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  • Writer's pictureAnika

Top 3 things to try with the kids over half term

I don't know about you, but home schooling seems to be getting harder. Rather than getting through the work quickly and with the minimal amount of tantrums, we seem to be dragging out what needs to be done over the WHOLE DAY.... Not every day, of course, but certainly more often than in the early weeks. And those days are exhausting! So, what to do?

I made a pact with myself to not fall out with my children over school work. All our mental wellbeing and closeness is more important in the long run. So on some days, we fall behind and catch up over the course of the week. On other days we try different tactics to help break the work up - like working in short 20 minute bursts and setting a challenge to see whether we can get the English or Maths task done in that time (my son loves a challenge!). And on others still, I try to pay more attention to what my children enjoy. In the process I have learnt so much more about them - not just what they seem to be naturally good at or drawn to, but also what times of the day they are particularly focussed or easily distracted.

And the things that my son keeps coming back to are cooking and taking videos or photos. He loves mixing and trying different ingredients and making special treats for everyone to try. Over the past weeks there has been lots of trial and error to understand how sweet, sour and spicy flavours can work together and what types of food provide those flavours. He also loves capturing the world from his point of view, be that through video or photos. Below are three idea for you to try over the half term together:

Joshua's super garlicky Garlic Mayo

3-4 tbsp of mayonnaise

2 cloves of garlic (yes, this is super garlicky!) chopped or pressed

1 tbsp of capers, chopped in half

Mix everything together and serve with hot, salty chips :-) See the video below explaining how he did it.

Making your own video

I have let Josh borrow my phone every now and then to go off and make his own videos - he has been doing some of this for school (tasks included things like record yourself reading a letter to your class, or make your own exercise video), and he enjoys doing these, but when given free reign, it results in some heartwarmingly funny videos. I guess for him it is all about experimenting what you sound/ look like on video and how this might be different from what you expect (and how you hear yourself). It also seems to give him a chance to capture and play back stuff that happens too quickly to see with the naked eye - like holding on to the camera while doing a forward flip on the trampoline. Then playing back how the whole world spins by, gives him huge amounts of pleasure. And the commentary that he provides is priceless...

Taking some stunning pictures

Again, borrowing my phone, Josh has been out in the garden taking some beautiful pictures - capturing the world from his angle and interests rather than that of an adult. It is a wonderful glimpse into his world. Pictures range from worms, close ups of flower petals, seemingly abstract images of the sky, clouds and rainbows made by the sprinkler; or his Lego figures and cars.

I hope you all get a chance to rest, recharge and reconnect over the half term week. And that the sun shining means that you get a chance to have a BBQ and try the super garlicky Mayo with some chips. Here is a video of Josh explaining how he made it :-)

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