So what have we been up to round here lately?
Well, basics have been solidly plugging along. Diaries, work books, handwriting practice (utilising an own choice of poem) science colouring books for the older two, some latin, french and a bit of spanish on occasion, online maths for the older two, and lots of basic literacy and numeracy using a variety of resources for the younger three.
At Petal's request we bought her (and Dot, who was also there) some new work books, and we also got some nice write on/wipe off flip books of times tables and the alphabet which they've been enjoying.
The new art supplies have been fully utilised - new, good quality colouring pencils coloured fine liners, conte chalk pastel pencils, gallons of paint and reams of paper - and I also recently got more handwriting practice books and some new calligraphy felt tips (much easier than faffing about with a proper ink pen set, although we do have one of those as well which I really like using).
Future plans include adding Wig to the online maths programme we're using (which is administered by a fellow home schooling mum who's also a maths tutor), and doing more with languages - I've got some audio tapes to dig out again.
We've finalised our list of monthly topics (I'll blog about that soon, the list is in the kitchen and I'm stuck under a falling baby again, naturally), and I'm in discussion with each of them about personal projects.
Dot - lots of play around the toy cooker and cooking utensils, has moved on from tea parties to picnics and lots of 'baking' - often 'mince pies'. The picnic theme is segue-waying nicely into our current map and exploration topic (more on that in another blog).
Petal - heavily into maps and exploring at the moment.
Fluff - is moving on from general interest in historical warriors and armor etc to castles which is fitting in nicely with maps (that will make sense if you had the same map and castle books that we do!)
Wig - need to have a chat with him, he's been doing lots of reading, lego and card games and has just started getting interested in the maps and castles projects.
Roo - need to have a chat with him, certainly has been reading lots, sketching and drawing, leading board games and creating strategy games. Plugging away at his maths, and asking for more support when needed. Joining in with some aspects of the maps castles projects.
Saurus - still plugging away at maths, but not making as much progress as maybe he should be, so we looking into what else he needs. Working hard at his tennis, has started winter training for cricket and is starting assistant teacher training in karate. Also in talks with local college about vocational sports courses (an NVQ or a BTEC probably) and help with getting his maths and english skills up to speed.
We've been enjoying a number of programmes recently - the younger ones have discovered Nina and Nuerons Engineering, we've completed another viewing of Prehistoric Park (fab old ITV series we have on DVD), Roo and I have been watching Lost Civilizations of South America, Saurus has been enjoying Lost Land of the Tiger, Lost Land of the Jaguar, Lost Land of the Volcano, and The Long Way Down, and Fluff has really been enjoying Galpagos (a BBC series we have on DVD). We've also been enjoying Country File and Top Gear on a Sunday evening.
As ever we've been listening to an eclectic selection of music - Jack Johnson, Orang-u-tan, The Beetles (Number Ones), Alice Cooper (Trash, mostly), Disney, Mumford & Sons, Professor Elemental (Father of Invention), bits of Classic FM and Cereys Mathew's Sunday morning show on Radio 6Music.
We've been enjoying lots of sing alongs - the alphabet song, Five little Ducks and I had a little turtle are particular favorites at the moment - and we're going to shoe horn in some piano and other instruments at some point.
The weather has been getting cold, windy and sleety again but we've been getting to karate, ballet and tennis, the little park, the playground at the big park, the library and town general errands - including the Town Hall to make Trojan Hero properly official!
Roo & Saurus have been enjoying home ed youth group - which has been running a course on making websites - and the rest of us have been enjoying Home Ed group. Last Friday at Home Ed group we celebrated the Chinese new year with fortune cookies, chinese brush painting, chinese food and music, a noodle race, dressing up, making snakes and chinese lanterns and learning lots about chinese culture and snakes in general.
What have we been reading? Well, there are too many picture books read on a daily basis to mention half of them, to be honest, but we have been enjoying lots of Mo Williems's Elephant and Piggy books, the Mr Men books, and Molly Bret's books. Roo has been storming through as many Darren Shan as the library can supply him with, Wig is still powering through dragon lance (Dragons of Summer Flame at present) and Saurus has just picked up the Narnian chronicals (I read the first three with him years ago), having finished Burning Chrome by William Gibson.
We've also had a veritable social whirl of sleep overs to celebrate various birthdays - in fact, we still have a few to come! I vastly prefer these to parties, although those are still fun; sleep overs are far less hassle... You just grab a few boys, throw them in the front room, supply them with pizza at some point and let them use the playstation. Easy!