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Reading - Til the Cows Come Home! · Wednesday November 15, 2006 by Abbie

It’s Wednesday here, and the day has started just as it always has, reading aloud! I get up before Ram and catch up with a few things like email, then when he wakes, I crawl back into bed with him and read, sometimes for a couple of hours.

Ram is very oppositional so I can’t use the usual teaching methods that you would find in a school. Most of his learning is from life experience or from me reading aloud to him. By reading aloud together we can then discuss what we have read during the day, and I can see whether he understands it or not.

However, the book we are reading at the moment is called The Number Devil – a Mathematical Adventure by Hans Magnus Enzensberger. This one book where he is ahead of me! I keep wanting to slow down and go over the equations but Ram get rather annoyed and wants me to keep going!

It is a fantastic book, where a number devil visits a young boy in his dreams and tells him all about numbers. But instead of using the stuffy old terms he uses different words that would appeal to young people. So we are now talking about rutabagas, vroom numbers, prima-donnas, unreasonable numbers, and numbers that go on and one “until the cows come home.”

Ram always takes time to wake up in the morning, but this morning he was quite excited and ready to get going because it is his birthday later this week and his best friend, whose mother just happens to me my best friend, is coming to stay with us for a few days. She is also bringing her younger bother. As they are home educated too, it means that we have the freedom to have these little trips to each others house. Because education takes place all the time the children won’t lose out on their education.

One of the important things about home ed is helping children to learn life skills. So this morning we made up the beds for our guests. Ram may not remember but the more often I show him how to do hospital corners the more likely he will remember one of these days!

He also decided to clean the basins and bath, and even mopped the stairs! This is real progress, and also shows how excited he is about them coming.

After lunch we went off to our local small town for our weekly shop and swim. I am always on the look out for interesting fruit and vegetables and today we found an 12 inch white radish! We will look that one up, and decide how to prepare it. Sadly Ram will not eat it because he has a problem with trying new foods, but I know one day he will try new things if I keep offering them to him but without pressuring him to try them.

We also went to the sweets and magazine shop. We decided when Ram was quite young that I would always buy educational things and anything to do with reading, and he would have to pay for toys. In a way I wish that I had been more specific, because the Horrible Science magazines and Futurarama and The Simpsons are costing me lots! Luckily he has gone off The Beano and the Dandy.

We had the swimming pool mostly to ourselves again. There was one other home educating family, along with a few babies and their mums. We have never organised a home ed swimming session, but the home ed families just seem to come out of the woodwork. Well, out of the changing rooms actually!

Ram has never had swimming lessons but has managed to teach himself pretty well. Today he suddenly broke into a passable front crawl complete with breathing! Of course I made the mistake of saying ‘Well done.’ He then refused to do any more!

He is now much better at reading to himself, so he settled down to read his magazines when we got home, before watching Blue Peter together. Why is it that home educated children still have to watch afterschool telly?

I have never done a blog before, and I wasn’t sure I would have the time, but Ram thinks it is a good idea and is quietly watching an old nature video while I am doing this. Afterwards we will watch last night’s Horizon, then up to bed to do some more reading.

Yep, reading till the cow’s come home, or at least until I fall asleep.

  1. Thanks for the blog, our son is very similar, we had to laugh at your experiences – most of which we could identify with!
    Dave & Linda

    — Dave    Sep 11, 11:21 PM    #
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