Experiments in Education

So concludes our first official week as an HE family and we have already learned so much!

  1. Maths doesn’t have to be as painful as I anticipated.
  2. Planning and projects can be fun!
  3. TK cannot be trusted to work in a room alone, on a computer.

After more than one set-to about not doing what she claimed to be doing, TK realised to her horror, that I could access her browser history and see exactly what she was watching on YouTube when she claimed she had been writing her blog. We are already on complete tech lock-down with regards to tablets, phone, and Nintendo DS, due to her habit of stashing gadgets away until she thinks everyone is asleep. Similarly, this problem is easily fixed: She must do all work on a computer downstairs, where an adult can keep an eye.

It’s not that I really blame her. I do understand the temptation of meaningless distractions. I, for example, could browse online shoe shops for hours, rather than fold the washing or start the writing I told myself “must be begun today“. It is for this precise reason that many modern workplaces have sites such as Facebook and YouTube blocked from use. The desire to be doing something other than that which we are supposed to be, is inherent in us all.

Despite her need for boundaries, we have also learned this week that having someone simply sitting and staring over her shoulder is something that TK hates (and I can’t blame her for that either!) I think we are slowly working on a way of doing things that involves varying degrees of supervision, dependent on her mood and the task. So far, Maths seems to require the most adult input and I am going to spend the next few weeks doing an overview of the end of last year’s school curriculum before moving on.

I have decided to loosely follow the National Curriculum for Maths and Science for the moment, although not necessarily in the prescribed order. This is mainly because it means we won’t miss anything vital to later examinations but it also provides us with a basic framework for those subjects. I don’t want to buy a ready-made curriculum though: So far I have been collecting my own resources and encouraging TK to do her own humanities research. Where possible, I hope to expand on the bones of the National Curriculum to provide a bigger picture; especially in Science.

So, what have we been doing this week?

Well, TK decided that she would like to do a project on the Anglo-Saxons and the Normans, so over this week she used the timelines available on and the information from her Horrible Histories book Smashing Saxons and Stormin’ Normans to create a timeline of her own. We went through all the information together and, realising how much of it there was, decided we would be better to split the project and focus on the Anglo-Saxons first. TK picked out the events and people she felt were most important and then typed up them up in her own words. Later, she found images that related to the information she had found and added those too. This is the finished result.

anglosaxonstimelineworkThis week we also did a review of multiplication, culminating in work on multiplying three digit numbers by three digit numbers (for example 258 x 641). TK wasn’t sure about the bigger numbers at first but by the end of the week, she was much more confident. We used worksheets from Math is Fun and Coloring Squared, both of which I will definitely use again.

In other activities, my mum had some educational adventures of her own while I was at work. She helped research Saxon food and there are plans for TK to cook what, I have been assured, will be a most delicious Saxon dinner. They also took a trip to Portchester Castle for the local ‘Not Back to School Picnic’, where TK had a great time and met some other HE kids. She played swing-ball, fell off a wall, and even managed to take a couple of photographs of the castle for work on the Normans!

On Tuesday my mum took TK up to Brockenhurst to try a home education group that focuses on STEM. They learned about the eye and how early moving images were made. Then they made their own models and created a stop-motion animation. TK loved it and my mum was very impressed with how the group was run so I think we shall be going back. I am hoping that next time I can go along and see what it’s all about.

Roll on Monday!

Categories: Education, Parenting

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4 replies »

      • Some, although I have found it is more useful for revision and practise, than actually learning completely new material. It might just be my daughter, but she tends to respond better if an actual person goes through a concept first. She finds the white board feature a little frustrating but if she uses a pencil and paper alongside the screen, it works quite well. The game format is a big hit though – there’s nothing like gaining points and levels to enthuse a ten year old!

        Liked by 1 person

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