New Routines

It’s been a hugely busy few days. We’re getting used to new materials and new styles of working. Definitely can feel the increase in structure and amount of writing, he’s got a good attitude though and I’m pleased and impressed with what he’s managed.

At the weekend we finally managed to put our flat traveller through the laminator and into the post.And took our visiting one down the beach.We are into researching things and answering textbook questions in exercise books. 
In English we’ve been looking at extracts from Oliver Twist and non fiction works on hunger. Science we’ve been looking at how to think and investigate scientifically. I messed up and we may have had a false start and done some work on cells (which we’ll get to properly in a few weeks).
Maths it’s the usual revision of place value and addition. History we’ve been looking at early humans in Britain as part of a brief pre 1066 overview.Project wise we are looking at Maine and reading about lobsters and lumber. Tues morning saw us at our new group for the first in a 6 week block of Lego Mindstorms sessions. Sam enjoyed it. I had to leave the room as struggled with the way it was presented. Hopefully teething issues though. In contrast the lady providing our Saxon archaeology workshop this afternoon was excellent, so good with them. Definitely need to do more. We’ve also been reading lots – an Anglo Saxon non-fiction book, an adaption of Beowulf by Rosemary Sutcliffe (love Sutcliffe’s books for bringing history to life) and Oliver Twist.  Started watching In Search of the Dark Ages by a very young Michael Wood. From the clothes and hair I doubt I could have been much more than 5 when it was filmed.


First Day of Term

The glumness of the last few days of holiday has lifted and I’m ready to get on with new term now.
Jack was back at school before the start of the usual school day as he was on prefect duty welcoming and helping yr 7’s. He wasn’t jumping with excitement but managed to get up and sort himself out and go with no stress.
Sam made it up about 9am, later than ideal but better than has been. He made a birthday card for a friend and we had a big board game clear out to pass on to friends so we have space for new ones we’ve been eyeing up.
We then spent about 3 hours picnicking and playing with friends in a new playground that we’d heard good things about (well deserved too).
We got very soggy as it rained rather heavily for last hour but no one cared. It was nice to be out and catching up again.
Home and into pjs and a bit of work was done on his art award and then computer play followed by tea and watching the wrestling with Jack.
Good first day.

Boiling Alive

Is how I feel, pretty much.

On the home ed front things are going well. I have planned well and keeping up with what little I’ve allocated us isn’t proving hard.

Yesterday we’d easily finished by 11 so heading in to town, picked up lunch and a friend’s daughter and went over to laser quest. Despite the heat 18 children went in and had the usual fun. My plan on hiding out in the shade didn’t quite work out thanks to a cute 5yo who wanted to play – kickboxing in that heat was a mistake though.

Could have spent day on the top deck of the ferry, was nice and breezy. Sam had sun tan lotion in the eye hence the squint.

 Today started early as I went to view a hall with a friend for a group activity. Sam stayed home and got on with work. When I got back all that was needed was grammar, writing, science and some history reading.  
Telephones and telegraphs were the focus of science.
Sam made a circuit so we could do morse code with a bulb.
After that Sam experimented with the electical bits for a couple of hours with a quick detour into researching answers to questions I couldn’t answer.
At some point he decided to show me what a peg blutacked on to a motor felt like against your head. Unfortunately I had my back to him when I said yes to ‘can I show you something?’ so couldn’t point out the flaw with that. He quickly realised the problem and there was a lot of apologising as he spent 20 mins helping remove lots of knots, blutack and a motor from my hair. It was scissors job in the end.  Had to see funny side.


We had a catapult building day at our home ed group today.  After a morning spent constructing examples. 
We demonstrated the spring action by bouncing a ball on a parachute.
They then designed, refined and did 3 tests on the catapult. Frame of the session was based on this resource.
Finally with the help of an exercise band they fired waterbombs at me.


When Pete asked Sam if he’d been playing games all day, he said yes, dumping me in it somewhat. He did clarify he’d been playing the metaphorical Game of Life, which made me laugh.  I’d hope life feels more like a game than work anyway.

This morning I let Sam sleep in.  Heat is not our friend he was pathering about until gone 1 am when he went to sleep in our bed, coincidentally helping end my sleep for the night (been a very long day!)  When he got up he did his maths and accidentally tomorrow’s too.  The extra activity involved laying a treasure hunt for Jack, unfortunately he told him the prize was an ice lolly which made the steps between start and freezer a bit pointless 😀 English, Latin and Science were polished off too.

Then we did some science. Sam made an arch dam.

We looked at water pressure, comparing the outflow from holes positioned at different heights. A small water fight followed.

Final bit of science was investigating tsunamis. The afternoon was a lovely home ed group session. I’d set up some story telling props to make. We’d made versions at home before though so Sam happily settled for an afternoon of comic strip drawing, some collaboratively before playing bulldog outside.

Finally at home it was games time. I missed the photo before the game started. He’d spent about 1/2 hr setting it up as a pretty faithful map of 1939 pre-WW2 Europe.

Nets, Dancing and Robots

The morning disappeared making nets in maths and then learning about Japanese holidays. We had some fun practising a dance outlined in our book.
After lunch we had a trial Lego robot session.  Lots of fun had 🙂

Walk in the Woods

We had a day in the woods today on a bushcraft course with our HE group.  Was a lovely relaxed day, learning about the woods around us, making fires and cooking over them and a bit of whittling.
Paying for it now on the allergy front but was worth it.

The Great Home Ed Bake Off 2017

Today was all about cake. 
Sam spent most of the morning decorating his cake while I made prizes and certificates and prepared crafts for the kids to ignore in favour of admiring cakes and asking when we could eat them.
Days like this really make the hassle of organising group activities worth it as lots of happy people, lots of fun and the cakes were really amazing.  We even had a croquembouche with spun sugar from an 11yo. 
Does cause much amusement in the run up as frayed parents unravel with stress of it all on Facebook 🙂 One of those real group bonding activities.
The top one is Sam’s. Theme was spring, didn’t they do well? 😀
P.s. Sam did manage maths, latin, Spanish and some of his English too 🙂

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.

Architecture Workshop

I had a bit of a mess up with my diary for today.  I’d expressed interest in a workshop for Sam and then as details weren’t confirmed for a while forgot and booked something for our local group on the same day.  Oops! However as the event I’d booked for today was something for the younger ones and since I was planning to abandon Sam in town to entertain himself or leave him home with my dad while I went with other people’s kids I don’t feel too guilty about asking someone to deputise on the day.  Slightly sad as seeing photos of happy children on the trip makes me think I would have liked to be there. It was one Sam and I really enjoyed a few years ago so I knew the younger ones coming up would and I’d have liked to enjoy it again with them, no feeling like the one that comes from helping to bring a smile to a child’s face.  I love it 🙂

Anyway I wasn’t there.  I was off having fun with my own child!  Very rare that I find myself booking a workshop run by someone else and I can’t remember the last time we did a workshop without knowing anyone on it.  Might be 10 years ago in our first year or 2 of home ed.  I nearly found reasons not to go and with Sam ill all week and me waking up with the lurgy this morning it looked like a non-starter but I went in to Sam and he was up and getting dressed at 6.30 (my obsessively earlyness kicked in). The subject matter really appealed to both of us and meant that we ended up there and were really glad we went.  Actually not going with friends was probably an advantage as was wholely focussed on workshop content.

We started with a tour of the cathedral highlighting various architectural features.

After a lunch break we had a workshop looking at gargoyles and grotesques with time to make a clay model of one.

After the gargoyles we had time on our own in the Cathedral for sketching.
Or in the adult’s case asking questions of the numerous helpful guides hanging about, and googling the answer on one of the guide’s iPads 😉

Two random photos.  The Cathedral itself and Jane Austen’s grave which I have always loved for it’s simplicity and is something I can’t help returning to.

We missed the bus home from the station by about two minutes (we were on wrong side of the busy road) so managed a charity shop trip and a decent collection.  Meant in the end we left the house just after 7am and didn’t get back until 5pm. As Sam said a long day but a good one.