Thursday, 24 October 2013

Day 131 - Learning About Charles Darwin & Harvest Time.

I realised this morning that we have fallen into a home school morning routine. We wake up, say good bye to Paul, read, eat breakfast and then read some more. We certainly never planned to have this routine when we started out on our home educating adventure we just sort of fell into it naturally. The boys have found a way of working that suits them both very well. The relaxed reading session each morning gives them time to wake up gradually so that by 10am they are ready to get down to other learning activities full of life and enthusiasm. The beauty of reading time of course is that they are both learning without even realising it! 

I set Theo off this morning with a mental maths game on the BBC Schools website. He really had to think about a few questions especially a couple concerning perimeter. Once he had completed the game I asked him to complete a sheet of multiplication questions based around the 6 times table. I was impressed with the speed at which he managed to finish the task. 

Tristan sat with me whilst Theo was on the game & finishing the written task. We watched a short film about a wheat harvest and another about a potato harvest. He was amazed by the combine harvester and used his hands to show me how the blades turn. He correctly told me that wheat is used to make weetabix and he also told me that potatoes grow under the ground before he watched the clip. We discussed what foods can be made from wheat and potatoes. Once Theo had finished on the computer I let Tristan use it to make a harvest picture using a game on the Cbeebies website. His computer skills are very good for a 3 year old. 

We printed off his finished picture. I also printed a blank version and asked him to use autumn colours to fill it in. Once he had done this he found a potato and a carrot and made a little harvest display on the table. 

I combined Theo's English lesson with his History and Science lesson today. 

The first activity for Theo was to complete definitions of the words 'geology', 'species' & 'creationist' in his History book. He used the Internet to research the meanings of these words. He wrote nearly a full page  when  defining the term creationist.

Whilst we ate our lunch we watched a clip about Charles Darwin on YouTube. It was only short but gave details about his life which interested Theo. 

He went onto complete a worksheet about habitats and animals which he then stuck I to his science book. I wanted him to complete this task before moving on to more work about evolution.

Tristan was given eight cut out pictures and asked to match the correct animal to the correct habitat. He managed to do this without any help. I was surprised to discover that he knew about camels all ready as I don't remember discussing them with him before.

I asked Theo to use the BBC Bitesize website to read about Charles Darwin. He was really keen to find out all about him and his Theory of Evolution. Theo went on to play the game associated with the information on the website. Although it is aimed at GCSE level he had absolutely no problem completing the quiz and got all the questions about evolution and variation correct. 

Tristan enjoyed watching his brother play the game. Theo read the questions aloud to Tristan as he was playing and told him the answers as well. I wonder how much information about evolution he will retain?

I asked Theo to draw a cartoon strip about Charles Darwin's life. He thought that this was a great idea and started drawing straight away. He made an excellent start on the task.

Tristan sat and looked at a book of questions and answers. This led to a question about time so we grabbed a couple of books concerning time from the shelf and had a read. He was very interested in looking at the days of the week. I asked him what day it would be tomorrow if today is Wednesday and he got the answer correct. 

I had to stop Theo from drawing his Charles Darwin comic strip so that he could practice his instruments. He spent three quarters of an hour practicing piano and then violin.

Tristan played with the LEGO whilst Theo played music. 

We had to leave the house at 4 pm to make our way to music centre for his piano lesson. We enjoyed the walk in the crisp autumn air. We had fun chatting together whilst we waited for his lesson to begin. Tristan entertained us with silly tales about Invisible George and his love of invisible violins and jam. 

Theo had a good lesson. Paul picked us up afterwards and we spent a lovely evening together before the boys went to bed. 

Tomorrow will be a little hectic as we have a few things to do but I have promised Theo that he will have time to finish his comic strip. I am so happy that he is enjoying his work so much. 

Prudence Clarke