Tag Archives: Fun

Homeschooling – Take Two

It’s day 34 for us and I’ve made a real effort to get back into the swing of things after the Easter break. Here’s what I’ve got lined up for the kids this week and some handy links if you want to give any of the activities a go. 

I gave the kids (and myself) the Easter break off homeschooling.

I won’t lie, it’s pretty exhausting trying to source new ideas and activities every single day, especially if you have kids of different ages. Now that we know lockdown is being extended until at least 7th May, I realised I was going to have to up my game.

Having created back garden artworks, livingroom motorways, made our own pizzas, did PE with Joe and worked on our footy skills, it was time to get back to English and Maths. I have three kids, aged 14, 8 and 5. All the previous activities we’ve done can be found here. 

 

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Luckily, the 14-year-old has a full online learning program which is monitored by her teachers. She’s also a complete legend and I know I can trust her to crack on. Which leaves me the task of organising fun/educational stuff for the younger two.

They have an hour a day of TT Rockstar, Mathletics and Purple Mash, which again is monitored by the school. Aside from that, it’s up to me. The purpose of these worksheets – the majority of which I have ‘borrowed’ from Pinterest, is to do something fun together. It’s quality time. It’s family learning.

So, to keep me off the chocolate and the kids’ brains stimulated, these are the sheet work ideas I’ve come up with, plus a couple of handy online learning sites to break them up.

Read All About It

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Independent learning is an important step for all kids. I’ve devised this idea that my 8-year-old is a reporter and she’s to fill her newspaper front page with an exciting story and picture. Once I’ve explained what she needs to do, and the time frame, I know this is something she can get on with while I do some maths with her little brother. The exercise covers handwriting, research and a little bit of art.

World Wide Word Search

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I’ve made a word search for both of the kids. 8-year-old Cleo will focus on countries of the world while the little dude gets the months of the year, something he’s still not quite got in the right order yet. Cleo will also fill out an additional sheet with a fact about each of the 12 countries. Something she can use her Ipad for.

What’s The Time Mr. Wolf

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Parenting fail o clock! Well, they’re still young but, time is something my eldest daughter didn’t grasp until much later than most, and she’s pretty good with maths. So I’m making an effort to start early with the younger two.

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We’re making a spinning clock together (a la this one above from Mum in the Mad House blog) and we’ll fill in these super easy sheets with terminology such as: quarter past, half past, quarter to and the hour. They’ll number them, cut them out and add them to a bigger display. I’ll then routinely ask them what time it is throughout the day. I’ve bought them both a Lego watch each to wear too. Get them on Amazon, here.

Dollar Bills Y’all

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Money is another concept that took a little while to catch on in our house. Well, they’re all bloody fantastic at spending it, less so at appreciating its value (not unlike myself, ooh shoes).

I’ll use these basic sheets to lay-out the coins in order (how I’ll chuckle when they ask why we don’t have a £20 or £50 note!) and then move on to some good, old fashioned money questions: If you have £1 and you buy 3 x 10p sweets, how much change will you have? Playing shop at home is equally effective!

Aquatic Maths

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I hate, actually hate those sheets of sums in long rows that the kids are given at school. They’re so uninspiring. With times tables taken care of online, I’ve tried to be a bit more creative with Logan’s sums and drawn them into either fish or octopus shapes. I made some Sudoku puzzles for Cleo to get to grips with. More ideas welcome.

Eggsperiments

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Awwww man, I love a bit of science! I told the kids I could make square eggs. They think I’m nuts but it’s a really easy and fun science experiment you can do at home. Providing you have eggs! Give em a boil, peel them and while they’re still warm, stick them in a square container or box (use the Youtube Kids app here to learn how to make an easy card/paper box). Once they’ve cooled, they take on the form/shape of the box! SCIENCE!

The sheet I’ve drawn out gives the kids a space to write down or draw what we did, what we think will happen and what was the result.

The Jolly Post Girl/Boy

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We’re really lucky to have two besties living just around the corner from us and as part of our daily 30 min bike/scooter/rollerskate exercise, we’re going to play The Jolly Postman/boy/girl. The kids are missing their friends and while they know they must abide by social distancing rules, they can write and draw letters and pictures to post to each other. Exercise, English and Art! Winner. You can buy The Jolly Postman book here. It’s a classic.

Lockdown Locks

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Bit of fun for all the family this one. We’ll be lining up all our fave Lego figures and seeing what we can style a new hairstyle out of. We’re hearing great things about grapes, raspberries, playdough, Blue Tac, mashed potatoes, Nutella and more.

Feed The Birds

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As part of our daily 30 mins government-approved exercise, we pass a whole load of pine trees and so we’re planning a little nature activity too. Collecting a few up on our next route, we’ll be slathering them in peanut butter, dipping them in birdseed and lashing a ribbon around the top to make bird feeders. Ta dah!

BBC Bitesize Daily

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This week sees the launch of BBC Bitesize Daily. A handy 20-minute programme, covering a number of different subjects for kids of all ages – each day. On days when I’ve failed to prepare any worksheets or maybe they’d rather be out in the garden playing, 20 mins and pen and paper isn’t a big ask. Check it out here. 

Pinterest

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Pinterest is a free website/app which essentially details all the cool stuff on the internet. It’s an online project book/pinboard/mood board. Simply type in key stage 1/2/3 worksheets, fun art ideas, spellings, how to teach the 7 times table, whatever and the internet shall reply. It’s visually more fun that just googling and you’ll be surprised at just how many ideas there are.

How are you getting through lockdown with your little ones? Any bright ideas to make learning more fun? Drop me a line, like, please, share your ideas! I can’t help but think the kids aren’t going back to school any time soon! KateJamesBlogs@gmail.com

Good luck everyone, have fun and enjoy. Plus, there’s always gin. 

 

 

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We’re All In This Together

We’ve been social distancing for 13 days today and I’ll admit, the wheels have fallen off a bit. With a 5, 8 and 14-year-old to entertain, it was never going to be easy! 

Two weeks in and today has been the laziest Sunday of them all. We’re bored, I’m tired and I have brand new respect for all educators, this shit is exhausting. That said, we’ve crammed in quite a few fun activities and having a garden and sunshine has played a major factor in our harmonious isolation.

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The weather has turned cooler this weekend and being inside the house, rapidly draining the electricity has taken its toll on us all, in just 24 hours. A reminder of how lucky we are, along with the arrival of my first delivered Sunday Times in months, we’ve had a big tidy up, we’ve made some snacks and we’re currently drawing portraits.

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Monday brings routine again. We’re back starting our day with PE with Joe Wicks, The Body Coach at 9am. Then it’s breakfast, showers dressed and ready to start home school at 10:30. At 1:30pm we stop for lunch, tidy up and then it’s free time. No Ipads or tech til 4pm. Tea is at 5:30pm, bed at 7:30pm for the little ones. Repeat.

Here are a few activities and tips for getting your hands on crafty/fun stuff without breaking the bank:

Picasso Painting

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I found some old wallpaper and wrapping paper and instead of trying to contain the mini artists at the kitchen table (it always ends up being trailed into the living room carpet or flicked up the fridge) I hung the paper over the garden wall and washing line and encouraged the kids to flick and chuck the paint. They loved it! More arty ideas here. 

Garden Circuits 

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I’m definitely loving PE with Joe more than the kids. Making the most of the garden, I set them a circuit challenge including simple things like jumping and skipping, stepping stones and collecting coloured flags (tea towels) from different places. This works on the washing line too, give them a sheet with a colour or pattern sequence on it and peg them out. Fastest wins.

Garden/Kitchen Bingo

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I made the kids some Bingo cards for the Garden. They had to find stuff like the slide, a blue peg, a tree stump, a flower, and a spider. Until they actually pointed out a spider (caused a fair bit of drama this one) I refused to declare a winner. Good fun. You can do this in the kitchen too.

Master Chef

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Getting the kids involved with cooking is usually a massive ball ache but now that there’s excess time and we’re gonna have to start making our own bread, it’s a great boredom buster. We managed to get our hands on some strong flower and yeast and so we had a crack at making our own pizzas. Ballsed up the dough but it was edible. In or around Liverpool? Get your kit delivered from Baytree Catering here.

Masking Tape Motorways

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I set this up for my little boy but it turns out the girls were willing to ‘play cars’ too! Get yourself a roll of tape, doesn’t have to be masking tape, anything will do and mark out a big old spaghetti junction on your floor. Masking tape is super easy to pull back up too. Then all your need is a car or two, or lego or hot wheels or whatever. I taped our roads up over the sofa, under the coffee table, and around a bookcase to mix things up a bit. This tape from Amazon looks ace. 

Catwalk Creations

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I stocked my little three drawer freezer up the week before last, and to make the most of the space I took everything out of the boxes. This was handy when looking for crafting bits. The kids decided to make robots from all the bits and bobs and then made them catwalk down the garden path making for some fun boomerang videos!

Diva Make Overs

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My eldest is a dab hand with a set of makeup brushes and has gotten the kids involved in some brilliant diva makeovers. Face paint, makeup, nail varnish, hair accessories have all helped to break up the monotony this weekend. Convinced my boy will end up on Drag Race!

Hope some of these ideas will prove useful. Please feel free to send me yours too, looks like we’re in this for the long haul! katejamesblogs@gmail.com 

 

 

 

 

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