End of year clear out

Clear­ing out resources I’ve no fur­ther use for.  Local col­lec­tion only.  Within rea­son can bring some to pic­nic on Friday.

Proper cur­ricu­lum stuff

Writ­ing with Ease Level 1 — all stu­dent pages in tact (I bought them as a down­load for about £2 as eas­ier to print than pho­to­copy) — £5

Spelling Made Easy Level 1 (age 5–8) — Teach­ers book, pho­to­copi­able work­sheets and con­sol­i­da­tion exer­cises — £5

Saxon Math 3 — just Teach­ers Guide — bit old and bat­tered but per­fectly ser­vice­able.  Stu­dent books avail­able from Ichthus (or Ama­zon) — £5

Scholas­tic Scary Sto­ries Writ­ing Guides Age 7–9 — £3

Subject/project sets

Span­ish — Sticker Span­ish Dic­tio­nary, Usborne Span­ish for Begin­ners (pre­dates the cd ver­sion and bit worn — pen marks on front cover), Collins My Very First Span­ish Words (this but Span­ish), Game - £5

Stone Age — Secrets of Stone­henge, Make it Work Stone Age Peo­ple, Stone Age News ( last two are in decent but well used con­di­tion, first as new) £3

Farm­ing — load of free resources, Cook­ing from the Farm­ers Mar­ket, Usborne Under­stand­ing Farm Ani­mals, Ready Steady Grow, Origami Farm — £5

Music — £1 each — Christ­mas Car­ols, Bastien Piano Primer, Bastien Piano Level 1 , Bastien Piano Level 2, Piano Time 1, Piano Time 2, Piano time Clas­sics, Play Piano Book 1

Work­books — £1 each

Age 5–7 (yr 1–2)

WH Smiths Gram­mar and Punc­tu­a­tion 2

WH Smiths Hand­writ­ing 2

Collins Easy Learn­ing Hand­writ­ing 3

Collins Easy Learn­ing Times Tables 3

Age 7–9

Collins Easy Learn­ing Hand­writ­ing 2

Collins Easy Learn­ing Hand­writ­ing 3

Collins Easy Learn­ing Telling the Time Practice

Collins Easy Learn­ing Adding and Sub­trac­tion Practice

Log­i­cal Learn­ing Num­ber Shape Magic Explorer

Focus on Charts and Graphs and Shapes, Space and Mea­sure  –age 8–9 (as pair as bought sec­ond hand although com­plete with stick­ers and unmarked)

Ran­dom books

The Kids Win­ter Fun Book - £1

Wildlife Gar­den £1

Free Stuff

Arts and Crafts for Kids

Top­ics for age 5–8 (very old and dated but start­ing point)

Usborne Book of Sci­ence Experiments

Pri­mary RE

Dig­i­tal Photography

Titanic Posters


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Castles (again), Catching Up and Cooling Down

Wednes­day was fore­cast to be a scorcher so decided to stay close to the sea for the breeze.

We headed over on the ferry to Portsmouth.  Stopped at Gun­wharf shop­ping vil­lage for san­dals, sun­glasses and more anti­his­t­a­mines and sun­tan lotion.  With Sam all kit­ted out for sum­mer we then walked along the seafront to South­sea Castle.


I love this walk.  Gives us fan­tas­tic views back to Gosport, takes us past no end of naval her­itage and then of course there is the hov­er­craft to watch.  It wasn’t too hot yet and even rained which was nice.20150702_2 20150702_3 20150702_4 20150702_6 South­sea Cas­tle is an odd one really, not that much to see.  Small, com­pact and some nice edu­ca­tional activ­i­ties though.  Can­nons to climb on and fab­u­lous views.

20150702_7 20150702_8 20150702_920150702_1420150702_1520150702_18I don’t know why this tick­led me so much but it really did.  20150702_12We’d been joined at the cas­tle by another home edu­ca­tion fam­ily, one we’ve known about 5 years but very, very rarely see now a days.  So it was more a social trip.

With the sun com­ing out we headed to the nearby splash park.  More pad­dle than splash, but more shade for par­ents which I was grate­ful for.

20150702_20 20150702_21Another lovely afternoon.

We broke the long, hot walk back with ice cream and arcades.

20150702_27 20150702_29 20150702_30 20150702_32

Reminded myself how much I like this end of South­sea.  I really could do with so many more days in a week, so many peo­ple we love to see and places we love to go but strug­gle to fit it all in.  Talk­ing of places we love — not happy with the paint­ing of the Spin­naker.   Red or blue I don’t care.  You see it for miles around and I love the white against the sky.


Posted in Days Out, History, Medieval/Castles | Leave a comment

Spinning, Swinging, Splashing, Socialising and Shooting

After a rather slow Mon­day, Tues­day was one of those — love home ed sort of days.

Quick bit of Maths and Eng­lish.  Most books/courses are fin­ished now so we’ve reached a nat­ural slow down.

Friends joined us for sci­ence.  We were doing spin­ning and swinging.

Spin­ning cups to see if a penny would stay in,  Spin­ning at dif­fer­ent speeds to see what happened.

20150701_3 Spin­ning cups of water to see if the water can stay in the cup.  Answer yes unless you hit a sib­ling mid spin 😉

20150701_5We then tried this pen­du­lum exper­i­ment unsuc­cess­fully (breeze, knot in wire …) so moved on quickly to pen­du­lum painting.

20150701_7 20150701_8A bit of a play in the park before we all went sep­a­rate ways.

We had a quick lunch before jump­ing on the bus to Stokes Bay.  A leisurely walk through Stan­ley Park stak­ing out an area for a Guide activ­ity and then down to the splash park.  It was incred­i­bly hot.  We man­aged a dip in the sea.  We were also joined by a cou­ple of other home ed fam­i­lies who we don’t see often but who Sam gets on very well with so we passed a very pleas­ant afternoon.

20150701_9 20150701_12 20150701_13 20150701_14 20150701_16

After a bit of time at home it was out again for Cubs — laser tag on the field and archery.

Not a bad day for a 9 yo boy :)


Posted in Forces, Home Education Group, Science | Tagged | Leave a comment

Catapults, Capitulation and Castle Building

Seem to have built up a col­lec­tion of started but not fin­ished blog posts :/

Mon­day was a stay in doors and wait for the elec­tri­cian sort of day.  Pete was pot­ter­ing about hav­ing appointments.

Bit of Eng­lish, last test to com­plete Math­let­ics year 4, some live Math­let­ics and a bit of Timez Attack took up first part of the morning.

We then got into some cat­a­pult build­ing.  Firstly from the physics kit we have.

20150629_11 20150629_12 20150629_14 Sec­ondly from a book and kit.  The card­board cat­a­pult was sur­pris­ingly sturdy.20150702_3520150629_1620150629_17Then there was some Minecraft cas­tle build­ing.  A con­cen­tric cas­tle.
20150629_18One of the hard­est things I have to mas­ter home ed wise is when to give up an idea.  Our attempt to keep up with the 30 Days Wild had been limp­ing for days.  High pollen counts and itchy skin flare ups made mess­ing around out­doors not some­thing appeal­ing.  So take from it we had some fun and let it go (hard for me to do :)).

I took the guides to the pot­tery paint­ing place and picked up Sam’s plate.


Posted in Forces, History, Medieval/Castles, Science | Leave a comment

Maths Marathon

Fri­day fol­lowed the trend of the rest of the week with plans going belly up.  In this case my own fault, Fri­day is ‘Grandad day’ but I’d been dis­tracted and not emailed him with a sug­ges­tion of plans on Thurs which appar­ently I usu­ally do (obvi­ously by habit not design) and I’d con­fused my Dad into think­ing Pete had the day off so he never phoned.  I phoned him as nor­mal only I must have dialled the num­ber wrong!  Hour and sev­eral phone calls later (hit­ting redial!) I was rather wor­ried but try­ing not to be.  Opted to take a walk to the vil­lage to drop off some stuff in the char­ity shop and pop in to check on him.

Any­way the short ver­sion of that is I’m an idiot and we ended up hav­ing a walk to the vil­lage instead of proper day out.  Luck­ily for me the vil­lage is a lovely place and beach, arcade, cafe lunch, ice cream and new Asterix and Dandy books from the char­ity shop made a very pass­able day.

20150627_420150627_3 Maths has dom­i­nated the week­end.  He started Fri­day with about 40 activ­i­ties to do to com­plete the ‘year’ on Math­let­ics, now has one.  He got a bit obses­sive and was there at 9.30 last two nights.

I did do one of the games for him in the end as he was get­ting frus­trated at mak­ing small errors.  Wouldn’t nor­mally but the ques­tions were of the ilk of it is Mon­day 12.37 am what time will it be in 197 hrs and 23 mins!  When are you ever, ever going to have to do that?  Work­ing out what time a plane lands, a train arrives or a film will fin­ish yes but I’m not going to sit through a 197 hr film!

Any­way he’s also been play­ing with the cal­cu­la­tor and we’ve dis­cussed stan­dard nota­tion and imag­i­nary numbers.

Plus this arrived in the post today and has become the book of choice (he loves Basher we have loads!)

20150628_2Love these self moti­vated periods.

Posted in Maths | Leave a comment

Best laid plans …

I’ve been try­ing to kick­start myself again by mak­ing plans for our days this week.  Not com­pli­cated or stress­ful plans just some­thing to stop this doggy pad­dling feel­ing, the feel­ing of stand­ing still.

Things have been con­spir­ing against me these last 2 days  though and all plans have fallen through.  Despite this, or per­haps because of this as I’ve been deter­mined to make the best of things and had a bit more ‘pep’ than usual, we’ve not had a bad cou­ple of days.

The plan on Weds was a walk along the seafront from the Hard to South­sea Cas­tle.  How­ever Sam slept in late and while I was wait­ing I got stuck into a work project.  By the time Sam got up we’d already missed one bus.  He was also not in the mood to go fur­ther than a shop sell­ing the Beano and I was in a work frame of mind.

So we pot­tered the day away.  Sam read, built and gen­er­ally enter­tained him­self.  I worked.  Sam helped a bit, doing a good obser­va­tional sketch of a shoe sole.  20150624_6

We did spend a lot of time out­doors.  I’d been promis­ing that the next time we went to the vil­lage we’d take the poly­styrene glid­ers so we did.

20150625_3This gave rise to dis­cus­sion about air resis­tance and the forces of flight build­ing on nicely from the pre­vi­ous day.

While we were in the vil­lage we bought a toy para­chute and a hang glider.  After lunch Sam built a marsh­mal­low and spaghetti tower (Cubs sci­ence badge).   Activ­ity that never grows old.

20150624_9  We spent some time down a very warm park dis­cussing forces and play­ing with the para­chute and hang glider.

20150624_16 20150624_15 20150624_11Back home to help Pete who had come home to drop car and col­lect bag before going to Lon­don with work.  Jack arrived home and the boys played elec­tronic devices while I worked.

Then as still very hot we went back out­doors for the evening.  Burg­ers and cakes cooked in orange skins on the fire.

20150624_17 20150624_19 20150624_20 20150624_23Some ran­dom dig­ging (kept him happy for a sur­pris­ingly long time).

20150625_5And a water fight.  As ever I took the brunt.

20150624_24Ended the evening with a bath and Dr Who.  Def­i­nitely had worse days.

Today’s plans weren’t so messed up.  Sam’s friend who was due to visit couldn’t.  Rather than stay at home with a dis­ap­pointed boy I decided to take him to the pot­tery paint­ing place and invited a dif­fer­ent friend to join us.  Lovely morn­ing, time to chat which we don’t seem to have had lately.



We all headed back to ours as the boys had Spanish.

Set up another exper­i­ment for the Cubs badge.

20150625_6This to show how flow­ers take in water though the stems.

After­noon drifted away.  I worked and Sam built a big stone keep as part of a con­cen­tric cas­tle on Minecraft.

Had a bit of a scare when Jack was over an hour late home from school.  He was very hot and both­ered and cov­ered in oil as he’d been try­ing to help a friend with a bike problem.

So it was tea, more Dr Who and a bit of sporcling to fill the evening.

Oh we made a cat­a­pult too


Relaxed, pro­duc­tive days.


Posted in Forces | Leave a comment

Pottering and Planning

I’ve reached the time of year where def­i­nitely just pot­ter­ing towards sum­mer.  Feels like it’s a time for tying up loose ends and plan­ning for the future.  Plans are still in infancy so won’t go into them yet.

Week­end went by fast.  Not sure what we did; chores, errands, clothes shop­ping, vis­it­ing fam­ily, sewing, Future­Learn courses, work … that type of thing.  Board games are hav­ing a bit of a revival as is Sporcle.  I man­aged to get out of Monop­oly though, Cluedo I can live with.

Mon­day was very non-eventful.  Timez Attack is still prov­ing flavour of the month and lots of the morn­ing went there.  We watched a Cas­tles doc­u­men­tary.  Took a rainy scoot to the village.


Messed around in the back gar­den with track­ing sym­bols.20150622_7Built a wooden Motte and Bai­ley cas­tle on Minecraft

20150622_6Tues­day was a sci­ence day.  I had com­pletely for­got­ten to con­firm that any­one was com­ing but was an easy ses­sion to grab every­thing for when they did show up.

Fric­tion was the focus.  We recre­ated Galileo’s famous Pisa exper­i­ment using the climb­ing frame in the park.

20150624_9We also rolled a lego car down the slide over dif­fer­ent sur­faces (card, fab­ric) to look at the effects of fric­tion.  Dif­fer­ences were too slight to spot though so we moved to push­ing the car along dif­fer­ent sur­faces in the park (grass, tar­mac, bumpy metal…) to see how far they travelled.

After a play in the park we left friends and went home for lunch.  For a num­ber of rea­sons Sam has missed a few weeks at Cubs and I’d agreed with his leader we’d work on a badge at home in the mean­time.  We had a look at them and he picked Sci­ence and chose his activ­i­ties from the list.

The task cho­sen for the after­noon was build­ing a wormery (I hap­pened to have a kit picked up from a char­ity shop a year or so ago to hand).  Sam got on with it while I had another attempt at get­ting swing­ball far enough in the ground that is doesn’t wob­ble.  It is defeat­ing me!  Sam had more joy.  Took us a long time to col­lect worms though!

20150624_1 20150624_4

Finally Sam helped me with some crafts for work — disguises :)

20150623_3Then the day drifted away in Minecraft, cook­ing, baths, read­ing … the way days do.

Posted in Family Life, Forces, Science | 4 Comments


That’s what it feels like I’ve been wad­ing though this week.  I’m not sure why as on paper we’ve achieved a lot but just found lots of minor irks, deci­sions of what to do being hard to reach, energy lack­ing (even for things I want to do)…

Look­ing at what we have achieved.

Sam has fin­ished his hand­writ­ing and gram­mar books.  Decided to leave the new ones for Sep­tem­ber.  He has also com­pleted the final level in Timez Attack which means the­o­ret­i­cally he knows all his tables.  Since that was the big ‘aim’ for this half term that has to be a big tick in the box.

I found myself set­ting up a new national sup­port group for peo­ple who home edu­cate and have chil­dren in school.  Not sure how that came about but hey ho, I mustn’t let myself get bored now.

I man­aged to acci­den­tally book a Guide hol­i­day, that I’m going to have to can­cel or rearrange as arrange­ments are imprac­ti­cal :S  But I sup­pose I’ve done what I meant to do in research­ing costs and how you go about book­ing.  It’s easy — too easy :)

Besides the usual over the last 3 days we’ve;

diver­si­fied lan­guages — been play­ing with the French and Ger­man ver­sions of DuoLingo.

built a ‘grav­ity motor’


planted a but­ter­fly garden

20150618_5Spent time in the playground

Gosport-20150618-02289 Spot­ted bugs

Gosport-20150618-02290 Been to the library and swimming

Spent some time bird watch­ing at a local nature reserve

20150619_36 20150619_33   20150619_35 20150619_3120150619_32 20150619_2320150619_29 20150619_25  20150619_21 20150619_20 20150619_19 20150619_12 20150619_18 20150619_1020150619_8 20150619_220150619_7 20150619_6 20150619_5 20150619_4

Really not sure why it feels like a bad week it hasn’t been really.  I just don’t like being hot!

Posted in Curriculum, Days Out, English, Forces, Maths, Nature Study | Leave a comment

Alver Valley

We are so lucky in where we live. The beach is 5 mins walk in one direc­tion, coun­try park with mead­ows, river and wood­lands 10 mins walk the other direc­tion.  Unfor­tu­nately nature hates me and a trip to the coun­try park usu­ally needs a cold bath and very early night due to puffy, sour eyes (7pm early!) so have to pick our moments when we go.  Do like it up there though, just in the pollen sea­son can only go when we have no evening plans.

The main pur­pose was a bit of but­ter­fly spot­ting for our 30 Days Wild.  Very tricky to pho­to­graph but­ter­flies.
20150616_2320150616_1 20150616_8 Did get these noisy char­ac­ters though20150616_12I’d posted we were going on the home ed group so oth­ers joined us for a pic­nic and play in the woods.

20150616_4 This is an old motte (so we were doing cas­tles too :) )20150616_7   Always fun watch­ing dogs swim in the river.20150616_13 20150616_20 On the home front, Timez Attack is back in favour and he’s come on so far and gained so much con­fi­dence with his tables.

Posted in Maths, Medieval/Castles, Nature Study | 2 Comments

More Quiet Days

Really have started to slip into a more relaxed mode.

We’ve had nearly a week now that we’ve not left the vil­lage.  It’s been lovely.

Week­end was spent mostly catch­ing up on work (me) and doing ‘stuff’ (boys).  Not sure what stuff was but they were happy and quiet.  We watched a film (Wreck It Ralph — appalling), played games, researched pos­si­ble read­ing mat­ter and made hol­i­day plans.

Sam and I made a but­ter­fly feeder.  So we man­aged to keep up with 30 Days Wild over the weekend.

20150614_220150614_120150614_4 20150614_3 Mon­day we did Maths, Eng­lish, Latin and Span­ish first.  Read a book on siege war­fare and cas­tles.  I wanted to go for a walk to spot but­ter­flies, Sam didn’t!  We com­pro­mised, went to the park and stick col­lect­ing instead.

267 266268 265 269 270 Sam then used elas­tic bands to make things with the sticks.  A sword (looks bet­ter than photo makes it )
272Stick­man271 And a para­chute for stick­man,273We marked the anniver­sary of the sign­ing of the Magna Carta with the Hor­ri­ble His­to­ries special.

By then Jack was home to play with and I got busy with Guide prep.  Some nights it just hap­pens, oth­ers it’s a full time job.  If ever I wanted to run away I could pack all my stuff and tell the males of the house I was off to Guides, they’d buy it.



Posted in Nature Study | Leave a comment