50% Success rate

I think that is a fair summary of the last few days of last week!

Weds was simply one of those days where everything breaks, has dead batteries or is missing, other people haven’t done what they are supposed to; basically if it could go wrong it did.  Looking for positives in the day; we managed the start of some crafts for work (and to make a mess, messy crafts are the best!)

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20160706_143751 and the charity shop provided these gems.  It could have provided many, many more but Sam dragged me out of there before I undid all my good work on the book clear out front.

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Thursday should have been a good day.  We had a home ed trip to Little Woodham.  The plan had been to go over with my Dad and then spend the afternoon just hanging out with friends and walk home over the valley.  However tree pollen must be strong, I’ve been really sneezing and spluttering for a week now.  Just as I went to make lunch the sneezes started and didn’t stop for about 1/2 hr, by which time I was physically exhausted and only had time to grab a bag of crackers and a drink for Sam before it was time to go.  It is a lovely place and my Dad really likes it, Sam and I have been enough times to be a bit meh to be honest.  The volunteers who run it are brilliant and really know their stuff.  However they do get very stressy about coming over and telling you to watch the kids, which makes me stressy and I end up insisting Sam stays with me or my Dad which makes him grumpy, and it was a relief to leave.  The horrendous, hayfever headache didn’t help.
I’ve decided that one day I am going to find the time to get more into the research and possibly try and find the time to volunteer there.  They had a waistcoat that they had spun the wool, woven the cloth, dyed with traditional dyes and sewn up.  I would so, so love to get in to that sort of thing.  Been saying it for years but I’d like a spinning wheel one day!
Perhaps next time I’ll just do one of the open days with my Dad and leave Sam at home.

20160707_104745 - Copy 20160707_104756 - Copy 20160707_104950 - Copy 20160707_105227 - Copy 20160707_110548 - Copy 20160707_111603 20160707_112924 20160707_113110 20160707_114439 20160707_114901 20160707_120044 20160707_120436 20160707_121352Coming home for the afternoon meant I could get on with housework and finish off the crafts for work which cheered me up as had been getting more and more behind on both and I was suffering from that overwhelmed too much to do that you can’t face starting thing.

Friday was my Dad’s birthday so we baked a cake and he came round for the morning for chat and board games.
In the afternoon we finished off our work on the weather to draw a line under this year’s science.  Didn’t go too well – 50% success rate and a lot of water spillage on the experiment front.

We had success with seeing the condensing of air pressure when a plastic bottle half filled with hot water was rapidly cooled.
20160711_14And with demonstrating sky colours by shining a torch into a glass of watered down milk.20160711_18 Less success with the tornado in a bottle thing (water was green – no idea why it looks like sludge). 20160711_24 Making raindrops didn’t work with the water gun but did with the spray bottle.20160711_27 20160711_30 I’ll skip over the hour wasted failing to make a cloud in a bottle and the water fountain (dyed water too) that was the result of not having a watertight seal on my attempt to show convection.

Evening was Scouts and he made it to be invested 🙂

20160711_34 Weekend picked up and was far more positive than negative.  We managed to get out and catch up with friends and I found time to watch the tennis.  House is tidyish, Olympic offering pretty much finished off for work, bit of pre-holiday admin done, Futurelearn courses nearly up to date.  4.30 am starts though to fit it all in!

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It’s a smiley face drawn with a water gun.

Sunny Days

My original plan for today had been a trip up to London to do the BM and possibly detour via Somerset House (with a change of clothes in my bag for the fountains), however I’m struggling a bit physically with aches and pains and wasn’t sure I could face the heat.  Plan 2 was to post on group and go to splash park but even that seemed a bit beyond me.  As it happened I ended up with an exhausted headachy Jack off school.  He picked up by late morning and we’ve had a lovely day.

We had a look at a non-verbal reasoning test for a bit of fun.

Our final section of the ‘How the Earth Works’ science topic is to look at the atmosphere.  Reading and discussion followed and then we did the candle in a bowl of water with a glass over to show the effect of burning the oxygen up.  We’ve done this quite a few times but never lets me down, effect is good.

20160606_135320 20160606_14002620160606_135919 We then talked about the sun and made solar oven s’mores.  This one never works well but we keep trying!  The marshmallows were squidgy apparently and we got good chocolate meltage.

20160606_125652 20160606_142604 20160606_142752Making anything by solar oven is not efficient use of time but we spent our time in the garden happily enough, setting fire to paper caps.

20160606_142107 20160606_142124Jack fixed the Xbox which has not been working properly for a long time and the boys celebrated by playing Minecraft together while I worked on a FutureLearn course.  We topped off the day by actually getting round to building the exercise bike!

Coke cans and Changes of Plan

We had the community tables booked at the library on Friday.  Once more we had them to ourselves. I need to make a call on whether to cancel them or organise an activity from them.  Will leave decision to over the summer as going along works quite nicely for us anyway and that was why I arranged it.

Sam spent most of the time we were there drawing.  We returned to where we’d started our Pop Art project – Andy Warhol.  We looked at the Campbell’s Soup Cans talked about recognisable brands and tried drawing a coke can.  I’m impressed with the effort.

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He went on to do a collection of sketches, because he decided he wanted to, looking at reflections.  We did do some maths and English even if most of the stuff for maths was on the table at home!

We had a picnic lunch down by the waterfront.

20160527_120854 The plan had been to do a treasure trail around Gosport after lunch.  However, despite the tourist office having copies whenever we’ve nipped in for the last few years, did they when I wanted one?  Of course not!

We had a quick charity shop rummage collecting this gem.
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It was then home to spend the afternoon in a sunny garden looking at the science of oceans and coastal erosion.  We’ve done this before in geography so just a reminder really.

We read lots.  Made waves.20160527_144142 Showed how waves refract around round objects – headlands or macaroni cheese 🙂20160527_145048 We then made a sandy beach and gently rocked the fish tank to make waves and watched the beach erode.20160527_150545 20160527_150609 Toy knights were brought out to join in and I left Sam to make a huge mess and sat down to a coffee.  Unbelievably (if you ignore my attempt to cover RE) we have kept up with my spreadsheet of HE plans made in August 2015 and we’re drawing close to an early summer holiday.  Feeling quite satisfied at the moment.   20160527_150842

From Bouncing to Bubbles

We really, really haven’t stopped this week.  Been a good one but rather tired now and have a weekend of catching up on stuff that has been ignored in the week to look forward to.

I’ve been trying to co-ordinate a time to have a phone call and chat with our new museum officer and it just hasn’t happened, taken me a week to find some gaps in the schedule when I can promise to be in and it’s another week before there is one we can both do.  Have I mentioned that I am a little traumatised by the retirement of the out going museum officer?  I’ve known her 10 years and she has run many activities for us HE and community and we got on well and she understood the complexities involved in booking HE trips and we could laugh through gritted teeth about the time keeping of HEers and all the other stuff that organising HE trips requires me to normally apologise for.  Actually back when the job was 2 jobs I had a lovely chat with the two museum officers one day when they told me horror stories about visiting schools that made me feel so much more relaxed on HE trips – we could be worse it seems.  Touch wood,  the new lady seems nice enough though.  My days of organising trips to local museums are drawing to a close anyway.  They only seem to cover Primary ages.  We’ve still technically a year to go but most of the KS2 workshops now aren’t that interesting or challenging.  I’m hoping to do a Harvest event at the local Windmill, I never got around to it last year.  Plus I must do one more at Search for old time’s sake.  May even take a younger group too on the hope that one of the ‘next generation’ will take on the mantle of working with them as it is such a fantastic resource.

Anyway I have rather digressed.  Monday started with Maths and English and then a trip to a local(ish if by bus) trampoline park.  I wish I’d gone on!

20160509_9 20160509_10 20160509_11 20160509_15Tuesday dawned, hot, grey and oppressive.  Rare I suffer from asthma now but the walk from town to coding club triggered a nasty attack so afternoon plans got shelved and I accepted a lift home from a friend and can’t remember at all how the afternoon went.  I think it was more coding, lots of coffee and sitting in a bath trying to breathe.
Sam went up to  Hundred Acre Woods in the evening for den building with the Cubs. He made his own tea first 🙂

20160511_2Weds, weather was better fortunately.  As well as maths and English some science was managed before it was time to go out.  We were looking at the the impact of ice and glaciers on the landscape.

We started off with a pile of cards on a tray with weights on top and tilted the tray until they slipped down showing the cards on top moving faster.

20160511_3 20160511_4We discussed that it isn’t so much the ice doing the eroding but what it carries.  We dipped a melting ice cube in sand and then rubbed it across a piece of balsa wood to see the scratches it made.

20160511_6 Finally we showed the formation of moraine by pushing a full bag of water across a tray of sand.

20160511_12Then made a mess!

20160511_16 The afternoon was DIY group.  This is my favourite group I think.  I like the fact that there is a slightly educational angle but it is fun and practical.  I like that there is a lot of collaboration but it doesn’t feel forced.  Sam is about in the middle age wise and that is perfect!  It’s a nice bunch of people that come.  Need a few more regulars to make it sustainable long term I think which is a pity.

The session was based on game design.  We started off with story cubes and a go at a word game which failed.  We then did a beetle drive which went down surprisingly well.20160511_18 20160511_19 Finally it was on to some game design.  We split into two groups and gave the children cards to make for 1000 cards.  This took way longer than I’d planned for.  In fact making the cards and playing took them to 20 mins off the session end and they were asking (even the teens) to go out for a run about in the garden, so off they went.  They found a rounders bat in the undergrowth last time.  This time they came out with a hockey stick!

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Thursday is normally Grandad day but we had a birthday picnic to go to.  We combined them both in the end.  Rushed through maths and English and then headed into town for breakfast with my dad before catching a bus on to join friends at Portchester Castle.  We had quite possibly the most chaotic game of rounders I have ever seen.20160512_5 20160512_7 20160512_27 20160512_45 20160512_73 20160512_89 20160512_105Today we were off to Gosport library as had the community tables booked.  Maths, English and some working through of a book on the River Hamble and a lot of reading and choosing new books.  We picked up some craft supplies for work and had lunch in McDonalds as ‘big’ drops of rain were falling.  I am a firm believer in the no such thing as bad weather just poor clothing.  Well in the 2 minutes we were out in it my blouse was starting to stick to my chest.  Much longer and it would have been pointless, welded to me and transparent.  I was wearing poor clothing!

At home the afternoon vanished in playing with some pocket money toys we’d picked up in the week when buying for his friend, a lot of reading and a long time in the garden playing with bubbles (no photos as I was making the bubbles).  There was some Minecraft which he hasn’t played for months and now he is at Scouts, Jack is at Explorers and I have a glass of wine!

 

 

Full Friday

We have finally found the playground on the Alver Valley!  Not that we had actually looked for it before, we tend to head for the old Motte and Bailey site for climbing and don’t drift that far east.  But we came into the park from the east for a change and there was the playground.  Definitely our favourite local playground now.  Just needs the zip wire fixed and less flies and it would be near perfect for us.

Anyway Friday started early with a quick run through of maths and English.  By coincidence his writing, grammar and vocab work have all focussed on synonyms this week, which considering they are 3 distinct curricula is odd but good.  Maths we’re on decimals, this seems to be one of those things that he has mastered instinctively so we motor through just to check.

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We were then off to Fareham as I had the under 10’s HE group to run.  The plan of Pete having Friday off hasn’t worked so far.  It doesn’t matter though, I enjoy the opportunity to chat to parents I may not see otherwise and the test on my creativity of coming up with activities for the younger ones.  Sam takes his kindle and takes himself off to the cafe for a treat.  I would never plan that into my life but Pete and I both agree it is a good thing.

After the group we caught the bus down to the east side of the Alver Valley.  We picnicked in the playground.  This may be my favourite climbing frame ever.

20160506_13 20160506_15 20160506_cSuddenly seems to be getting a ‘dare devil’ he was happy(ish) to swing above my head (quite a big step).  Then even started jumping off!  We spent a long time doing that.
20160506_17It bounces and spins but I suspect it needs more people to get it working well.
20160506_19Then we started walking in the direction of home for our real reason to be on the valley – the river!  Which of course was flooded.  Normally I am in wellies but having been into town first it was a shoes off and paddling job.

20160506_27Our first job was trying to measure the river flow.  The idea was that we’d throw an orange into the water and time it’s journey over a set distance.  The reasons for an orange is that it should sit below the water line and catch the flow better and that it would biodegrade.
There was no flow!  Plus the obvious thing if I’d thought about it happened.  Throw something into the river at Apple Dumpling Bridge and a dog jumps in to retrieve it for you 🙂  Only dogs don’t like oranges it seems so they spit it straight out! They also don’t learn from other dogs or their own experiences, about 4 different dogs tried to retrieve our orange, most tried several times 🙂  Was very funny to watch.
20160506_28 We had some tests to test the nitrate and phosphate levels in the water.  First attempt was a failure but second saved the day.20160506_30

20160506_a20160506_38
20160506_b We walked home through the country park and I just had time for coffee and ironing new Scout/Explorer shirts before taking Jack for a frustrating medical appointment.  Nothing annoys me more than being treated like an idiot!

Home with Subway for tea.  I did a ‘supermum’ and rustled up brownies.  Microwave brownies are one of the big positives to take from my guiding years.  10 mins from idea to plate from stuff I usually have in.

Then it was time to take Sam for his first session at Scouts and Jack to Explorers.  All change here.  10pm before we were all in and settled.  A busy but (annoying nurse aside) good day.

 

Enjoying being a child

I was intending to title this post ‘rivers and recycled art’ as that is what we have been learning about.  While the purpose of the blog is keeping track of that learning so it doesn’t all get lost in the business of living, in light of the news stories this week and my determination to enjoy the small stuff it is life we’ll focus on.

Our parcel showed up mid morning on Weds so we finished up the mornings work and headed out.  Not for the big adventure I am itching for but for a pleasant day enjoying what is on our own doorstep.
Picnic on the beach.

20160504_115322There was a lot of this unusually.  He doesn’t normally do slides but played for an hour happily on his own going up and down (well a collection of much younger children were entertained by pushing him down so not that on his own 🙂 ).  He was in slippery clothes too, got some pace up!

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When he’d exhausted that we stopped for a Penguin mixed ice cream (whipped strawberry and vanilla in a spiral).t3Then spent some time in the arcade.  Penny falls, air hockey and then one video game is the rule 🙂t4

20160504_133801 20160504_134515 Skate park.20160504_135117

Home for a long overdue haircut.  I am mum of many talents.  Even the teenager prefers me to the barber!  Although please don’t judge me on Sam’s fringe it was a bit of an oops.  I don’t have an after pic.

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Thursday we had another parcel due and Sam wanted to stay in and do the science planned as it’sounded fun’.  It was too!  We tried to create a river in a tray.  It did work surprisingly.  It wouldn’t do the fancy things with meanders like in the book but then we were using a wooden tray from Wilkos and a jug rather than the properly home built ‘storm tray’ 4 times the size of ours and rigged up to a hose pipe.  So happy with what we did get which was the basic idea and a lot of fun.

We lined a large flat tray with a plastic bin liner, filled with sand and levelled it.  We raised one end so it was on a slope.  Sam then gently but steadily poured water in from the top.  We watched a channel form and eventually a delta.  Then Sam spent a good while creating a flood of biblical proportions and a right mess.  He had a lot of fun doing it!

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We then did this weeks art based on Rauschenberg’s Retroactive.  He had his sketchbook a couple of newspapers and Sunday supplements and the brief to make a collage based on news stories.  Love the result.  I love being able to take a subject he thinks he isn’t interested in and doesn’t enjoy and turn it so he doesn’t notice he is doing it. I’ve had very few misses he always enjoys the art activities so much and he’d never do them if down entirely to him.

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We’d been efficient and it was still only lunch time.  So we had lunch and went to vote.20160506_2

Then collected Grandad and went to the park to use the exercise machines and get my sparkly water soul lift.  Unfortunately I forgot about all the INSET days for the election so we didn’t stay that long as park was far too busy.  We did find someone to show us one of the model electric boats they’d built.  It was nearly big enough for Sam and pretty impressive.
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20160506_7Home and there was time for some coding while I had a bath and dragged myself off to Jack’s school for a meeting about an exchange he is going on.

Pleasant few days; lots of park time and work has been cutting and sticking and sand and water play 🙂

Catching up, chilling, coding, cake and camp

That pretty much sums up the week 😉

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 🙁  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 😉  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 🙂

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 🙂20160430_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.

 

Finding the Right Words

Is so important in home ed and parenting in general.  The right words can make a complex idea click or a chore into a game.

I chanced upon exactly the right choice of words on Friday that took him from edge of melt down defiance to excited embracing of a project and flowing with ideas.  I’d love to say it was a well thought out plan and there wasn’t months of cajoling and resistance beforehand but heyho.

I have tried everything to interest Sam in creative writing and failed.  He’s never going to write for fun like Jack but I think we’ve reached the point where a bit of basic skills are needed.  I don’t think he’ll be interested in going to Seniors next year but like doors to be open and this is probably our big gap.  I’ve laid the building blocks and he can be very creative at times but he finds it hard and shuts down.  We have spent all the academic year working on bits relating to writing fantasy stories, a couple of sentences here, character out line there, very small short steps.  We’re now at the point of trying to pull it all together, it is all there.  He thinks he can’t do it though and therefore won’t try.

The frustrating thing is he has spent hours this week describing plans for imaginative computer games, so I know he can be creative.  Inspiration hit!  ‘Don’t think of it as a story think of it as describing the route through a computer game; the quest you need do to win, the magic items etc’.  Never seen such a rapid change, suddenly there was a file with a detailed plot line ready to expand on,

It was bucketing down and Jack was home ill so it was a day for catching up with stuff at home.

We looked at rivers and marked some of the most famous ones on a map.  We talked about the importance of rivers to humans and how so many important settlements are on rivers.  I made cards which listed some of the world’s capital cities and matching cards with their rivers and he used an atlas to help match them.

20160415_180315 20160415_111424 We moved on in science to looking at weathering.  We had quite a bit of reading to do and I made the mistake of reading denudation as de-nude-ation which caused much hilarity.  We froze a very full glass of water with a plate and weight on top and saw how the ice expanded and pushed the plate up.  We also took too wet lumps of clay and froze one.  Comparing them today.  Photo doesn’t show clearly but the frozen one was cracked.

20160415_130526 20160416_182417 20160416_182435

We’re sticking with Pop Art for art I think there is a lot more fun to be had here.  We looked at Jasper Johns Map.  After some discussion we decided Sam’s take would be flood filling on paintshop a European map.

jaspar johns

Rest of the day went to play, baking and work.

Tick Tock

Today has been one of those days.  I cancelled all our usual plans to allow us to have a relaxing, respite day so we had some chance of getting Sam to Cubs (he’s been too drained the last two weeks).  Plus with a busy week I wanted some time to get some work done with Sam, some crafts done for work and tomorrow’s new home ed group planned.  Didn’t end up that relaxing or productive in the end.  I should have known when I received a phone call from a venue clarifying details of a trip while I was cooking breakfast!  Who phones at 8am? Apart from Kidzania obviously!  Time has been like sand through my fingers today and I just don’t seem to have got on top of stuff.

Never mind, group is pretty much sorted and we covered the basics and a bit of science.  I managed coffee with a friend who kindly dropped round to bring me a microwave.  For an unsociable, lacking in social skills grouch I do actually have an awful lot of very, very wonderful friends :).

We had a fun game in maths of coordinates 3 in a row.  2 dice one with numbers, one with letters A-F, each person a different colour pen.  Roll the two dice and put a cross on the point on the grid.  First with 3 in a row to win.

We also made a geological clock.  Probably learned more about the maths of turning a bar timeline that we measured in mm into degrees and a circle than about geology really.

20160315_3Then coloured one we found on the British Geological Survey website.  Combined effort, I would say so we had a good opportunity to talk about it (which we did) but really I just enjoy colouring far more than he does.20160315_1 Tied to the random ceiling hook we have.  Love my hook, no obvious purpose and in an odd (anything hanging off it a risk to head and face) place.  Good place to display carefully selected things though.
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Pretty much filtered out then.  I did manage the crafts for tomorrow and just finished instruction sheets.

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Sam managed to do his codeclub assignment in 15 mins.  Still struggling with whether it is worth crossing the harbour for, not as long as they are doing scratch I think but hoping it will prod him on to Python which he is finding more difficult (not surprisingly) and he enjoys the social aspect.  By chance a friend from the club was on the site at the same time as time this afternoon and they spent some time chatting.  He did also make it out for a beach hike and chips with Cubs 🙂

Realised end of last week and start of this fizzled out on the blogging front.  There was a similarity to today, home ed admin – mainly of the trip booking variety plus hayfever induced headaches and can’t be botheredness.

Bit of a disaster when they announced that we can’t have half price rate for laser tag any more.  Makes it too expensive to keep doing but begging for a rethink and looking at alternatives as far and away Sam’s favourite activity and I like having the chance for a relaxed chat with the other parents – or sometimes being a passenger for my friend’s 3yo as he repeatedly crashes the helicopter simulator.  Sam didn’t get upset though in fact he was quite enthusiastic about one of the suggestions to the level he ‘might actually prefer that’.

On the work front nothing spectacular to report.  We’re enjoying position unit in maths.  This was reading and following directions.20160312_40 20160312_41

Prepositions are proving surprisingly fun in English.  Lots of moving about; climbing on the table and under etc.  Last week’s Writing With Ease used the Wizard of Oz.  I put the entire series on the kindle as he enjoyed the extracts and I think he’s on the third book.

We had a friend who moved last year drop by on Thursday so my plans for productivity failed there too.  It was far, far nicer to see them though, long over due catch up 🙂  Then various people were in and out collecting stuff and my dad showed up for a long discussion of what we think is wrong with my toilet (my house really is rubbish!)

We had our second library session on Friday and it didn’t go as well we lost all the kids quite early.  Think no one was really in the right positive work frame of mind and it spread.  Might suggest we take some games next time.  Do 40 mins work and play games after.  Although we usually play games as work 🙂  We did manage all our English and Maths and coloured most of a geological map.  I had a headache and needed to get home for someone to collect some games so we never made it to park after.  Pity as bus was late and we spent 40 mins in bus shelter instead and it was sunny and warm.

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Time seems to be galloping along at the moment.  Life has frustrations but they are minor.  Once I’m on top of the headaches, poor sleep patterns (mine but starting to be issue for Sam) and asthma, we’ll have things going well I hope.

Just Keep Swimming

Have a feeling the busy schedule is about to catch up with us.  Sam is very sniffly and wheezy and I’ve sneezes, sinus pain and a tight chest.  Hoping it is a cold rather than onset of pollen allergies.  For the second year running we don’t appear to have had any winter to speak off I don’t feel ready for summer by a long way!

We’ll have to see about impact on the week.  Sam is keen to go to Codeclub but more than happy to forsake the adventure playground after – it is something we both like the idea of from a distance but having been a couple of weeks ago we’re not that fussed to go back for a while.  Maybe we’ll be more in the mood as weather warms up.  We also have a HE trip planned and not organised by me so being ill is an option 😉  He’s keen to go though so think we’re pretty certain to make it.

Today has been a much needed quiet day at home.  We caught up with last week’s overdue maths and english and managed today’s too.  All very efficient the two days’s worth of work took about 1 1/2hrs.

We’ve started position in Maths so added a game of battleships to the morning’s lesson.

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Finished off focus on water efficiency with some calculator work on dripping taps and a household water use audit.  We played ‘splash’ top trumps and made a sand bottle weight to add to the toilet cistern to help save water.

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We also finished off our work on crystals by a lot of looking at calcite and amethyst and some household crystals (sugar and various salts).

20160307_10 20160307_12 20160307_14We read about crystals, chatted and made a birthstone wheel.  Sam made ‘gems’ by colouring rock salt and then when they’d dried out mixing them with glue and shaping into rocks.  About 30 seconds after this photo was taken I thought I’d better move the food colouring before it was spilt and yes, dropped it of course.  Make a habit of doing that!

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Rest of the day went watching Horrible Histories, browsing and uploading projects to DIY.org, messing about on Scratch and sorting and testing old games/HE resources to have a bit of a clear out.  Oh and FutureLearn courses if you are me, have 4 on the go (5 next week) may have over stretched myself :/.