Writing, Wrestling and Relaxing

Weds morning was a bit wobbly getting out the house, 2 big days out on the trot took their toll on Sam combined with horrendously high pollen counts. I just said City Museum when I was asked where we were going, decided mentioning we were doing a creative writing workshop would have lead to mutiny. Was the right move, he loved it! 
Inspired by some, seriously drab in my view, paintings of wartime Portsmouth he has sketched out a 3 book series of diary style books telling the story of WW3 from the perspective of a dog.

There were other home educators in the workshop, not as many as I thought there would be a free workshop like this posted on the home ed group I thought would get a bit of interest. The ones who were there were friends though so a picnic in the museum gardens followed.

Before home for an afternoon of relaxing (well some work for me) on the Xbox playing wrestling with Jack. Today was supposed to be relaxing but he needed to tidy his room and go to the library. Then he went straight back out since he forgot to buy the Beano. Me, I worked, organised home ed stuff, made plans for a trip away next week (mainly by emailing the places we’d like to visit and asking if they do home ed discount) and cleaned – doing that without having to rush out is the closest to relaxation I get.
Grandpa is staying now for a few days so busy again it is.

Over the Hill

We were watching a documentary yesterday that featured a ride downhill on a gravity powered train (on the Blaenau FFestiniog railway actually 🙂 ) and that is what we feel like we’re on now, a downward slope to the summer break.
Sam had a bad night’s sleep and ended up napping on the sofa until quite late.  Despite that maths was done, English too including lots of making up of silly stories, Latin and Spanish.  We finished the last of the My Story books we’ve been reading for History and watched an episode of Full Steam Ahead. Finished the last of our Asia unit study and the book we’ve been looking at about Japan. We watched some youtube videos on Japanese theatre and kendo, tried counting in Japanese and drew some Pokemon.
Day ended with some rare Minecraft playing on a Harry Potter server and then finishing off the latest Trials of Apollo.



Spring Walk

Sunday I started work at 5.30am and finished at 9.30pm with a 2 hour break to clean and iron. Monday was an indoor, sendentary day too. So this morning although Tues is normally PJ day I had to get out.
We did maths (including some shape drawing), English, Latin and Spanish then headed out.
Every season we try and do a ‘season walk’ as a launch pad for a piece of creative writing.  Seemed a perfect day for a Spring walk. We headed to the Alver Valley Nature Reserve as it’s only minutes away with the camera for some flower spotting.

At home we had lunch in front of a documentary about canals. Read aloud from Mill Girl for a while and did some work from his history textbook about the history of weaving and how factories were first established. Finally Sam wrote a descriptive piece based on this morning’s work, lots of similes! Then it was off to do our own things.

Borrowed Time

We had a very productive start to the term even if I was still sketching out a plan for science this morning! After Easter productive days are usually on the scarce side so every good day is always a welcome surprise.  The fact that Sam’s alarm clock went wrong and got him up before 7 might have been a big factor.

His online Maths required some quite complicated mental arithmetic and took way longer than usual but he did well. Luckily this was balanced by his written maths involving no written maths and instead following some instructions for origami using vacabulary such as parallel, perpendicular.

This is how science is done. For English Sam made a map of an imaginary place to use for story telling. I read aloud from a My Story book, Mill Girl whil Sam made the map. Then we read from a history textbook and did some of the questions verbally.  It’s a KS3 book as the only thing I could find that covered what I wanted in the level of detail we wanted.  Planning to use the whole scheme in future as we do seem to be drifting towards being more book based.

We rounded off history with a documentary about the Industrial Revolution over lunch.  Afternoon was science based with looking at tunnels. We made a syphon.  Which worked impressively but I was too busy trying to stop the living room getting soaked to manage a photo.  Next job was a steam powered turbine. I wsn’t so convinced this one was a likely success and I was right.  Maybe US origami paper is different to Uk version as lets just say ours didn’t like steam 🙂
Aquifers and looking at groundwater pollution came next with more success. Final bit of science was more a bit of fun. We had been reading about the Channel Tunnel and how they dug from either side and met.  I gave Sam measurements to place his sticker on one side of the card and reversed them for me.  Then poked a pin through the centre of mine to see if we’d managed to match up.  No where near! Our tunnel was heading for the Netherlands we think 😉

Roblox, work (for me), more politics chat and a game of Risk saw out the day.

To Be Or Not To Be

After a speedy morning’s work we spent yesterday at the theatre watching Hamlet.  Very glad it wasn’t our first introduction as was far from the best performance we’ve seen.  I kept falling asleep.  We had a hissed conversation that it wasn’t a patch on the David Tennant version (sadly only seen on DVD).  Come to the conclusion that Shakespeare in an indoor theatre isn’t right, especcially one that was mostly empty.  Very, very excited to have tickets for Othello at The Globe over Easter though 🙂
Hamlet did let Sam indulge in plenty of sarcasm about how cheerful it was.

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 😉
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.

We Found Out Why I Had Wet Mud My Supply List

Back in August I wrote out my supply list of what we needed block by block of activities.  All well and good but that does mean I look at the list in January and think what on earth can we possibly want wet mud for for Maths of all things? 
Turns out we were drying it out and working out the volume of water removed.  We had to cheat as not a hot day and bake it in the oven.  No wonder Pete looks dubious at what he finds in the kitchen at times, think he’s scared of accidentally eating a science experiment!

More hands on maths (yesterday’s work to catch up on too!) when we looked at displacement.  Never stops being fun 🙂
Sam also made story stones.  We managed one sensible story about Thor (there was a man with a hammer) and Loci.  The second one had more stones added and ended up a lot more surreal with a carpenter becoming a mythical knight and battling Donald Trump. Who died and turned into a giant flying snake that got nucked by the Russians!

We did manage to catch up on all our ‘core’ work from yesterday.  After lunch and an episode of Victorian Farm we ran out of steam though and rather than do a very practical science session curled up and read one of the My Story books we’d picked up on the Victorians.  This one was on the Workhouse.

Slow Day

In the mood to take it quietly today.
Started with Latin and Spanish.
Sam got into a creative writing task so much I even managed to sit down and work.  We did even more creative story telling this time with shadow puppets (I’ve put some of the videos on Facebook page), I think his creative zeal had gone by this time.  
He liked the ‘den’ though and stayed in it for Maths.

Well until he wanted to use the centimetre cubes. For use substitute play with 😉 We then looked at education and Confucianism in ancient China.  Carved rubbers into moveable type using one of those pointy things from scratch art sets.  Was lying about and was perfect for the job.  Ink was mushed up berries run through a sieve. He stamped out the letters on to the paper we made last week.  I take full responsibility for the back to front S.We read more about the Shang dynasty (scary levels of human sacrifice) and watched more of Michael Wood’s Story of India.  Then some Code Academy and Sam made a cake.

Lost Sam to the laptop for the afternoon and I got distracted from work by booking HE trips.

Christmassy Creativity and Bouncing

Very late I am starting to catch the Christmassy vibe at long last.  I know lots of people were grumbling in Nov at the decorations but it really does kill the festive season for me having it in your face for so long, it’s hard to be excited about it when it goes on so long. 
Anyway I started the day playing with making snowflakes.
We had a few activities to finish from Sam’s creative writing scheme.  We started with Stories from our Neighbourhood.  Sam made a collage of a street and added details.  Later in the day he wrote a small story about it.  I like the flying shark!
The second activity was our Christmas Story Walk.  I had intended to just walk round the local streets enjoying the lights one evening but all but 1 of my neighbours seem to have gone discreet and tasteful this year.  So we roped Grandad in for a trip to Keydells, a nursery about 1/2 hr away where they have a Christmas Woodland Walk.  This is a staple visit for many friends but without the car we’ve never been.  Probably a good thing as with his dummy/auton phobia it would not have gone down well when he was younger, we were both a bit freaked at some of the figures now.  Definitely Christmas with a sinister twist.  He took my camera and had a whale of a time though.

After the walk we had a brief look around the nursery, nearly fainted at what they were charging for decorations.  We were going to have lunch in the cafe but crikey it was loud, full of oung children, just being young children but in a small space so we headed to the Tesco opposite trampolining.
Trampolining was quiet thanks to huge numbers of the group being at the panto but it was lovely, a chance to play and chat with people that we don’t normally.