Sunday, 31 October 2010

Pumkin Calving


Halloween has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain. Christian's tried to claim the holiday as All Saints' Day but with little success as today it is largely a secular celebration. Our children's previous school was a Church of England school were Halloween was completely banned dening our children their historical and culture education.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Social Interaction

It is a misconception that home schooled children do not get adequate social interaction with other children. My kids have had more interaction with other kids since they left school. We meet up with other home educated children almost every day. During this time they learn and play together within a group of respectful children that do not have the competitiveness that I have witnessed so often in school. I have rarely witnesses any bullying type behavior and language which was a daily experience for my children in school.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Willow & Anya Skating

Anya is wearing a girls dress from Stardust

Ice Skating

Every Friday, Owen and Anya kids join a large group of South London home educated kids for ice skating lessons at Streatham Ice Rink.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010


We attended a demonstration this evening against Tesco's plan to demolish Streatham Ice Rink which has served the local community for nearly 100 years. Tesco's plan to build a new Tesco in place of our beloved ice rink. As a condition of their planning consent they are required to build a new ice rink in the place of the old ice rink. However, Tesco's are trying to break this promise and have come up with a new plan which involves demolishing part of Brixton market to house the new rink which is not a good solution for the Brixton community.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Felt Toy Animals

We made felt animal toys today. Both Owen and Anya were captivated by this activity. They cut out their own shapes and sewed the pieces together on their own. I purchased a few toy animal eyes from Ebay a few weeks ago which really brought the toys alive but buttons would also work well.

Monday, 11 October 2010

How To Hold a Pencil

My son has motor skill difficulties which contribute to his difficulty with handwriting. He was at school for 4 years but it was not until we paid for him to see a private Occupational Therapist that it was identified he was not holding the pencil correctly. Although children hold pencils in many different ways there is actually only one way that will ensure comfort and control in handwriting. This is called the Tripod Grip. Amazingly schools do not teach or correct children in correct way to hold a pencil.

Owen wraps this thumb over his other fingers which put a strain down the side of his thumb and hand. We use a Crossover Grip to prevent his thumb wrpping over his other fingers.

There are many kinds of pencil grips that can be purchased to help correct how the pencil is being held.

Draw Your World provide many grips and exercises to improve pencil control and posture.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Matching Interest Levels With Reading Levels.

Owen and Anya were severely struggling with reading at school.  Whilst, they were at school we struggled to help them progress with their reading but made very slow progress.  In hindsight, they probably were not ready to learn to read but the books provided by the school were so painfully boring that they only added to a general lack of interest in both reading and books.  The school did not understand the concept of books with appropriate interest levels combines with a child reading age.  For example Owen was 8 years old with a reading age of 6.  This meant he was subjected to reading 6 year old books about teddies and puppies. 

I have discovered a range of books called Boffin Boy which address this problem with matching different interest levels and reading levels.

Boffin Boy

Listed in The Times Top 160 Books for Boys | Nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal

Interest Age 8 - 14 years | Reading Age 6 - 7 years

A popular manga comic style series designed specifically for reluctant and struggling readers.

The superb manga style illustrations, imaginative plots and wacky characters will appeal to children aged 8-14, yet the books are carefully written for a reading age of 6-7 years and feature simple speech bubble text with controlled vocabulary and low word counts.