Saturday, September 09, 2017

Home Ed Burn-Out

As often happens after a period of intense home ed activity, I hit a slump this week. Like many home edders, when the kids show an interest in something that I also enjoy, I have a tendency to get a bit carried away and go all teachery on them, which is a pretty guaranteed way to turn them off. In this case, it was history and the slightly manic obsession with matching up museum visits, bedtime stories, recipes and day trips. So after a tense few days while Daniel tried to tell me he didn't want to be beaten around the head with Anglo-Saxon rye bread and I refused to listen (because I WAS interested, damn it!), I finally realised I needed to chill out. When I need to stretch my brain I can read books myself, do some baking, or even finally get on with the beginners' Latin course I have been promising myself for months. And we will make that Anglo-Saxon rye bread and apricot conserve, and probably take our apricot conserve sandwiches to the Anglo-Saxon village at Escot. But we will do it when the mood takes us - all of us! 

After a few days of feeling pretty despondent, I can now look back at what we have actually done in the last couple of days. 

On Thursday we finally made it out to a local-ish honey farm. There wasn't much information to be seen about how honey is made but there was a lovely cafe with some big photos that triggered memories of making honey in Germany two years ago, so we had a chat about that over drinks and cookies while admiring the beautiful flower garden outside. Then we investigated the 'shop' (a few shelves at the end of the cafe) and chose honey and beeswax candles to use at Rosh Hashanah. 

The afternoon was spent with my amazing mum, in my case mostly offloading and drinking tea. The kids, however, did all of this in our quiet, chilled-out afternoon:

  • Found a large patch of feathers in the garden. Listened enthralled to my mum's fairly gory account of a sparrow hawk eating a pigeon on the front lawn. Looked up sparrow hawks in the bird book. 

  • Did some digging together. Found a worm and examined it carefully, then found a safe place for it under a tree and carefully covered it with soil. This took several trips with their trowels before they were satisfied with the medium-sized molehill they had provided for their new friend. 

  • Painting. 

  • Made scotch pancakes, with all the associated weighing and measuring and turn-taking. 

  • Played with building blocks, lots of rough-and-tumble, some intensive training for their future joint career as a pantomime horse by ricocheting around the house with a large blanket over their heads. Astonishingly, there were no casualties. 

  • Daniel decided to do some work on an old newspaper. This involved a verbal analysis of the different sections (property, sport, weather etc), colouring in, doodling and letter formation. Lots of techniques from some free time with a newspaper and some pencils! Now he wants to make his own newspaper and deliver it to people. We'll see if that happens over the next week or two. 

  • Adopted a cooking apple from the orchard. It was named Appley and had to come home with us. 

Friday we were back in forest school, catching up with friends, toasting marshmallows, making elder beads and generally enjoying being back. In the afternoon we watched a film, braved the supermarket, came up with a Plan B for dinner as we'd run out of time for the original plan (let's call that nutrition) and made crumble together with Appley. 

Not bad for two days of doing nothing...


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