2014

Been a bit of a roller coaster year, we’ve chopped and changed a lot and still have changes to make but we end this year the happiest and most confident I’ve been with the way our home education is working for a long time.

I’m not going to do a big review, that is for August but I’ll see if I can manage bit of a photo review.

January - Gardens in tray and the start of small groups run from home
January – Gardens in tray and the start of small groups run from home
February - still windy.  We loved being out in the winter's storms
February – still windy. We loved being out in the winter’s storms
March brings science week
March brings science week
April had a lovely HE picnic at Titchfield Abbey
April had a lovely HE picnic at Titchfield Abbey
May and the sun arrived so splash park it was.
May and the sun arrived so splash park it was.
June and the local area came alive as we commemorated the anniversary of D-Day
June and the local area came alive as we commemorated the anniversary of D-Day
July and volcanoes were the topic, with lots of messy exploration
July and volcanoes were the topic, with lots of messy exploration
August was holiday.  But exploration continues - crafting stone tools in his cave (Solva's lime kilns)
August was holiday. But exploration continues – crafting stone tools in his cave (Solva’s lime kilns)
September took us to London for the Tate's Matisse exhibition and one of the 'book bench trails'.
September took us to London for the Tate’s Matisse exhibition and one of the ‘book bench trails’.
October and out enjoying Autumn in the Alver Valley
October and out enjoying Autumn in the Alver Valley
November was poppies, WW1 was our topic not surprisingly.  We also had a great workshop at the Royal Marines Museum.
November was poppies, WW1 was our topic not surprisingly. We also had a great workshop at the Royal Marines Museum.
December - illness was the order of the month and most things were abandoned in favour of relaxed Christmas crafting.
December – illness was the order of the month and most things were abandoned in favour of relaxed Christmas crafting.

Here’s wishing everyone a healthy and happy 2015.

Christmas 2014

New Years Eve and a week has nearly gone by.  The decorations are down, the house is tidy and the thank you letters have been posted.

Christmas is always a relaxed peaceful time here and this year as an added bonus, after a month of illness we were all relatively well.  Still sniffley and coughing, this virus has been nasty, but so much better that nobody cares about that.

Christmas Eve was panto, treasure hunt and new pjs as ever.

Christmas Day and Jack was pathering about at 4.30 but kept returning to his room until just before 6 when he went down and made coffee before coming to us.  Half hour or so of Uno followed while we waited for Sam.

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After bucks fizz and pain o chocolates it was tree presents.  Jack had a suit and the new Fifa, Sam a box of knights.

Christmas passed in a leisurely mix of playing, reading and snacking.  No one wanted a traditional lunch so we had a bung in the oven set of party snacks.

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So lots of board game playing, lego, xbox and catapulting balls under the sofa.  Both Grandfathers have been around at different points.  Nice chilled time

 

Merry Christmas

Christmas is here.  Advent train is complete.  Panto is over.  Presents are under the tree.  We have nice new bedding on all the beds with new pillows for the boys which may make them happier than anything else. Sam has devoured the Beano annual.  The table is laid with snacks for Santa and reindeers.  Boys are snuggled up with new pjs.  I’m about to find a new book to keep me company for next few house until everything is still.  So all that’s left is to wish everyone a very, merry Christmas.

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Nightmare Before Christmas

Actually the only nightmare of the last few days has been sitting through the film.  When will I learn we don’t do Christmas films, or animation or anything soppy.  Not the sentimental type.

House is tidy, food is in the fridge, Christmas is here.

Over last couple of days we’ve…

Made chocolate slabs
Made chocolate slabs
Smashed up the slab (there was mint too) and decorated jars as presents.  Also made a jar of toffee for Pete
Smashed up the slab (there was mint too) and decorated jars as presents. Also made a jar of toffee for Pete

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Fondant mice
Fondant mice
Cakes
Cakes
Had a blowy walk along the seafront
Had a blowy walk along the seafront
And a walk back to see the Christmas lights (wheeling a large box as you do)
And a walk back to see the Christmas lights (wheeling a large box as you do)
Homemade French onion soup and bread (my treat)
Homemade French onion soup and bread (my treat)
Snuggled with hot chocolate and chocolate beards for a treat
Snuggled with hot chocolate and chocolate beards for a treat

20141223_23We’ve had friends over, played pool and air hockey in the arcade and spent time with my Dad.  Good few days.

Ding Dong Merrily on High

20141221_5Been a day of colouring, chores, carol singing and candles.

Boys were carol singing with Gang Show in Fareham town centre so I spent the time doing last minute shopping and picking up some household stuff.

All presents are bought, sent or given out if necessary, and wrapped.  Christmas nearly there.

We celebrated by toasting (and setting a fair few on fire) marshmallows.  6 years in scouting and Jack’s apparently never cooked marshmallows over flame :S

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Christmas is in the air

Finally feeling the Christmas spirit.  We had a busy social day yesterday, we offered open house in the morning to any local home educators who wanted shortbread and coffee.  Only a couple of takers with the time of year but enough to make it worth doing and easy to chat and removed my guilt about not organising a party or something bigger.  Have pretty much given up organising regular activities as in truth we don’t need them but have a bit of a guilt complex when I hear of new local home eders struggling (usually with younger kids), hoping that is getting sorted though as others seem to be mobilizing.

Anyway back to yesterday.  Jack finished at lunchtime for the holiday and the afternoon was a busy, loud one as he and his friend’s settled in the living room for cakes and X-box.

Eventually some resemblance of peace was restored and up went the decorations and the tree.

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Love our tree pretty much all the decorations on it are handmade now.  Either by us, friends or picked up from Christmas markets – we add a new one every year from our special day out so it is hugely sentimental.  Did add this bought one this year – love maps and couldn’t resist when I saw it in the shop at the V&A.

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Candles and painted pottery.

20141220_17 A whole host of angels.  From this wonderful book.20141220_13

The chains are fabric.  Fabric ironed on to interfacing and then cut into strips with pinking shears and stuck together with fabric glue.

Although today has been a relaxed, pottering, reading sort of day we have carried one theme over from yesterday – baking. Shortbread, polar bear cakes and gingerbread men.

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Oops forgot colouring.

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December 18th

Definitely getting more in the Christmas spirit.

All wrapping now done and living room prepared for decorating.

Today’s colouring with a Frozen inspired carriage.

20141218_5Morning was spent enjoying time with a visiting friend while I took the opportunity to crack on with Christmas prep.

After lunch we tidied up the toy cupboard and his book case.  Then Grandad arrived and we spent a pleasant hour with a jigsaw.20141218_10 After a short play with Jack it was time for Gang Show, an open rehearsal and small party.  After he got home we cuddled down and read this lovely, if sad, book.20141218_15 Jack returned pleased to have won a prize in the raffle but not so pleased with the prize itself 🙂

20141218_16Productive yet relaxed day.  Back on form 🙂

Dec 17th

20141217_23Finally getting the Christmas vibe.  Still coughing and not on top form but finally feel that the worst is over at last and we’re on the mend and we now sound far worse than any of us feel.

With the return of energy I capitalised on it to start long overdue deep clean,  In the run up to Christmas I always do all the kitchen cupboards empty and clean, defrost freezer and move all the living room furniture to hoover behind (including emptying and refilling every bookshelf and filing a years worth of paperwork).  Only then does the tree go up.  Late this year, tree is due to go up Friday!  I sent Sam to my Dad’s for the morning to play with him.  After the daily colouring of course.

20141217_10 I picked him up at lunch time and he spent an hour or so exploring Minecraft videos made by another home eder he knows, while I kept tidying.

20141217_11After helping finish the tidying we finally jumped on the bandwagon and watched Frozen.20141217_13Then we built a snowman out of this kit.20141217_14 Have to say theirs is better 😀 Dry hands would have helped I think as when wet the colour ran.  20141217_16A lot!

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Then we curled up and read this.20141217_20Evening went in snacking on the gingerbread house and playing Uno.  Followed by an early night while we had a curry.

 

 

Light and Colour

The term has not quite fizzled out completely but aware if I don’t start recording our project work I am going to look back and think that it did.

Science was a fairly ‘light’ topic – ha!  What I mean is that we weren’t dealing with anything particularly new or difficult.  More a hands on playing, reinforcing ideas time.

We continue to use the book The Way Science Works as our base.  Reading the content and doing as many of the experiments as possible.  We’re joined by friends for some of the experiments which helps keep it fun.

Not as many photos as I’d like.  Exploring light involves using hands to hold torches and prisms etc and it’s hard to photograph torch beams in the dark.

We started off looking at reflection and refraction by playing with convex and concave lenses.

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20141217_4We explored shadows with puppets.

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Then we moved on to looking at how eyes and cameras work.

We explored optical illusions with the tube to the eye, making a hole in the hand trick.   With plenty of time playing on here later.  Looked at how microscopes work.

20141125_22We built a tissue box camera to limited success.
20141125_26We had another go with this Camera Obscura kit to more impressive results.

20141212_820141212_10We finished with a look at colour.  We split light with a prism and did some chromatography.

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Talking about colours, rainbows and the light spectrum led to making a waldorf star.

20141212_28And colour mixing led on to these.  Cut 6 triangles from black card.  Cover 2 with blue cellophane, 2 with yellow and 2 with red cellophane.  Combine the triangles to make stars.

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Dec 15th and 16th

If last week was about being ill and battening down the hatches, this week is about being bored of being ill and trying to carry on through it.  Unfortunately I feel worse in the middle of the night and sleep is very disturbed, which is impacting on energy levels.  Managed to make it out both days though :).  Monday was just to the village for posting parcels and Guide chores.  Then Guides later.  Today was trip to Portsmouth for few last minute Christmas bits and lunch with Sam’s friend.  Bit too much really as totally exhausted now and chest and voice are raw.

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Countries looked at were Catalonia (ok not a country) and Ireland.

Monday we filled in a scrapbook and sent our not-so-flat traveller Rudy home.  Before a scoot to the village.  The ‘advent’  activity was a treat of some Christmas Lego while I prepped for Guides.

20141216_120141216_4Today’s activity never happened as we dropped in on friends for a short spell before heading off into town for shopping and lunch with other friends.  Home to play with Jack while I did last ordering of Christmas stuff and a supermarket shop.  Then rounded off the day with Cubs Christmas party.

Nice to see people again after a week of pretty much isolation.  Expecting we will need a slow day tomorrow!