Tuesday, 6 April 2010

What's been happening

Feels an age since I blogged about our daily life. Things have been happening, it certainly hasn't been quiet and life has been whizzing by at a rate of knots.

Ben has been following some of the projects on the Design Squad website first to build a rubber band car and then a mini boat that'll float on water. He's started a new blog to record his project work which is here.
Rubber-band car
Mini boat
We've started a new lapbook on the history of the world. I've been putting this off since September as it seemed so daunting - there's alot of history out there and I didn't feel confident about sorting it all, picking the right slots of history to record, etc., etc. One of our fabulous mums in the HE group did some history sessions, taking a section in time for the children to learn about and present to the group. It went down really, really well and as each child/family had chosen a different piece to record from that snippet of time, we all learnt quite a lot that perhaps we wouldn't have having read numerous text books or scoured the internet. I'd really like this lapbook to be exciting for Katie and Ben. We've done books like this before on many subjects and sadly, as they've got older, the "fun" element (making things, watching and recording, hands-on stuff really) has dwindled away. With this lapbook, I'd like to get back to all that - it helps information to stick, if you know what I mean. So far, we've looked at the beginning of Earth and dinosaurs. We've just started on early form of man - there's just so much info out there!

We've also been focussing on English this term too. I came across an out of date BBC booklet in the library about writing about yourself, so I thought it would be nice of Ben and Katie to write about something important to them during their short lives. Katie's chosen her life with horses and Ben has chosen being home educated. I gave them three weeks to complete their work and we've just gone through it all today. Ben's English truly amazes me. He came out of school at 6 and was nothing like his sister when she was that age. His reading wasn't as good, his writing certainly wasn't and he couldn't really write anything longer than a line or two (after a lot of angry words!). Now he reads as avidly as Katie and writes fabulous, descriptive stories on the PC each morning while Katie and I are at the stables. His written piece about himself flowed beautifully - what a difference a few years make. Katie's essay on her love and learning of horses just needed a few pointers showing her where to shorten sentences (to quit the waffling), and turned out another wonderful read.

Maths has been progressing more than any other subject. We're nearly done with the KS3 book which is about on target for Katie and way ahead for Ben. All of a sudden it seems the maths is clicking into place with Katie - a battle I thought we'd never win - so working through the exercises hasn't been so painful lately!

Katie has been filming another dressage test ready to send into Interdressage today. She's also been asked to exercise another horse at the stables on top of her daily AJ ride so she's thrilled about that. She has lots of shows planned with AJ for the Spring and Summer, the first hopefully being in a couple of weeks time.
Katie and Tyler

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