Sunday 8 November 2015

"You can find poetry in your everyday life, your memory, in what people say on the bus, in the news, or just what's in your heart."

A couple of weeks ago we were having one of those relaxing weekends where we had nothing to do but play and take it easy. I was pottering about tidying up and I could hear Opeie and Mrs M chatting excitedly so I went to have a look what they were up to. They had come up with the idea of writing their own newspaper. They were using Opeie's toys and making up news stories like 'Mr Broccoli wins strong man competition'. Mrs M had bought us a Polaroid Pogo printer a few years back which was coming in really handy for printing out stickers for their paper and she was writing the words in pencil for Opeie to go over, to practice his writing. I loved watching how excited he was so as with everything in our house 'if they love it, we embrace it'.

 Since that afternoon me and Opeie have continued to write the first edition of his new monthly paper 'Happy Times', documenting some of the things that we get up to, which has been so much fun. Opeie likes to think of it as his own blog which I think is adorable. We scrapped the drawing over penciled letters though and have changed it to me writing the words, explaining the sounds and structure of the sentence and then him copying it in his very best handwriting. The outcome has turned in to an insight in to the things that Opeie loves, If only all papers were this happy.

I have found this new way of learning for Opeie fascinating and it has made me realise even more that home education was the right thing for us to do. Most days Opeie is motivated and really excited by what he is doing but every now and again he really isn't in the mood and really who can blame him. One afternoon he wrote the letter 'C' wrong and got really worked up about it and was adamant that he was incapable of ever writing it. We stopped writing, put on our helmets and went out scooting and he was fine, when we got home we wrote the word 'confidence' and I explained what it means (he didn't even mention the two 'C's').  We all have off days, but in state education if a child has one of these days, in many cases they are branded the naughty child and made an example of through lack of awards or special time at the end of the day to do their own thing.

I love that we have effortlessly managed to create this in a few weeks despite all the other things we do throughout our days, but then with no distractions and fun 1 to 1 learning I guess its no surprise.  So many people have commented over the years at how switched on Opeie is for a 4 year old and it is clear to see the impact mine and Mrs M's way of educating is having on his development, especially his emotional development.

The great thing about the newspaper aside from the literacy and numeracy side of things is the confidence that is building up and the pride he has in his work. Opeie is so excited about what he has achieved that he wants to show everyone that visits the house. Which has now got me thinking about an extension for this fun activity, so watch this space.

As we finished off our final page (the sports section) a few days back, I was so proud of Opeie's sentence 'we did exercise at the park' the letters were clear, the same size and he wrote confidently in a straight line. It was a great end to the first edition of Happy times...

and now our excited mini journalist is eager to get the ball rolling on issue 2, stay tuned!


Rebecca Beesley said...

He is doing brilliantly! What an amazing job you are doing. Well done Opeie. I don't like reading the papers because of all the bad news usually in them but I'd definitely buy your newspaper x

GiftsFromThePirates said...

thanks for the comment, I'm still going through the 'am I doing enough' thought but I know he's doing well . I cant stand the news or the papers too, thats why I love him writing it so much.