Friday, 22 May 2015

Conquer Maths and The Solar System

This week has been a bit hit and miss because putting my back out and having raging toothache has left me feeling really ropey.

I think it proved that Barnaby really feeds off my enthusiasm about getting things done and is not of an age to be self sufficient in learning. That's not to say he hasn't done anything of course, just that me facilitating his learning or putting something under his nose if often the way it begins and without that he's been inclined to build a den, hide with his tablet or watch Dr Who on Netflix (not complaining, I love Dr Who). I am looking forward to being tip top again and getting back on track.

The early start of the solar system - can't  you tell?!
We've watched some educational programmes including lots of Deadly 60 (thank you Steve Backshall for cheering me up while feeling sorry for myself) and Scrapheap Challenge which just so happened to be in honour of Isambard Kingdom Brunel so that was following on from our learning last week.

Tuesday he enjoyed sports club and as well as enjoying that, he loves when sports club ends and all the kids disappear outside and run around playing their own games in the hedges and undergrowth behind the YMCA! Tuesday night was Beavers again and they went to Forest School in the junior school next door. We had his friend over for tea and they created him a world on Minecraft for when he comes to play. As I explained to Barnaby the best way to confirm that you know how to do something is to teach someone else. You'll soon see where your own level of understanding is!

Wednesday we missed Home Ed club due to some emergency dental treatment I needed so my Mum came and made sure he got through his list of chores before taking him to the park where he spent 2 hours running around with new friends.

We have activated our account on Conquer Maths - online Maths lessons.(  It is similar to the Mathletics he was signed up to at school but with this he can work at his own place as often as he likes. There is a 'lesson' with a test at the end and awards and certificates to work towards. He seemed to be quite interested and it helps that it's not always me teaching him - it's an online Australian teacher explaining how to do the maths. I'm just there checking his comprehension. We were really lucky to secure a super discount for a one year subscription thanks to the efforts of another Home Edder  negotiating the reduced rate for us as a group. As you will know there is no help or funding for kid educated anywhere than at school (despite the fact we aren't costing the government £5000 per year per child) so I was thrilled to be getting this with a £60 discount and intend to really make the most of it. I thought it was quite telling Barnaby wanted to start with Year 1 lessons because he is "rubbish at Maths" but soon changed his mind because it was way too easy!

The other stuff we've been working on is our Earth project - we wanted to make a paper mache Earth - but this had taken us down the route of the solar system so we all started on the Sun and Mars (thankfully the real Sun came out and aided the drying on the washing line!) It allowed us to look again at countries, continents and also the core and mantle of the earth.

At the moment Barnaby is really reluctant to do any writing whatsoever. Not sure why. He is just choosing to do everything else but that. I've mentioned a couple of writing competitions I've heard about which he tried not to be interested in but I think he was, we will see if that is enough to get him to pick up a pen!

I've put in place a fun daily test - the day before I tell him 3 things I will randomly ask him the following day: definition of a riddle/4 times table/draw the Egyptian flag and then when he's doing something else entirely (in a shop/eating tea/on the loo!) I'll ask him the questions. Just a quick way of improving his learning and recall.

I've been doing some research and found some great online resources so am merrily building up a series of powerpoints and printables that will help us in the future. I am putting them all into a blog post to share with you all.

Got a hectic week coming up so probably won't post again til next Friday - but you never know!

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Optimistic Owls

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