A week in the life of a British homeschooling family – Thursday

This week I’m blogging every day about our homeschooling life.

I had hoped that after yesterday’s craziness we would have a peaceful day today. I think I under-estimated the implications of having to be at a theatre 50 miles away, bang in the middle of evening rush hour.


At 10:15 we leave to meet friends for a beautiful walk on Wimbledon Common.


Sticks – useful props for playing “Lord of the Rings”
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We eat lunch alongside Wimbledon Common’s famous Wombles. Did you watch the Wombles when you were a kid? I had a Wombles birthday party in 1975!


We arrive home. I manage to resist trying to shoehorn any maths into the gap in our schedule.


C(10) goes to a monthly book group led by an experienced homeschooling mum. Before each meeting, Kate sends out an inspiring list of related project ideas.

Last month’s book was Stay Where You Are And Then Leave, a fictional account of a young boy growing up during World War I. For her project, C(10) created an imaginary newspaper page celebrating the end of the war.

private peaceful 1

For this month’s book, Private Peaceful,  C(10) wrote a poem from the point of view of a member of a firing squad, having to execute his fellow soldier.

Back at the start of the twentieth century, little was understood about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Many soldiers suffering from PTSD were shot for “cowardice”.


A young man walks towards me

he takes his final step

his eyes clouded with fear

his shoulders heavy with dread.


His eyes look down to the damp ground

he knows his life is done

and all I can think about is

what we have become


We’re monsters in human form

about to take a life

to end his troubles

his thoughts and worries

to shoot away his strife.


My kindly thoughts don’t save me

as the weapon kicks

I turn my head away

and moisten my dry lips.


The man collapses to the ground

I look at him with sorrow

I wonder though deep inside

Would I do the same tomorrow?


The poem made me cry.


Kate also organises field trips. Tonight’s theatre production is a powerful one-man performance. The actor has one prop – a bed, which cleverly turns into the barbed wire of no man’s land.


The play ends differently from the book, which gives rise to interesting discussions on the way home and an e-mail discussion among members of the book group. (J(9) is still rather cross about the ending.)



We arrive home.

Tomorrow, we are really going to have a quiet day!




For more Week in my Life, see Monday, TuesdayWednesday and Friday.

And see a Week in my Life 2013, when I was homeschooling an 8-year-old and a 9-year-old.

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8 thoughts on “A week in the life of a British homeschooling family – Thursday

    1. Ooh did you, Jessy? I shall be over to check out your day-in-the-life as soon as my crazy weekend is over! Thanks for letting me know. I hope you’re having a lovely weekend.

  1. That’s a very powerful poem that C(10) has written! It’s really good! Your book club sounds like a fantastic one. Ours has fallen away due to various reasons but perhaps that gives rise to other opportunities… we shall see. It’s been another long day for you guys but it certainly looks like a very good one. Hope you have a good weekend!

    1. Thank you, Hwee – I shall pass on your kind words to C. 🙂 That’s a shame about your book club, but as you say, when one door closes sometimes an even better one opens!

  2. I always find it interesting how books are changed when they are made into plays or movies, it really can be a drastic change, and I’d be with the kids who were upset at the big change.

    1. Yeah it was a really interesting change, Ticia. Without wishing to give any Private Peaceful spoilers, it didn’t change the theme of the book but it did change the meaning of the characters quite profoundly, in my opinion. Still – all good thought-provoking stuff I guess.

    1. Thank you – I’ll pass on your nice comment to C. Yes I’d quite like to go to a book group like that too! Still, at least I get to piggy-back on C’s. 🙂

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