Our little family thrives on having some structure to its day…I know I’ve written about unstructured play, but by routine I mean an overall general routine applied to our day, everyday, so everyone knows where they stand. Otherwise, completely unstructured days can be just as overwhelming for little ones as too much structured play. Therefore when we thought about this adventure, we decided getting up, getting dressed, and the breakfast routine would all remain the same as it was for a school day (much as we would like to dream they would sleep in, it’s not happening any time soon!). What is nice though is the lack of school run to push everyone out the house for (unless some mad Mamma has booked the dentist for 0900!). While we are de schooling, the day is then based around whatever is scheduled that day…whether it be working round a dental check up for all of us (that takes a while!) or exploring somewhere for the day. Then meet up at the end of the day for our family meal, bath, reading, and bedtime. Once our little lady and I decide the time is right to introduce some more obvious learning, other than the fantastic learning that happens naturally, then a little more routine will sneak into our day, but not much more.
So, with all that in mind, we have started living our new routine, which seems to be permanent school holiday mode 🙂 (which I know it is the holidays currently, but we all rather like it and the fact it is going to last longer than 2 weeks!). We’ve had some adventures, lots of craft already, and lots of inadvertent learning.
We had a lovely day exploring Netley country Park. I set off on a ramble with them through the woods getting thoroughly lost and off paths, but a lot of adventure was had, and we even found a ready made fantastic den, which the children played in for ages.
The little lady also came to the shops with me on a few errands (I hardly ever go to shops as we are just such chaos with 3 sets of hands dismantling displays, so this is viewed as a rare adventure). Once she discovered where we were off to, the money boxes (all 4) were emptied and a shopping list compiled. Unfortunately, for years I have been swapping copper coins for her larger silver coins, in order to have parking money. This has now backfired spectacularly for me (good for her learning though) in that I’ve been stood in Clintons, while she counted out £3.74 for a beanie boo, and Claires while she counted out £3 for a double pack of shopkins, all in very very small change!! She has also continued with her Brownie skills badge, this week learning how to look after teeth properly and why, and hand washing. All linking back into her KS2 science curriculum. And then today we have enjoyed a very sunny day on the beach, cycling, playing in a park, rock pooling, learning how tall our wellies actually are (while watching sea water flood into them-her idea!!), having a picnic, and playing with the “beach toys”…buckets, spades, watering cans, nets, dunper trucks etc.
Although we are “de schooling” and I had said I wasn’t going to start any home education with the twins until our little lady and I were a bit more settled, the one thing I have done is reading. All three love their books, and the boys are eager to read. We tend to do this while we are out and about, and they don’t need to sit in a chair at home, or at a table, and they love it. Our little lady reads to us an extract of whatever she has on the go at the time, which she has chosen herself and holds more interest for her then the banded school reading books.
A few things have cropped up this week, that have made our little lady and I take stock a bit. Firstly for her, being able to have unlimited play everyday, means that the bedroom at the end of the day requires a lot more time and effort to clear up!! We have had sequin art (that hasn’t stayed on the desk!) under puzzles, under fancy dress, with a liberal sprinkling of dozens of shoopkins on top. For me the washing has increased somewhat. Instead of coming home pristine with minimal amount going into the wash each night, she is plastered head to foot in either mud or sea water, and I’m flying through stain remover. This is of course the way it should be, and I am happy to already see a marked difference in the way our new adventure is affecting us! I am also going to have to slow down a lot lot more. I’ve always tried not to have too much on, as I discovered very early on, having twins and rushing doesn’t really work and things tend to go wrong! However, as she becomes more independent in her learning and more immersed in what she is doing, it is so important I give her time to indulge in whatever passion it is, and not rush her to finish. As that is what we were against in school education, time frames for when you could do what you were doing until.
I’m now off to read the next Whizz Pop Bang email that comes ahead of the magazine to make my resource shopping list 🙂 Looking forward to our second magazine dropping onto our doormat. Enjoy the sunshine everyone!!