Home educating the children is a learning process for all of us. As an adult education teacher I have had to adjust to teaching primary age children and the children have had to learn in a different environment with their Mum and Dad as the teachers!
We have chosen to use a topic based structure and are basing the majority of work on the requirements of the national curriculum but without statutory testing, the need to fit in with school times and dates and with the freedom to change topic, change direction or generally do whatever we want.
Our first topic was dinosaurs. This was chosen as it did not relate to a specific part of the world, all of them were enthusiastic about it and there was a wealth of resources available many of them aimed at the foundation level, ideal as the youngest was just 4 and due to start in reception at the start of our adventure.
With dinosaurs we did pictures, paintings, made fossils using wax and overbrushing with paint. We created a big wall display including odd facts, pictures and even some fern rubbings. We made up dinosaurs and the older two gave us a mini presentation of the dinosaurs time line. The finale for the topic was the construction of a papier mache volcano which we then erupted with bicarb, vinegar and food colouring – spectacular!
We then did some mini topics based on things which cropped up – a chance visit by the Shackleton exploration group, fireworks, Portland geology and history. The final topic for the Autumn term was Christmas. We made cards, decorations and they wrote their own Nativity play using puppets which they made themselves. The whole thing was filmed and put together on the computer and shared with Grandparents when they came to visit – lovely.
After discussion the boys have decided that they like the idea of sticking to regular terms (although with lots of flexibility if we fancy an extra week off or if moving half term would fit in better). Spring term started this week and surprisingly perhaps they were quite keen to get their teeth into the new topic. We are working on ‘all about me’ this term. So far they have written about likes and dislikes, done an experiment on what tastes and smells they do/don’t like (some great faces when they did a blind test involving olives, chocolate buttons and slices of lime) and will be looking at what makes them unique.
We are also using work books for literacy (reading/writing) and numeracy (maths) (thanks Tisch for the recommendations) and the fantastic ‘maths for mums and dads’ (thanks HH Toddlers!). As for PE, you can’t beat tree swings, running on the beach and walking the dog to explore somewhere new.
Well, that’s what we’re doing now but it’s sure to change as time goes on, after all you never stop learning, us and them!
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For a hind sight blog about home schooling and to find out what happened when we returned to Britain follow the link here
For more boat school blog posts use the tag cloud on the right – if you want to find out more about how we
use used the British primary school curriculum whilst travelling, want to chat about home education on the move or about anything we have tried in boat school please feel free to contact me via the comments.