Christmas is Coming…

And the cold and snow is coming with it!

Boys have been full of cold and decidely below par so we have barely left the house for a week.
We have also eased off normal ‘work’ as we worked on creating the activities for Activity Village’s Advent Calendar
So while we have done an awful lot I don’t think I’ll show you the photos.
Some of what we have done…
Played with magnetic letters. When they are like this I can see and buy into the whole autonomous education ideal. Unfortunately they are not like this all or even half the time.
Playing with ice. It is cold!!
And of course filling advent calendars.
And lots of reading. I managed to get The Jolly Christmas Postman from a charity shop for 59p which Sam and I have been enjoying. Also got him the book below as a treat and it is absolutely fantastic everyone with scientific minded, inquisitive children needs it. Click on it to go to Amazon.
Santa Claus
Jack also had his Cubs Carol service. Where he sang about David’s town and 3 Noels… Need to do some work on the carols I think

Road Safety

Today we went over to Portsmouth for a Home Ed group session about road safety led by a person from the local council.

Sam showing how to cross the road safely.
Then there was time for a play in the adventure playground.

Then a bit of shopping and home.
We had had a box of books delivered which also contained a set of geometric shapes so they played with them for a while, naming them, building towers and filling them with water.
Then we curled up in bed and read an abridged version of Treasure Island.

More Pilgrims

Today we spent trying to get back in a work frame of mind after several weeks of birthdays and visiting Grandparents.

Boys worked through Maths and English. Then Jack wrote a story and did some of his science book and Sam worked on another pocket of his Pilgrim project.
Including making a diorama of inside a house.
I had hoped to find a nice Christmas project from Evan Moor Their Halloween one was good (even if we didn’t manage much of it) but I couldn’t find what I wanted. We do have a Symbols of Christmas one from Hands of a Child that I had intended to start with Jack today, but had a look in detail at it and it’s woeful.
A couple of years ago when we were just starting Home eding I bought loads of stuff from Hands of a Child, had a years membership. The graphics on them are very poor quality and we found the activities just too repetitive. Some of the simple ones I will redo with Sam but most sadly are filed away on the old computer never to be used.
Looks like I’ll be creating my own.
We spent the afternoon working on Christmassy bits for Activity Village‘s advent calendar with varying degrees of success – penguin collapsed and a glass worktop saver will not suffice as a marble slab (I had to melt the caramellised sugar lolly off with boiling water). Do have a nice little Christmas tree to show for it though.
Then off to Sam’s gymnastics class.


Ever since a mum from our local home ed group lead a walk around Alverstoke over a year ago I’ve meant to go back with Father in Law in tow. So having found a leaflet with a trail under my bed we did.

We started at St Mary’s Church, had a look inside

And more importantly for Sam around the graveyard (he loves graveyards).

Went past the old Rectory

And the last mounting stone in Gosport

Spent a while by Stoke Lake
They like the lake
Then along a cycle path that follows the route of the old branch line
To another graveyard
And the Regency Crescent
That is where I stopped taking photos as it was pouring down. But we played hide and seek in the Regency Gardens then walked up to the very quaint village and picked up chips.
At home Sam had another birthday present arrive – Achilles the Blue-Nosed Reindeer.
Thank you Lindsay.

Love is …

… spending hours of your life baking batch after batch of Pudsey Bear shaped biscuits, because your 8yo decided that as part of a Cubs badge he was going to bake some to sell to raise money for Children in Need and then lost interest 15 mins in to the mammoth baking session and left me you to it.

When I suggested that I should get the badge as I did the work, he pointed out the badge criteria said he had to ‘organise’ a fundraising event not actually do the work. Crafty little so and so even got Sam to do the bulk of the decorating!

While I worked in the kitchen boys played on Education City.
Then we did some more of Sam’s Pilgrim project

Including making a model of a stick used by a Tithing man. Apparently he stood at the back of the long church services with one of these. The knob was to tap talking children on the head and the fur end (a squirrel’s tale) was to tickle the noses of people who fell asleep.
Jack and I built a Hawker Tempest (a plane)
And then the boys painted the models they had made this week.
I introduced Jack to the iron – so he could iron his cub scarf as part of his Home Help badge.
Then Jack had a piano lesson, followed by Cubs and Sam watched Nigel Marven’s Penguin Safari.

Home Help and Thanksgiving

Yesterday Jack’s cub leader sent over the criteria for the Home Safety and Home Help activity badges. Jack actually has the badge book and spends every spare moment reading it and planning what badges he will do anyway. However he was very excited about the idea of working towards 2 new badges.

So he washed his Cubs scarf
And sewed on his hiking badge.
We also did usual lessons and began looking at Thanksgiving.
We have a pocket book from Evan Moor about the Pilgrims. I bought it for Jack but seemed too easy for him and his interest waned so Sam is working through it.
We finished off the first pocket.
And completed the second.
Then it was time to head to Stubbington for Sam’s gymnastics class.

Happy Birthday Sam

My baby is 5!

Today to celebrate he got chased by 2 T-Rex.

Of course it is the photoshop pic I did for his birthday card.
Day was very leisurely. Everyone had long, hot baths (me and Jack because we got soaked doing Remembrance Day parade).
Sam had new pjs which he wore for most of the day.

A lego kit, which was quite difficult.
A Power Rangers activity box from Pete’s Auntie Sian. Which included binoculars.
And many other lovely presents. Thank you to every one who remembered him.
He set me the challenge of a penguin shaped cake.

Then Sam wrote a Power Rangers story for Jack and ‘read’ it.
Finally it was off to bed with the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid book which kindly came out this week with perfect timing.


Out and About

Last week involved lots of running around.

Monday we started with a bit of work. Maths, English (reading practice for Sam)and read our story of the week.
We looked at ‘Eeyore’s Birthday’ to continue the ‘festivals’ theme.
We then did some experiments with balloons. Putting on some sticky tape and then poking a needle through.
Then inflating a balloon using the gas released from mixing vinegar and baking powder.
Then home ed group where they played with the boomwhackers and gymnastics for Sam.
Tuesday we braved the wind and rain (and thunder and lightning) to go over to Portsmouth for book group. We discussed George’s Marvellous Medicine. Made a volcano from baking soda and vinegar again. Everyone drew ingredients and we stuck them on a big pan to make a collage.
The kids then all made blobber (borax, and pva) with varying degrees of success.
After lunch we played parachute games and the kids did some dancing.
Back home we dropped of our bags and then took Jack to his piano lesson. Back home for 1hr, time for a quick tea and change. Then off to Cubs. Where Jack wrote the following poem…
Lots of soldiers died
By their rules we abide
On Remembrance Day
I say
Spirits invisible to the naked eye
There in the graveyard they do lie
Weds we messed around at home and then the boys came to Rainbows with me. The other Guider has 8yo twins, a 9yo and a 10yo, who stayed too and they all get on really well. While the older 2 help out the younger ones hide away in the corner and play/chat.
Thursday we caught up with some work and household chores then took Jack to drama. As the lady who is in charge was there Sam decide to ask if he could join in next term. She let him join in then, he loved it!
Friday we went out to Southampton to celebrate Sam’s birthday, which being on a Sunday (and Remembrance Day) we’ll spend quietly at home (or out parading). Due to the rain we just went to the town centre. To the model shop for Airfix kits, Burger King for lunch and then to the Build a Bear workshop.
(sorry for picture quality, photos are off phone)
Sam made a rabbit named Alexander – complete with Star Wars PJs.
And then played some music with Dad before bed.

Scary Creatures

Last week it was the long awaited Halloween.

And Grandad came to stay!
While we kept up with maths and english I abandoned most other plans. The boys only see my Dad twice a year so more important that they got the chance to enjoy spending time together.
Cue lots of chess, Monopoly and Lego.
However there was time for an experiment involving mentoes and coke with Pete (that failed dismally).
A visit to the fire station with Cubs.
And making chocolate sparklers.

On Thursday when we went into town we stopped at Oxfam and managed to get 20 Horrible Histories magazines for less then £8 and Cash Converters where we got March of the Penguins for 50p. So that sorted Friday.

Half Term

Still in catch up mode.

We had gone to Southampton on the Saturday so we started off the week by making Airfix planes.
Jack’s Supermarine Spitfire.
Sam’s Messerschmitt 110.
As part of our Lin Yi’s Lantern week we had discussed gifts, and the value of thinking of others so in Southampton Sam and I did a bit of shopping. Then we packed a shoebox up for OCC.
Although we do keep working during half term we also lose a lot of routine. We had friends over to play several times and usual activities stop.
Our book of the week was nice and halloweeny.

As well as Halloween we also finished off some Autumny stuff. A wreath from Baker Ross.

Did some baking.

And made pizzas.

And made some Witch crafts.