Yesterday we had a home ed trip to Fishbourne Roman Palace.  Was more than a little stressful in the run up (collecting payments was a bit blood from a stone like and lots of changes from my original list to those who were actually there on the day) but day ran lovely and smoothly.

Everyone was there pretty much on time or managed to let me know before I left the house which is all I ask.  Venue were lovely and accommodating.  Gentleman running the workshop was great with the children and they were all great; lively and engaged.  Educationally it’s always hard to say what they gain from it.  Tend to find workshops are often quite basic in terms of knowledge and when with friends having fun takes priority.  I believe the experiences accumulate and knowledge is built on and made sense of, usually shows itself weeks later.  There is a balance, if a topic is new and I want to ignite an interest usually just me and him works better, however with an established interest or something more random being with friends opens his eyes again and reawakens interest.

Dressed upSAM_2128 Arch building
SAM_2130 Mosaic makingSAM_2133 Roman kitchen with busy slavesSAM_2135 BuildingSAM_2137 Fishbourne is of course most famous for it’s mosaics but these mostly passed the by the kids SAM_2136 SAM_2139 SAM_2140 Garden was where they wanted to be. SAM_2142 SAM_2143SAM_2144

After a nippy picnic we headed off.  At home Sam got out a mosaic kit we’d bought and made a dolphin mosaic coaster (note the concentration so tongue out :))SAM_2146 SAM_2148

Bit more mosaic making today.  A Lego one this time.  A lot of time was spent spinning it to see how the middle made a circle.



We couldn’t do the Romans and not take a trip to Caerleon, it is a great place and an easy drive (unless you get lost and trapped in Newport!) from my Father in Law’s.

Unfortunately it was bucketing down so we didn’t get to walk the walls or play in the amphitheatre.  Last time we went it was freezing, we will have to go one day it nice weather but unfortunately when you are only away for a few days you have to take what you get.  Although looking at the date, of last post perhaps not visiting at end of Jan would help (and how diddy and cute was Sam 😉 ).  It was also definitely better to visit on a weekend as school groups really got in the way and meant the play bit of the Legionary Museum was not accessible.

I bribed Sam into doing the worksheet in the Legionary museum to drag it out a bit.  Displays were quite interesting, particularly comparing the different ranks of soldier.

20160128_18 Legionary20160128_17 Standard bearer20160128_19 Centurion20160128_27 My favourite thing was these ivory carvings.20160128_25 Sam’s surprise, surprise was the coffin20160128_26 20160128_29 Museum was underwhelming but the toilet was impressive (first time I’ve ever tried to get a photo in a toilet and did feel daft).

After the Legion museum we visited the bath house.  Where there was another school group but they quickly left so we had a more leisurely look about.

20160128_32 Some of the kit, such as folding pans and  knifes and spoons that looked swiss army knife like, really had a modern feel.20160128_33 20160128_34 20160128_38 Selfie with Caesar 🙂20160128_40 We both got all the questions right but he won :S  So next game we played in Welsh – advantage me 😉20160128_42

Romans, Rainbows and Rocks

New term means new projects.

Romans are the humanities project of the half term.  Romans and ancient history has been a long time interest so it’s a good one for this time of year.  We’ve done a lot of the bigger days out and we’re not in the mood for anything too crafty as work is busy and we have a very hands on science project.  So basically we’re reading through the Usbourne Encyclopaedia of the Roman World.  Discussing ideas, reading things that tie in and following up some of the internet links as we go.  But basically keeping it very low key.  Might try and read the Eagle of the Ninth trilogy too.


This week we’ve focussed on early pre-Empire Rome, the founding and the Republic.  Covered 3 of Sam’s favourite stories Romulus and Remus, Spartacus and Caesar (that Caesar book was the first book he ever read I think and he must have read it hundreds if not thousands of times since).


Besides reading we’ve been researching Etruscans on the web, watching History of Ancient Britain; Celtic Britain (again 😉 ) and of course we visited the Celts exhibition at the British Museum.  I had hoped to make it to Butser Ancient Farm but weather, deliveries and the fact it was closed meant it didn’t happen!

We’re sticking with our ‘How the Earth Works’ theme in science but moving on to focus on rocks, fossils and soils this term.  The job for this week was to set up a rock collection.  I bought some samples using the list from this book as a guide (really good book btw).  We read about them and looked at the various samples with the magnifying glass.

20160108_6 20160108_7 20160108_8 20160108_9 It’s been a week for dodging some very heavy showers.  We have made it to the park a couple of times including the Adventure Playground for home ed session.  Where we saw a rainbow, got wet and muddy and made ‘relax bottles’ and ‘graditude jars/pots’.20160107_3 20160107_6 20160107_7 20160107_8


We’re looking at length and measurement in Maths and had a bit of fun estimating the length of broken matchmakers before eating them.

We’ve also started an animation course on FutureLearn, the first that Sam has joined in with.  Not got far but looks fun.  He started playing with the stop frame app and there is a video on the Facebook page.

Full and busy first week back, a nice mix of days out/social time and time in pjs 🙂