January was a slow, yet long and drawn out start to the year. First of all we wanted to change our approach to home ed in 2020. We wanted it to be more child led but more eclectic. We wanted to make the core subjects more natural and less daunting- effective rather than a battle. We also wanted family time to be a bigger focus and generally make the whole journey more fun, time efficient and effective. We want to encourage Button, Bear and Buttercup to develop a love of learning and a passion for the arts.
Second of all, Mummy and Daddy had some bad news that was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster and certainly made Daddy at least, less productive. The upshot of these factors, plus the usual hangover from Christmas, was that we started back later than planned. We still managed to fit three weeks in (after all January did last forever) but getting used to the new structure and then the lurgi hitting our house for the second half of the month meant that we took the whole month quite slow.
Nonetheless it has been a positive start to out new approach. The "Toddler play" structure, replacing our "Toddler curriculum", has worked really well and actually offered more opportunities to encourage the Twins' development. The flexibility we now have for them and for Button enabled us to get them all learning about the Chinese New Year together which was great. The new shorter burst Dailies have been pretter successful with Button. It means Button is doing more Maths a week, more English a week whilst getting more free family time. She is able to spend more time on projects she is interested in as well as doing extras such as sign language and keyboard. Button's reading is improving, as are her spellings and generally there are less arguments (at least til everyone got sick and moody). Art is on artists Button has an interest in and is more concise. There is greater opportunity for exercise but being ill means we haven't fully took advantage of that yet. Daddy is also still trying to get into a better routine with French, but these are tweaks and we will get there.
Those of you who have followed us for a while on here or on Instagram will know that we support a number of small businesses, a few of these link to our home educating journey and we had some great examples this month. We have been raving about Posts from the past for a while now, and in January we got to learn about Ernest Shackleton and Amelia Earhart. Button loves the history, the personal touch of the letters plus all the activities. Even Bear and Buttercup got to join in and help test different paper aeroplane designs for Amelia and to go with Button on an Arctic expedition to find penguins in tribute to good old Ernie. We thoroughly recommend Post from the past as all the ones we have had so far have been excellent. Another company that Mummy reps for is Scarlett's Senses playdough and last month Mummy asked her if she would be able to do us a kit to do with the body, as Button has been working on different areas of the body and was going to be looking at the nervous system. The result was perfect! So creative and we'll interpreted from our brief. If you want a custom set for your kids she does such a great job. It was perfect for Button's age and did a fantastic job of blurring the lines between learning, playing and investigating. Button kept returning to it and I think it really helped her visual understanding. We also squeezed in two Letterbox labs which continue to really grab Button's attention. The Volcano was amazing but I think Button actually found the UV experiments in the last box more interesting and stimulating and couldn't wait to show Daddy.
Button also started studying Frida Kahlo, Beethoven and the Vikings this month. However, we then broke away in our third week for all three kids and turned our attention to the Chinese New Year. For those of you that don't know, this year is the year of the Rat and Button, Bear and Buttercup loved learning some of the folktales behind the New Year customs and traditions. We did a lot of arts and crafts, a word search, sensory, open ended play and more playdough fun.
This month we also welcomed our nephew into to the World, Cornelius' brother Cuthbert. He was born on the 21st and he is so yummy. We are sure he will be another superstar like his big brother.