New Routines

It’s been a hugely busy few days. We’re getting used to new materials and new styles of working. Definitely can feel the increase in structure and amount of writing, he’s got a good attitude though and I’m pleased and impressed with what he’s managed.

At the weekend we finally managed to put our flat traveller through the laminator and into the post.And took our visiting one down the beach.We are into researching things and answering textbook questions in exercise books. 
In English we’ve been looking at extracts from Oliver Twist and non fiction works on hunger. Science we’ve been looking at how to think and investigate scientifically. I messed up and we may have had a false start and done some work on cells (which we’ll get to properly in a few weeks).
Maths it’s the usual revision of place value and addition. History we’ve been looking at early humans in Britain as part of a brief pre 1066 overview.Project wise we are looking at Maine and reading about lobsters and lumber. Tues morning saw us at our new group for the first in a 6 week block of Lego Mindstorms sessions. Sam enjoyed it. I had to leave the room as struggled with the way it was presented. Hopefully teething issues though. In contrast the lady providing our Saxon archaeology workshop this afternoon was excellent, so good with them. Definitely need to do more. We’ve also been reading lots – an Anglo Saxon non-fiction book, an adaption of Beowulf by Rosemary Sutcliffe (love Sutcliffe’s books for bringing history to life) and Oliver Twist.  Started watching In Search of the Dark Ages by a very young Michael Wood. From the clothes and hair I doubt I could have been much more than 5 when it was filmed.

 

Heritage Days

It’s Heritage weekend! We are a bit too tired and soggy to make the most of it. Although we did finally make it to the ARP bunker in Alverstoke.  Supposedly the only remaining ARP bunker in the country. Been past it loads and always miss it. Interesting place.

We started the day with breakfast in a cafe and a long overdue catchup with an old friend, a bit of stone collecting and Pokemon hunting on the beach Soaked to the skin by then we decided that any plans to pop into other heritage events were best shelved in favour of home, bath and pjs.

Sam spent some of the afternoon programming an art project in Python and then submitting it for his Art Award.

This arrived in the post today too. American Horrible Histories ūüėÄ
Pete’s away so it’s pizza, wine and Sherlock to mark the end of the first week of term.

Summer Days

Blogging definite slipped way down list of priorities. Probably should be when I should try and make the effort to blog more really when we go more relaxed and unschooly as I miss recording exactly how much can be learnt this way. I no longer feel the need to though, I am happy with what we covered this year, he’s entitled to a rest and a holiday and if he was learning nothing for a month or so would it be an issue – no. In reality you can’t stop a child learning, he’s like a sponge, I just feel no inclination to analyse and document it.

What have we been up to practically since the last post?

We had a day’s home ed trip learning about Victorians and riding steam trains on the Watercress Line.
It was my Dad’s birthday last week so we spent some time with him on Thursday at Titchfield Abbey, playing with Nerf guns and treating him to lunch out. Sam very patiently spent a good deal of time helping a random toddler fire a small nerf gun (was scary to watch!) He is like the Pied Piper, collects small children about him whereever we go it seems.

Thurs afternoon was spent making vast quantities of playdough as Friday was the last under 10’s group of term.  Lovely session, 5 new families along and a lot of mess to clear up.  I do love playdough. 

Sam spent the time I was at the group shopping for a birthday present for my Dad and hiding out in Costa. We had lunch and shopping and a leisurely afternoon as Sam had bought Sim City for his DS.

Weekend was normal pottering (aka kindle/computer/ds play) with the exception of popping to see Grandad with cake and presents (birthday was Sat).

Plans for this week went by the wayside. We had a home ed session booked on bushcraft on Monday and plans to go geocaching yesterday.  Eczema flare up meant poorly cracked skin and swollen feet though and didn’t want to take risk of infection (we do get them).
Monday was spent finishing off cartoon strip for the HE comic we’re getting published, reading (History of the Russian Revolution in prep for tomorrow) and then computer play really.

Yesterday after starting off the day with a horrendous sick head ache I managed to make it out to see a hall for potential group meets with a friend and we followed up with tea and a chat while kids played Lego and Pokemon. Afternoon went in board games and then when Scratch wasn’t working he agreed to try a Python project. He ‘wants’ to do Python but wants to do it immediately and gets frustrated so needs coaxing. After a bit of a hiccup we did get it working to draw a robot though.

Today was my last Home Ed group session for rhe academic year. After an early morning BP check up Sam spent the morning programming a art project on Scratch based on Kandinsky’s Circles. Group was a  bit of a manic one (you can tell by the fact that my coffee was so cold I didn’t even attempt to drink it) but a lot of fun and messy children.

Clock Change Hang Over

Neither of us cope well with the clock change and spring time.  Sleep patterns go mad, headaches are virtually permanent and we get really moody.  Could feel the switch today, getting any form of concentration out of Sam was hard and every time I let my attention wander from him he was gone.  Feeling exhausted myself and the smell of the grass when I opened the door to tesco triggered a pounding headache and irritated throat, so it has been a real internal battle to keep a lid on my impatience. I think I managed it.  We’ve ended (or close to) the first Monday of the clocks change without anyone crying at any point so that is an improvement on other years.

Been a pottering at home day.  Sam made a story jar and wrote a retelling of the Atlas legend.

We read about health care in ancient China and did some Tai Chi.

Sam played with bubble wrap.  I would have if he’d have shared ūüėČ
Then he programmed his microbit to act as a Magic 8 ball.Researching hw to use his Skylanders on the DS and playing on the computer took up the rest of the day.

Small Pleasures

Been a lovely quiet peaceful day. 

Latin provided fun as he was working out roots of words.  Maths was easier than he expected producing glee.  English showed what huge inroads he has made into writing as he wrote a very competent advert.  And all done by 10.15.

We read for an hour, discussing in detail as we did, from a non-fiction book about the Victorians.  While I did a job about the house Sam read about and wrote a profile on Dr Barnado.  Then read some more about Victorian schools and gave me a verbal narration to summarise.  We got out the slate and he had a go and writing Victorian script and did some extra sums.

We dug out some more Victorian replica bits for a look and then watched Victorian Bakers over lunch.

We then got distracted by looking at my sewing and sharing stories about the different monarchs.We moved on to Sketch Tuesday whichthis week was feathers.  I got into awful trouble for not emailling off last week’s st today’s has already gone! I drew a peacock while Sam did an eagle.  We did print photos to copy.

Sam then programmed one of those touch the wire games on his Microbit.

Finally we read a report about the child we sponsor and checked out where he is.  Then it was over to Roblox and work.

End of the Week

Today feels like the end of a long week.  I think it was we were tail chasing after being away.  Not so much in terms of ‘school work’ but housework, admin  and spending time with family and friends.

Today started off with Sam drawing flags and quizing me on them.  I got open mocking when I failed to recognise the flag Japan used in the Second World War … really!

The aim was to get all the jobs on the planner wrapped op and over with as soon as possible despite the flag induced late start.  However for reasons I can not quite remember Sam spent about an hour making a comic strip of our day out yesterday.  I think it was supposed to be making collage pictures on cards to tell a memory but neither of us fancied collage so idea went to drawing and then from cards to comics for ease.

We spent a lot of the morning keeping track of our survey results for maths.  He’d asked a question on my Fb timeline and our local group about favourite chocolate and we had our required 100 responses in a couple of hours and they are still coming :/

After English, Maths, Spanish and Latin we got out the Microbit and had our first proper look at it since the day he opened the box.

Ran out of steam by this point so Science was left and Sam spent the afternoon installing and playing a new computer game, Hearts of Iron 3.

Catching up, chilling, coding, cake and camp

That pretty much sums up the week ūüėČ

First an update on our never ending catalogue of physical woes. ¬†The asthma attack of the weekend thankfully was a one off, still a bit sniffy and wheezy but not a hindrance. I’ve an infected toe, which is fine without shoes but turns into a painful bleeding mess when I wear shoes so that has definitely been a hindrance. ¬†We’ve made it to groups but not managed the walks I had wanted to, think they might be out for this week too ūüôĀ ¬†Jack seems to have ‘grown in to’ asthma unfortunately and is suffering badly so have had him off school one day to make a start on getting a formal diagnosis and treatment sorted.

With Pete home one day and Jack another besides maths and english other things slipped by the wayside. ¬†Taken time to relax and read, watch tv, code…

Sam still spends as much time as he can on Scratch (we found a book on Scratch games in the library last week and he is workingalthough he is enjoying Code Combat too.  I am plodding through the FutureLearn app course.  Outside my comfort zone by a long way but still trying.

We made it to code club on Tuesday. ¬†I have no idea how Sam got on to be honest. ¬†I left him to it and worked with the younger ones. ¬†We need that separation sometimes. ¬†We headed straight home after as my toe was a mess, I had next day’s group to prepare and it kept doing this.

20160426_114400 20160426_114404Snow and hail!

Weds was our ‘Great Home Ed Bake Off’.

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So Sam spent Weds morning baking. ¬†He had a plan to adapt a brownie recipe to make ‘golden crown jewel brownies’. ¬†The event had a royal birthday theme. ¬†Unfortunately they didn’t quite come off and while not as unpleasant cooked as they looked raw they weren’t nice.

20160430_1 20160430_4 20160430_7 20160430_10¬†It didn’t matter. ¬†We had a lovely group session, made play dough cakes, modelled balloons, coloured, crafted, played with friends and ate cakes.
Here are some of the entries courtesy of a better photographer than me! I can model balloons though which I was too busy doing to get photographs ūüėČ ¬†The future is bright for cake eating at home ed events, the judging was tough!

13055039_225557371149028_933336636397604658_o 13055657_225557601149005_776524829201811593_o 13062888_225557254482373_5782605926534337976_o 13063232_225557267815705_237205071637193580_o 13071849_225557607815671_4613430398818304236_o 13072664_225557264482372_5902510056852363243_o 13087007_225557351149030_3470581774470422577_oThink this will be a regular event.

Thursday was supposed to be an at home day but turned into a take Jack to doctors day and then no idea what happened with the rest of it really.  There was cleaning and camp prep.

Friday started with more camp prep – edible brownies. ¬†Camp tradition now,¬†I always send brownies to camp. ¬†Jack reckons he never sees them after they get there so the leaders must eat them. ¬†I have pointed out that they will keep them separate as they know they are okay for Sam to eat but he’s not convinced ūüôā

20160430_50¬† We spent most of the day catching up on all the hands on project stuff we haven’t got round to the last 2 weeks.

For science we continued looking at weathering and slopes in particular.
Angles of rest and failure.

We tipped jugs of different materials to compare¬†the steepness of the slopes that they made. 20160430_14 20160430_19Then mixed the materials together for a small sensory tub 10 minute play ūüôā20160430_17For the angle of failure we rolled a jar half full of flour to see the moment the slope slipped.

20160430_23 We did more investigating of cliffs by making a playdough slope, covering it with sand and then spraying the sand so it got wet.  Very wet!20160430_25 20160430_26 20160430_27 20160430_33

We looked at binding agents and compared the strength of sand castles made with distilled water or salt water. 20160430_20 20160430_2220160430_60   We moved on to rivers and looked for our local rivers on a map.20160430_49Then we talked about how rivers form and permeability.  We made a funnel from a plastic bottle and buried it and timed how quickly 500ml drained through.20160430_37 We then compared different soils.  We cut the top off plastic bottles, covered the end with dishcloth held in place by an elastic band.  Stood the top of the bottle in the base and filled with soil.  Then poured through 300ml of water and watched which drained quickest.
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20160430_46 Exploring what happens if you put the cloth over the end of the tap.

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We finished off the work with art.

Sandwich sculptures from cleaning cloths inspired by Claes Oldenberg’s BLT

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Plus another look at Jasper Johns.  This time at his Flag artwork.  I was aiming for a bit of discussion can flags be art but the answer is yes apparently.

I asked Sam to use bleeding tissue paper to make a flag.  Really pleased with result.20160430_53 20160430_55 20160430_57 20160430_66

Then it was off for a weekend camping with the Cubs.  Luckily the huge downpour that hit had stopped by the time they got there and it has been sunny but cold since.

 

Weekend Woes

The blog and Facebook memories app remind me that this seems to be a particularly tough time of year for us.  Week before May bank holiday and Cub camp seems to be a period of illness and high pollen count.

Two years ago the two things combined to give Sam the worse asthma attack I have ever seen.  Took blue lights, 4 nebulisers and about 4 hours to stabilise him.  He was fine within a few hours.  Gave me a hell of a scare though.

Friday night saw the worst attack since then. ¬†Luckily we managed to get it under control ourselves using inhaler and the plan they’d given me at the hospital. ¬†By morning he was a bit peaky and a little wheezy but attack was long over. ¬†Made for a sleepless scary night and a weekend spent mostly resting. ¬†We were both asleep before 9pm despite having a teenage sleepover going on.

Today had a relaxed chilled air.  Pete was about having got home from a few days away on Sunday evening.

Sam wrote a letter to a friend.  We started fractions in maths and as extension work got out the pattern blocks.  Then wasted a fair amount of time making patterns and discussing area.

20160425_7 20160425_10 20160425_11  There was Mathletics, Manga High and Timez Attack.  The last two we have not used for a while and there was big disappointment that you can no longer subscribe to paid version of Timez Attack (I had promised to for 3 months from May for the period motivation really wanes).  Manga High has also updated and is not as good as we remembered.

After lunch he read and watched me have a go with the FL mobile app course – I can now make my phone turn green and have a ball that bounces off the sides of the screen ūüôā ¬†Feeling quite accomplished!

Then we subscribed Sam to Code Combat – where he spent most of the rest of the afternoon.

Fresh Air Fun

Thursday morning, I had the fidgits and felt the need to get out. ¬†So Sam did his maths as he had some of Weds left, it was drawing pie charts and we hadn’t had the statistics the day before, I helped him find the data (I’d asked his questions on Facebook) and the left him to it. ¬†Tesco bought me some food and I dealt with that. ¬†Once maths was caught up on my Dad arrived and we headed 5 mins down the coast to Hill head.

There was a school group rockpooling so we stuck to the park for a while. ¬†We’d brought a ball and kite. ¬†Not a great deal of wind and the middle tension bar was missing on the kite so that was soon abandoned. ¬†Sam played football for a while and I chatted with my Dad.

I then joined Sam and we spent a happy hour making up ball games using the space around us; slide football, kicking over the bank and target throwing through the bars of whatever it is.  Proper play!  Did us both the world of good.

We then headed on to the beach for some paddling and treasure hunting.  Found a large clam and an interesting pile of stuck together shells.

Lovely morning.

Afternoon, we started working through a proper KS2 computing curriculum.  It is really far too simple but by going back over the basic (using the workbook) I am hoping that it will get him into thinking about what processes he goes through and breaking stuff up into smaller jobs.

Home

We’re in yet another busy week. ¬†I forgot to take an antihistamine today and am feeling groggy and ready for bed but I know if I don’t blog regularly I lose the small stuff. ¬†Rather than divide things into days I thought I’d focus on what we’ve been up to when we’re in.

Position has remained the focus in maths and we’ve had some fun with maps, compass points and routes. ¬†We’re still getting on so well using the worksheets that back up Mathletics, there is very little repetitive practice, the concepts are clearly explained and they are fun. ¬†After a bit of a dip he’s found his enthusiasm for live Mathletics again and managed to spend about 40mins on there earlier.

Prepositions still the order of the day in grammar. ¬†Still giving a surprising amount of fun. ¬†We’ve been making up daft sentences from two nouns and a preposition and we spent a while using a set list of prepositions to describe position of things in Hokusai’s The Great Wave. ¬†In one of those little tweaks I’ve opted to switch from 2 handwriting, 1 spelling and 1 vocab session each week to 2 spelling, 1 handwriting and 1 vocab. ¬†His handwriting is actually really quite good now. ¬†He doesn’t join up a lot but if I am honest I still print a lot. ¬†His spelling isn’t bad either really, just has more pages left in the book ūüôā ¬†Spelling is more fun too.

We’ve talked about why we need water from a health perspective.

Made a poster

20160317_45 Set up an experiment to grow mould on bread.  We put a piece of bread in the bag touching as little as possible, one he handled a lot before bagging and then washed his hands and did the same to a third and finally rubbed one on the toilet seat.  Waiting to see which grows most mould quickest.

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I had intended to do something on health risks of unclean water but forgot!  Might try tomorrow or leave to next week.

We did some baking.  Pig, chick and bunny biscuits for Sam, coffee cake for me.20160317_51

We’re looking a Pop Art still so read about¬†Roy Lichtenstein. ¬†Looked at some of his advertisement/product inspired art. ¬†Sam drew a computer and outlined in sharpie. ¬†To paint in dots he stamped from bubble wrap ¬†for big areas and pencil rubber for small.¬†20160317_53 20160317_54

20160317_61 We went to the park. ¬†Not technically home but in our ‘home day’ area.20160317_6020160317_56

Made a slow start with Python. ¬†I think I need to read it and work with him though. ¬†He has been researching costs of Raspberry Pis. ¬†Music and appalling puns are the other big things at the moment. ¬†He’s developed a taste for Green Day!