Monday, 30 July 2012


If you search the web, there are many examples of lapbooks being created by home school families to present project work. Click here for some examples. I decided to have a go ourselves, thinking it would be a good way to encourage my reluctant writers to produce some well-presented work to showcase. I have invested in some notice boards at home with the same purpose, and given one to each boy to display his work on.
Our first lapbook was the culmination of our project on bees. We used an Amazon delivery packet with fold out flaps for our lapbook - painting it with black and yellow stripes. Each of my three sons decided what he would produce to include. They all copied out a poem - the youngest writing his own. The eldest did some work on pollination and the parts of flowers, and also organised the photos from the project and wrote about what we had seen. My middle son wanted to make a bee hive which opened up. He was inspired by a piece of bubble wrap to use that for the cells inside the hive. He also wrote about what happens in there. The youngest has enjoyed several books about bees, and included a cyclical diagram of the process of egg changing into bee. Here are some pictures of our first attempt. We have plans for a second one on the Olympic Games!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Summer Reading Challenge

It's time for the summer reading challenge - running in a library near you!
I took my boys into the library to sign up for the annual challenge. The eldest (now 10) didn't want to do it this year. "I read anyway, Mum," he said, which is now true. However, my third son (aged 6) was really keen.

I always encourage the boys to push themselves. "This is supposed to be a reading challenge," I say. "So push yourself to read harder books than you did last year." And they do.

Last year, our third son chose picture books and was reading them with considerable help. This is the year he has become a reader, and he was excited to pick out his own books from the beginner readers section, discovering stories he is familiar with in simplified form. He chose Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella and two Just So Stories, one of which he began to read right away as he waited for his brother. We left the library, him with his nose in his book and he carried on reading when we got home.

Whenever it happens - at 3 years old or at 10 - it is a wonderful thing to see a child realise the reading code they have managed to crack means they can read story books for themselves.

Son number 3 kept reading until he had finished six books, and 2 days later, he went back to the library to collect his final stickers and medal. He was so proud, and he was the first local completer. That is an advantage of being a home schooler!