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.

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.

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.

Off on a Tangent

It has been a not staying on task, following up various strands of conversation that have taken us far from where we’ve started and following random urges to try something out, sort of day.  We even left the house on pyjama day as the sun was shining and we wanted some garden canes to make a kite.
Anyway we did Sam’s English first thing and he did some geography while I got dressed and put bin out/washing on. 
Tesco then bought food, while I dealt with that Sam got out his nib pen and ink and wrote a postcard to his penfriend.

When I was eventually sorted we did Maths.  On Sam’s least favourite topic – time.  You’d think it’s the one that you’d just absorb but no. Anyway was managed with low stress.   Spanish and Latin were finished quickly. Apparently he was learning to flirt in Spanish 🙂
We headed out to the village to pick up some supplies from the hardware store and a bakers for lunch.

On getting home there were two police cars in the layby outside and one opposite so something was going on in my terrace.  Having filled Pete in on the gossip (the boys weren’t interested) I meant to curtain twitch but got distracted by Jack who’s new kindle (as in a week old) wasn’t doing what it should.  Spent 10 mins googling and messing round with settings before restarting it.  Which fixed it.  Finally a techy problem I could fix!  Police had gone by now so maybe I will never know.
Sam had made and eaten his lunch  by now.  So I had mine while he found his whittling knife and started work on the kite.  Incase anyone is wondering why it’s because they were used for signalling and dropping bombs in Chinese warfare.  We are reasonably confident that we will get flight when there is enough wind (not a breath today).

We finished off the Shang Dynasty book we were reading and Michael Wood’s Story of China on dvd.  Then the afternoon went in Roblox and a bath if you are Sam and work if you were me.  He did help with a craft.  I wasn’t supposed to be doing crafts I was supposed to be doing something else but hey ho.  Marbling with shaving foam is one of my favourite activities ever.  Love the texture of shaving foam.

I then made 6 batches of biscuit dough for tomorrow’s group session.

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.

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.


Bounce until you drop

Sam’s first words on getting up were ‘Are we going out today?’, knew he was desperately hoping the answer was no.  However the answer was trampolining which was better than no 🙂
He was still looking (and sounding – asthma rattle very evident) decidedly peaky but was in the mood to make an effort.  I sneakily swapped around the jobs on our plan for the week so anything vagually active fell today and tomorrow’s work is mainly reading, in other words we can retreat to bed if we want.
Maths was quite active (tired me out anyway) we were jumping, estimating how far and measuring.   There was also measuring different body parts and comparing them.  He’s surprisingly knowledgeable about the Golden Ratio ) Many moons ago I bought this book.  I have largely trained myself out of buying books that ‘might come in useful one day’ and have got rid of many that were cluttering up the shelves.  However I do have a small but excellent collection of ‘books I will make sure I work it so we have a reason to use even if that takes years’.  This is one of those!  Our first project was looking at architecture, we talked about feng shui, read about the Great Wall and made a Mongol yurt.  Mainly from cocktail sticks and marshmallows.

 Then it was an hour and a half of bouncing.  He dropped then, pretty much fell asleep in the car.  We got dropped off in the village so we could collect prescriptions and walked home via library to collect the huge pile I’d reserved.
What I do now when we start a topic is go through Amazon and identify good books (love the look inside feature) stick them in the basket, then go through the library catalogue and reserve the ones they have, removing them from Amazon as I go.  If there are any left I decide if I really do need them and if so order.  Working well as a routine and the library staff like to guess my plans 🙂
He slumped in a heap of books on the sofa when we got home until he had an urge to make a very red cake!