Side Street Style

A family lifestyle, interiors & travel blog


This HomeSchooling life

forest adventure

This is coming a few days later than usual as Baby G is going through a major developmental stage which has meant he has been keeping me up all night with waking every 30-45mins so this week has meant energy levels have not been as high as normal. But saying that we have still had a lot of fun and have been embracing every dry day thrown at us and keeping cosy indoors doing crafts on those rainy days.

As this is the first HomeSchooling update post of the year I thought I would talk more about what we hope to achieve this year especially as we had a sort of break over the festive period from the more formal learning to just enjoying baking, making and seeing friends and family.

So what do we have install for Mr A this year?

1. He is at the age now that introducing some sports as well as learning key skills such as swimming is very much on the agenda. He already does bouldering which he has made some great improvement in over the past few months and have just enrolled him into Judo lessons, a sport I did for many years growing up and it's great for body co-ordination, thinking ahead, spacial awareness and discipline.

2. This is also the year we are going to be encouraging Mr A to learn and improve his reading skills as we have already done a fair amount of Phonics groundwork and feel he is ready to take the next step. His math skills are great and comes fairly naturally to him and really enjoys learning about Geography, History and Science.

3. Continue our love and connection with nature - we do a lot of natural outdoor learning and find it the perfect setting for so many activities. We have been visiting a local community allotment once a month but want to increase that to every fortnight to help out. I also help to do some Forest Schooling training this year which should provide some more fantastic ideas for learning outside.

4. Be more structured but self guided - we want Mr A to choose his own interests and our projects will always include these but we want a little bit more structure in the home in terms of groups we attend and weekly sports as well as bedtime routine which has changed since the baby came along but now we are more settled as a family of four we want to settle but into a little bit more structure.

5. Include Baby G into basic craft sessions and our learning routine as he is going to be turning 1 soon - cannot believe how quickly this has flown by and he is into everything at the moment and learning so much about the world around him

Cone men
Our paper Christmas craft cone men.

Reflections on last year

We have so many highlights, memories and learning curves we came across in 2015, it was a big year for us, going from a family of three to a family of four and everything that brings with it. Before Baby G arrived we all had our roles, we knew where we stood but then our routine and everything else went out the window but for the best reason ever as it's wonderful seeing Mr A interact and form a close bond with his younger brother.

Friendship are so important to all and for the past year and a half we have increased our social circle so much through the groups we attend 2-3 times a week. Mr A has a fantastic group of friends whom he sees multiple times a week and we have no worries about him getting enough playtime or interaction with children his own age.

Mr A really enjoyed exploring and having adventures outdoors as well as travelling and embracing new cultures, luckily we have been in the situation to visit new places including a great trip to the Netherlands during the summer last year where we discovered the country by train. We cannot wait to see what adventures are ahead of us in 2016.

Natural childhood

Our last adventure of 2016

Just before the New years we had a break in the rain for a day and decided to head to Cosmeston Medieval Village as Mr A had been given a shield and sword for Christmas and has a real interest in history and thought this hands on approach would be a great way to spend the day. Also Cosmeston Country Park is a fantastic place for bird watching as well as feeding the swans and ducks.


We picked up a self guided phone which Mr A listen to the whole way round the village, which is a restored village more than 600 years old and consist of a herb garden, bakery, pig yard, Reeves cottage, Barn and Village Green. It's a really interesting place and the scale of it makes is perfect for young kids to get a real feel for what it was like in those times. 

After we had explored the village we enjoyed a picnic before taking a walk through the reeds of the country park spotting the Mallards on the lake as well as picking up some bird seeds for the swans. We put together a little vlog about our adventure...check it out

If you home Educate why not come and join in with out monthly This HomeSchooling Life linky - it opens the first Monday of each month.

An InLinkz Link-up


  1. My children are too old for it now, but Belle would have LOVED to have been home educated. Even at 13 she hates going to school, and says she misses me during the day. I have a huge about of respect for you because I just don't think I'd have the patience for it. Finances have been what have ultimately held me back though as I have always been the main breadwinner. I hope 2016 brings lots of adventures!

  2. Good luck with your intentions for this year and I hope it all goes to plan. It looks like you had fun at the village,

  3. What lovely pictures and great plans. As an ex-teacher I have always been fascinated by home schooling so it's great to get an insight through your blog x

  4. Lovely post and pictures! I have a friend who was home-educated and they loved it, although it does look challenging at times! x

  5. Lovely photos and such a sweet video, good luck with your 2016 plans and Happy New Year! x

  6. Such a cute little video! Lovely to hear you're planning some Forest School training too. Frog did Forest School at pre-school and in her first year of school last year and absolutely loved it. It's such a great way to get children to do things they might not otherwise do outside. x

  7. Cosmeston Park is a beautiful place. How do you have the energy for home schooling? I would worry that my child was missing out somewhere if I didn't have that knowledge in a certain area, but I would certain consider it if i had another child.

  8. I'm always so interested in home schooling and what is involved, it fascinates me! I work for a company that design and create resources for early years settings etc and we have a big home school following too. Beautiful photos! :)

  9. What a lovely post, and great goals for the year ahead. You seems to have a good balance between indoor and outdoor activities.
    Sorry you've had a rough few nights - it's awful when you're trying to get on with things while sleep deprived.
    Alana x

  10. It sounds like you have lots planned - I hope you have fun doing it as well as learning :)

  11. Good luck for 2016. I don't hear much about homeschooling over here, is it more popular in America ? x

  12. I really admire you for homeschooling. I wish I had the patience for it, but I fear there would be lots of clashes around what needed to be done. It sounds like you have the perfect approach and are going to have a great year ahead

  13. I love your approach - I would love, in my head, to home school, but I think in reality for us it would be very different! Kaz x

  14. Love the look of your day out - love that kind of place.

  15. It sounds like you had a great 2015 and your plans for 2016 sound great too! x

  16. Love the video Laura, so doesn't look like you have been up half the night! I always think days out are the best way to learn, looks like science and history in this trip and plenty of outdoor fun. Thank you for sharing on #CountryKids

  17. He looks like he had a great time, and what a fascinating place. I have never heard of anything like that before. Great photos. #CountryKids


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