As the weather warms up, we naturally spend more time outdoors, both at work and play. The summer term is often a more relaxed one, with lots of outdoor learning.
Both boys have exams coming up, so this is a season when the pressure is on for them. I therefore decided that in an attempt to keep home as calm as possible (!) and enable me to have enough reserve to support them, I would intentionally keep the straight “academic” learning for the girls to a minimum. We do a little maths and English each day, then lots of reading, gardening, some music appreciation (Elgar and continuing with other English composers) a new Shakespeare book, nature study and general life led learning. Our one new project is “Africa” in our around the world in picture books journey. Maybe it’s because I spent three of my earliest years in the warmth of that beautiful continent, or maybe it’s just my character, but I love the sunny weather and long to get outdoors whenever we can. So, here’s a snapshot of what we’ve been up to outside.
We’ve started planting out some of the legumes we sowed in pots over half term. Our window sills are looking a bit clearer! Someone told me that preparing the soil for runner beans with sheep’s fleece helps the soil to maintain its moisture content. I’m not sure if that’s true, but as I had some, I’m giving it a go. The chickens were very interested.
The hens are now confined to their run, as I don’t want them digging up all my seedlings. The three new ones seem settled now and are all laying well, so we are enjoying their beautiful eggs.
Our pig group welcomed five very cute “Oxford Sandy and Black” weaners. They were about seven weeks old when they came to us. It happened to be a warm afternoon, and a couple of them literally shone like gold thread in the sun. We’ve been part of a pig group for about ten years, and I think these may be some of the best we’ve had; not only pretty, but very friendly. They come running up whenever we go to feed, and like to be patted. I don’t think at this stage of their final journey…..
We’ve all enjoyed walks up the hill. The boys head out to break up the revision, and I head up for my sanity (!), for exercise and to enjoy nature study with the girls. We generally come back with at least one new discovery to look up.
Bee Keeping Buddy and myself cleaned our hives and frames with a very scary flame thrower. It led into a a good bee study, looking at some of the old wax under the microscope, relearning about how the hive works and then some fun bee poems at poetry tea time.
We’ve even been able to do our “book” learning in some outside spaces; by the beach, while Rhythm Dude has revision sessions at college, and in my “Girl Shed” on pig feeding days. The girls don’t generally cope too well with change in routine, of which there is quite a lot at the moment. However, if we stick to the normal work pattern, but just in a different place, it does seem to do the trick, and I enjoy the changes of scene.
Home ed certainly isn’t an easy option, and long rainy days during the winter can be a slog. However, summer is definitely pay back time, and I’m very thankful for these warm, balmy days and the freedom we have to enjoy them.