Daily Drudgery - or - Life is Sweet

June 9, 2015

Keeping Indi Interested – A Useful Resource Bank

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He's writing with no complaints!

When I return from work on a Monday night, I briefly think about the ironing pile, before frantically hunting about for resources for Tuesday’s one-to-one time with Indi. This is, like some Thursdays when we don’t gallivant off somewhere, the learning golden time, where we will not be distracted by toddler tantrums, household chores, travel and being social. Neither does it mean sitting at a desk constantly, where absorbing anything for a 5 year old becomes immediately less successful. So where to start? My idea of a daily diary was becoming a bind, as Indi didn’t always want to write about a tiny part of his day that he’d already forgotten. So, bite-size writing tasks were the order, but what would inspire him…? After 45 minutes on www.twinkl.co.uk we were sorted! Read on to see what I used!
By the time I return from the school run with Will, Indi’s been playing Lego, and has spent time on the new game from Teach Your Monster to Read. It is called Champion Reader and Indi enjoys it. Happily, it’s free, and you can print certificates from the site, and personalise your character.
The first part of our one-to-one was piano, then reading, me to him and him to me. We took out nearly 30 books from the library yesterday,  which is the norm. So, continuing on the Myths theme, we had Jason and the Golden Fleece, The Roman myth about the birth of Rome – Romulus and Remus, and a Norse myth for good measure. Washed down with A Squash and a Squeeze. He read me a story called Billy and the Wizard. The library has been a godsend for his reading books. He is doing really well and he surprised me yesterday when I had run out of new library reading books (hence the trip to renew his supply). We read something from home, and he insisted on reading the difficult text, which had approximately 75 words on each page. And, apart from the odd word, he did it with the greatest of ease. His improvement is astronomical, which is a great relief!
Next, number bonds reinforcement.

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This is a resource from  Twinkl. Access to a colour printer is essential if you’re to purchase the subscription, which is around £30 annually for the Platinum level. But the amount of resources is just indescribable, and prevents seeds of panic drifting in, as it is broken into years and key stages, skills, subjects and project work. I typed in Lego and found these bonds.

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Learning number bonds to ten off by heart is really useful, and he’s got the easy ones (0 + anything, 5+5) but the others had to be calculated with fingers. Here he is with his self-buttered bread and butter getting started! Brain food!

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Done! We also used Twinkl for a nice maths and colouring exercise using the book favourite Elmer.

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The sums on Elmer’s patches had to be solved and then Indi had to read the colour key to determine which totals had to be filled with a certain colour. As the sums were up to 20, we used a number line I’d printed from Twinkl a while back.

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After a play break, he decided we were to play a board game. As I thought we’d keep the Twinkl theme going, I dug out the game I’d printed off from there a couple of months ago, with a pirate maths theme.

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The board, which I’ve backed onto cardboard, and our pirate chests, to be filled with ‘gold’.

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Our moshi monster pirate counters…

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The rules…

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Chance cards, I backed with card. Indi was able to read these today!!!

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Coins to add and take away.

Next, at his insistence,  was Silly Sentences, which is a fun but long sentence game. My subversive 10 year old played this with us the first time, so now Indi plays to make the silliest of sentences, which is hilarious. I get ticked off for forgetting my full stops!

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A selection of Indi’s sentences in the game.

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This was my stroke of ‘big writing’ genius. The boys got a Lego blind bag yesterday with the money they earnt from selling eggs on Sunday. I noticed how interested they had been with the little tick sheet poster supplied, which presents all the mini figures in that series. So, with a Twinkl writing blank sheet, which leaves spaces for pictures, I stuck a few choice figures in the frames and off he went. No complaints….

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Until he had described these figures in his own words! Good effort. We are using a left-handed pen btw; we got a job lot from Staples that were being sold off, and they came with cartridges and have a moulded shape, so he sees it as his ‘special’ pen. The blue one has just gone missing, so we had to switch to pink today!
We also did a little practise printing and some reading rules on the board, by which time it was 12.20pm. Time to go swimming! That’s the beauty of home ed – when you’ve had a good couple of hours and they’ve enjoyed it, you can do the fun stuff without the padding of six hours in school. And if you have a bad day? Brush yourself down, and try again tomorrow, it just doesn’t matter!