October through to January

Hello I’m so sorry I know its been a while. It’s been so busy recently though. Life… you know how it goes. We have covered a lot of work and Caelum is progressing really well. He is still going to a tutors for English, Maths and Science and being home schooled in the other subjects. The tutors are hoping he will be ready to take a couple of GCSE’s next year. That will be a couple years early so that’s really good. Means we can spread them out so he won’t have quite as much pressure put on him all at once.

The tutors are really pleased with him and have noticed a marked difference in his work. It’s like he wants to do well now. His writing is coming up which was a cause for concern a while ago but not so much anymore. If he makes up his mind to do it then he excels but if he doesn’t want to do it then… well, not so much. He always gets a glowing report for Science and Maths and is only getting better and better in these subjects so that’s awesome!!

At home we have been doing the other subjects, majoring on Geography and History. I must say he is doing really well. Because of different tutors and teachers on and off and coming and going for a few years he never really covered Geography and History so we have found massive gaps in his education here which we have been working hard to fill. We have moved things around so we have more time to prepare his lessons and this has been a great advantage so far. We have been able to present the information in lots of interesting and fun ways and it is working. For example we put a lot of the information in PowerPoint presentations, charts and timelines to name just a few. This is the biggest benefit of home schooling I think, the way you can mould the lesson for the individual rather than the many. Last week we revised what we have learnt in Geography so far and I am very pleased to he remember most of it. I did find the things he didn’t remember so well were things that we maybe didn’t cover so well in the so I am now working to resolve that. After doing this for a while now with him I feel I now have a better idea of how to present information to him a way that is going in but also fun. I am filling the gaps as we find them and am teaching him up to GCSE level so he is actually ahead in some areas now.

Tobi is still in school and that is going well mostly so far. Ideally we would have him at home as well but at the moment circumstances don’t allow for that. One of the biggest reasons for sending him to school was so that he could learn to interact with other children better. You know, learn to share and not to argue quite so much. I am pleased to say it has been working in the most part. During the Christmas period it could get a little fraught but that’s normal I think for kids that time of year. Tobi’s reading has improved massively and is now all up to date with his peers.

During the holidays is when we saw the biggest difference in Caelum though. Tobi was a bit of a handful but Caelum really stepped up to the plate. He is becoming a very responsible and nice young man. He worked hard to not argue with Tobi so much and we all noticed this. He has started looking out for his brother a bit more too though still has moments when he wants to just be with his friends on his own, and quite understandably. There has been moments when it could have gone better but overall, good!!

We did something really cool during the holidays with the boys. We went indoor skydiving and Tobogganing. The boys had previously gone indoor skydiving when we had been in the States last year but not since then so were very excited. Unfortunately though this day was Caelum’s worst with his behaviour but you can’t have everything in life can you. Their mum, Bonnie, went with them and did the skydiving too and really enjoyed it. We want to make it a regular once a month thing so I’ll let you know how it goes.

We were doing really well, me and Caelum that is, with swimming once a week. We had to take a break though during December as we were so busy, then, when we wanted to start again we found out that our local pool was shut for maintenance for a few weeks so that was really annoying. It opened up again this week but Caelum has just broken his ankle. Poor boy is in a cast and using crutches to get around. Actually he is mostly getting round by wheelchair for the next couple of days because of the pain. He only broke it 4 days ago and had it operated on yesterday so we’ve got a while to go before we can even think about PE again at the moment. He will have the week off from all schooling as he is in a bit of pain but we will see how he goes for next week. The tutors unfortunately is up a flight of stairs so don’t know when he will be able to go back there at the moment. We’re just going to have to play it by ear but the important thing is that Caelum is OK so anything is trivial compared to that.

We still have lots of things to work on and are learning so much as we go but we all feel like we can do this now and it’s no longer so scary and daunting. We have made our own worksheets and presentations so I will upload these for you in the hopes it will help others there.

Thank you for reading

Emma