Out and About and Brotherly Bonding

Trying to shake off the maladies we’ve arrived home from holiday with, taking it in turns to bounce up and down healthwise. Moodwise though can really feel the difference a holiday and the change in weather has brought. Everyone can summon smiles and has stopped moaning about being hot 🙂

We’ve had two days out this week. First one was with my dad to our closest museum. It’s a replica 17th Century village run by volunteers who do it in character. One day when I manage to conjure up more hours in a week I’d love to volunteer there.  Sunday was a little different to their usual activities as it was their rural crafts day. Lots of external crafts folk around and far, far busier than normal. The highlight was watching the kiln being opened, my morning FB memories told me it was exactly a year to the day since we went to watch last year’s firing of the kiln.

They had a ‘trickster’ there who we’d not met and who Sam spent most of his time with, while my dad chatted with the potter and I wandered around enjoying the crafts and the setting.

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Monday we turned the need to drop off some books into a chance to get out and enjoy a walk I have been meaning to do for 16 years (I get to things in my own time) along the Titchfield Canal.  We’ll be back at some point but next time we won’t have errands to run in Fareham after so we can continue all the way down to the beach.

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Tues and Weds have been catching up on housework, admin and cracking on with work if you are me.  Reading and watching wrestling if you are the boys.

Summer Days

Blogging definite slipped way down list of priorities. Probably should be when I should try and make the effort to blog more really when we go more relaxed and unschooly as I miss recording exactly how much can be learnt this way. I no longer feel the need to though, I am happy with what we covered this year, he’s entitled to a rest and a holiday and if he was learning nothing for a month or so would it be an issue – no. In reality you can’t stop a child learning, he’s like a sponge, I just feel no inclination to analyse and document it.

What have we been up to practically since the last post?

We had a day’s home ed trip learning about Victorians and riding steam trains on the Watercress Line.
It was my Dad’s birthday last week so we spent some time with him on Thursday at Titchfield Abbey, playing with Nerf guns and treating him to lunch out. Sam very patiently spent a good deal of time helping a random toddler fire a small nerf gun (was scary to watch!) He is like the Pied Piper, collects small children about him whereever we go it seems.

Thurs afternoon was spent making vast quantities of playdough as Friday was the last under 10’s group of term.  Lovely session, 5 new families along and a lot of mess to clear up.  I do love playdough. 

Sam spent the time I was at the group shopping for a birthday present for my Dad and hiding out in Costa. We had lunch and shopping and a leisurely afternoon as Sam had bought Sim City for his DS.

Weekend was normal pottering (aka kindle/computer/ds play) with the exception of popping to see Grandad with cake and presents (birthday was Sat).

Plans for this week went by the wayside. We had a home ed session booked on bushcraft on Monday and plans to go geocaching yesterday.  Eczema flare up meant poorly cracked skin and swollen feet though and didn’t want to take risk of infection (we do get them).
Monday was spent finishing off cartoon strip for the HE comic we’re getting published, reading (History of the Russian Revolution in prep for tomorrow) and then computer play really.

Yesterday after starting off the day with a horrendous sick head ache I managed to make it out to see a hall for potential group meets with a friend and we followed up with tea and a chat while kids played Lego and Pokemon. Afternoon went in board games and then when Scratch wasn’t working he agreed to try a Python project. He ‘wants’ to do Python but wants to do it immediately and gets frustrated so needs coaxing. After a bit of a hiccup we did get it working to draw a robot though.

Today was my last Home Ed group session for rhe academic year. After an early morning BP check up Sam spent the morning programming a art project on Scratch based on Kandinsky’s Circles. Group was a  bit of a manic one (you can tell by the fact that my coffee was so cold I didn’t even attempt to drink it) but a lot of fun and messy children.

Clearing Out and Looking Forward

We really are on minimal level workload. I feel like I am scratching round for projects to engage with as we both need things to grab our attention or we can slip into habits which aren’t good for us.

I thought science would today but was thrown by the kits I’d bought (really at lazy level) needed a non standard battery. Amazon Prime to the rescue so that’s tomorrows project.

I was also under prepared when I had no lemon for a lemon clock kit. Fortunately I had a grapefruit so we made a grapefruit clock and I’ll have toast tomorrow 🙂 We got out some other bits to see if we could make a light work – no was the answer.

 We spent a lot of time working on comic ideas for our next home ed comic. Excellent plan in place 🙂

Then is was on to a big book clear out. We’ll list some for sale but aim is to get rid of most in a book sale at our ‘home ed fete’ on Weds.

Late afternoon went on a new card game ‘Love Letters’ we’re liking this one.I was going to mention more on the planning front but far too hot downstairs so bed by the fan for me.

The Calm after the Storm

As much as we enjoyed the few days away they have been followed by a need to slow down and stay in. To be honest we’re ready to pull up the drawbridge now and lock ourselves away until Sept. Rather regretting that I still have at least 3 home ed group sessions and a trip or two before the end of term.  We’ll enjoy them I’m sure (I have exciting plans for them 😉 ) just feeling lazy.

In our lazy spell we’ve read lots, watched documentaries about trains, played lots of Mathletics, made word tags for creative writing prompts, designed and made a suspension bridge from random bits, then played with making pegs fire across the room, spent too long removing the corpse of a humungous spider that Pete had managed to crush inside my curtain, watched and talked about politics a lot, made a water wheel and a knitting spool and played far too much computer.

Bank Holiday

Not all days can be wonderful and exciting, some days just are okay days, today was one such day.
We’d intended to go to the May Day celebrations at Little Woodham but were put off by the weather forecast. Was the wrong call in the end as the rain stayed away but never mind.
We pottered, did bits of Maths and English, chatted lots, read, played computer and had a very long game of Risk.

Another Few Recovery Days

Wednesday’s jolly up to London combined with the hayfever mugginess left us very tired.  Thursday was a bit of a washout, not a lot achieved and we’d waited in for my Dad because I forgot he was doing something else.
Friday also had the feel of a potential washout day, so decided to embrace the abandonment of academic work and get out in the sunshine. 
Sam wanted to go to Fareham and we were intending on a charity shop forage.  However, Pete dropped us off the other end of town and after a potter in Waterstones and Game, we started Pokemon hunting as we walked up to the bakers. We decided to abandon shopping then in favour of Pokemon so walked up the hill and along Fareham Creek with a playground trip.
Once home military strategy has been the order of the day; computer based for a few hours and now he’s playing Risk with Pete.

Big Day Out and the Aftermath

Wednesday was our third trip to Kidzania.  Here’s posts from trip 1 and trip 2, showing you how much we loved them. Trip 3 was a let down mainly as there was far to few staff on for the number of children in there (school groups so prebooked and known about) and the kids managed so few activities. They enjoyed themselves and it was a lovely social day. But bit of a let down after the other sessions.

As I’d lost Monday to hayfever brain fog, Tues to answering last minute queries and organisation for Kidzania and Weds we were out from 7 am until gone 9pm. Thurs and Fri were spent desperately scrabbling around trying to fit work in to hours I normally wouldn’t. Sometimes it’s needs must though.

Comfortable morning’s work achieved on Thurs before trampolining. I tried to get a photo but he was too quick and too many other children about.  So here he is bright red and sideways.

We had to run some errands after.  Which we didn’t actually manage thanks to poor show by others. We did cheer ourselves up with some charity shop bargains though.

Sam complained of feeling ill on Friday. Another day we’d have got on with it but I was more than happy to leave him to reading about Japanese warlords while I worked.  In the end we did do most of his day’s stuff just later in the day.  Another tick for flexibility.

I Can’t Think of a Title

I intended to write a long post about home-educating when you feel low and anxious but mood has picked up during the day and time is running low. 

It was definitely a day for taking it easy.  Sam spent ages on Mathletics playing the problem solving games.  He then decided to start creating a Latin dictionary for himself.  He’s been doing French as well as Spanish on DuoLingo for the last few days. There was more microbit programming.  Sketch Tuesday was an aquarium theme so men getting eaten by giant sharks.  We watched 1900 House and Robot Wars, then chatted while Sam played Roblox and I stitched. 

Juggling it all

Been a hectic old day of trying to do it all and I am exhausted now so another quick one.

Again I have to say how pleased I am at how Sam has become so independent and focused at managing his own workload.  He is really just getting on with his core work with very little input from me now.

Which is good as I have been balancing work and home ed group responsibilities for much of the day, including meeting with the police to discuss what they can do for us. 

Sam on the other hand has got on with maths, English, Latin and Spanish. I read to him over tea and biscuits and helped to a small extent with constructing a Knex bridge. 

He opted to stay home and see Grandad while I went out to meet the PCSO.  I believe board games were played but by the time I was home it was on to the computer. 

Evening was spent watching the last two episodes of Victorian Bakers.

Time for bed now as falling asleep as I type.

Half-Term

Not really sure where this last week has gone. It has not been either restful or productive. One to write off.
Generally lost my mojo and feeling irritated with the world.  Actually not the world, just certain aspects of dealing with Home ed group stuff. 
Work hasn’t gone smoothly, struggled with motivation and found a big problem that can only be blamed on me which, while I think the worst is fixed now, didn’t help mood.

What have we done?

We wrapped up our human body project by reading about death and thinking how evolution might take humans in future.
We built Kinect bridges with friends.
We went in to town to run errands.

There has been baking.  It was my birthday mid week so Sam made a cake.

Lots and lots of DS play after he bought a strategy game for it.
New How It Works Magazine has been devoured and discussed.
There was an animal handling session at the local home ed group.
An afternoon with grandad.

Plus some slumped in front of the tv time watching documentaries about castles and archaeology.