Diaries Magazine

Our Home Ed Plans For 2021

Posted on the 09 January 2021 by Sparklesandstretchmarks @raine_fairy
Our Home Ed Plans For 2021
So its a brand new year, which means it's time to make some plans for our home ed year ahead!
Difficult to do when nobody really knows what's going to happen this year...will our usual groups resume?! Will we be able to start the new ones we'd like to start! Can we take any trips?! WHO KNOWS!
But I like to make tentative plans anyway...so here they are!
Our Home Learning Focuses For The Year
Over the years, we've found ourselves naturally leaning in to more of an unschooling approach to education. 
I'm a firm believer in looking at what works for the children and rolling with that...and although I started our home education journey by trying to recreate school at home and spending a fortune on workbooks...it just didn't really work for us. 
I noticed that my eldest son was always very reluctant to practice his reading - he hated it, and would end up in tears when I tried to encourage him. I worried that all of my attempts to encourage his reading development was actually stilting him - the more I pushed, the less interested he seemed. I didn't want him to end up hating reading entirely...so I decided to leave him alone for a while.
We didn't practice reading AT ALL for over 6 months. To my absolute amazement, the next time he picked up a book - he read it with ease. 
We've never formally practised reading since, and yet he now loves books - he reads to himself in bed every night and his reading skills are exceptionally good. 
This experience taught me to take the same approach to the rest of our home learning too - I no longer force anything. Instead I try to listen to what the kids are interested in and provide opportunities to delve in to those things in fun and engaging ways. This works so much better for us. We love to utilise the many fantastic apps and websites that are available to us (although I do need to invest in a new laptop for the kids to use, I've been browsing deals on laptops I'm determined to find one in the sales! )
For this year...we're going to focus on picking monthly topics of interest, which we'll learn about in a variety of ways. Our first is myths and legends...we're kicking off with Greek myths, and so we've armed ourselves with plenty of great books and movies on the topic as well as power points, quizzes, art and craft project ideas, cookery lessons to tie in with our Greek theme and some great STEM activities too.
The topic will naturally help us to cover history and geography, and by writing our own Greek myth comics and jotting down our research we'll also be covering English too.
As well as our topic, we'll be incorporating some daily maths and phonics practice too using the Singapore Maths curriculum and Twinkl Phonics.
We'll do additional geography using the Snack Surprise box subscription - we get a box of snacks from a different country each month, and so we theme a Geography lesson to that country and do it alongside snack testing - the kids LOVE it!
We'll continue using Mysteries In Time subscription boxes to help with our history lessons too. and I've signed us up to Kiwi Crate for Science & Engineering work too.
We've got into a nice routine of finishing our week with a nice Poetry Afternoon Tea, followed by a Zoom quiz with the grandparents to recap what we've learned that week. 
I also plan to cover regular weekly art appreciation and music appreciation too.
Last year my eldest took some recorder classes using Outschool and we may carry on with this, if our usual groups can't resume by February.
Groups & Activities
We're really hoping that our usual groups can restart soon as we're really missing them.
The kids usually go to regular forest school sessions, science club, coding club and see a maths tutor but most of this has had to stop due to the pandemic.
We'd love to be able to resume the ones we already used, and are also hoping for all of the children to start going to a weekly theater club together too.
In addition to this, Sailor & Tyne want to start going to street dance classes and martial arts lessons, while Noa desperately wants to start going to gymnastics and ballet.
Trips To Take
Who knows if we're going to be able to take any trips this year?! We do have some holidays abroad booked but I'm not feeling all that optimistic about them actually happening...we'll just have to wait and see!
If we are able to do some traveling within the UK, then I'd love to be able to do the following:
*A trip to Ireland - specifically to Belfast so that we can visit the Titanic museum, as this is a big interest of my eldest sons.
*A visit to Scotland - I've never been as the distance has always put me off, but it would be nice to be able to say we've been to all 4 UK countries and I know the kids would be interested in seeing the castles.
*Stratford Upon Avon - We have plans to learn about Shakespeare later on in the year, so I'd love to be able to bring this to life a bit more with a visit to his hometown.
*London - We had a lovely couple of days in the capital in August 2019, which the kids loved. We visited the Tower Of London and went to see Wicked in the west end. I'd love to take them back to see another show, and perhaps visit Buckingham Palace.
So those are our tentative plans for 2021 - let's hope at least some of it is possible!
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