Tuesday 28 July 2020

Our Home Education Sports Day

On Friday (24th of July) it was the end of 'year 9' for Spud, and so we had a fun/sports day to end the academic year. We have been home educating now for over 2 years, so we're a bit different from all the homeschoolers who are home-schooling during the current situation. The difference between our home education journey and those who are homeschooling at the moment is that I chose to elective home educate Spud, whereas others have been forced into this home-schooling because of the situation.

Tin Can Alley

Our home education journey sees me having to plan all of Spud's work, unlike most parents who are homeschooling right now, who have been given access to online learning platforms, or who have not only been sent worksheets but also whole lesson plans to work with. I have to pay or use free resources for our lessons, so I then spend time searching for free printable math worksheets and so on. Nothing is handed to us on a plate for us home-educated families.

Due to the current situation, a lot of our usual home education activities have been put on hold, including our sports activities, and even a walk around a park or a play in a play park is different these days. We have not been brave enough to venture to a play park, or return to activities that are back open. I have asthma and with Spud's Autism and other disabilities we are being super careful with where we go and what we do. Not wanting to miss out on fun, we have been doing lots of different activities at home, and this included a Sports Day at home alone - whereas usually we would be joined by my sister and her two children (my nephews - Spud's cousins) who also home educate.

The great thing about home education is there is no curriculum or rules to follow, and that covers everything - including sports. At school, you may have a term of rugby, or basketball, but with home education, our physical education activities or 'lessons' (before this situation came along!) which happen 2-3 times a week could be anything from horse riding, swimming or a trampoline park and lots more!

We started off our fun day with a family-friendly movie which Spud picked - Justice League. We didn't have any usual movie snacks such as popcorn and sweeties as we had a cooked breakfast just before the movie! We rarely have time for a cooked breakfast, so it was nice to have a change from our usual cereal or toast breakfast. Once the movie had finished, I said to Spud that he can play his gaming console for a while whilst I set up a surprise for him.

A home education sports day set up showing the different activities.

We fortunately have a big garden, giving us the space we need to do different activities. I set up little challenges using Play Balls, a Hula-Hoop, Juggling Balls (1 has disappeared somehow!) Tin Can Alley, Bowling, Diving Rings (used for swimming!), Play Cones, Egg and Spoons, and an Inflatable Football. 

Playing Tin Can Alley.

Our Tin Can Alley game comes with 10 different tins, each scored with a point mark between 1-10 and three different coloured mini bean bags (green, red and yellow). Spud has Autism, a Learning Disability and Sensory Processing Disorder and this is one of his favourite games to play. You can play the game in two different ways but we usually play the traditional way, however we do use the bean bags for other activities too like the activity below.

Using diving rings for a fun activity.

I purchased the diving rings above from Home Bargains for £1.99, the set contains four different coloured rings, each marked with a number between 1-4. I used these as a 'score' game.

Using diving rings as a garden activity.

We used the bean bags from Tin Can Alley and the two juggling balls to throw them into the circles to score points. The ring furthest away was the highest marked ring (4), with the ring closest to Spud the lowest marked ring (1).

Hula Hoop Jumping!

Spud loves little games and challenges, so I set him up his very own challenge. He had to jump from the path, into the hula-hoop, do 5 spins of the hula-hoop (none of us can hula hoop!) and then hop on his left foot to the next part of the challenge.


We had lots of giggles between us trying to hula-hoop. I have tried (unsuccessfully) to hula-hoop for years, and never once have I mastered it! What is weird, is how on the Wii Fit, I have the highest hula-hoop score! Give me a proper hula-hoop though and I get the lowest, every single time - zero! 

Spud using the kids juggling balls!

After the hula-hooping activity, Spud had to hop on his left leg to the juggling balls. The juggling balls have always been put back in their box, but mysteriously there was only two of the three balls in the box, so juggling with two balls it was!

Hopping to the play balls.

Once the juggling was done, Spud had to hop on his right foot to the washing up bowl (a new one used just for activities) full of different coloured play balls which I picked up from Facebook market place for just £2! I do love a bargain, and I didn't want to buy play balls brand new as I know they will not really be used much. Once I am finished with them, I will most probably re-sell them back on for £2 (there is a big bag full and not just the ones pictured!).

Play ball activity.

 For the next challenge, Spud had to find the smiley face play ball that was hidden in a tub full of balls within 10 seconds, which he done by tipping the bowl upside down! To be fair, I didn't give any instructions or rules, so he technically did find the ball within 10 seconds haha! Although I visualised it happening differently, it was all fun, and done within 3 seconds ha!

My smiley boy with the smiley face ball, and in the background you can see the balls on the floor. I love his way of thinking, it won him the task after all!

Plastic egg and spoon race.

Now, usually, Egg and Spoon races are done with a number of 'racers'. However due to the situation, it was just us, so we just raced and done single races timing us and just having some fun. There were no targets to be met - and what Spud didn't know was, I wasn't actually keeping a track of anything, it was all about fun, and just trying our best!

Egg and spoon race!

Next up was the football 'challenge', Spud had to dribble an inflatable football through and around cones. Spud doesn't have much interest in football but he's not the worse at it. Spud can struggle with balance and when in school, he always felt pressure to do such task, but with me (mum) and our home education journey - he knows there is no pressure, as long as he tries, he makes me the proudest.

Kids cones and a football.

The cones which I picked up from Home Bargains for a few pounds, were then used in a different activity (below), along with the diving rings which I also picked up from Home Bargains. The aim was to get a diving ring around the cones, with each cone scoring a different 'point' (I wasn't noting down points!).

We soon discovered one cone wouldn't bear the weight of the diving ring, so we doubled them up, and even tripled two up, unfortunately the diving rings were a little too heavy for the cones to bear the weight of, but it was all fun trying. Spud did successfully get a few on the cones, but most of the time the cones would just tip with the weight. 

Kids bowling set.

The last activity was bowling, however the wind just wasn't on our side, we couldn't keep the skittles up for longer then 10 seconds at a time. It wasn't all bad though as it did make us both giggle, every time I reset the 'task', and turn my back to walk away, a skittle or all 10 would fall down with the breeze!

One World Play Project Ultra-Durable Football.

When all the games and challenges were done, Spud took me by total surprise and asked if he could play football with Gareth! Of course, the pooch can't miss out on any attention, especially when it involves a ball so he got involved too. I did end up putting the dog inside as poor Spud and Gareth couldn't play football properly with the dog in the way!

Spud eventually had enough and wanted to go back inside, but not before he was given an end of term gift, and a gift for doing amazing at 'Sports Day!', Gareth feeling extra proud surprise gifted him £20 (I wasn't even aware that was coming!), whilst I gifted Spud a bag of his favourite sweets!

It may have been our quietest sports event ever, but it was special. Memories were made, and when the world returns to normal, we can make up for all the events missed with our home ed family and friends.

Until next time,
Jada x


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