Today was a really wet day, after all the lovely sunshine we've enjoyed recently. So we had a relaxed day today. Our second son had to go off to sit his GCSE English Literature Paper 2 first thing, but as he usually cycles in and would have been soaking wet, and as I couldn't find enough change for the bus, I ran him into school in the car. My eldest son was due to go in for the Year 11 Leavers' Assembly, but he decided to go in late, so he was chilling out at home, enjoying a lull between all his exams.
My smallest son was eager to look in my little wooden boxes of personal treasures this morning. He has recently had a fascination with wooden boxes, and bought himself a special box of his own to fill with special things. He enjoyed looking through mine and talking to me about the things he discovered. Afterwards, he was busy with a toy dart gun and his Lego, setting up a target tower which he was trying to hit. Here we see the trajectory theme I have noticed this week continuing.
My 12 year old had a long lie-in, and got up late. After breakfast, we were reading some more of our Eco Kids magazine, learning about some endangered species and the biggest known cave in the world, in Vietnam. There was mention in the pages of pangolins, and I remembered seeing a trailer for a nature documentary about pangolins on the BBC recently. So we looked on iPlayer, found and watched this programme about these enchanting little creatures, now sadly famed for being the world's most trafficked animal.
We finished watching just in time to go and collect my second son from his exam, dropping his older brother at school at the same time. He is unmoved by the experience of 'leaving school' which his contemporaries are celebrating, but goes in to clear his locker and to join in the assembly. I am thankful to the Engineering Academy for their work with my quirky boy over the past 18 months or so. Between us, we have got him through and he is moving on to the next phase of lifelong learning in the form of an engineering apprenticeship starting in September.
My second son seems less glum about today's examination. So, with three boys aboard, I drive to see our friend who is currently recovering from a knee operation. He is helping us out by doing a load of washing for us as we are still without a washing machine. Whilst there, we pick up his hamster which we are pet-sitting for a few days, and take him home, stopping at the barbers on the way for 15 year old, who in the end can't be bothered to wait, and then at Greggs for some Friday treats. Friday lunchtime is Greggs time - Not for me, but for the boys!
Back home, we install the hamster cage, have a quick tidy up and then eat our lunch. Friday afternoons is an established play time with youngest's favourite friend, who is a few years older than he is. I go to pick him up, dropping my second son off to hang out with his friends at the same time. I bring youngest's friend home for Drawing Club, an informal club the younger boys have established and which is now the highlight of their week. I leave them to it today, as a couple come for a cuppa and a chat with me about home education. The boys are happily drawing, and then playing with Lego, soft toys, lots of imaginative play, all of their own initiative. When I observe them, maps are being created, rolled and placed in corked glass bottles, a collection of which my smallest son has been building up in recent weeks.
By this time, my oldest son has come home and my husband is cooking dinner. The boys continue playing until it is time to take their friend home. My older boys go to their youth group (film night tonight!) and my 12 year old to his tennis club. Another week of home education has flown by, and now the schoolers of our family can enjoy a week's break from routine over half term. But home learners never stop learning!