TWO AND A HALF YEARS since I last posted!!! I had basically given it up but thought that maybe it would be nice to continue so that the children can read this when they are older. The truth is that I just don't have time these days. When I last posted I had a 4 year old a 2 year old and a 9-month old...well now number 4 is here and she is 12 months old already!
So update on everyone:
Finn is now 7 years old. He would be in Year 2 at school but we are home educating and it is going well. His reading age is approximately two years above his age - he has just read Demon Dentist by David Walliams in two days! We went from learning the phonetic alphabet and simple three-letter words; Bob books and then onto Oxford Reading Tree - up to about Stage 6 by the end of "Reception" year. Then for about half of "Year 1" he progressed from Stage 6-12 and then found he could just pick up any book he wanted to read it! In the last six months he has read all the Wimpy Kid books, all the Tom Gates, Jeremy Strong, Horrid Henry and some David Walliams ones amongst many others. He also likes reading Horrible Science books. His Maths skills are fairly good and he works on exercises on an online program and is currently working through Year 3 exercises. I have introduced other subjects - History and Geography and he has just started to take a real interest in Science. So I am very happy with his progress so far. He is happy to stay at home. I ask him all the time and let him know he always has the option to go and try school if he wants to, but he always says he doesn't want to. He goes swimming on a Saturday with his friend Oscar. They are still great friends which is really nice. We also meet up with another home educating family every fortnight who have two boys 10 and 7. They all get on great together so I am happy that they have this "socialisation" that they lack by not attending school.
Jacob is now 5 years old. He would just have started Reception year at school. He goes swimming on a Saturday, and does Gymnastics class on a Tuesday. We have started to sit down and do workbooks and learning the phonetic alphabet just as I did with Finn. It is very obvious that it doesn't come as naturally to Jacob as it did to Finn. I think he just learns in a different way. He is the kind of child that you could leave a broken toy in front of him and he would figure out what to do with it or mend it - he like to learn by doing rather than by sitting and reading about it. So I know that reading will take a little longer for him. But that doesn't worry me, I know he is perfectly able and an intelligent child in a different way to Finn. That is one of the great things about home educating, it's not a "one-size-fits-all" approach to learning like it has to be in school. Finn will happily sit for hours reading a book on rocks and geology, whereas Jacob would rather be in the garden digging up soil looking for rocks! I believe that both of them will learn in their own way and their own time.
Primrose is now 3 years old. She likes to sit at the table and do her "school work" at the same time as Jacob (she has a basic alphabet work book that she colours in!). She tries to join in answering questions when I am going through the alphabet with Jacob and I can see the two of them beginning to read at the same time. They would only be a year apart at school so we may well find that a lot of learning for them will be done together. Primrose loves colouring-in and has good concentration levels when doing this and jigsaws and crafts. She also loves playing on the tablet namely Angry Birds - she is almost as obsessed with it as the boys are! Her vocabulary is brilliant for her age and she is a very happy child. She goes to pre-school gymnastics class on a Tuesday and Ballet and Tap class on a Saturday. She loves both and although she is a little shy and hardly says a word in her classes she is still very confident and is not at all bothered about going off and doing something without me or her big brothers!
And now there is Poppy. Poppy turned 1 last month! She is a lovely baby - almost toddler! Poppy was born with a congenital cataract in her left eye. She had it removed and had an artificial lense fitted when she was just six weeks old. Her eye is an on-going issue for us. I don't want it to be something that takes over and defines her but sometimes that is how is feels. We have to patch her good eye for five hours a day and she has glasses that she is meant to wear all day. It is a constant battle and we have the constant worry of further surgery that she needs on the eye as it turns and has a secondary cataract forming and then there is the risk of glaucoma developing. It is hard not to get hung up on it and worry and stress about it but I also have to remind myself that it could be a lot worse. Apart from that she is a totally healthy and normal 12-month old - almost cruising and desperate to become a toddler to keep up with her older siblings!
I have another blog for Poppy to record her journey (that I need to try and keep updated!)
So now I will finish with a selection of photos from the last year