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Learn What You Live Posts

What do you want to see here?

Ahem. Time for a blog reboot. I have many posts I’ve been pondering and I hereby give notice that they’re on the way! Here’s a sneak preview of some of the things I’m thinking on… 5 awesome ways to learn… that didn’t work for us What we have found works How kids learn to cook when you can’t face baking with them A series of stories of different educational paths Astronomy GCSE resources and reviews Maths resources round-up (UK focused) Book recommendations for different home education approaches Favourite blog and podcast resources Running a home education group Group activity ideas…

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Keeping tabs: UK KS3 National Curriculum links

As home educators, we don’t have to follow the National Curriculum. And mostly, we don’t. The freedom to follow a child’s individual interests is one of the great advantages of home educating, whereas the National Curriculum is designed to be a best attempt to cover the needs of all the hundreds of thousands of children that pass through LA-maintained schools every year. It’s just not going to be the best fit for any particular one of those children; that’s not its job. (Not that you’ll get the best fit home educating either; perfect simply isn’t attainable. But I’ve reckon you’ve…

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When you’re in the midst of chaos and it feels like you’re failing everyone

Sometimes it’s the crazy half hour before dinner – when you’re already running late, and your cranky toddler Won’t Stop Shouting, the baby missed a nap, and your older one just smashed a glass of the reddest smoothie you’ve ever seen all over the kitchen. Sometimes it’s when you thought you’d had a great day, then without warning you find a minor disagreement over dinner turns into your tweens both in the midst of a major meltdown because of ongoing issues between them and you can’t talk to one without the other starting up the fight again. Sometimes it’s a…

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2017 in Books

I always think I don’t make enough time to read, but looking back over the year I’ve not done too badly (helped considerably by audiobooks from Audible). For your interest and edification, here’s my list from this year… Non-Fiction Actual books Real books get read in bed, pretty much exclusively – they get the most attention paid to them, but it’s quite a limited time slot; so these are the ones I most wanted to get to. The Year of Living Danishly, Helen Russell A light entertainment Christmas present – an interesting, readable insight into another culture, but nothing that…

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Is school compulsory? These are the options for your child’s education.

“You have to go to school, it’s the law.” I’m willing to bet you’ve heard someone say this. Maybe you’ve even said it yourself. The thing is, it’s not quite true. The law does say that children of a certain age have to be educated, but going to school is only one way of doing that. So, if you’ve ever wondered ‘do I really have to go to school?’ or even ‘does my child have to go to school?’ then here’s the lowdown… What the law says (in the UK) It’s British law, so there’s bits and pieces about schooling…

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How to Make Your Ideas Stick

‘We began to see the same themes, the same attributes, reflected in a wide range of successful ideas. What we found based on Chip’s research – and by reviewing the research of dozens of folklorists, psychologists, educational researchers, political scientists, and proverb-hunters – was that sticky ideas shared certain key traits. There is no “formula” for a sticky idea – we don’t want to overstate the case. But sticky ideas do draw from a common set of traits, which make them more likely to succeed. It’s like discussing the attributes of a great basketball player. You can be pretty sure…

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It’s All About the Reading

‘The behavioural neurologist Norman Geschwind suggested that for most children myelination of the angular gyrus region was not sufficiently developed till school age – that is, between five and seven years. Geschwind also hypothesised that myelination in these critical cortical regions develops more slowly in some boys; this might be one reason why more boys are slower to read fluently than girls. To be sure, our own research on language finds that girls are faster than boys until around age eight on many timed naming tasks. Geschwind’s conclusions about when a child’s brain is sufficiently developed to read received support…

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Letting Go As Children Grow

‘My first daughter taught me a necessary lesson: she is able to signal when I am becoming over-involved in any aspect of her life, protect herself from my undue desire to control, and emerge with the skills she herself wants to pursue. She teaches me constantly that we are really on the same side. She wants to strike forward in life and fulfil herself, just as I would wish her to do, but she will move in her own time and from her own initiative. These days I try not to define success (or failure) in terms of the behavioural…

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The Power of a Growth Mindset

‘There’s another mindset in which … the hand you’re dealt is just the starting point for development. This growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. Although people may differ in every which way – in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments – everyone can change and grow through application and experience. Do people with this mindset believe that anyone can be anything, that anyone with proper motivation or education can become Einstein or Beethoven? No, but they believe that a person’s true potential is unknown (and unknowable);…

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Rosie Reads: Stargirl

‘She laughed when there was no joke. She danced when there was no music. She had no friends, yet she was the friendliest person in school. In her answers in class, she often spoke of sea horses and stars, but she did not know what a football was. She said there was no television in her house. She was elusive. She was today. She was tomorrow. She was the faintest scent of a cactus flower, the flitting shadow of an elf owl. We did not know what to make of her. In our minds we tried to pin her to…

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