A lot of people have asked if we will be doing lessons - no; if we have to follow a curriculum - no; if we have to test and check levels etc - no; if we have to report to someone what we're doing - no; will she learn social skills - yes, far more than the contrived school environment will allow; how we will know Lara's learning - how would we not know?!; and much more. I'm sure I need to write a more serious post about all this at some point, but whilst I'm still getting back into the swing of things, a lot of posts are going to brief and picture-based, I'm afraid! (NB. This one will also be rather tongue in cheek and slightly facetious, soz.)
My plan is to record our learning as we go, which will help us to keep a record, as well as answering the favourite question of the moment - but what will you do all day?! The answer to that one is pretty much what we already do anyway. Like I say, we have been teaching our girls all their lives, as do all parents, and they've done fine so far. We don't need to suddenly change that into something more formal since some arbitrary cut-off point claims that my 4.5 year old daughter should now be entered into the inadequate, severely flawed school system. We will just carry on doing what we have always done, thanks very much.
Just in case we come up against it, the teacher in me is keeping an eye on the curriculum levels, and I'm delighted to say that the four year old is already working on Year 1 Maths targets when she would only just be starting Reception year; and her Literacy is well above average already. Whilst the 2 year old is working on her Reception year maths, and doing just fine with letters and language too. We won't start targets for the 8 month old just yet ;-)
Anyway, enough of that boring stuff! Last Wednesday should have been Lara's first day at school, so we sat down and discussed what she would like to do to celebrate her Not Going to School Day. We had a visit to friends planned for the morning anyway, so said we would drop in there first, although we all enjoyed ourselves so much we stayed till nearly lunchtime! Then we went to the playground in Arundel for a picnic, menu chosen and paid for by Lara the day before, then prepared and packed in the cool bag by her that morning (does that count as PSHE, maths, cookery/nutrition and life skills? Hmm, maybe).
After the picnic, we had PE, i.e. lots of running around the playground, climbing, and generally having fun. Oh and, like she did with our groups of friends in the morning, socialising with children of all ages, from babies to teenagers and other adults, an opportunity the average school day wouldn't give for socialising.
Sophia worked on her independence, which is growing day by day, and Tatiana worked on her standing up and climbing skills too.
After we had finished grazing on our picnic and playing, we headed along the road to the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust, one of our favourite places. We had great fun spotting the new birds that had arrived with the changing season, and the new wild flowers that had appeared. We talked about weather and climate, migration, and the turning of the year. Sophia learnt some new colours, including lilac, and Lara asked lots of questions about how to mix primary colours to make the different shades we saw. We'll be trying that out with paint this week. So I think we covered art and science quite well!
Lara wanted to try her hand at some photography too, with great results:
I then showed her how to focus the camera and find your subject via the zoom, and we had a go at some joint effort shots!
We loved the reflection captured on this photo of a swan, and seized the opportunity to talk about light and reflection. Lara's next self-proclaimed discovery missions: to find out how light reflects, and how cameras work!
We are all very excited about the journey ahead, it's going to be fun!