Homeschooling and sorting out his own timetable.

Don't you just love it when you get those WOW moments. I didn't think they would happen quite so soon, but they did - this week. My grandson loved sorting out his own timetable for the week and this led to him wanting to do more writing and more maths work. We still have a long way to go, but this proves that he wants to do more and he is beginning to gain the confidence in himself to be able to try.

Breakthrough moments

We have only been homeschooling now for two months. Although my grandson in a bright young 7 year old, he is quite a way behind others of his age in his paper based learning. His confidence in what he is able to do has taken a battering and that's what were working on getting back. He has limited attention span and gets tired very easily. He also has a lot of problems with his fine motor skills and is reluctant to use his right arm. So, plenty of making and doing and cutting skills are needed to improve this.

During the week beginning the 2nd April I wanted him to have a bit of a break from work - work - work. So we played a lot of board games, went Pokemon hunting, took the puppy over the park for her first trip out,

did some cooking,

Our decorated cake

did a bit of practice on handwriting, watered our plants, looked for the buds coming out on the trees, worked on Reading Eggs and Mathseeds and went to the library.

We made lots of boxes

We also did some arts and crafts because we had some bits and pieces left over in the Easter box.

On the following Monday, I introduced him to the idea of working out his own timetable for the week. He was really excited about this. I told him that each day he would have to include one Literacy and Numeracy lesson and well as his daily physio (which could include dancing and playing catch with the ball), and that he should also think about including his Topic and Science at least once a week.

Our blank timetable with magnetic strips attached

We took a large piece of A3 card and drew out the columns for Monday to Friday. Then we wrote on small pieces of card all the different activities. I had some magnetic tape so we cut out strips and put them on the card and then we added magnetic strip the the cards.

Activity Cards

Then he decided where he would put the cards.

This part took a lot of thought and he changed his mind a few times before he was happy.

Each time throughout the day, when an activity was finished the card was removed and he would check to see what he was doing next.

We left some cards blank so that he could fill them out another time if he thought of anything else he wanted to do during the day.

At first it seems like a very busy day, but some of these activities only last for 15 mins, while other activities last a lot longer. And there are breaks and lunch etc in between.

On Monday 9th April

Cooking. He started the day by making pancakes for breakfast (maths/Science)

Reading Eggs then Literacy -

Bit of an accident this morning when grandson cracked the egg. The flour, milk and egg landed on the puppy's head. Still, easy clean up.

This was the first WOW moment this week. He wanted to write a story, not the whole story, but just the beginning of it. We planned the whole story using a story board and he wrote the first four sentences.

(Four sentences may not sound a lot, but he finds writing very difficult)

Physio. After a break he wanted to go on Go-noodle (A dance and movement program). He is really enjoying this and it gives him a chance to stretch out his legs.

Free Time. After that he wanted a break so he watched a movie. We discussed it while we were watching - talking about the characters and the setting of the film. (Visual Literacy)

Art next and he drew a map of a magical island. (Art/Geog). His pencil control is getting a lot better.

Mathseeds next. (Numeracy). He loves Mathseeds. So far it has been very easy for him and this has helped to build up his confidence. But now things are becoming a little harder.

Reading Eggs - He asked if he could do some more Reading Eggs because he wanted to complete the level he was on (Literacy). He really does like earning the certificates.

Cooking. Then he helped me make dinner.

Chopping onions

He chopped up the onions for me and then helped decided what vegetables we were having.

Reading at bedtime. One of his library books.

On Tuesday 10th April

Making and doing - He wanted to make some mask out of paper plates. (fine motor skills/DT). They ended up not being mask at all but aliens. Cutting getting a lot more controlled.

Mathseeds (Numeracy). A nice gentle start to Numeracy.

Numeracy. The second WOW moment of the week. He wanted to make up his own adding up problems. He got himself a large piece of card and his set of Numicon and started to add 3 and 4 numbers together.

He finds adding a challenge so he does not like doing it. For him to add more than two numbers in a maths sentence was fantastic. He was so caught up in what he was doing he didn't want to stop. He worked on this for almost an hour.

Making and Doing - He wanted to make some robots out of toilet rolls and card. (DT/fine motor skills)

ICT. Adding to his Power Point on plants. (ICT/Science). Only managed to add 1 more page to the power point, but better than nothing.

Reading Eggs. (Literacy). Composing sentences and reading skills.

Literacy. Handwriting practice. (Literacy). Still working on 'a', 'd' and 'g'

Free choice.

Bedtime reading

On Wednesday.11th April

Numeracy - Mathseeds. Working through his understanding of numbers and building his confidence.

PE. Go-noodle program. Lots of dance and stretching exercises. This is a great program. Check it out. And the best thing is - it's free.

Geography - Branden has decided he wants to find out more about maps. We are going to look at our local area first and then we are going to extend it to the places we visit during the year.

First things first - finding where we are on Google Earth. He found this great fun. We also looked up where uncle Keith lives in Australia.

Trip - First we had to make a shopping list and then we had to go out to the supermarket and buy the ingredients for cake making later.

Cooking - After he helped me put away the shopping, we made some wonderful fairy cakes. Branden enjoys using the piping bag to put the icing on top. Still a bit heavy handed with the piping bag, but we are getting there.

Strawberry Fairy Cakes

Literacy - Looking at split digraphs


Or if your old like me - magic 'e'.

Reading - Using the Cbeebies app to do some reading.

Free choice for the rest of the day.

On Thursday 12th April

Thinks her brush is a lolly

He's getting really good at remembering that the puppy needs breakfast before he eats his own. He's still putting too much in the dog bowl. Keep on telling him that she is a really small puppy.

Numeracy - Started off the day with Mathseeds. Then went on to working with number bonds to 10 and 20. We used Numicon for this. It's much easier if he can see the numbers as a visual.

Next we played a card game. A nice easy game this. You lay out 9 cards in a grid 3 X 3, (you need to take out the picture cards and explain that ace equals 1)

Making Ten

You find 2 cards that add up to ten and then remove them from the grid. Replace the cards with 2 more from the deck.

Repeat this until there are no cards left. If a move cannot be made lay out another 9 from the deck.

To make this a little more difficult you can find cards that add to 11 or 12, but 10 works very well for number bond work.

Then it was time for a break. So much numeracy work this morning.

Geography - Time for a walk around the local area and of course do a bit of Pokemon hunting at the same time.

We started to look at the kind of shops near to us and the buses. We will follow this up over the next couple of weeks and start looking at maps of the area.

Literacy - After lunch we worked on Reading Eggs. Then we did some handwriting practice. He is still having problems with the orientation of the letters.

Science - Next we had to check on our plants in the greenhouse. The seedlings are growing well and they will need thinning out next week. Our second batch of runner beans are just beginning to grow, after losing the first lot in that really cold weather we had.

On Friday 13th April

Not feeling too well today so it's going to be a bit quieter.

He wanted to do lots of drawings this morning. He often gets very frustrated with his drawings because they do not look like he intended them, but now he is becoming more confident and his drawings are improving. I am so pleased for him.

Literacy - He wanted to do Reading Eggs and worked on it for over 30 minutes.

Free Time - Then he found some computer games he wanted to play. After that it was Lego.

We watched some films in the afternoon and generally has a nice quiet chill out day.

Another week over. I still cannot believe how much he is changing week by week. He loved filling out his timetable. We didn't always do everything on the daily list, but it did give him some idea of what was planned for the day. We will keep it flexible and let him make most of the choices.

Remember have fun!

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