Our Worldschooling Journey for July.
July has been a super month for learning and we have so many days out and activities to share in our journal.
This month has consisted of so many adventures involving dinosaurs, animals, bubbles and of course, our dog walks.
You can read more about our individual days out here:
- Dinosaurs at The Collection Museum
- Tattershall Farm Park
- Woodside Wildlife Park
- Fruit Picking at Syston Park Farm
But of course, it hasn’t just been all about hands-on learning and day trips. We have also made amazing progress with some of our focus areas from June. Mae has been working incredibly hard with her pencil grip and learning her ABCs. Georgi has had lots of fun learning about colours. They have both even begun showing an interest in my work, teaching online, and have started to build relationships with some of my students halfway across the world in China.
I absolutely love this last note. My students are really benefited from being able to see what we do as a family day-to-day. It provides them with excellent opportunities to practise speaking and learn new vocabulary.
For my own children, it is helping them to build confidence in speaking with others, especially dear Mae. She is able to learn about children from a different culture to her own, communicate with them and share their favourite toys and activities.
My husband and I have had a few questions recently regarding how our children will socialise and build friendships if they do not attend a traditional school setting. So this has really helped me personally, to witness first hand that there are still plenty of opportunities and ways my children can build friendships.
This month has really helped to reaffirm our goal of educating our children ourselves and not have them attend a brick and mortar school. We said to ourselves that we needed to ensure more structure was in place in a sense of setting aside time for days out and skill development. There is still a long way to go, but I really feel, within July, we have progressed together as a family towards this goal.
Mae was really struggling to move away from a full hand grasp to holding a pen/pencil properly. Now, I know what you might be thinking, maybe a formal pencil grip isn’t necessary. But for Mae, it definitely was. Whilst she fully grasped a pencil, she didn’t have much control over it and couldn’t write properly.
We have been working on her pencil grip, more so than her letters and numbers this month. She has made such progress, I am really proud of her determination and attitude to not give up.
She has progressed from a full hand grasp to pinching the pencil with her thumb and first three fingers. Sometimes she needs reminding to look at her hand and correct her positioning, but she is doing so much better.
We have gone from squiggles all over the place, wobbly lines and wonky letters, to being able to control her pencil and draw/write with more accuracy.
Initially, we did purchase this pencil gripper at the beginning of the month. It is a little big for her, but it is doing a good job as a reminder of where to position her fingers. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fit her whiteboard pens, which she uses for most of her activities. So, she has had to work even harder to remember her positioning without its support.
Moving on from her pencil grip, her handwriting has significantly improved too. We have focused on following lines and shapes, with a small amount of letter writing. I first want her to be able to gain full control of her pen/pencil first before introducing lots of letter formations.
We purchased these whiteboard books from Aldi and I absolutely love them. Initially, we only bought the reading and handwriting versions. But Mae was getting on so well with them, we had to go back and purchase the other two.
The great thing is because they are whiteboard books, there is no waste. We just wipe away her old work, for her to practice again – rather than printing out or drawing out using lots of paper.
The handwriting book is particularly great and each time she has sat down to draw, she has improved. Though, she does need reminding to concentrate and look at the book when she draws.
The only downside we have found is that the kitchen table where she draws is too high up for her. So we are going to need to grab a child-sized table to help support her sitting and arm positioning for drawing and writing. In the meantime, we might just need to add a cushion or two for her to sit on!
Georgi is thoroughly enjoying colour activities at the moment and Mae is certainly hands-on with helping him and joining in. At the moment, everything is blue according to Georgi. But, he is learning more colour names and we just need to continue to practice matching the correct name to each colour.
This month we have set up different activities for the children:
- Colour Scavenger Hunt – On rainy days, the kids have sometimes become a bit restless (they are outdoor children at heart!) So, we have set up a scavenger hunt, where they each have a bucket and need to be the fastest person to find something in the house which is the colour I shout out. For example, if I shouted yellow, they might find a banana or yellow ball. This worked really well, Mae was great with Georgi helping him for each colour.
- Drawing – I have sat down with Georgi and focused on different colours to draw with. Each time, we have said the correct colour together, Georgi has free drawn with it and then we have drawn a picture in that colour also e.g. if it was yellow, we would draw a yellow star. Then, whenever we introduced another colour, I would ask Georgi which colour is yellow? Georgi would then need to point to the correct colour and tell me the correct word. We also have matched the coloured pens to the correct coloured piece of paper, which he did really well with.
- Games – Georgi and Mae love playing their games and this month we bought a simple dinosaur-themed dominos game. This game is great as although it isn’t focused on learning colours, the dominos are incredibly bright and colourful. Not to mention both Georgi and Mae love dinosaurs, so it keeps their interest whilst we looked for a certain coloured dinosaur to match the dominos.
- Painting – Georgi loves to paint and what a great way to help him learn his colours. We focused on naming each colour then for Georgi to have to find the correct paint pen to paint with. We then moved onto using paintbrushes to also help with coordination. At this point, I was going to introduce mixing the colours for Georgi to have fun with, but he decided he wanted to do something else at that point – no activity lasts forever right?!
For August, it’s all about building in that routine and making time around our work schedule. Not so much to fit in a ‘school day like’ lesson plan, but more to ensure we plan days out, activities and time for skill development.
We aim to sit down after breakfast to practise Mae’s handwriting and pencil grip, whilst helping Georgi to learn his colours and put two words together. On the days I work, we also want to add in creative activities to our afternoons such as painting, crafts, science experiments and music creation.
We have also started to look for different homeschooling groups in and around where we live. This is in aid of providing our children with social environments along with additional opportunities to learn about the world around them e.g. Forest schools, Pond Dipping and Animal care.
July’s learning and activities have been so much fun. You don’t realise how much you have achieved in a month until you look back. I am even more excited for August too, as it is Georgi’s second birthday – where does time go?! So, no doubt, there will be a bit of baking involved too.
Check out some more of what we’ve been doing this month below:
- 25 Homeschooling Podcasts
- Benefits of Outschool for Homeschooling
- 15 Counting Activities for Preschoolers
- January’s Learning Journal
- A Day Out at Tattershall Farm Park