Bonds

I didn’t have the best morning! I’d somehow forgot to checkout when I amended my Tesco order last night meaning they only showed up with part of the order. Plus I have a seriously manky painful toe which is greatly impeding mobility and seems to act as a magnet for things to fall on.
Sam was a star though, he managed to do all his work, go to the shop for me and take over tidying the conservatory when I dropped marbles everywhere (they hit bad toe before going everywhere of course!).
The afternoon was our science group, thanks to trips and holidays the award they are looking at has gone on the back burner and all about fun.

Today we looked at chemical bonds and made plastic out of milk and vinegar.
Then good old oobleck which we used for two art activities; as a solid to paint on and a liquid to paint with (mixed with food colouring). All got very messy.  Both boys ended up in the bath (poor Jack bumped into the shed on his way home – oops).

Busy Days

We’ve had a hugely busy couple of days, good ones though and bits woefully short of photos with others perhaps over represented but hey ho.
We started Thurs with an early morning Tesco shop and a early start to Sam’s work as we were expecting someone round for coffee.
Again a no show but taking the deep breath and ‘be kind, you never know what others are going through” mind set.
We spent much of the morning getting frustrated with an origami set for making geometric shapes.
After lunch we decided to crash a home ed coffee afternoon in a local cafe.  Pleasant afternoon, Sam went to the park to play with others, I drank coffee and chatted.  It was gone 4pm by then so we caught a bus to Gosport for tea in KFC as a treat and then headed to the Submarine Museum for one of the twilight tours they are laying on for home educators. Was not what I expected, the tour was not of the big sub you see here but a smaller one and we didn’t really go into the museum it was all in the education suite. However, I suspect we had more fun as a result. We’ve toured the big sub many times and been in the museum many times. Plus we have passes and can go whenever we want so nice to do something different.
A couple of Sam’s friends came back for a sleepover after.

Friday was a morning of play before Sam’s friends were picked up about lunchtime.  We spent the afternoon finishing off the treasure trail of Gosport we’d started with friends a few weeks ago. Sun was out and it was a lovely afternoon and we’ve located a lovely picnic venue for one day.

Nets, Dancing and Robots

The morning disappeared making nets in maths and then learning about Japanese holidays. We had some fun practising a dance outlined in our book.
After lunch we had a trial Lego robot session.  Lots of fun had 🙂

Home Days

We’ve had a quiet few days at home ready for a busy second half of the week.
We’d expected a new home educator around yesterday but something came up last minute so Sam played with the Lego we’d got out and I booked home ed trips for Sep 🙂
Today I decided to be organised and get the stuff ready for science first thing before Sam was up properly as we’re reaching drifting stage with science, losing the hands on move.
With it set up we had fun with what we did; made canal locks in a tin and made a rubber duck sail through, tested materials to see if they were waterproof and made a hovercraft.
Then we spent a long time playing air hockey with the hovercraft 🙂
Taking it easy sort of day.

Going with the Flow

We’re well and truly off the boil now and drifting towards the summer break.  Ideally we’d stop now and take ourselves off to beaches and cliffs of Pembrokeshire to clear the muzzy heads and cleanse the soul. Humidity and hayfever is no good for any of us. Unfortunately with one in school and sitting a combination of mocks and real GCSEs then escape is a distant dream at the moment.

Days are still passing pleasantly and productively if less follow the plan and more roll with it. Just crashing of an evening so expect blogging to get more erratic. We’re close to the end of what I’d planned for us any way as I know this dip is coming. I’d hoped to keep momentum up until half term but hey ho, lesson is that a nice day in the woods isn’t worth the week long headache after, need to try and persuade nature loving home eders that the beach is better, we can do that 😉

I say it a lot I know, but I think it is easy to take for granted the positives of home ed when you’ve been doing it a while but every now and again get a mental reminder that really do love it. 

Had a good example of the benefits on Thursday. We were reading a book about Japan together and looking at a picture in the book with lots of different flags on. Sam started pointing out ones he knew and it turned out to be quite a lot more than me and this is something I pride myself on being good at.  So we decided to do a jigsaw that I’d bought on spec a few weeks before and we spent the rest of the morning on that and quizzing each other about it.  We did pause to consider where he’d gained this knowledge as not something we’ve really done formally or informally, not one of his pet subjects that he’s taken up him self either. We could only conclude it was all the hours playing military strategy games on the computer 🙂  Knowledge he’d probably still have gained if he was going to school but whether he’d have the same time for the hobby or the time and scope to spend the time demonstrating what he knows is questionable. Also to be honest whether he’d have the same pride in knowing these things or whether it would have been displaced by shame because he doesn’t know what a subordinate clause is, or kicked out of him on the playground for being geeky, I wonder.

Friday and I fancied a day out. Actually it was more I didn’t want a day in. Sam was very amenable, although he did point out that we’d been out Monday, Weds and Thurs to home ed activities.

We decided that the main aim was to get sushi for lunch as he was keen and we’d been reading about Japanese food this week. We were a bit flummoxed as I was sure there was one at Gunwharf but apparently not any more. So we headed to Southampton instead, quite happily as we quite like Southampton and really, really hate Portsmouth.

We spent an hour pottering in the art gallery. Quite pleased to find a Lowry and there was a very intriging Mounties and Geishas picture that we spent an awful long time discussing.

  Then lunch in Yo Sushi! Sam even had raw fish, I didn’t!

Finally a bit of shopping. We found an oriental shop that sold us some Japanese sweets and biscuits. Sam also found a man willing to teach him how to play Warhammer.  He’s teetering on the brink with this one as he could fall headlong into it as a hobby as ticks so many Sam boxes but he is seriously put off by the price (phew!)

 

Not feeling the blogging love

Still feeling bleugh from Monday’s pollen overdose and too headachy to write anything of interest.

So here are a couple of photos of the investigative maths he’s working on.  There’s been lots of reading, documentary watching and plan making going on too.

Also had a lovely workshop from a microbiologist friend of a friend today. Went down a treat. I was hiding away in the kitchen though chatting to a friend and playing peekaboo with some of the younger siblings through a window.

Walk in the Woods

We had a day in the woods today on a bushcraft course with our HE group.  Was a lovely relaxed day, learning about the woods around us, making fires and cooking over them and a bit of whittling.
Paying for it now on the allergy front but was worth it.

Overtired

And grumpy to boot that sums up my day really.  Not been a bad one.
Maths, English, Spanish and Latin done efficiently.
Science done less efficiently and with total failure. We made a water table that didn’t work as wanted and a cartesian diver that wouldn’t dive. 
We watched a documentary on canals over lunch.
Afternoon had a brief discussion that tomorrow is Children’s Day in Japan, not sure depails sunk in. We made some origami in celebration, a Samurai helmet and some cranes.
My Dad was round by now so he and Sam played games. Sam took a trip to the library and I went to vote then evening crept up on us.
Listening to a game of Risk.

Steam and Explosions

I’m angry, really bloody angry.

The last few days have shown the worst side of home ed, the flakiness and the lack of awareness of others that some home educators show. 

I am generally quite laid back about things now, I do get irritated by persistant unreliability and in particular lack of communication, it is so easy to head off potential worry and problems. Also a lot easier to be accommodating if you know there are issues such as social anxiety, chronic health problems.  Communication really does solve most things and avoid ruffled feathers.

Generally I can’t complain with trips I run. I jokingly say I scare people but maybe I do.  What has annoyed me is seeing over 50% of people cancel on the last minute on a friend. Definitely far, far more annoyed watching it happen to someone else.

It’s like people don’t consider that even though there might be no costs setting up the trip was still a lot of work to do in organising. They don’t seem aware that low numbers can put a trip at risk or make it not work as well for those who do show because some things do benefit from a critical mass of children or just frankly just be embarrassing. They seem blissfully unaware that we all contribute to the reputation home educators have and the effect that has on venues offering activities or the willingness of other home educators to organise activities.

Anyway it has also shown some of the best sides of home educators too as I do have a cracking bunch of friends to moan and grumble with.

And in the case of one to try and stop an explosion with!  Today’s Weds outing saw us near to home doing a town trail in local town solving clues. Great fun and really makes you look at things you don’t normally notice. We only managed half before rain and ill child (not mine) stopped play, so another hour or so still to do 🙂

At home we read and discussed growth of factories, steam powered machines and the effect on the growth of towns.
Looked at religions in Asia.
Finished a handwriting book and he was pleased to see the improvement.
Did some more on shapes; terminolgy and drawing regular polygons.

Spring Walk

Sunday I started work at 5.30am and finished at 9.30pm with a 2 hour break to clean and iron. Monday was an indoor, sendentary day too. So this morning although Tues is normally PJ day I had to get out.
We did maths (including some shape drawing), English, Latin and Spanish then headed out.
Every season we try and do a ‘season walk’ as a launch pad for a piece of creative writing.  Seemed a perfect day for a Spring walk. We headed to the Alver Valley Nature Reserve as it’s only minutes away with the camera for some flower spotting.

At home we had lunch in front of a documentary about canals. Read aloud from Mill Girl for a while and did some work from his history textbook about the history of weaving and how factories were first established. Finally Sam wrote a descriptive piece based on this morning’s work, lots of similes! Then it was off to do our own things.