Thursday, April 06, 2006

End of Term Report ;-))

Today was "Parents Day" at the drama class, so we parents were treated to a full display of what goes on in the class. Was impressed with Emily. As well as taking part in all the rest of the bits and pieces as they showed us warm ups and the mad scientist scenario, Emily had to do a short mini script with her partner. They'd been given the script to learn a fortnight ago, but they had to make up their own ending to it, which we hadn't heard before. Emily spoke up really loudly, and her tone of voice, body language and gestures were spot on for the mood she had to get across.

The teacher confirmed today that Emily will be in the 7 and under group when they go back after Easter. In two minds about that - it will be a smaller group, I think just five children, so she'll get lots of attention, but the very small ones just mess around (understandably I guess, I think they're too young for it, personally) so I'm not sure how much it will stretch her or how long her patience will last. She doesn't relate all that well to littlies; gets on much better with older children. I'd still rather she was in the older age group, but we'll see how it goes. It's only for two terms, anyway, since once she turns 8 in Jan next year she'll automatically move up the next group.

The rest of today has been a day off, education-wise. Emily didn't go to tai chi this morning as she was still quite poorly when she woke up. She's spent most of the day doing arts and crafts whilst listening to HP & The Goblet of Fire on CD. Oh, well, there you go - that counts as crafts, literacy and listening skills then, Mr LEA Bod. The schools have broken up for Easter here, and boy can't you tell, with bored looking teenagers on every corner in the village :-( Prompted by this end of term mentality, I had a look back to my post on the 5th January when I outlined what we wanted to achieve, education wise, this "term". I said:

English: Concentrate on poetry - tick. We've done a lot of poetry work since January and it seems to be something Emily's really enjoying. She likes coming back to it time and time again.

Maths: Revise time and firm up money knowledge - semi tick. We're not getting very far with time beyond o clock and half past, but then again we haven't really pushed it either. Money knowledge is excellent now. I said we'd also try some more interesting stuff like area calculations - yep, and that worked well, together with the work on angles Emily did yesterday.

Art: Carry on with famous artists project and do pratical work with all the proper art materials Emily had for Christmas - tick, tick and more tick. Well, the practical work, that is - Emily's been attending the art class, has produced some fabulous pieces of work and loves spending time with Jon sketching or painting. We haven't gone back to the famous artists project - yet - but that's been purely a matter of time.

Science: More meaningful, practical experiments - um, no ticks here BUT we are poised to make a start on the human body project which is going to be jam packed full of exciting and stimulating experiments (says she confidently).

Geography: Focus on the local area and the UK - tick. We've done a fair bit in our local area project.

History: Didn't specify any particular ideas as we'd done so much history last year - as expected, we haven't really had a history focus so far this year, although Emily has learnt quite a lot about local history and historical research.

Music: Start on the Music Express course and look into a Famous Composers project - tick to the music express course which we've been doing regularly. Haven't even attempted the composers project; we've just had too much on, but will definitely hold onto the idea for future reference.

Crafts: Get sewing machine up and running - tick, and its being used regularly if not frequently.

IT: Start on a DTP or photo manipulation software - we haven't done either of those, but we are getting to grips with powerpoint and Emily's further extended her internet research skills.

D&T: Didn't actually include this in my list of plans but - tick, tick, tick, we've done a lot of practical technology work with lego and meccano etc.

Not bad, I'm pleased to see we've achieved most of what we set out to do. Having a vague plan has helped keep us focused so I'll have to give some thought to what we want to achieve between now and the summer.

I'm looking forward to two weeks without going out to drama, yoga or ballet. Tai chi and the art class are still running, but the others are on Easter break. About time! Having somewhere to go nearly every day isn't really my idea of bliss, unsociable being that I am, so it'll be good to have a short space of time when I don't have to watch the clock and think "oh bother, we haven't got time to start xyz now". It's about two years ago now that we first started to realise home education was an option; it was after Easter in 2004 when I started "helping" in Emily's school that we realised just how bad the situation there was. Feels funny to think we're nearly two years down the line now. It sure hasn't been a walk in the park and there have definitely been moments, too many to count, when we've questioned our own sanity in doing this.....but you know what? When it comes down to it, I wouldn't change a thing - and I'd do it again in a heartbeat :-))

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