We’re definitely cocooning at the moment. The big question on Sam’s lips all of the time is ‘are we going out tomorrow?’ He starts asking about tea time, has to check another few times before bed and then it is the first thing he asks when he gets up.
For me it’s more that I have so much to do at home that there are places and things I really want to do (and know Sam would enjoy once he was out) and no time to fit them in. Need to get us out more, I suspect we’ll both feel better for it. Need a proper big day out, a ride on a train.
Anyway at home we are getting jobs done. Yesterday we even managed an activity that has been on my mental todo list for at least 6 years!
Here is a bear practicing Latin. He finished off the last of his multiplication and division unit. Come so far with this in the last 18 months I’m really pleased.
In science we moved on from nerves to the brain. This involved a lot of reading. I left him to the lift the flaps one on his own 🙂 The idea of right and left side of the brain having different skills interested him a lot.
Every now and again you spot an activity that you think – I must do that – one day… The Ellen McHenry Brain Hat was one such, may have taken me over 6 years since first thinking it looked good but we got there in the end.
The other big activity of the day was a bit of long overdue art work. Inspired by O’Keeffe’s bone landscapes. We really need to pull together his Art Award stuff. I think I am going to be sensible though and say we’ll do it over Christmas not get it done by Christmas.
Here’s one last (very blurry) photo, from Saturday evening actually. We attended the light switch on in town with friends. I was sure there was a lantern parade so we hurriedly made some in the car on the 10 min ride there. Of course we couldn’t find any parade when we got there so we held our own 🙂 Not the best parade ever but Vicki’s lit up hat made up for a lot 😉
On Monday we went to Tuppenny Barn which is a small-holding which offers workshops, all very nature based, sustainable living.
The focus of the day was to tie in to Sam’s natural art theme. We toured the venue, made natural paintbrushes and painted with them and natural paints the lady had made.
In the afternoon they listened to and wrote Autumn themed poems, this isn’t the sort of activity we do that much it was a real stab in the dark, lets try something different and we got some lovely poems. Really proud of them.
Definitely time for me to take a step back from trip organising though.
Monday was all about trying to get our mojo back after the various obsticles of the week before. Unfortunately we have a leak in the new tank and appointments to rearrange and errands that should have been run to do.
In order to try and shake things off and start with a positive mindset we headed out for a walk along the beach first thing, manna for the soul.
The focus at home was on catching up with bits that had gone a bit by the way side. Taking inspiration from both the photography side and Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition Sam spent time getting some close up photographs of a bunch of flowers.
Then we turned our attention to creative writing. I’d transcribed a story we’d made up with story cubes. Sam then spent an hour tweaking, improving and making it make sense. My ‘I hate creative writing’ son actually has a very passable 2 typed pages of story and despite the initial groan really enjoyed doing it.
Afterwards Sam brainstormed ideas for our own story discs while I painted them.
After lunch we spent a while looking at our What’s Where in the World book (this is one of my top 10 home ed books I think) and discussing what we could learn about landscape, climate, landforms etc of India.
We then spent most of the afternoon with me reading from a biography of Queen Victoria while Sam played Lego.
PJ Day is the best day of the week according to Sam! I’ve got to admit I really value having a day at home a week too.
The day was all about creativity. After the usual maths, English, Latin and Spanish out came the craft supplies and he worked on natural sculpture and collage.
It was Sam’s idea to use clay. I need to stick to my guns next time and remember Sam likes the idea of clay but hates the reality! It is okay to say no!
After lunch Sam wanted to build Lego. He hasn’t been interested for ages but the Lego club magazine had come through the post and he actually picked it up and read it for the first time in probably a year. Then he dug out the Lego ideas book.
Seemed daft to quash the creative burst so he built and I read aloud from the History of India for much of the afternoon.
We then had another attempt at ‘Civ5’ which fortunately worked. So Sam spent the rest of the afternoon honing his military strategy and I made salt dough for a home ed session we had today.
Some days are just like pure gold and Weds was one of them. We were up in London yet again and the day started with an early morning trip to Sam’s favourite park in hazy sunshine and had it blissfully to ourselves.
A walk and a sit on some of the rather bizarre benches that now adorn the Southbank followed. Paused to recall visit to St Paul’s earlier in the year and spot where we’d climbed to.
Then we got to our destination! Finally got in to see this, wanted to since it opened. No photos of course but it was wonderful, never enjoyed an exhibition more and considering a trip back minus the boy before it finishes. He enjoyed it too, I’d picked up the audio guide to keep him entertained which did the trick, he isn’t a bad companion for this sort of thing (much better than Pete or Jack would be anyway).
View from balcony of the Tate. Spent quite a while out here musing on computer animation. In other words how they made this?
Having had my big treat (of the year!) I set about making it up to Sam. Lunch at Pizza Express did it. I wasn’t impressed but he loved it. Look less manic I said!
After lunch we walked into the City. Sam has been asking loads of questions about money, interest rates, inflation and exchange rates so we decided to take a trip to the Bank of England Museum.
Fabulous place. Lots to explore hands on about trying to keep a steady economy. Sam was so excited to touch real gold and feel how heavy it was. Even did the trail! Highly recommend a visit.
After we appear to have misplaced 2 1/2 hours. Slowly pottered back to the station via the park, at a very slow pace. Caught a lot of Pokemon and visited a lot of Pokestops. City and Southbank are teeming with them 🙂
Long discussion about ‘con artists’ in particular people dressed as Buddist monks who corner you when you can’t get past them under Southwark bridge and demand a donation of £20 for plastic tat that says peace on it and why Mum is not her usual polite self to such people!
I hate how this term has come in to common use (even Sam uses it for heavens sake) real nails on a blackboard thing. It just creates an image in my head of families sitting around a table with piles of national curriculum workbooks and a big planner on the wall. I don’t know what the correct term should be but what we do doesn’t feel like school and we seem to seldom be at home.
With no trampolining this week (it’s fortnightly) I was thinking we’d try and stay in the routine of doing something active by going swimming. As it was hot seemed daft to pay to use the pool and we went to Hillhead instead to swim in the sea. I went in too so only one photo 😉
While we were there Sam found some burnt driftwood and had a go at drawing.
We’d stopped at Titchfield Haven on the way there to work on our art project – wildlife photography.
At home we covered maths, English, played a lot of story cubes, dismantled more of the computer, read some of our Children’s History of India and did a lot of drawing.
He’s been practising perspective and shadows and is getting on well and really enjoying it. Took me a while to see that the dark triangle was the pyramid’s shadow.
Sounds a blissful day and if you ignore the pre going out tantrums, homework/state of bedroom arguments with teenager and the fact that I have either cut my foot or have something stuck in there and it really hurts and walking is a problem (wasn’t even on the beach, did it walking along prom with shoes on) I don’t suppose it was that bad 🙂
Yesterday we took a trip with friends to visit the Art in the Park exhibition at Harold Hillier Gardens. I really love it there and so does Sam. If I could drive I’d definitely get a pass as they seem to have some fabulous weekend activities. Can get there by public transport but is a trek.
We were both expecting a quickish morning trip but ended up there for most of the day, rushing back as otherwise I’d have come home to a locked out cross teenager. There is so much to see and explore even without the art trail.
It has to be said some of the sculptures were really not to my taste but there were some really lovely and interesting ones too. These are my favourites.
There are more sculpture photos on the Facebook page. Sam did look at the sculptures but much more time was spent playing. Although the gravity defying anvil intrigued him and he loved the man coming out of the ground.
It’s also a fabulous place for watching wildlife. The borders were teeming with bees and you could see tongues coming out! There’s something about robins, have to love a robin!
After the false start earlier in the summer, we finally started Sam’s art award on Saturday with a trip to see the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at Gosport Gallery. We did leave it to the last day unfortunately and ended up quite rushed as we had Pete and Jack waiting for us. As ever Sam was reluctant to go and then spent ages there. The lady manning the desk spent a while talking about it with him.
If it travels near you I advise you to see it. I don’t think I’d appreciated how much thought would go in to the ‘staging’ of them. One example was a beautifully lit view of elephants on the savannah but the photo had been taken through the legs of an elephant so the view was frames. Another was a barn owl flying through a torn painting, another a chameleon’s eye through a hole in a leaf. The time, effort and patience involved must be huge. Sam and I have spent a while talking about what it is that takes some thing beyond being a ‘nice photo’ and makes it art.
Today he followed up the exhibition with a post on his own blog (more on that later) sharing his thoughts and favourites. Hoping to further build on it practically by getting out with the camera.
I don’t normally suggest we do any ‘project stuff’ over the summer, it is Sam’s time to chill and lead the way (aka hide out in his room watching youtube!) However there was an exhibition on at a local gallery finishing last weekend that seemed a perfect stepping stone into the art work planned for this term.
We are planning to dip our toes very gently into working for an outside qualification and start on the Art Awards. As Sam isn’t 11 until Nov so we thought we’d test the waters with the Explorer with me playing a big part in helping him plan and structure it (he has his own plans for the Bronze). I had the idea of theming the work around nature. So this exhibition was right up our street. It was about making paper and I had envisaged us having a go at a bit of paper making after.
I had given us over an hour to explore the gallery as we’d never been (felt guilty as on doorstep nearly). Well we won’t be going again! 14 mins we took and most of that was spent sitting in a chair grumbling. There was nothing to see! One big display and one short info board which you couldn’t really see as they had it in an activity area and there was a class on. Then 3 (interesting enough) collages stuffed in the corner of a cafe with arm chairs in front.
I don’t think I have ever been more disappointed in a gallery. The art work was interesting, needed more of it, more explanation and proper display space.
We spent more time sitting outside in the sun or in Sam’s case sliding up and down a torpedo.
We’ll forget that as our start point, can’t say it inspired either of us.
Day wasn’t a complete loss. We spent some time in the Game Over exhibition at the City Museum before a picnic and a play in the museum garden with friends and other random children hence no photos.
Making a big effort to reconnect with my crafty mojo at the moment and bring more hands on stuff into our education.
Weds was the first of our new art group sessions. 3 other families, 4 children plus little siblings as laid back as groups get.
We started off with a story
Before moving on to look at and colour ‘The Snail’.
We ended with sketching outlines of animals and creating a ripped up paper collage version.
On Friday we began Art Award lessons. Unfortunately there were not enough children to run the classes so it has been postponed while they try and recruit more children. But it did mean that Sam and his friend Michael had the really rather lovely teacher to themselves. She really just seems to have let them loose with a choice of materials and they really had fun. Two children produced really different work out of the same session. Here is Sam’s.
If anyone local is interested please ring the Ashcroft and sign up.
We have also had an autumny craft burst. Primarily for work but lots of fun all the same. Making our own paints from berries, grass and mud I think has to have been the messiest and most fun. Particularly when you take them outside afterwards to mix up and get messy.
Love working with Autumn colours.
Display so far. Very tree focused at present but plans to diversify.