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‘Home School’ Category

  1. Bluestone Travels soon!

    October 10, 2019 by rachy

    In a few weeks we’re off to Bluestone Wales again for a few days and I can’t wait. It’s the best place in the world for our family. We have tried holidays abroad and in the UK and there’s only one place that we have found that really suits us. LT is just so happy and comfy there and that just makes a massive difference to us. His autism isn’t ever an issue when we’re there as the staff will try to accommodate him/us in all ways possible, from them warning us where the sounds, effects and people will come from during the dinner shows to sitting and talking to him, on end, about which ever topic he is currently waxing lyrical on. 

    We have gotten our packing down to an art…. sort of abstract and messy! Every time we go, we pack too much and have an awesome game of car tetris before we go. I always try not to pack so much but it’s rare that we don’t use the stuff we bring. It’s like having home away from home with the right level of comfort. 


    One thing I like about going to Bluestone is that even though there is wifi, we don’t use it much. For a family of gamers and an adult who uses social media far too much, the basic wifi gives a good break from screen time and social stuff. Which is great, I have a love hate relationship with social media, it’s like car crash telly, you can’t look away but you know you should. The break I get from it there gives me a wonderful mental health break.


    Since starting home schooling we’ve done learning in many different way. This time Bluestone is going to be an educational holiday. We’ve booked in lots of activities for LT to do, mostly Christmas themed ones. We love the dinner and shows they put on and since they built the new Seren Dome we are going to get to enjoy a show there too this time. We’ve got a golf cart booked too which is always fun. We will be taking some of our school things with us and will be looking at some nature studies things too while we’re there, down in the woods etc. There’s also awesome things down there in different areas that have bug hotels, plus an enormous lake with lots of ducks who, given the chance will come into your lodge. Then, there’s the squirrels. They are amazing. They will come right up to you, especially if you’ve got some healthy snacks for them! (Which I double checked was ok to do!)


    We get a whole lot more exercise when we go there too, we walk for miles through the woods and around the grounds. We swim most days, since people staying at Bluestone get sole use of the Blue Lagoon pool from something like 9:30-12:00 before the public can come in, and we take the time to play outdoor games like Boule and badminton. Last time there was a wonderful breeze so we flew a kite behind our lodge several times which was fantastic.


    I think one of the best past of Bluestone is the staff. From booking to enquiries to the ladies and gents working within the grounds doing one of the many MANY jobs, everyone is so lovely. Nothing is too much trouble and the people who talk to you are never anything but professional, lovely and kind. 


    All in all, we can’t wait to go. And Bluestone do something mean, when it gets to 6 weeks before they start messaging you saying “Plan your stay!” Dude! I’ve had my stay planned since day one. If I had my way we would already be packed. And in the coming weeks I am going to get SO bouncy. Poor WT has a lot to deal with on the journey there too because the closer we get and the more signs we see the bouncier and more excited I become…. oh and LT is excited too of course. hehe. 


    So, we’re off on our hols in the not too distant future. And we are very ready for it!

    (This is not a sponsored post, we  just love it there!)

    Ohhh Ohhh! And! If you sign up for their news letter they will let you know when their “early bird” special happens, where you can get 20% off your 3/4 night stays. Plus they show you all sorts of interesting things on their face book page! Go check them out if you want a relaxing, exciting, wonderful holiday. (They do couples hols and family ones, plus they have a spa!!!)

  2. A full month?!

    October 5, 2019 by rachy

    We are not beyond a month into our home school journey. It’s been eye opening. And for the most part in a good way. LT and I are enjoying our topics that we work on together and he’s enjoying the freedom home school gives him.  We are gradually getting into a good rhythm with home school and it’s refreshing.


    So far we have had day trips, shopping trips where he’s had a clip board to note down costs of things, we’ve read books, coloured, crafted and generally tried our hands at a lot of things.

    The difference in LT is amazing. His anxiety is WAY low and it’s wonderful.


    I haven’t really got a big HS update for you. There’s been no miraculous thing happened. It’s just going well. One thing we have noticed is that LT’s handwriting is improving which is fantastic.


    We’ve got a lot of hosp and docs apts at the moment for LT. Some physio ones and some others. Were he in school that would just mean he was out of action and absent for the day. But not with HS!


    Randomly I signed up for a Savvy Circle test for a Flash mop. And I got in! So we shall see how sparkly and nice my floors are in the coming weeks!

  3. Interesting Title

    September 11, 2019 by rachy

    Day two of HS! Still haven’t lost our rag with each other. Two days is a long time sometimes. But today has been another good day. LT wasn’t very well this morning and had he still been in mainstream school still he would have either not gone in and been sent home or gone in and not had a productive day at all, or worse I could have kept him off and we would have both had a not very good day. Where as because we are at home, we are able to work but at a slower pace, and if he needs to take a break or rest we can. 

    So today we did a lot of work on number and letter formation and looked at multiplying with decimal points. I love how clever he can be and how quickly he can pick things up. It gives me a thrill when I ask him a question and I don’t expect an answer or at least not the correct one only to find that he knows and is able to explain it to me in detail. It’s great! What could have been a very unproductive day turned into a relaxed day of learning. In the afternoon we started our book, one of my faves that I read when I was in year 5 of the juniors (Which is where LT would be if he were in mainstream now.) The book is “Carrie’s War” written by Nina Bawden. And the copy we are reading is one I bought at the summer fayre at my J&I school many years ago for 50p. It’s last stamp from the school library was from 1980. It’s a lovely version of the book with a deep red cover and slightly yellowed pages. It brings back such lovely memories for me. 


    Carrie’s war is the story of a mother going back to Wales decades after having been an evacuee sent there during WW2. It tells of her life and adventures and is full of heart felt relationships and mystery. I honestly just love this one. So this is the book we will be reading “in class.” LT enjoyed the first chapter an answered some questions in his writing book about it afterwards, and I even managed to tie it in with one of his fave chars from another book, Paddington the Bear, who of course was given a “Please look after this bear” tag when he was sent to London.  I look forward to more chapters with him.


    Day three. Today is “Stitch and Bitch” day. I made a deal with LT that if he worked hard in the morning and got all the work done that I had set him in his books that he could have lunch at the a local cafe that he loves. And so while myself and the other “Bitches” sewed poppies that we have crocheted or knitted onto a giant camo net ready for poppy day in November, he got on with his work. He got it all done with half an hour to spare and had do it well. I was dead pleased with him and he was pleased with himself. It’s so nice to see him enjoying doing work and not being stressed and anxious. It may only be day three but it still feels like we made the right decision for him.


    We are at home now and I have been through is books and “marked” his work and it’s dead good stuff. He needs to put work into certain areas that have lapsed over the years but it’s good quality work. 


    Tomorrow we have SW first thing and then home before I take LT for a hair cut. Hair cuts are still a drama for him, he hates them, but he will let one lady do it begrudgingly. He’s going to do some work in the morning while I do the till at SW and then we’re going to have a walk to get a little gentle exercise. Before we go for his haircut. Then in the afternoon we’re going to look further at Carrie’s War before we start out topic, which he still doesn’t know what it is. It’s all new but exciting and very fun. We’re also going to squeeze in some lessons of Italian language tomorrow too which I am very much looking forward to.


    I have decided that we are going to turn our holidays to Bluestone into educational holidays. Where he can make and do in the woods and do soooo many activities that we’ll be exhausted. He loves it there so much and we can’t wait!


    See you around!

  4. A new adventure?

    September 9, 2019 by rachy

    It’s been a very long time since I last wrong on here and a lot of things have changed since then. Last week all the kids went back to school at the end of the Summer holidays. LT did not. We came to the decision that we were going to home school LT from this year to see if we can help him. Over the last couple of years we’ve realised that as good or bad as his mainstream school is, they aren’t able to give him the care that we know he needs. So we have taken it upon ourselves to give him that care. It’s a big undertaking and it’s very scary, but we have no doubt that it’s the right thing to do.

    So we gave LT an extra few days off once the other kids went back to school so that we could make the distinction between in school and home school and this morning LT and I have started out and are taking things one step at a time. I do intend to keep a record of things that we do on a daily basis for our personal records. But I also intend to try and keep a record on here too. I am hoping that I can share with you guys the ups and downs of what we’re doing. I am positive it’s going to be a roller-coaster, but roller-coasters can be fun!

    We are starting with some basics today, checking what sort of things he needs to have extra help with and then this afternoon we’re going to do some creative activities.

    This morning was so different to how school mornings have been for the last few years. I am so used to LT waking up and saying “mummmmmy…. do I have to go to school today?” and then having the battle to get him there, then worrying all day about whether he’s had a good day or not. Whether he’s been productive and happy. LT coped with school, which isn’t something I ever wanted. I wanted him to enjoy school and to thrive there. But it just wasn’t to be. This morning as I lay in bed just before 7am reading through emails and things on my phone I am greeted with a cheery “Good morning mummy!” as he climbs into my bed and asks “What English work are we doing?” “You’ll find out when we go downstairs, don’t worry love.” “Oh I’m not worried, just interested.” And off he went to have half an hour playing on his tablet before he got up and got dressed and was ready to start our day. Taking that pressure off, removing the uniform and the “we need to leave at X time” and so many other things has already made a massive difference to him and us. This has been such a lovely relaxed summer holidays for us because LT hasn’t been half as stressed about the prospect of returning to school.

    On Friday last week we went for a day trip to Tenby. Just a day out us three. And it was bloody lovely. We had cockles on a bench, sat and watched the sea. Walked down onto the beach and in to the cave before we threw rocks in the sea and collected treasure to bring home (shells and rocks!) It was so quiet there compared to when we visit during the school holidays which was wonderful. LT does not cope well with school trips, busy days out etc. So if we’re able to go places when there are fewer people there then that is awesome. We visited a Tudor Merchant’s house owned by the National Trust whilst in Tenby and it was lovely. It was busy but not overwhelming. And was a good example of the types of day trips we will enjoy doing with LT in the future. It’s the same for going on holiday. Every year we go to Bluestone over in Pembrokeshire at least once. It’s our fave place. LT can be at home away from home, he is content there in the wide open spaces and sometimes takes his ear defenders off, which if you know him, you will know is a very rare thing out of the house. This year we have been lucky enough to go twice and, thanks to my parents, we will be going again in the not too distant future. We will be going when it’s much quieter than usual, when he can do activities and have fun and not be concerned about the noise or how many other children there are. And, as ever it will be wonderful. And we honestly can’t wait.

    So this is week one, and although it may not all be smooth sailing, I am excited for what is to come and I think LT is too. He is happier in himself, his mental health is so much better and therefore mine is too! Watch this space for new posts…. I hope!