December 18th

Def­i­nitely get­ting more in the Christ­mas spirit.

All wrap­ping now done and liv­ing room pre­pared for decorating.

Today’s colour­ing with a Frozen inspired carriage.

20141218_5Morn­ing was spent enjoy­ing time with a vis­it­ing friend while I took the oppor­tu­nity to crack on with Christ­mas prep.

After lunch we tidied up the toy cup­board and his book case.  Then Grandad arrived and we spent a pleas­ant hour with a jig­saw.20141218_10 After a short play with Jack it was time for Gang Show, an open rehearsal and small party.  After he got home we cud­dled down and read this lovely, if sad, book.20141218_15 Jack returned pleased to have won a prize in the raf­fle but not so pleased with the prize itself :)

20141218_16Pro­duc­tive yet relaxed day.  Back on form :)

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Dec 17th

20141217_23Finally get­ting the Christ­mas vibe.  Still cough­ing and not on top form but finally feel that the worst is over at last and we’re on the mend and we now sound far worse than any of us feel.

With the return of energy I cap­i­talised on it to start long over­due deep clean,  In the run up to Christ­mas I always do all the kitchen cup­boards empty and clean, defrost freezer and move all the liv­ing room fur­ni­ture to hoover behind (includ­ing emp­ty­ing and refill­ing every book­shelf and fil­ing a years worth of paper­work).  Only then does the tree go up.  Late this year, tree is due to go up Fri­day!  I sent Sam to my Dad’s for the morn­ing to play with him.  After the daily colour­ing of course.

20141217_10 I picked him up at lunch time and he spent an hour or so explor­ing Minecraft videos made by another home eder he knows, while I kept tidying.

20141217_11After help­ing fin­ish the tidy­ing we finally jumped on the band­wagon and watched Frozen.20141217_13Then we built a snow­man out of this kit.20141217_14 Have to say theirs is bet­ter :D Dry hands would have helped I think as when wet the colour ran.  20141217_16A lot!

Then we curled up and read this.20141217_20Evening went in snack­ing on the gin­ger­bread house and play­ing Uno.  Fol­lowed by an early night while we had a curry.



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Light and Colour

The term has not quite fiz­zled out com­pletely but aware if I don’t start record­ing our project work I am going to look back and think that it did.

Sci­ence was a fairly ‘light’ topic — ha!  What I mean is that we weren’t deal­ing with any­thing par­tic­u­larly new or dif­fi­cult.  More a hands on play­ing, rein­forc­ing ideas time.

We con­tinue to use the book The Way Sci­ence Works as our base.  Read­ing the con­tent and doing as many of the exper­i­ments as pos­si­ble.  We’re joined by friends for some of the exper­i­ments which helps keep it fun.

Not as many pho­tos as I’d like.  Explor­ing light involves using hands to hold torches and prisms etc and it’s hard to pho­to­graph torch beams in the dark.

We started off look­ing at reflec­tion and refrac­tion by play­ing with con­vex and con­cave lenses.

20141113_6   20141115_14 20141115_18

20141217_4We explored shad­ows with puppets.


Then we moved on to look­ing at how eyes and cam­eras work.

We explored opti­cal illu­sions with the tube to the eye, mak­ing a hole in the hand trick.   With plenty of time play­ing on here later.  Looked at how micro­scopes work.

20141125_22We built a tis­sue box cam­era to lim­ited suc­cess.
20141125_26We had another go with this Cam­era Obscura kit to more impres­sive results.

20141212_820141212_10We fin­ished with a look at colour.  We split light with a prism and did some chro­matog­ra­phy.

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Talk­ing about colours, rain­bows and the light spec­trum led to mak­ing a wal­dorf star.

20141212_28And colour mix­ing led on to these.  Cut 6 tri­an­gles from black card.  Cover 2 with blue cel­lo­phane, 2 with yel­low and 2 with red cel­lo­phane.  Com­bine the tri­an­gles to make stars.



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Dec 15th and 16th

If last week was about being ill and bat­ten­ing down the hatches, this week is about being bored of being ill and try­ing to carry on through it.  Unfor­tu­nately I feel worse in the mid­dle of the night and sleep is very dis­turbed, which is impact­ing on energy lev­els.  Man­aged to make it out both days though :).  Mon­day was just to the vil­lage for post­ing parcels and Guide chores.  Then Guides later.  Today was trip to Portsmouth for few last minute Christ­mas bits and lunch with Sam’s friend.  Bit too much really as totally exhausted now and chest and voice are raw.

20141215_2  20141216_30

Coun­tries looked at were Cat­alo­nia (ok not a coun­try) and Ireland.

Mon­day we filled in a scrap­book and sent our not-so-flat trav­eller Rudy home.  Before a scoot to the vil­lage.  The ‘advent’  activ­ity was a treat of some Christ­mas Lego while I prepped for Guides.

20141216_120141216_4Today’s activ­ity never hap­pened as we dropped in on friends for a short spell before head­ing off into town for shop­ping and lunch with other friends.  Home to play with Jack while I did last order­ing of Christ­mas stuff and a super­mar­ket shop.  Then rounded off the day with Cubs Christ­mas party.

Nice to see peo­ple again after a week of pretty much iso­la­tion.  Expect­ing we will need a slow day tomorrow!

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Dec 13th and 14th

Been another week­end shaped by ill­ness.  Jack and I were sup­posed to go to a school play on Sat­ur­day after­noon but I’d been up most of Fri­day night with a stom­ach bug and Sat­ur­day after­noon was spent nap­ping.  Me and both boys have bark­ing coughs and this after­noon Sam has gone down with ear ache. Relaxed Christ­massy prep just isn’t really happening.

We’ve done our advent colouring

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I’ve man­aged to pre­pare our ‘activ­i­ties’ but energy lev­els and enthu­si­asm are low.  They are things he’d nor­mally love — play­dough and fake snow.



We’ve kept up with Norad, our coun­try cal­en­dar (Swe­den and Poland) and read­ing from the Oxford Book of Christ­mas Poems.  All felt like an effort though :(

Look­ing for some­thing pos­i­tive to include, I’ve fin­ished sewing the Christ­mas presents.




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December 12th

Half way through advent!

20141212_3On the snow­man theme, yesterday’s crys­tals worked really well.

20141212_5He’s still keen on the Norad games but they are a bit rub­bish to be hon­est.  He only lasted a few min­utes before switch­ing to Timez Attack.

Coun­try of the day was Mex­ico.  Which led to story of the day being The Mir­a­cle of the First Poin­set­tia.  I love Bare­foot Books!20141212_31Activ­ity of the day was the Gin­ger­bread House.  I cheated and bought a kit this year.  Know my lim­i­ta­tions ;)  We’ll bake some gin­ger­bread men next week for nice gin­ger­bread fix.

20141212_620141212_720141212_20Rest of the day was spent pre­tend­ing to be a tortoise.

20141212_18Fin­ish­ing off this half term’s sci­ence project (sep­a­rate post to come).20141212_1120141212_23Then play­ing Xbox with Grandad while I braved the cold to run some errands.



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December 8th — 11th

Had a timely reminder of why we adopt a dif­fer­ent pace and rou­tine for our home edu­ca­tion dur­ing Decem­ber.  This week has been tor­pe­doed by ill­ness, ours and oth­ers.  Sam is actu­ally the fittest of the lot, sniffy and wheezy (now on chest) but okay in him­self.  Just a case of keep­ing him fairly wrapped up and watch­ing that wheezes don’t esca­late into infection/asthma.  Pete had it last week and is strug­gling to shake it off.  Jack is really suf­fer­ing and has been in and out of school.  Friends have also been ill and all social engage­ments for the week have been can­celled.  Prob­a­bly most dis­rup­tive to our plans though was I got knocked out for a day and a half.  Haven’t actu­ally felt too bad just bit headachy and sore throat­ish.  Legs have turned to jelly though, and spend most of yes­ter­day doz­ing on and off.  Quiet few days needed I think.

Our advent colouring

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Coun­try­wise we’ve looked at Aus­tralia, Argentina, Italy and Finland.


Norad games are still the high­light of the day.

Activ­i­ties are hav­ing to be adapted to fit with energy lev­els and who is around.

8th was Win­ter crafts includ­ing this lovely snow­man which I unfor­tu­nately stood on and trod puffy paint (pva and shav­ing foam — sticky!) everywhere.

20141208_329th we can­celled Sci­ence group but still man­aged some chro­matog­ra­phy to make ‘fairy lights’.

20141209_5 20141209_1120141211_1410th — I was in bed and Pete was in charge.  So they made cheese­cake.  Not Christ­massy but within Pete’s com­fort zone.

11th — More snow­men today but snow­man sci­ence.  We set up our crys­tal snow­man which is already growing.

20141211_8Then had a go at snow­man slime.  It didn’t work!


Sto­ries have been ‘The Grinch’, ‘The Christ­mas Truce’, Caspar’s Story and ‘Peter Rabbit’s Christmas’

20141211_11 Hap­pi­ness cal­en­dar, we’re keep­ing up with but I’ve lost track.

What did not make us happy was watch­ing the movie of ‘The Grinch’.  Not fans of Christ­mas movies here we don’t do over­long schmaltz.



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December 7th

Leisurely home day, pot­ter­ing, craft­ing and play­ing games.

Activ­ity Vil­lage calendar



Coun­try of the day was Ger­many.  Think there may be plans for bis­cuits as a result of reading.

We made a start on win­ter crafts for work this morn­ing.20141207_12 20141207_14

After­noon was spent play­ing Uno and doing quizzes snug­gled under a duvet before watch­ing a fam­ily film.

Then by can­dle light we worked on our activ­ity of the day…20141207_20Christ­mas cards.20141207_1920141207_23Then we snug­gled down and read poems by the fire.20141207_27Pretty per­fect pre-Christmas Sunday.

Happy thing was hot choco­late and a film.

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December 6th

Activ­ity Vil­lage cal­en­dar Day 6.

20141206_6Activ­ity of the day was a trip to the church fete for Santa and cakes. 20141207_120141207_220141207_4There was then some X-boxing while I went to set up my Dad’s inter­net con­nec­tion.  Leisurely fam­ily day fol­lowed (well after clean­ing bath­rooms and iron­ing).  Episode of Sher­lock, look­ing at our coun­try of the day Advent cal­en­dar (Nether­lands) and Christ­mas sto­ries.  Since it was St Nicholas Day we read the story of St Nicholas.


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December 5th

Activ­ity Vil­lage day 5.20141205_1 20141205_34Activ­ity of the day was bak­ing.  Lemon cin­na­mon stars — yum.

20141205_820141205_12We also made Mal­tese Honey Rings, he got the idea from Monday’s Project Britain cal­en­dar.  Edi­ble I sup­pose — very, very sweet.

20141205_14We caught up on the last few days of our round the world advent cal­en­dar.20141205_15Updated the count­down chart.20141205_32Our story came from the Usborne Christ­mas Trea­sury and was the Lit­tle Fir Tree,

20141205_35 We then had a scoot to the vil­lage for hook a duck, Punch and Judy, bouncy cas­tle and car­ols around the tree as the lights were switched on.  We love vil­lage life and not sur­pris­ing this was his happy thing of the day.

20141205_36 20141205_40 20141205_46P.s today’s Norad game was rather fun.  I’m just tipsy enough (Guiders Christ­mas meal fol­lowed be sev­eral glasses of wine) to be con­sid­er­ing a quick go myself now.

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