Jessica turned 5 last month. Now that the term has started, she is officially compulsory school age. Not that that means anything really to us.
Here’s some of what she’s been learning while turning 5:
– planting seeds, where our food comes from, what seeds need to germinate, what seedlings need to grow, why the ones on the sunny windowsill upstairs are faring much better than the ones on the shady windowsill downstairs, variation in different plants, lead size etc, the way the root grows downwards and stem upwards (or not, in the case of Amy’s marrow seed that she planted upside down), what happens when they outgrow their tiny pots, the difference between vegetables and fruits and examples from our own plants;
– where meat and other foods come from, including in Minecraft, killing cows and sheep to get meat and collecting eggs from chickens, watching the crops change the colours of the fields (real fields, not Minecraft fields), leading to discussions about wheat and oats and oil etc;
– diets and nutrients, with growing awareness of mummy’s vegetarian diet, fruit and vitamins necessary when you’re ill, to make your body better, plus the need for sleep, rest and water;
– vocabulary, eg male and female, but probably loads more that I can’t think of off the top of my head;
– reading: she can read all our level 1 biff and chip books, and lots of the level 2 ones. She reads simple sentences written or made from cards. She reads words on buttons on games and apps, eg back, continue, save, exit, edit;
– writing: she writes messages on pictures and cards, wrote speech bubbles on a family picture (daddy says do you want to play football, everyone else says yes, and jess also says I love you Amy). She named her world on Minecraft “Jessicas world” ;
– maths: she practises by asking us – and asking us to ask her – addition and subtraction questions, including hundreds, crossing tens and crossing hundreds. She’s beginning to multiply, eg she asked Daddy, “What’s 10+10+10?”, and when he said 20, she said, “No, I said three the tens, not two!” She recognises relationships eg 2+3=5 so 20+30=50 and completed some workbook questions on this. She goes below zero when she asks something like 5 take away 10, and understands how minus numbers extend from zero. She knows half and quarter of shapes, eg toast. She tells the time to o’clock and half past and estimates time intervals well, estimates distances, measures accurately using a ruler, eg twilight sparkle barbie is 9 inches, the mini doll is 4 and a half inches.
– seasons – she keeps an eye on the weather getting warmer and sunnier, reads our outdoor thermometer, eg she read it at 19 degrees by going back one from 20. She spots blossom, flowers, bluebells, butterflies, bees, ladybirds and knows this is because summer is coming. She appreciates and notices that daylight length is longer now, evenings are lighter, the sun is shining when we wake up.
– personal: she now recognises when she needs quiet time or time alone, and she recognises body autonomy but also the need for hygeine, hairbrushing etc. She asked why we use toothpaste and understood it as similar to soap, to clean dirt and germs away. She understands how colds or other illnesses spread through touch or coughs and sneezes. She recognises that parts of her body are private and maintains her dignity, eg wanting to change into leotard in the toilets instead of in front of everyone else. She can see that practise, eg in gymnastics or on games, improves performance. She dresses herself completely now;
– social: she will answer qs from familiar and fairly unfamiliar (but friendly) adults and follows instructions from authority, eg gym coaches, sports teacher etc. She’s friendly with other children;
– science: she learnt about atoms and electrons from the kids’ program, Messy goes to Okido, and electric circuits, using our circuit wand and the effect of a break in the circuit. She has watched as birds collected sticks for nests, looked at the pigeon’s nest in next door’s tree, found two separate dead baby birds (on pavement and on decking in garden) and talked about how sometimes they fall out the nest, or try to fly before they’re ready, or sometimes seagulls steal them from nests. She has watched birds picking worms from the lawn, and lifted rocks and grow bags in the garden and watched the minibeasts, including centipedes, woodlice, worms, ants;
– sports: gymnastics is ongoing (trampolining, rolls and tumbles, jumps, bars), she achieved her level 8 badge. She also goes to athletics home ed group (javelin, long jump), does some balance practise on the balance beam in garden, and climbing, swinging etc at soft play centres;
She has also talked about saving up money to go to the toy shop. She knows that she can save some money each week if she only spends part of her pocket money and saves some instead. She’s beginning to learn about finances.
It’s a busy time in her life right now. So much to learn about. But I think she loves it.