img_0831Some of you may have wondered whether we home educate at all now, with the little lady in school 5 mornings a week, and the mini men in förskola three mornings a week, but you might be surprised to hear that we still do.  I feel our children are now part of an education system that has a lot more to give them, but also there is still a lot we can do at home, as we have all enjoyed the last 8 months full time home ed immensely (just some pressure is off me now!!).  We have a new direction and aims now.  We follow our nature curriculum, and as well as keeping English (spoken and written) practised as their first language, we have quite a bit of Swedish to learn!  I also want to keep her maths she has learnt practised to save her relearning when her class gets to that stage.  She’s currently doing the year above her text book while the others do their maths, but it will all even out in the end.  But the thing about home education is it’s extremely flexible.  We tend to have a rough routine, some vague goals, and rarely achieve either!!  Today we decided to cancel the long division and spelling practice and replace it with Hama Beads and tap dancing 🙂  Our little lady has always been addicted to Hama Beads, but recently ran her supplies right down.  The mini men have just discovered this, so today I replenished stocks and all three were immersed in it straight from school.  It really requires a lot of dexterity and uses their creativity and imagination, not to mention their concentration.

One of the negative sides to moving out here, is that tap dancing does not really feature at all, and certainly not on a level like in the UK.  Unfortunately this was one of our little lady’s passions.  So before we left I bought the ISTD DVD of the next few levels, and decided I should be able to cope teaching her for a while myself at this level.  Once we arrived in our new home, I realised there was NO WAY tap shoes were ever going on those wooden floors!  So rethink done and mobile tap mats ordered, they arrived yesterday.  So today, we unrolled them, and after 25 years I put my tap shoes back on (dug out from her fancy dress chest), and the little lady and I danced our way through the Grade One part to refresh her memory and get used to the floor (she had just started grade 2 when we left the UK).  The floors were great and made a really nice noise.  She seemed to cope fine and loved it.  There was a slight problem with Mamma’s sense of direction and following the DVD but trying to go the right way, not mirror it, but that’ll come as I get used to tapping my way round the lounge again!  I also think that next time we might avoid having a log fire burning in the same room as it was all a bit hot!!  Mini man no.1 (my little ballet dancer) was itching to get down on the mat and join in, but his toes would have been in serious jeopardy of being squished. However, I’m not sure it’ll be too long before I’m looking for mini size 8 tap shoes for him and having 2 pupils!  Maybe I’ll get the whole Island starting a new craze in Sweden ;-)!!!!!

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I have mentioned in a previous post, that school has got all its lovely lights in the windows of the classrooms now.  Today I had to provide a candle for our little lady to take in.  It appears (although I’ve lost a lot through translating the Swedish newsletter, and disjointed verbal messages from an 8 year old), that they all light their own candle first thing every morning on their own desk at school!  This sounds lovely in theory and the children find it very cosy which is why they do it, but I am glad I’m not in charge of 18 8 year olds wielding matches and candles 🙂  The mini men do also seem to have settled well into their new routine as well.  When I went to pick them up today, they were both in different rooms mixing with other children, having chosen to do different activities from each other.  Mini man no.2 had been apparently chatting away to a little Swedish boy in English, who’d been replying in Swedish.  The ladies said they’d had the most marvellous conversation and were as happy as anything….although neither knew what the other had said!!