Let’s up the game

Nearly the end of January already and not back into a routine yet. Has that happened to you or is everything back on track after all the Christmas and New Year celebration?

There is so much we both have planned and want to do and learn. But you know what it’s like - sometimes life just gets in the way.

First, Tiny was really quite poorly with a cold and wasn’t up to much work - then I was unwell and couldn’t give him the support he needed.

But, that’s all going to change. Tiny has been homeschooled now for almost two years and in that time we have worked in different ways.

At first it was important that Tiny settled into being at home and understood that he could learn in his own way in his own time. He has faced a lot of challenges in his life, but he is always cheerful. The biggest problem we had when he was first at home was his concentration. He was unable to focus on any task for more than five minutes, ten minutes if you were lucky. His Literacy and Numeracy were way behind his year group.

I did some testing and found that he was about three years behind. Maths was worse. He had absolutely no confidence with number.

We played a lot of games, measured a lot of things, did a lot of cooking and went on lots of shopping trips. I started using White Rose maths as well as signing him up for mathseeds. Anything to make it practical and fun. And it slowly but surely started to work.

For Literacy we did a lot of reading and shared a lot of writing. We talked a lot and used the computer to help him get his ideas on paper.

We made great progress over time with concentration and he settled very well to homeschooling.

So we went from a very lose structure to a semi structured day. We worked four days a week with the Friday being catch up our trip our day.

And we have done so much over the last two years and he has come such along way. Is he still behind? Yes, he is in a lot of things - but no, he’s not behind in his reasoning skills and his knowledge of computers.

Now to get back to our work after our break.

What we need is a kick start.

For two weeks - starting on Monday - we are going to have a VERY tightly structured week.

We are going to start each morning at half past eight so that means he will be woken up at seven. He will make his bed, have breakfast and then get washed and dressed.

Half past eight we will start with one of the maths programs (Mathletics or Mathseeds) for 25 mins.

At nine he will do some practical maths or maths in his book. At nine forty he will have 15 mins break.

At ten he will work on his Fable Literacy plan. We will be on week two.

At ten forty he will do a mixture of SPAG work for 15 mins. Eleven will be time for a short break.

Eleven fifteen will be coding time. He loves using code.org so this is more like chill out time. we will start lunch at twelve and he can help me with this.

At one we will start our afternoon session. This will be split into 2 forty minutes blocks and we will do a mixture of our science topic ( space), art, drawing skills, geography, PE, cooking and ICT.

We will have our reading as normal before bed.

4 very full days with day number 5 being catch up. This will be the most I have expected him to do since being home. And he will not be used to the idea of working to set times.

Why am I doing this?

Because I know it will help. It will give us a structure for two weeks and help both of us focus.

Will I be carrying on in this way after the two weeks?

NO. The two weeks will be enough to give us a kickstart. He will be ten in a few months time. When he is older it will help him to have a set routine, but there is plenty of time for that.

After the two weeks we will go back to our semi-structured day. Each day we will do maths and literacy. And each day we will cover some of the other topics - but there will be no clock watching.

I’ll let you know if it works.

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