Clearing Out and Looking Forward

We really are on minimal level workload. I feel like I am scratching round for projects to engage with as we both need things to grab our attention or we can slip into habits which aren’t good for us.

I thought science would today but was thrown by the kits I’d bought (really at lazy level) needed a non standard battery. Amazon Prime to the rescue so that’s tomorrows project.

I was also under prepared when I had no lemon for a lemon clock kit. Fortunately I had a grapefruit so we made a grapefruit clock and I’ll have toast tomorrow 🙂 We got out some other bits to see if we could make a light work – no was the answer.

 We spent a lot of time working on comic ideas for our next home ed comic. Excellent plan in place 🙂

Then is was on to a big book clear out. We’ll list some for sale but aim is to get rid of most in a book sale at our ‘home ed fete’ on Weds.

Late afternoon went on a new card game ‘Love Letters’ we’re liking this one.I was going to mention more on the planning front but far too hot downstairs so bed by the fan for me.

Organised Chaos

Our plans for September seem an awful lot clearer than they did 3 days ago.
A venue has been found for a ‘potential’ activity so looking like that is now a definite on the diary, a pencilled in commitment looks like it can be penned in
Our trip to see the local home ed tutorial centre due an unequivocal no to joining in activities there.  Nothing to do with the centre, it’s amazing. More it’s a big commitment in our week and we can do so much more with our time when you consider the travelling. Left decision entirely up to Sam and he was definite that it was a no. I was on the fence so happy to get a decision. A pencilled in activity can be rubbed out, buying us precious time.
Still no idea how to fit in all we want to but at least I know what I’m fitting around. Now comes the fun bit 😀
I really had to buy this diary as so very, very me.

Westminster Abbey

The best thing about home ed from a selfish perspective is being able to explore and experience some amazing places that we just wouldn’t otherwise because of time, volume of people in holidays and cost. Got to love places that offer educational rate to home ed families – yesterday we spent the day exploring Westminster Abbey and it cost £10 for 2 adults and 3 children, amazing.
No photos from inside the Abbey not surprisingly but sufficient to say it was amazing. The children did a trail looking at the decoration and stained glass. While Rachel and I were very excitedly pointing out tomb after tomb of famous names (and we definitely missed a few). It definitely helped to have knowledge and context of history, wouldn’t like to go with children younger than ours, the more you know the more you appreciate what you are seeing. The guides were helpful and was easy to find people to ask questions of (we had quite a few).
I’m organising fewer larger structured trips in favour of self led trips like this. We were able to take our time and explore at our own pace. In the end (with the inclusion of a long picnic in the garden) we spent most of the day in the Abbey as although hot, it was decidedly cooler than outside.

 We were hit by a wall of heat when we came out, a quick discussion about whether we could be bothered to walk to Somerset House for a play in the fountains was a unanimous ‘No’ so we decided on an early train home. Until we spotted sprinklers across the road and spent an hour cooling off in them to the amusement of passers by 🙂It was an interesting day all round as our journey there was complicated by the State Opening of Parliament and the journey back to Waterloo took us past the anti-austerity protests.
Delays on the trains made it a long trip home but a brilliant (hot!) day.
Train daftness.

Boiling Alive

Is how I feel, pretty much.

On the home ed front things are going well. I have planned well and keeping up with what little I’ve allocated us isn’t proving hard.

Yesterday we’d easily finished by 11 so heading in to town, picked up lunch and a friend’s daughter and went over to laser quest. Despite the heat 18 children went in and had the usual fun. My plan on hiding out in the shade didn’t quite work out thanks to a cute 5yo who wanted to play – kickboxing in that heat was a mistake though.

Could have spent day on the top deck of the ferry, was nice and breezy. Sam had sun tan lotion in the eye hence the squint.

 Today started early as I went to view a hall with a friend for a group activity. Sam stayed home and got on with work. When I got back all that was needed was grammar, writing, science and some history reading.  
Telephones and telegraphs were the focus of science.
Sam made a circuit so we could do morse code with a bulb.
After that Sam experimented with the electical bits for a couple of hours with a quick detour into researching answers to questions I couldn’t answer.
At some point he decided to show me what a peg blutacked on to a motor felt like against your head. Unfortunately I had my back to him when I said yes to ‘can I show you something?’ so couldn’t point out the flaw with that. He quickly realised the problem and there was a lot of apologising as he spent 20 mins helping remove lots of knots, blutack and a motor from my hair. It was scissors job in the end.  Had to see funny side.

Quiet Days

It’s been a few days of being really sluggish. Finding it too hot to breathe properly never mind do much else.  We’ve read, watched documentaries, worked on graphs, kept up with English, Latin and Spanish.  We did make a paddle boat. Also spent a lovely afternoon in Flip Out, they have their air conditioning on so strong it was a reasonable temperature.  It was so quiet too, rather than fragmenting off in to small groups the kids all played together and it was easy to spot likely home eders so I had a walk round and found some new people and people I’d just not crossed paths with before even though I know they have been around for years.

Catapults

We had a catapult building day at our home ed group today.  After a morning spent constructing examples. 
We demonstrated the spring action by bouncing a ball on a parachute.
They then designed, refined and did 3 tests on the catapult. Frame of the session was based on this resource.
Finally with the help of an exercise band they fired waterbombs at me.

Word Tag Poetry

Using the word tags we made last week we were making up poems today.  Sam’s choice of words did lead poems in a certain direction.
I also spent a long time trying to get on to the website for Kid’s Week, but did get some tickets just not to first choices.
We did exercise and measured heart rate at intervals in order to draw line graphs.
Read lots about inventors and Sam had to put forward a case for the inventor/engineer of his choice to win an award.
Watched more Full Steam Ahead.
Read some of our Stories of Inventions book.
Played board games.
Made a game on Scratch.
indulged in a bit of clothing design and had the necessary baths after.
Tried a bit of manga drawing.
Good day but far, far too hot!

The Calm after the Storm

As much as we enjoyed the few days away they have been followed by a need to slow down and stay in. To be honest we’re ready to pull up the drawbridge now and lock ourselves away until Sept. Rather regretting that I still have at least 3 home ed group sessions and a trip or two before the end of term.  We’ll enjoy them I’m sure (I have exciting plans for them 😉 ) just feeling lazy.

In our lazy spell we’ve read lots, watched documentaries about trains, played lots of Mathletics, made word tags for creative writing prompts, designed and made a suspension bridge from random bits, then played with making pegs fire across the room, spent too long removing the corpse of a humungous spider that Pete had managed to crush inside my curtain, watched and talked about politics a lot, made a water wheel and a knitting spool and played far too much computer.

At-Bristol

While we were in Bristol we visited the science centre there.  I’d checked before hand and they offered home ed rates making it more affordable. As a matter of fact we ended up going back the day after as we hadn’t done the Animation Studio the first day and the two trips were still cheaper than one full price rate.

I can’t rate this place highly enough. We’ve done quite a few of these sort of places over the years (Winchester, Cardiff, Birmingham, Oxford, Science Museum…) usually we find them hot, loud and overstimulating. They range from a really dire experience that we’ve been put off ever stepping foot in again (Winchester, Science Museum) to the passable for a short time (Cardiff, Birmingham). This one though we spent about 6 hours in total in happily and would happily go again.

It was bright, airy and cool. We had easy accessible lockers for coats.  Even though there were hundreds of school children in there there were no queues and it didn’t feel over crowded.  Everything worked, was well explained and it didn’t have buttons for the sake of buttons.
The animation studio alone is worth entry at home ed rates.  Hope this link will take you to one of his videos.

Tried to limit photos.  The sand tray with contour lines probably took up 2hours of our visits.

 

Bristol

We couldn’t look at the industrial revolution without a trip to Bristol to explore the works of Brunel.
We had a very wet day exploring the docklands and SS Great Britain, a very windy day at the Clifton Suspension Bridge (and visitor centre) and a quite pleasant day pottering around the old city.