though that he can keep them for a few days, then he'll have to put them back into the garden because thats where they'll be happiest.

Today we went to craft club, Jamie came with us today and surprised me by not wanting to make anything, I think she was more nervous than she appeared, but she had fun playing with Amelia in the other room, playing in the garden and drawing on the big white board, we had a quick game of 'guess the movie' using pictures only. Alex decorated a shoebox with photos of wild animals. I was chuffed to see that Heather had got us some left-handed scissors and Alex was able to cut out all of his own pictures. I thought it looked pretty good...

He also got his dinosaur back from the pottery painting session the other week :)

I'm trying to encourage Alex to do more for himself, I think he's got into a bit of a habit of thinking he's not going to be able to do things and therefore not even trying in the first place. Today I encouraged him to clean out the old snail tank, dry it, put new coco peat in the bottom. He made a little house out of stones, and got a little dish for the water.  He pretty much did all of it himself :) the tank is now sitting outside full of woodlice!! I guess we'll be finding out all about woodlice too now :)

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Just a quickie..

OK, because I've already posted today I'll keep this short.
This weekend, we've had conversations about Japan and sushi, China being the most populated country in the world, Venus and Mars (which is closest to the sun), the exchange of gases that takes place when you have plants in your house, why you can't release non-native animals into the wild, the possibilities of why there was a dead rat in our garden, amongst other things.
Jamie was learning how to make harmonies using multiple keys on the keyboard quite a lot, the both of them put on a show for us called 'The Funny Show' - this was after Alex called us all up to see his show and then realised that he hadn't actually thought of what to do on his show, then I explained that normally you do lots of planning and rehearsals beforehand, so he got some help from Jamie and they called us up about 20 minutes later. Alex made about twenty new snail friends and yet again got completely filthy playing in the garden. They've gone to bed now and Jamie is reading 'The Wishing Chair' to Alex.
And I've been incredibly busy all weekend catching up on jobs and now I think I deserve a big bar of chocolate! :)

the penny drops a little further..

I had a bit of a wobble the other day about unschooling.
I firstly have to point out that it wasn't my first choice to do unschooling. I completely understand the reasons for it and I absolutely love them, but my life is quite chaotic for a few reasons, Alex brings a lot of chaos too with his constantly changing mind, his impulsiveness and his short attention span. I crave structure, and I would love to spend at least half an hour a day doing some workbook type stuff - handwriting, spelling, maths etc because I think it would be of benefit to him, but Alex will have none of it - occasionally he will do some writing of his own accord, and he does a read a book or two a day(which is pretty good I think). I think a lot of Alex's refusal may be because he has trouble processing information and also his fine motor skills aren't too good so he finds using a pen quite difficult.
But recently, probably because I've been busy with mundane things, I had felt that nothing was being achieved for Alex, and started to question unschooling a bit.
So I've been really giving it a lot of thought, and I asked around on a forum for unschooling parents, and I'm stating to 'get it' even more :) it's like as the penny drops even further, the more I love unschooling, it makes so much sense to me.

It occurred to me that most people only get to really study what they want to at university, sure, they have to get certain grades to be able to get into university, but uni is where it all gets going with peoples subject of choice, but imagine if you could study your own area of interest without anything getting in your way, right from the beginning of your life! think how knowledgeable you'd be. Instead of 9 whole years of possible time wasted being forced to learn subjects you have no interest in whatsoever, you could be free to be whoever you're supposed to be! I wish I'd had that opportunity when I was young.

So now I realise that Alex IS achieving something, he's learning who he is, he doesn't have to be doing loads of sums, or workbooks everyday to be himself! Learning happens while you live, through doing things and going places and achieving your own goals.

Also I've realised that I can follow my own interests and love of learning and be passionate about the things I love, because while doing that, I'll be exposing Alex, and all of my children to lots of things in life and maybe I'll inspire them to be passionate about something too!

It's all good :) 

Friday, 22 June 2012


We've been really busy the last 3 days, what with the dentist on wednesday, I had a 2 hours with an Aspergers and ADHD help for parents session, which always makes me feel quite overwhelmed, not only with all to do with Alex, but also myself.
I unfortunately had to do the weekly shop this morning, all because I forgot to order it online, but Alex only kicked me once, so it wasn't that bad. We had a good maths conversation in the queue because I'd bought Alex some omega 3 chewy capsules(recommended to me that he have them), I've been told to give him 2 a day, and there were 30 in the pot and Alex was trying to work out how long they would last, we used division (30 divided by 2) which obviously made 15, and we added the two 15's together in 3 different ways to add back up to 30, and we counted in 2's up to 30 so he realised that having 2 a day would last 15 days, and then we'd have to buy more(he loves numbers).
This afternoon we learnt all about Indian Meal Moths.................I finally decided to clear out the cupboard that I keep all my flour and baking stuff in, I must ashamedly admit that its been....quite a while since I last sorted it out......NEVER AGAIN will I leave it for so long next time!! there were quite a few moths, and a few of their caterpillars....Alex took a great interest in it though, and collected them all in a jar! he wants to see them turn into moths.
We looked online to find out information about them and each female can lay up to 400 eggs!!
I told Alex I'd order one of those butterfly kits so he can see nice butterfly's hatch out, rather than (yucky) Indian Meal moths, he was really pleased with that idea :)

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

1 crazy boy + 1 crazy boy = a complete nightmare!

Especially if they haven't played with each other for 5 months!!
We picked up one of Alex's old classmates from school today, his name is Charlie and I think he's even crazier than Alex, so the both of them put together with a load of over excitement to top it off meant it was quite a stressful afternoon! but it was so nice to see Alex finally having some proper fun with a friend :)
We went to the park near the school, messed around for a bit, it was SO HOT! so we had a vote and it was a 3 to 1 vote to go up into town to buy an ice cream each (Jamie didn't want to).
Alex and Charlie had their scooters and of course thought they'd try and impress eachother to see how dangerous they could be, and how good stuntman they are, all the way there and was VERY stressful to say the least, lets just say, if they stay friends, there's no way on this earth I'd ever let them out on their own together, not at this rate anyway!
when we got home and they calmed down a little they had lots of fun blowing bubbles and catching them in the garden, and playing on the trampoline.

The morning was the complete opposite, I had to go to the dentist to have a cracked filling repaired, leaving Alex and Amelia in the waiting room playing with some Lego....when I returned the receptionist remarked that they'd never had such well behaved children there!! It still amazes me.
We manged to fit in a little picnic in the garden at lunchtime(Alex made his own chicken mayonaise and pitta bread) - trying to make the most of the nice weather before it all goes horrible again :(

Also found out that he can start Beavers next week, in the same group as Charlie, I'm really pleased, they're going to Ashwell Spings to mess around in the water, Alex should love it!

So I'm not sure about the learning today, but Alex had a good helping of fun :)

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Craft club!! (no insects were harmed during the making of this blog)

Alex actually wanted to go to craft club today!! that's the first time since taking him out of school that he's actually wanted and looked forward to going to an indoor club :)
I told him last night that it was on today, and he said he'd like to go, and I was expecting him to change his mind by the time it came to it, but he didn't!
The topic for this weeks session was 'insects' and there were lots of materials and bits and bobs for making whatever insect you wanted, and Heather the lady running it, is brilliant and full of tips and ideas and advice. Alex chose to do a butterfly -

Alex was a bit reluctant at first (there were about maybe 9 other children - maybe more there too) and he needed a bit of help, but he was doing really well until he realised that the doors to the garden were open and that was it then, I knew it was all over.......I had to finish it off because all he wanted to do then was play in the garden. And it was a really nice day, he and Amelia had fun looking for bugs, climbing on the railings and trying to climb the trees, Alex was SOOO tempted to join in with a game of  'it' with another boy but couldn't quite pluck up enough courage. oh, and the dead baby blackbird caused quite a bit of interest! I thought it was quite sweet when Alex said it had gone to heaven, not so sweet when Amelia poked it in the eye.....

Later on Alex tried some experiments....we were clearing weeds around the strawberry patch, very tall weedy weeds, weeds I should've pulled out ages ago, Alex was looking for bugs again and found a black ants nest and a red ants nest quite close to each other, so he had an idea to scoop up a load of red ants and stick them on the black ants nest, thinking that a huge tiny fight would break out! to my relief and Alex's disappointment they didn't fight, although the black ants did go into a frenzy, they still didn't attack the smaller red ants. I painstakingly scooped up all the red ants and put them all back in their own nest...

The other experiment I found out a bit later, Alex had decided to put some plasticine on his lamp(the plastic bit at the top) and turn it on,and then go and forget about it, to see what would happen when the plasticine gets hot.
NOT a good idea! It turned really soft and sticky and liquid was coming out of it YUCK!
The heat had caused the molecules to break down and start separating. I'm worried Alex is going to turn into some crazy scientist one day.....

Monday, 18 June 2012

monday moodswings

I thought I'd be proactive today and actually go up the town, after taking Jamie to school, and get some things down that I've been avoiding, like going into the bank to order a chequebook (all of a sudden everyone wants to be paid by cheque!) I also took Alex and Amelia to the library to get some new books and to pay my fine(again - one of the many pitfalls of having ADHD is that I NEVER remember to take library books back in time, actually, thats a little lie, I did manage it once, about 3 months ago).
Alex was being 'difficult' today, all started this morning and lasted all day, the town was a nightmare with him :( he was totally not interested in ANY books, or audio books, just kept moaning about how he wanted to get out of there, but I was trying to find some books on Ancient Greece for Jamie...finally got it together but when I started putting the books through the system, I got distracted, and suddenly realised that Amelia was missing, turned around just in time to see her going out the main doors and down the road!!!

ANYWAY........went into a few charity shops looking for juggling balls and equipment for possibly starting up a new juggling and circus skills workshop group(didn't find anything), spent most of the morning with Alex asking for everything under the sun and me having to say no - even though he'd got to spent his last £2 on some baby aliens in slime(again) and him having a tantrum and crying everytime I said no, kicking the pushchair and me........that wasn't much fun :(
I try to ignore the looks of everyone walking past but I hate people thinking I've just got a brat who needs a firm hand or something :(

Alex cheered up a bit when we got home, I guess he just wasn't in a 'being up the town' mood. He even emptied the dishwasher for me and helped clean the worktops down!

He read me a book, and then wanted to eat practically everything we had in the house..I've had to make a chart of his eating each day, he gets 7 items of 'snacky' type food, plus his main meals, and I've been marking them off on the chart, so he cant argue with me, because the chart never lies hehehe - otherwise I lose track of what he's eating and they'll be nothing left! but he was in a particulary 'snacking out' mood today and ate all his snacks by the time we picked Jamie up from school and was not impressed that he couldn't have anymore - more tantrums......hey! I've just realised that this blog can help me track Alex's moods and things, and I've also just noticed a link there between his mood and his eating habits....maybe he hadn't eaten enough at Nana's over the weekend because he was out of his usual routine, which left him extra hungry today and in a bit of a bad mood! I feel really bad now because he probably WAS really hungry rather than just bored like I thought he was!

After dinner we went to visit their Great Nan who's recently been put into a care home because she's got dementia, which is really sad, their other Great Nan is already in a home with dementia too. We went into the day room where there was 4 other people just sitting in their chairs watching tv but their faces lit up upon seeing Amelia, and one old guy even started clapping he was so pleased! the old folk took great pleasure in watching Alex and Amelia climbing on the chairs and chasing after eachother around the room, their Great Nan looked especially pleased to see them :) it was really nice and I think we really brightened up their evening :)

So that was a nice way to end the day, been a bit of a weird one today.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

That's it, I'm up to date!

Jamie and Alex have spent the weekend with their nan, so I've not much to report, they did  lots of art while they were there, found loads of fossils in nans gravel again- including another Amonite! and made a new friend with the neighbors cat :)


I am so sore.
Yesterday we went on the train to Hitchin . It was Amelia's first time on a train having seen lots of them go past near our house. She really enjoyed it but got a bit scared when the loud fast trains went zipping past us while we waited at the platform, she does this really cute thing when something happens that she doesn't like - she shakes her head and says a definite "no".
Alex had loads of questions about the trains, it's his first time for ages on a train. Most of his questions were about how it all works, ie which way will the train come from? which tracks will it be on? how do we get to the otherside? We worked out how long we would have to wait for the train, and why we couldn't get on certain trains that stopped at the platform. He also used his own ticket to go through the turnstiles which I thought would confuse him, but he surprised me :)
After we'd been around the shops and bought a couple of sandwiches, we walked through st. Mary's church graveyard (which gave Alex the creeps- but he asked who was buried under a certain gravestone, I said there were two people buried in the same place, he asked why, I said because they were probably husband and wife and still wanted to be together after death-he mulled that one over for a bit) and found somewhere to eat and watched the swans and ducks along the river Hiz. After eating we followed the river and saw that it went under a road and out the otherside and then it disappeared under some buildings.(we'll have to find out were it pops out again)
Then we walked all the way to the top of Windmill Hill(a very big hill), I pushed Amelia in the pushchair all the way!(hence the soreness...) and Alex took great pleasure in roly polying ALL the way down, and having sensory issues like he has, meant he didn't even get dizzy!
After a quick wander through the Dell(I love it in there :)), we got the train back home, Alex talked quite a lot about how we do the journey in reverse - get on the other platform, and get off at the other one too.
I was quite surprised when a couple of young lads which I thought were up to something dodgy helped me carry the pushchair up all the stairs....but maybe they were rifling through the pushchair at the same,  i like to think they were just being helpful : /

Later on in the day, Jamie laughed as she told me how in assembly at school, when asked who was going on to the junior school over the road in september, EVERYBODY put their hand up except for her! I asked her how that made her feel, she said she thought it was funny! Even later on in bed, Jamie told me how she liked being different, which I'm quite proud of her for that, not at all succumbing to peer pressure :)

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Last day of half term

Right, so, I'm completely not ready for going back to school tomorrow, but I'm sure I'll blunder my way through it, and the next 5 - 6 weeks until the end of term and school FOREVER! (maybe)

Alex has been playing more on his own which has been quite interesting as it's been Jamie who's been hounding Alex to play! I'm not sure what Alex has been up to, he's been shutting himself away in his room, but I hear lots of crashing and bashing and excitement so I guess his toys are having fun, and when I go into his room, everything is all over the place...hmmm...I'm not impressed with that very much.

There's been lots of excitement today as we've just found out that we're going on holiday at the beginning of september to Wales. They've looked at maps of England and Wales, found out how long it will take to get there, what the terrain will be like there. They've had a 'going on holiday' party, wrote a song about the holiday, Jamie started writing a diary about how excited she is about going on holiday, and lists have been made of what they want to take with them. Jamie would like a printout of the journey so she can see what towns we will be traveling through to get there, she's drawn a picture of England and Wales, they've even started making a little film of how excited they are, and it's 11 weeks away yet!!

So that's a whole load of Geography, English, Art and Media at least!

June 5th(back-dating here..)

OK, so I'm back-dating this because I'd started writing this blog on paper because my laptop was out of action for a bit, so I'm just getting up to date.

I've started this before Jamie has finished school because I thought it'd be interesting to keep a record of my childrens dynamics before and after homeschooling, to monitor how they get on together because it's a bit weird at the moment with Alex being at home and Jamie in school, there's quite a bit of resentment flying around, but I'd still say they were pretty much best friends.

June the 5th was day 8 of the half term holiday and also part of the Queens diamond Jubilee, it's been raining A LOT and the kids have been indoors most of the time.
One brilliant thing is that Jamie got a pack of cards with all the kings and queens of England and put them all into chronological order  - she read the start and end dates of each monarchs rein and found out what order they went in , whilst we watched the Royal Floatillary (that seemed to go on and on and on) and then helped me write some important historical events that happened during each monarchs rein. I was expecting Jamie to get bored of it but she seemed very into it, and was intrigued with the antics of the kings back then. I think we both learnt a lot and its sparked a bit of an interests in history for both of us. (So that was a bit of maths, a lot of history and politics) Alex showed no interest whatsoever and just played with his toys.

The whole time up until this day, Alex has been Jamies shadow, doing EVERYTHING Jamie does,  its like he's given up on his own free-will! but today, maybe because of the whole kings and queen thing, he's actually done his own thing for a bit :)

Theres been a lot of arguing and squabbling between them, Alex has been hyperactive and a nightmare at bedtime, but apart from that, they been pretty good, considering the rubbish weather!

Thursday, 14 June 2012


I've started this blog to record the progress and activities of my homeschooling family, i say 'homeschooling' but that sounds like we do school at home, we don't really do that at all, we do what some people call unschooling, or autonomous learning. Which is basically, my interpretation of it, creating conditions for curiosity and allowing my children to learn whatever they want to learn, allow them to follow their interests and to help them achieve their own goals, to become themselves, the way they are meant to be. This blog is to record the way children (my children anyway) learn without a classroom, without a teacher and without lessons.

I'm going to give you some basic information about me and my family so you can build a little background picture of how we live.

I'm 38 years old. I have 3 children aged 7 - Jamie, 6 - Alex, and 19 months(nearly) - Amelia.(i'm not using their real names for their own protection, this feels weird but I don't want to use nicknames or initals)
We live in a small 3 bedroomed semi-detached house in a relatively quiet edge-of-estate road in a small town.
I live with my long-term partner who is also my children's dad, we're just not married (yet).
We only have the one wage coming in, so we're just about scraping by!
I've been homeschooling Alex since mid november 2011, and will be homeschooling Jamie when she finishes year 2 in july. It's completely Jamie's choice to be homeschooled, she's very bright and popular at school, but feels very restricted.
Alex is homeschooled after suffering considerable anxiety and stress from being at school, he is currently being assesssed for Aspergers and Dyspraxia.
We have two crazy dogs, a rabbit, a hamster and a Giant African Land Snail.
We have an allotment locally.
Oh, and I've just been unofficially diagnosed with ADHD.

I didn't start off doing autonomous learning, not that I'm complaining, but Alex refuses to do anything he doesn't want to do and I'm not about to force him, although I do get him to do a bit of reading by bribing him with sweets.(he has sweets anyway, but if he reads to me - whenever he wants to - he gets to choose a penny sweet from the tin- i know sweets aren't the best thing but stickers just don't do the job anymore!)
Jamie has told me that she wants to do a little bit of 'school at home' by this she means she will organise her own timetable of what she wants to do, but she said she mostly wants to play and have fun, so I'm really interested to see how it works out.

Me, Alex and Amelia already go to a few home ed meet ups and activities in our local area, recently these have been things like science, craft, woodland walks and park meet ups, I encourage Alex to try as many different activities as I can, but obviously, Alex will only do what he wants, which can be frustrating, I'm still trying to get my head around letting go and letting him be himself and not what I would like him to be! but at least if he sees whats available, he can make up his own mind. He seems to be up for anything that's outside, but is less enthusiastic about indoor activities, I think it may be a sensory thing.

I'm going to be starting this blog before Jamie starts homeschooling because I thought it'd be interesting to see how the dynamics change when she's out of school, compared to how it is now, to see how Jamies behavior changes, and to see how Alex's and Jamies relationship progress's. I'm going to be observing their activities and reporting back.