Music 14/15

How do you go about teach­ing some­thing like music is one of the com­mon ques­tions addressed to home edu­ca­tors.  The accepted answer (unless you are par­tic­u­larly musi­cal) seems to be to join a group class and/or have instru­ment lessons.

I have been try­ing to inter­est Sam in these for years and fail­ing.  One of the local home ed groups runs group lessons and I know a few piano tutors so could set some­thing in place eas­ily but he flatly refuses.

Been feel­ing guilty about fail­ing in this area.  But have decided no more.  Play­ing an instru­ment has to be self moti­vated.  We have a piano that Pete and Jack play quite reg­u­larly, gui­tars both elec­tric and acoustic that he also sees oth­ers play and until recently when I decided to end the guilt, a big box of per­cus­sion instru­ments and recorders.  The car­rot is dan­gling there in front of him but if he doesn’t want to bite then I’m not going to use a stick.

The rea­son I adopt a more struc­tured approach to home edu­ca­tion is that I believe that there are some things that chil­dren need to learn to be able to have the max­i­mum oppor­tu­ni­ties in adult life and I don’t have the faith that they will pick it all up by inter­est alone — but they are mainly reading/writing/maths/economics/politics.  Music for all but a select few really tal­ented, moti­vated indi­vid­u­als is a hobby some­thing they play and lis­ten to for fun and some­thing they can func­tion quite hap­pily through life with­out any major knowl­edge of.

Our music study then for this year is focused on enjoy­ment of music and basic gen­eral knowl­edge (recog­nis­ing instru­ments and com­posers).  I don’t plan to allo­cate much, if any, time to it specif­i­cally but let it slot in.

  1. Com­po­si­tion:  aim is just play­ing and hav­ing fun.  May work in the odd bit to project work, prob­a­bly using the chime bars he wanted to keep when we got rid of the rest of the instru­ments.  But really plan is to make sure the elec­tronic pro­grammes he likes to play with are eas­ily acces­si­ble and we remem­ber to use them to help fill in those spare moments. They also tend to be social activ­i­ties, some­thing the males of the house like to indulge in on a weekend/evenings.  We have an app on the iPad Garage­band and his other favourite is Incred­i­box.  Sure we will add more over the year.
  2. Instru­ment!  As soon as I decide to stop stress­ing he decides to take up the ukulele.  I expect the idea of it being him and a book with no teacher swung it.  We will have to see how long inter­est is main­tained.  We’ll keep going as long as he’s actively want­ing to.20140714_120140826_8
  3. Being able to recog­nise instru­ments.  Every year (Sam was 2 months old first time) we attend a children’s orches­tral con­cert in Jan — just checked and date has been announced for 2015 so am happy.  We also take other oppor­tu­ni­ties that fall our way to get out and hear/see live music.  We are booked to see a show in Oct (although in the cin­ema) by BBC’s Ten Pieces Orches­tra.  In the run up to these out­ings we usu­ally glance through Usborne’s Intro­duc­tion to Music to famil­iarise our­selves with the instruments/layout although by now he is pretty good.
  4. New for this year and some­thing sadly lack­ing from my own music edu­ca­tion, is I would like him to be famil­iar with some of the most famous pieces of clas­si­cal music and to have a feel­ing of type of music by a com­poser.  We will be using the book Lives of the Musi­cians to intro­duce the lives of the com­posers.  We will look at one per half term.  We will record details about the com­poser on an index card to add to our time­line box.  We will then over the six weeks or so of the half term play music by the com­poser in the back­ground when we are hav­ing quiet spells, craft­ing, lego etc and pos­si­bly depend­ing on Sam (some peo­ple say music helps con­cen­tra­tion) while he is work­ing.20140826_7 Have also come across this cd.  Dread to think how long it has sat here neglected.  One to add to the lis­ten­ing pile in the post Christ­mas, bleak weather term.  20140826_15
Posted in Curriculum, Music | Leave a comment

The Promise of Things to Come

I love this time of year.

Sum­mer always feels like a trial with the hayfever, the head to toe eczema, the wheez­ing, the insect bites (that we react badly to and end up cov­ered in hor­ri­ble boil like spots), the crowds, the sur­viv­ing on 4 hrs sleep on a good night, the food debates as every­one lacks appetite and no one can cope with being in our kitchen for more than 5 mins spells as it turns into an oven in the after­noon sun, the heat — have I ever men­tioned I HATE feel­ing hot.  Doesn’t help that the rest of the fam­ily suf­fer too so every­one is irri­ta­ble and snappy.  May — Aug is not a happy time in the Large household.

Sep­tem­ber, how­ever, is full of promise…

The cooler nights bring more rest­ful sleep and every­thing feels bet­ter when you get enough sleep.  I become a lot less irri­ta­ble and redis­cover my social gene (it still isn’t mas­sively active but it’s twitching ;))

There is a shift back to school rou­tine.  I love hav­ing both boys at home and just relax­ing and going with the flow but we are all ready for more rou­tine and catch­ing up with friends again.

There is a sense of fresh slates and new­ness — much more so than at the start of the cal­en­dar year.  Plans made over the last month or so start to be realised.  Shelves are full of new books and long for­got­ten ones sal­vaged from mid­dle of shelves as I declare this will be their year ;)  New sta­tionery has been pur­chased, no delay­ing the day by pen hunts for us this year (I have found a place to hide some from Jack as think he eats them!).

Have a new diary that is full of excit­ing trips and opportunities.

My kitchen is usable again and the fruits of the sea­son are wait­ing to be turned into pies and cakes.  It is the sea­son of soups, stews and fresh bread.

Welly shop­ping is needed, much pre­fer boots to san­dals and love walk­ing in the rain.

Being able to get out and about, air is breath­able, midges are gone, there are pud­dles to jump in and the chang­ing colours to watch.

Har­vest fes­ti­vals, Hal­loween, Bon­fire Night and Christ­mas lie just ahead — a crafting/baking frenzy.


And in cel­e­bra­tion, colours of early Autumn across the Alver Val­ley yesterday.

20140825_1 20140825_3 20140825_5 20140825_6 20140825_7 20140825_8 20140825_9 20140825_11 20140825_13 20140825_14 20140825_15 20140825_16 20140825_19 20140825_20 20140825_22 20140825_12




Posted in Musings | Tagged | Leave a comment

Science 14/15

Sci­ence is my home ed stum­bling block.  Not because I find it dif­fi­cult, just because it isn’t some­thing that seems to cap­ture either mine or Sam’s pas­sion the way His­tory for exam­ple does, so it is some­thing we need to make time for rather than some­thing that hap­pens naturally.

The other issue has been find­ing the right way for us to study it.  I believe very much on learn­ing sci­ence through hands on explo­ration, how­ever this approach is messy and time con­sum­ing and feels very bitty, we seem to have focussed on ‘wow ele­ment’ rather than the basic nuts and bolts.  But work­books for sci­ence just don’t feel right.

There­fore the plan is to take the book The Way Sci­ence Works and use this as a base for our stud­ies.  It cov­ers 6 topics;

Look­ing at Matter

Atoms and Elements

Forces and Energy

Heat and Sound

Light and Colour

Elec­tric­ity and Magnetisim

So will work out as one per half term.

The book fea­tures dou­ble page spreads of infor­ma­tion, punc­tu­ated by exper­i­ments to illus­trate points, the major­ity of which look very doable at home.  I am hop­ing that we can achieve the bal­ance I want by read­ing the info, doing as many of the exper­i­ments that we can fit and con­sol­i­dat­ing by doing small note­book­ing projects/worksheets I am prepar­ing to sit alongside.

To help with moti­va­tion to fit it in to our sched­ule we have arranged for another fam­ily to join us once a fort­night.  The idea is to do much of the prac­ti­cal work together with the read­ing, fol­low up work (friends may not want to do the pen and paper side) and some of the longer exper­i­ments par­tic­u­larly those that need sev­eral days to com­plete at home in between times.

Nature Study

I may not fol­low it to the let­ter but I do love Char­lotte Mason’s phi­los­o­phy of edu­ca­tion there­fore I hope to res­ur­rect the idea of a reg­u­lar nature study ses­sion.  As much as I would like to fit in an ‘out­door hour’ every­day, I am real­is­tic enough to know it will never hap­pen.  We have too many reg­u­lar activ­i­ties and while we prob­a­bly get out most days, major­ity of that time is spent walk­ing and/or bussing to one place or another.  The aim is  then to find a small space in each week to be out­side for the sake of being outside.

I am hop­ing that we can com­bine it with the sci­ence group and pos­si­bly open invi­ta­tion so friends join us twice a month but will depend on how organ­ised I am and how sci­ence comes off with timing.

The plan is a four week schedule

  1. Pick an area to be the focus of a nature diary (prob­a­bly a wooded area of the local nature reserve near the river) chart­ing the changes in the sea­sons, mostly through pho­tos and dis­cus­sion.  Hope­fully with friends.
  2. A prac­ti­cal activ­ity — rock pool­ing, ani­mal track­ing, wild flower walks, bug hunts, bird spot­ting etc.   Hope­fully with friends.
  3. A gar­den based activ­ity — plant­ing, weed­ing, har­vest­ing… now I have a usable garden.
  4. A nature inspired craft, either done out­doors or using the spoils gath­ered on a walk.

I will not plan indi­vid­ual activ­i­ties more than a cou­ple of days ahead as nature stuff is very weather/tide/health depend­able.  But here are just a few of the books we will draw on.

20140824_3We’ll also sup­ple­ment with a bit of read­ing.  These both cover events in nature month by month.



Posted in Curriculum, Nature Study, Planning, Science | Leave a comment

Geography 14/15

While we have been hav­ing great fun with our Geog­ra­phy group, I want to cover more and dif­fer­ent aspects so we will move back to study­ing Geog­ra­phy individually.

Plan­ning two ongo­ing projects;

One is to get an idea of where places are in the world.  We will start Post­cross­ing again (although limit the cards we send — last time we got car­ried away and costs very quickly mounted up).  Post­cards sent and received will be marked on a world map.  We’ve also signed up to the World Wide Cul­ture Swap, although wait­ing to be allo­cated a group.  We’ve done a few mini-swaps and loved it.  Also plan to make reg­u­lar use of these games to prac­tice locat­ing coun­tries on the world and at con­ti­nent level.

The other is to get a sense of the geog­ra­phy of Britain.  Sam has expressed a keen­ness to begin ‘flat trav­el­ling’ again.  The idea behind flat trav­el­ling is based on the Flat Stan­ley books, a ‘flat trav­eller’ (small card fig­ure — we have had pen­guins and mon­sters in the past) is sent to a host who take it round their local area, take pho­tos and then post back, usu­ally with a jour­nal and other lit­tle sou­venirs (often just free leaflets etc).  In the past we’ve done inter­na­tional swaps, but when I was ask­ing for groups to swap on on a forum I had an offer to swap from the UK and must admit I am quite taken with the idea of try­ing to visit as many UK coun­ties and cities as pos­si­ble.  Hop­ing they will be more likely to make it home too as postage is lower and less oppor­tu­nity for parcels to go astray.  We will have a colour­ing map of the UK and colour in coun­ties as we visit, keep­ing a folder of returned ‘journals’.

I bought this book,  poten­tially to use as our main pro­gramme of study but really to see what sort of things would be cov­ered in school at his age.  As I sus­pected not a lot!  Book is about 6 years old so maybe things have changed but not bank­ing on it being much bet­ter from expe­ri­ence of what Jack is being taught.

Any­way have come to the con­clu­sion that I will never find a decent Geog­ra­phy cur­ricu­lum for pri­mary level so need to con­struct it myself.  There­fore the plan is for 3 half term long Geog­ra­phy projects a year, alter­nat­ing with the His­tory projects.  Well maybe not alter­nat­ing as His­tory is tied to exhi­bi­tions so has to be fit­ted in to tie in with them, but 3 of each in a year cov­er­ing one at a time.

Plan­ning to cover one project based on place.  This year we will do a maps theme work­ing through an atlas work­book sup­ple­mented with prac­ti­cal activ­i­ties.  In the future we will hope­fully work on con­ti­nent stud­ies from Prime-ed.

Another on habitats/ecosystems/physical fea­tures — this year we will look at Rain­forests.

The third project will be on human geog­ra­phy.  This year will hope­fully be farm­ing.  Prob­a­bly in the sum­mer term as a good one for days out :).

Posted in Curriculum, Geography, Planning | Leave a comment

History 14/15

I have come to the con­clu­sion that we can not fail to cover enough his­tory, it is some­thing that inter­ests us both.

The issues we have are spend­ing too much time on it at the expense of other sub­jects and get­ting bogged down too much in the same few topics.

There­fore the plan is to pick 3 ‘top­ics’ and study them project style for 1/2 a term at a time alter­nat­ing with Geog­ra­phy to cover 6 projects a year.  Well maybe not alter­nat­ing as very much depen­dant on dates of exhibitions/events.

Despite my nat­ural incli­na­tion, I have decided to drop the idea of cov­er­ing his­tory in chrono­log­i­cal order.  Although I think it is the most log­i­cal approach the evi­dence sug­gests in prac­tice we get bogged down with increas­ingly detailed stud­ies of Greece and Egypt.  Plan is to move between dif­fer­ent time peri­ods bring­ing every­thing together with the help of var­i­ous time­lines.  We’ll take exhibitions/events as our inspiration.

Ini­tial plans have been made for projects on (started to detail them on my project blog);

Ancient Britain — Stone/Bronze/Iron Age — with this new on the KS2 cur­ricu­lum this year there seems lots on at muse­ums to see.  Plus really fancy the Britain: One Mil­lion Years of the Human Story exhi­bi­tion at the NHM.


The third project of the year is unde­cided at the moment, I have resources col­lected on Medieval Times/Castles and Ancient China but it will depend on whether any inter­est­ing trips/exhibitions come up next spring.

The aim is to keep every­thing fun and prac­ti­cal.  Lots of vis­its, read­ing and crafts.  We may stray in to lap­books for some projects but not all, some will be entirely hands on.

We will try and have a read aloud fic­tion book and at least one good non-fiction to act as our back­bone for each project.  By read­ing these, nar­rat­ing them back and work­ing on hands on projects to bring ele­ments of them to life, along­side doc­u­men­taries and vis­its then hope­fully we can cover sub­jects at a level to pro­vide a base to build on in more depth later if required and con­tribute to a gen­eral overview of history.

Posted in Curriculum, History, Planning | Leave a comment


As much as I would love to study His­tory chrono­log­i­cally, in prac­tice it doesn’t work as we get caught up in too much detail and of course so much hap­pens at once, so have come to the con­clu­sion that if we stick to that approach we may never get past 500 AD.

There­fore in order to bring things together we need timelines.

When the boys were younger we had home made wall­pa­per time­lines up the stairs and a print­able time­line in a folder that we glued bits on to.

20140820_13We’re past this stage now and were never that good at keep­ing up with them any­way, boys just do not like glue!

We have a large bought time line that we look at reg­u­larly — The What on Earth Wall­book.

20140820_12 We use it to look up what else was hap­pen­ing at the same time as what we are study­ing and dis­cuss where things fit in with time peri­ods we know about.

For each time period we look at we have started to pro­duce our own hang­ing time­line.  Events are recorded on to index cards and pegged onto a line (bit of wool hung between hooks) with wooden pegs with the date writ­ten on.  Hop­ing the details on the cards will get fuller as time goes on.

20140820_2  When we round up the project the cards get added to the box in chrono­log­i­cal order where we can see how they fit in with other events we’ve recorded.

20140820_11I’ve also bought some coloured index cards for the upcom­ing year to help bring together other sub­jects areas, one colour to add famous artists as we study them, one for composers/musicians, another for scientists/discoveries/inventions and fourth for other events/people we come across.

We also have a very Char­lotte Mason inspired ‘Book of Centuries’.

20140820_6It is a square pho­to­graph pho­to­graph album cov­ered in some fab­u­lous British Museum fab­ric I was lucky enough to find on ebay.

20140820_5Inside on each two page spread is a grid for record­ing events on the left and place for sketch­ing on the right.  The book fits nicely in my bag and we take it to muse­ums with us to draw items that appeal.  Each cen­tury from 2000BC has it’s own spread, so each year has it’s indi­vid­ual space on the grids.  Had to be flex­i­ble with pre 2000BC or would have needed rather a large book.

20140820_7 20140820_3





Posted in Curriculum, History | Tagged | Leave a comment

English 14/15

We con­tinue pretty much as we were.  I break down Lan­guage Arts into 5 short activ­i­ties a ses­sion which should take 5–15 min­utes each and we aim for 4 ses­sions a week.


This is remains our biggest focus.  The plan ear­lier in the year was to elim­i­nate as much writ­ing from else­where in our school work as pos­si­ble and focus very much on qual­ity over quan­tity.  There was a very notice­able improve­ment through out the year, which has slipped a bit over the sum­mer.  The empha­sis now is on cor­rect­ing that slide and start­ing to try and encour­age him to trans­fer what he can do when prac­tis­ing hand­writ­ing across to gen­eral writ­ing by grad­u­ally increas­ing the amount we do elsewhere.

We are using Getty Dubay and have gone back to basics as there are still some let­ters that he has to be reminded con­sis­tently how to form.  He is work­ing through book B but should hope­fully progress through book C and on to cur­sive before the end of the year.




On the sug­ges­tion of another home eder, one ses­sion a week (per­haps more see how enthu­si­as­ti­cally it is greeted) we’ll have a go with cal­lig­ra­phy instead.



Bridg­ing hand­writ­ing, gram­mar and com­pre­hen­sion we are using Writ­ing With Ease (WWE).  Start­ing with level one as writ­ing is not some­thing that comes easy.

20140121It fol­lows a four day cycle.  Days 1 and 3 are copy­work. Days 2 and 4 are a nar­ra­tion exer­cise, where I read a pas­sage aloud and he answers ques­tions ver­bally.  It is all based on clas­sic children’s literature.

Mid­way through the year we should progress on to book 2 (picked up sec­ond hand along with books 3 and 4 — in for the long term ;) )


We using Spelling Made Easy (with a lot of tweaks).  We’ll fin­ish level 1 mid year and move on to level 2.


I have set up a four day cycle.

Day 1 — wordsearch


Day 2 –Look/copy/write practice


Day 3 — Work­sheet made from com­bi­na­tion of text­book and theirs (didn’t like them)



Day 4 — Test — com­plete with penguin



Start­ing book 2.

20140818_24Another four day cycle.  Day one intro­duce the con­cept (find a game to sup­ple­ment if needed).  Day 2 and 3 are exer­cises from the book done ver­bally.  Day 4 is the sum up exer­cise typed.

Cre­ative Writing

We have been using TCR Build­ing Writ­ing Skills to help develop abil­ity to struc­ture ideas.  There is quite a jump how­ever between Words to Sen­tences which is nearly com­pleted and Sen­tences to Para­graphs.  Also if we do a les­son a day, four days a week we will progress through it far too fast.

So plan to slow down to one or two ses­sions a week allow­ing time for more ad hoc writ­ing activ­i­ties.  These will be flex­i­ble and planned as we go, tak­ing account of things such as thank you let­ters, flat trav­eller jour­nals, need to prac­tice par­tic­u­lar skills etc.  I have found Sam a pen­pal to help encour­age him in his writing.

If things go well you never know I may get to use some of the numer­ous story telling resources I have col­lected over the years.


We seem to have worked our way through the worse of the trash lit­er­a­ture phase to my relief.  Percy Jack­son and Harry Pot­ter may not be qual­ity lit­er­a­ture but they are good sto­ries and not com­puter gen­er­ated tripe of the Beast Quest/Astrosaurs school.  The aim is to keep tempt­ing him into try­ing new series.  Time Rid­ers look like they may be a goer after he fin­ishes Harry Potter.

We will have a read aloud for most of our History/Geography projects — we have Sun Horse, Moon Horse by Rose­mary Sut­cliffe, Poetry of WWI, Around the World in 80 days  and Jour­ney to the River Sea by Eva Ibbot­son lined up.

To encour­age a trip back to some of the clas­sics for our bed­time read­ing we will pick some of the books fea­tured in what is pos­si­bly my favourite brows­ing book of all time - Cherry Cake and Gin­ger Beer.  Fol­low­ing with test­ing the recipes of course.  Expect­ing the recipes to strongly influ­ence choice of read­ing matter.

Poetry/Speaking and Listening

Read the idea on a forum one time and loved it.  Hop­ing to intro­duce ‘Poetry Sup­per’ evening roughly weekly when all the fam­ily picks and per­forms a poem after tea.  Will have to see how this one goes.


Posted in Curriculum, English, Planning | Leave a comment

Solva 2014

Won’t go down as a spec­tac­u­lar hol­i­day as we were all ill at some point.  In the case of Jack more than once!  How­ever no one died which is our barom­e­ter for judg­ing hol­i­day suc­cess (we have had some rot­ten ones) and there was lots of chilled out fam­ily time which is all we really ask for.

Since this is pre­dom­i­nantly a home ed blog, from a learn­ing per­spec­tive nature and in par­tic­u­lar the method of repro­duc­tion of var­i­ous species was the big inter­est of the hol­i­day fol­low­ing encoun­ters with jel­ly­fish.  Buter­flies proved espec­cially inter­est­ing  We worked our way through Andrew Marr’s His­tory and Mak­ing of Mod­ern Britain and far too much Dad’s Army (his­tory ;) ).  Sam got into the Harry Pot­ter books (hur­ray for kin­dles) and has worked his way all the way until near the end of the Half­Blood Prince.

But it was really time to relax.  Lots of pho­tos below.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Posted in Holidays | Leave a comment

Maths 14/15

Maths is an area that has come together at last.  One of those just keep going sub­jects from last year.  All I have needed to do is pho­to­copy, write out the prob­lems and pat­terns, and  make and gather resources.  Taken sev­eral days but all pre­pared until Feb­ru­ary — I hope!

We are using Saxon.

20140731_22It is expen­sive (we’ve bought sec­ond hand though) and Amer­i­can (deals in impe­r­ial mea­sure­ments, US money and annoy­ing scripts) and I think the level is con­sid­er­ably below that expected in the UK (do not expect Grade 3 to any­where near cover the UK yr 4).  Also the paper of the work­books is hor­ri­ble, thin and scratchy so I end up pho­to­copy­ing it all which is costly and takes ages. But for us all those neg­a­tives are out­weighed by the positives.

The grad­ual intro­duc­tion of ideas and rep­e­ti­tion works for Sam, the lower expec­ta­tions help his con­fi­dence as he is gen­er­ally within his com­fort zone and the hands on/short tasks work well as he doesn’t get frustrated/lose interest.

Each ses­sion starts with a ‘meet­ing’, where the date and tem­per­a­ture is recorded, prac­tice on read­ing the time, work­ing out pat­terns and skip count­ing and a ‘prob­lem of the day’ is cov­ered.  We don’t use the meet­ing book/strips that come with the course, we have a door!


Cal­en­dar and tem­per­a­ture charts.
20140730_7 Pat­terns are printed and in the maths folder.

20140731_16 Skip count­ing is done run­ning round in cir­cles (back­wards when count­ing back­wards obvi­ously).  Prob­lem of the day is writ­ten in a lit­tle box — I wrote 70 of them on Mon­day so they will def­i­nitely be used all the time this year. I got fed up of writ­ing them last year and we stopped using them but as they often intro­duce a new idea first I want to use them hence the mam­moth writ­ing session.

20140731_10 20140731_11

After the meet­ing comes the les­son.  This is usu­ally only about 5 min­utes and usu­ally hands on.  I refuse to fol­low the script so I skim read and pick out the impor­tant bits.  Some­times we’ll skip alto­gether if he obvi­ously under­stands or it is not relevant/doable in some way (try get­ting gallon/half gal­lon con­tain­ers eas­ily and cheaply in the UK).

Have been mak­ing or print­ing the resources that we need for the lessons up until Feb­ru­ary,  Here’s just a selec­tion.  Really pleased with the ordi­nal cars :)


The lessons round off usu­ally with a prac­tice of some sim­ple Maths facts.  We use an online bomb timer for the fact sheets which appeals to Sam.

20140731_17 20140731_19

Then there is a prac­tice sheet (we only do 1 the course has 2, one for later in the day) which brings together some of the things from pre­vi­ous lessons to prac­tice and jog memories.


Maths resources.

Over the years I have bought and got rid of a lot of resources, these are the ones we do use.


Pat­tern blocks — far and away the best ‘manip­u­la­tive’ I’ve bought.  Use­ful for maths (and used a lot in Saxon although we had them for a long time before) and great fun for mak­ing pic­tures and patterns.

Snap cubes - close sec­ond to the pat­tern blocks.  Fan­tas­tic for adding, mul­ti­ply­ing, vol­ume, area, perime­ter, build­ing guns.…



Bal­ance scales — lots of fun to be had com­par­ing weights that just can’t be had from stan­dard kitchen scales.


Base 10 — we don’t use much any more but Sam still likes to play with it and as the base 10 sys­tem is so impor­tant we’ve found them very use­ful for adding and car­ry­ing etc.


Geo­met­ric shapes — tbh these are mainly used for play­ing in the sink and mix­ing potions, but they are used a lot and we do talk about the shapes/edges/vertices some­times so I hope some uncon­scious learn­ing goes on ;)

20140731_4Newest addi­tion.  Not antic­i­pat­ing a great deal of play value from this but saw it on a blog and thought ‘more fun then flashcards’.



Posted in Maths, Planning, Resources | Leave a comment

Collecting Resources (Free Stuff)

With the new aca­d­e­mic year on the hori­zon I, like so many oth­ers I expect, keep get­ting dis­tracted by sparkly new resources.  How­ever, there is not much we actu­ally need.  We are still mid book with Maths and Eng­lish hav­ing started in Jan­u­ary with the cur­rent set of books, and hav­ing bought sev­eral years ahead when they have popped up sec­ond hand on the lists.

So I have dis­tracted myself by track­ing down free resources to sup­port project work (actu­ally got dis­tracted again and started look­ing at more…).  All the links below pro­vide free resources inc free delivery.




The British Legion pro­duce a fab­u­lous schools pack.  We received the 2013/14 pack but later in the year they sent through the 2014/15 pack off their own steam.

20140731_15Book­let from the OU.  One for older chil­dren probably.

Not received these yet as only ordered this morn­ing.  DVD’s from the Com­mon­wealth War Graves Com­mis­sion.



Teach­ing pack, posters and recipes on grain farming.

20140731_7Masses of resources ordered from var­i­ous places on the FACE web­site.


20140721_620140731_8 Posters and teach­ing pack from the RNLI


Posters and leaflets on road safety



Free sam­ple sto­rys­tarter kit from Lego Edu­ca­tion.



Posted in Resources | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment