As I reflect back over our year, I'm realising that while we didn't cover everything I had planned, there were quite a few success stories.
We're still working on the times tables, and spelling is still a slight problem, but one thing my children can do, is to name every single king and queen of England from William the Conqueror to Queen Elizabeth II.
Impressive? I think so! And it's all thanks to the 'Horrible Histories' show, produced by the BBC. They created a song, which lists all the kings and queens, and my youngest three sat down one day, wrote down all the names, and memorised the song!
Who would've thought a silly show could actually be so educational? A few years ago, I would never have considered using such a show as part of our curriculum, but through watching it this year, they've learned stacks! And, it is so funny; and yet, it offers some amazingly accurate information.
While I wouldn't recommend it as your only history curriculum, the show certainly does a good job of bringing history to life, and making history way more interesting. After hurting my back earlier in the year, it became a ritual for a time - gathering in the lounge at 6.30pm for our daily dose of the hilarious history show.
We love the show so much that I've just bought the DVDs of the first two seasons. I wondered what the reaction would be when they arrived - and when I picked them up today, the children responded with a loud 'yippee!'. Yep, we're hooked! Haven't seen my children for some time now - still in from of the TV, no doubt....
A warning, though, if you decide to purchase the DVDs, buy the ones that are produced by the BBC - apparently, there is also a cartoon version out, which is no where near as good - I haven't seen it, so that's purely hear-say. In any case, my opinion here reflects the BBC version (with real actors).
So there you have it - one success for the year, and one I never would have attempted in a dry, dull way - learning the names of the all the Kings and Queens of England, from William the Conqueror until now.