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Weekly learn at home blog

Week 7: Taking a practical approach

Week 7: Taking a practical approach

This article has been written by parent blogger Emma Bradley.

We have had a really productive home learning week and we are all definitely into a rhythm which I think makes a real difference. I also have a much better understanding of Erin’s work rate and ability which helps me with my expectations. I will be the first to admit I expect quite a bit from her as she is an able child who enjoys learning. However, when she speaks to her friends, she says that she is doing much more than most people! That is probably true and getting the right balance is an issue for many of us who are questioning whether we are doing enough or too much. It is important to remember though that our best is good enough and thankfully there are lots of resources available to help us, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

I still find planning ahead valuable and during the week I make notes on anything that I have noticed Erin struggle with or seem confused about as it helps me decide what to focus on over the coming days. Having a notebook for this keeps me organised and saves me time when I am planning what to do next. School are providing work, but I am enjoying going off track and following our interests and playing to our strengths too.

This week we have really focused on Maths, she uses the Collins Easy Learning Times Tables Workbooks to keep going over her tables. She is already confident with them but being fast and accurate is so important for most other areas of maths. We were doing one of her 10-minute tests and I noticed that she did not know what diameter and radius was. The following day I explained both and then gave her a tape measure and asked Erin to find 10 circular things in our home and work out diameter and radius. She really enjoyed this practical approach and was a good reminder to vary the learning styles I am using. This naturally then led to me teaching her how to work out the area of circles, it was totally child led and she grasped it quickly. I explained that this was secondary school level and Erin was so excited that she could do it despite being in year 5! Another silver lining of home schooling is that we are not limited by a curriculum based on age, instead we can cover what our children are interested in and understanding. I really recommend doing some practical maths in your home, get younger children counting and get older children measuring and working out angles, perimeter and areas.

We also mixed up how we are learning spellings this week and I used a book of word searches as it is a fun way to learn spellings. If you see the word you are more likely to learn how to spell it. You could also challenge your child to make a wordsearch for their siblings or even to challenge Mum or Dad, or make one to send to a friend. There are many possibilities. I am trying to develop Erin’s vocabulary too, so I found some proverbs and asked her to guess their meaning, some she did and others made no sense to her but we had fun looking them up and seeing what they meant.

The afternoons were spent crafting and baking, we made the most delicious Nutella Twists which we all enjoyed as we are missing trips to coffee shops! They tasted as good as those from a bakery! We also used Create Your Own Happy to start making an insect hotel, it is not finished yet, but the book is packed with activities that keep kids off their iPads and get them problem solving and feeling happy.

Isolation is hard. We are all missing our friends and family but there are some silver linings and for me that is quality family time and rediscovering hobbies that had been forgotten or ignored due to busy lives.  

Missed Emma's previous learn at home blogs? Read the previous installments today: 

Week 1: Introducing your weekly learn at home blog 

Week 2: The new normal 

Week 3: Keeping emotional health in mind 

Week 4: Little and often 

Week 5: Keeping busy

Week 6: Settling into a routine

About Emma

Emma Bradley, a qualified secondary teacher and current primary school governor with many years experience of working in different childcare and education settings. She has three children, the eldest is Chloe a second year university student, a son Dylan who is 16 and just found out his GCSEs are not going ahead and Erin who is 10 and still at primary school.