Ruth's blog: How Things Poo
Like fellow contributor Jill, we often struggle to get through the regular homework set by the school. My daughter claims that homework is not for weekend days at all, which is a good answer but one that won’t wash as she gets older (sad, I know). However recently I realised that although we may not manage the school homework, we are actually doing ok at child-led education at home and this has made me feel better about it.
For example: Wordle. I am sure some of you played this game when it blew up in winter 2020/2021 and some of you may still be playing it (online word game, 5 letters, like Mastermind). I am now no longer allowed to play by myself, only with my two Wordle assistants. The younger one sounds out the letters that we are choosing and might attempt to read it. He is also a big fan of guessing words that start with a certain letter. Potato! Plant! Potty! The older one types them in and has got good at spotting where letters can and cannot go – in fact her favourite day was when I was so stumped I got a piece of paper out and wrote out all the options! We define each day’s word then compare our score against the family. Language, spellings, logic: tick tick tick.
Next: Numberblocks. Nuff said. Watch as much as you like. Maths: tick.
Next: how things work. Big shout out here goes to Maddy – favourites are: putting the camera in the dishwasher, that pasta is made in enormous lengths that get cut up, that socks are made inside out and go on a special inside-outer machine at the end.
See also: Amazing Machines (big up to both Grace and Catie). I had no idea that there was a lorry that could put cones out along a motorway and then collect them up later! This also led to a hilarious moment lately where on a busy corner near our house in zone 3, I said to my son: look at that lorry! What’s on the back? Mummy – it’s a hay baler!
Biology is big in our house. Whether it’s the circle of life in our fish tank (Mummy a fish has died and the shrimps are eating it!) or the mouse traps (why are we killing mice?). Or “how things poo” which is a recurring series. You Tube is very helpful here: we have covered whales (big liquid spray, underwater, not really a surprise) and octopuses (long poo, comes out the funnel) and starfish (only one orifice, go figure).
A special mention also goes to megalodons, at least one question a day, usually about how big they are.
I share these not to brag, or to bring back those home schooling nightmares I am sure some of us still shudder at, but as a reminder to myself. This may not the homework that school has set, but our children are participating, thinking, questioning and learning some incredible facts, often about poo. They will always have something interesting to say to a friend and that swells my heart.
Ruth works 4 days per week in a central London accounting & tax firm. She lives in South West London with her husband, two children aged 7 and 4 and a tank of tropical fish.