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.


And grumpy to boot that sums up my day really.  Not been a bad one.
Maths, English, Spanish and Latin done efficiently.
Science done less efficiently and with total failure. We made a water table that didn’t work as wanted and a cartesian diver that wouldn’t dive. 
We watched a documentary on canals over lunch.
Afternoon had a brief discussion that tomorrow is Children’s Day in Japan, not sure depails sunk in. We made some origami in celebration, a Samurai helmet and some cranes.
My Dad was round by now so he and Sam played games. Sam took a trip to the library and I went to vote then evening crept up on us.
Listening to a game of Risk.

Chimes, Cakes and Conquering

Another at home day as we were waiting in for parcels for tomorrows HE group.
Didn’t have the smoothest start as Sam woke very wheezy but got that under control and the day came together well.  I thought I’d put too much on the planner but in reality we’d done anything ‘schooly’ by around 10.30am (Maths, English, Spanish, Latin and Asia unit study) and wasted the rest of the morning reading about Japan, looking at the globe, playing the tune that was in the book we were reading, listening to it played properly on the koto via youtube, looking up sculptures from Sappro’s Snow festival and writing haikus.
After lunch we watched an episode of Joanna Lumley’s Japan. Sam baked his cake for tomorrow’s HE Bake Off, he taught me how to play Risk and we had baths and reassembled the cake – did not come out of tin easily!

Tea Party and Eggy Fun

Monday seems a long way a way now – the problem of not blogging regularly.  Was an incredibly busy week though, don’t seem to have stopped until today when we sort of crashed.

Besides the usuals we finished off the resources section of our Asia study and then read about food in Ancient China. We held a very fudged version of a Chinese Tea Ceremony and Sam baked moon cakes.

After lunch we had friends round for science. With Easyer on the horizon I dumbed the structures route we had been going down and we did eggs.
Standing on them, I think between 5 people standing on them (inc me who is no light weight) we broke 4.

We then had a go at turning eggs inside out by spinning them in tights.  We got one that sort of worked.

A go at decorating eggs by painting eggs with a paste of baking soda and food colouring and then dripping vinegar on so the colours mixed failed completely when the vinegar washed the eggs clean.  But vinegar and baking soda always makes kids happy so lost them for a while to making a fizzy mess.

When I finally persuaded them to clean up the mess I was asked questions about why the shell had gone funny on some.  So I explained the acid desolving shell thing and popped one in a jar of vinegar ro demonstrate.  Scum was forming on top an hour later.  Not sure if it completely dissolved as stuck a lid on and sent it to stink out some one else’s house. We then wrapped up eggs in tape, foil and elastic bands and took them out with some unwrapped ones to test which survived the roll down the hill best.  Which moved on to throwing, which moved on to sweeping the path and hanging out in the park for a while.

After a tidy it was to the school for a meeting with Jack, while Sam and Pete got to enjoy a spring evening on the beach.

Where Did The Time Go?

One minute we were on target to meet all of our goals by 10.30 next thing I knew it was 12.15 and we needed lunch and to get ready for science group and we still had stuff on the list.  Nevermind it was a nice enough day.

Maths, English, Latin, Spanish, some of Asia unit, reading of our Stories from the Silk Road and some work from our Ancient China activity book.  We were looking at Chinese exploration and made a hanging compass (very successfully) and a junk (less successfully).

After lunch we had science where they made towers and tested their ability to withstand wobbling and ate a lot of jelly and marshmallows.
They then planned a newspaper tower and tried to construct it.  We didn’t use enough sheets in each roll though so needed a head to hold it up.

Fun and Games

I broke my usual rule of not working during the school day this morning as was trying to meet a deadline but Sam was able to get on with most things while I sat nearby anyway.  He doesn’t need me like he did, actually it is more a case that he needs the computer so I have to give way 🙂
Besides maths, English, Latin and Spanish the work of the day was mainly Chinese themed. 
Sam made a relief map from his Ancient China book while I read aloud from our Stories from the Silk Road and we watched an episode of Sam Willis’ Silk Road.

After lunch we had home ed group.  As it was an extra session to usual because we originally had a workshop booked we opted to have a parents afternoon.  Got the kids to bring board games, some of them set up a cake shop as they were fundraising for comic relief and left them to it.  Parents settled in the other room with coffee to have a chat about all things home ed and browse books people had bought along.  Very pleasant afternoon.

A Schooly Looking Day

I was exhausted today.  Hands on fun stuff was beyond me so it was a catch up on quieter stuff.  Nice to have balance but a low photo post and not an exciting one, more a list of what we did.

So we did;

a dictation exercise from Writing With Ease 3 about Laura Ingalls Wilder
a writing exercise from his Collins book encouraging use of personal details to bring authenticity
a review and activities verbally on quotations mark
a lesson on finding percentages of numbers
a couple of Mathletics games
Spanish practice
Latin verbs
reading and a worksheet on children’s work in Victorian times
read some of a My Story book on a Sweep’s Boy
watched last episode on Victorian Slum
a couple of comprehension style exercises about natural resources in Asia
drawing for Sketch Tuesday

Hands On Fun

We were back to routine today after last weeks frolics.  We caught up on what hadn’t been done last week in terms of Maths and English.
Sam worked through his Asia unit study, learning about the natural resources of the continent.
We read about jade carving in Ancient China and looked at some jade burial suits.  We mixed together two shades of fimo for a jade look and Sam made a ‘bi’ a ring with a dragon around it and a flute.  Not sure why the flute came it to it.
In the afternoon friends were around for science.  We talked about forces that act on a bridge (modelled with marshmallows).  They made beam bridges and tested how many coins they held.  Then strung the bridges to make them suspension bridges and retested.

Moving on to towers next time so with time to spare they had a go at making their own.  Can’t go wrong with spaghetti and marshmallows. Inspired by chatting with friends Sam reinstalled Minecraft and had a play. Made a cake.Now he’s stretched out in front of Richard Hammond’s Wild Weather.

Long, Busy but Good Day

Tuesday feels like a week’s worth of posts in one.
Sam embraced the handson Maths that he’d refused to do on Monday with enthusiasm.  We were estimating and weighing small items.

His creative writing project for the week had him making a theatre.  This turned into a lot bigger job than anticipated as he got in to the whole plan and it turned into a design and engineering challenge and took a lot of the morning. Architect has been added to the list of potential careers.

We just had time to test an idea for next week’s home ed group before lunch.  Pleased with it as icing isn’t my ‘thing’.
We didn’t manage to get any of our project work done before lunch with the distraction of theatre and biscuits.  We did watch more of Michael Foot’s Story of China over lunch though.
We wasted a good 10 mins looking for a book after lunch before given up.  Instead I read aloud from our book on Ancient Chinese inventions, this time about war and weapons.  Sam busied himself with a making a terracota warrior from clay.

We spent a bit of time curled up by the fire reading Stories for the Silk Road before Sam settled on to laptop to play and I got on with admin for future home ed group activities.
In the end it was a rush to get out on time for the evening activity.  Which was Stargazing Live, lots of cosmology activities run by Portsmouth Uni at the Dockyard.  I can’t tell you what most of the pictures are as it really doesn’t grab me at all.  Sam was interested though!

I then sat up until nearly midnight on HE group admin.  Exciting plans though 🙂

Other Priorities

10 days since my last post.  That is a long time on recent form.

Those who know what I do workwise might guess the cause 😉 It’s been a month where my head has been full with other concerns and priorities.  Home ed has plodded on successfully, albeit with a bit more home time. Although hard to tell how much that is down to work and how much is Sam having a heavy, wheezy cold all month and me watching the pennies. Having the energy and time to blog though hasn’t happened.

Anyway this is a catch up post.  Trying to recal what we have done.

Maths has been area, lengths and perimeters. 
English, Latin and Spanish just progressed on with no dramas.

History has been lots of reading of abridged versions of Dickens, trying to source more as he’s loved them.  We’ve also watched Victorian Pharmacy.

Geography we’ve continued to look at Asia and China.  He’s written diaries of an Everest climb and we have continued to explore inventions from China, designing a house to Feng Shui rules and making paper from egg boxes.  We’ve also continued to read about the Shang Dynasty and watch Michael Wood’s Story of China.

Science and we continued to look at the human body.  Digestion was good fun. 
We soaked cloths stained with ketchup in different washing powders to see the affects of enzymes. Broke down fats.
Modelled the digestive system with a bit too runny results. Started off with too much sauce in the beans.

Week after was the turn of the lungs.  We burnt up oxygen, measured breath temperature, demonstrated there was moisture in breath and made a model where one lung worked.

Socially we’ve had trampolining. We tried out a venue for a potential social meet.  Don’t think we’ll be going back, it was a cafe with a play centre attached thought it would be good place for mixed age gatherings but crikey it was loud and Sam and the other older ones weren’t too impressed.  Will leave it to the younger ones I think.
We did find this gem on our walk home though.
On Weds last week we were supposed to have an animal handling workshop but it got cancelled on the morning due to illness so we lost the morning to making sure everyone knew, telling the venue and trying to sort new plans.  New plans were geocaching.  Very successful and icy outing.

The last two Fridays have focussed on getting me new glasses as my eyesight has been causing issues for a while.  We had a long time in Game after my test so he could spend Christmas vouchers.  Lots of practical maths as we were price comparing with Amazon (where he also had vouchers).  This week we collected the glasses and spent some time in the local museum.  We’d been talking about the workhouse scandal at Fareham so that was where we headed but ended up hanging out for a while.

At home we continue to spend lots of time on board games.
Plus Sam eventually finished Christmas Lego.