Creative PJ Day

PJ Day is the best day of the week according to Sam!  I’ve got to admit I really value having a day at home a week too.

The day was all about creativity. After the usual maths, English, Latin and Spanish out came the craft supplies and he worked on natural sculpture and collage.


It was Sam’s idea to use clay.  I need to stick to my guns next time and remember Sam likes the idea of clay but hates the reality! It is okay to say no!

After lunch Sam wanted to build Lego.  He hasn’t been interested for ages but the Lego club magazine had come through the post and he actually picked it up and read it for the first time in probably a year. Then he dug out the Lego ideas book.


Seemed daft to quash the creative burst so he built and I read aloud from the History of India for much of the afternoon.

20160927_142405 20160927_142328We then had another attempt at ‘Civ5’ which fortunately worked. So Sam spent the rest of the afternoon honing his military strategy and I made salt dough for a home ed session we had today.

Time and Space

Yesterday’s walk to Cubs was longer than usual as they were visiting the parish church.  We spent most of the walk discussing the merits and the ethical issues of being able to fast forward time (it is Sam’s birthday at the weekend and it is too slow in coming!)  While I acknowledge that at times it would be appealing – Sam’s missed bus argument was persuasive – I was not convinced.  Often days where we are ‘making the best of things’ turn out to be good days.  Last week the internet, tv and phone all went down, we made a snap decision to go out for a meal.  Yesterday was exactly one of those ‘skip if you could’ days on paper but turned out to be a lovely day.

Monday was a good day too in a different way.  We were booked into a film about the international space station as part of the Into film festival.  Only one we’ve booked as tbh I don’t like doing the cinema in the mornings (and Sam doesn’t like it at all really), the cost of travel is usually more than the DVD and some are on Amazon Video.  However, the space thing looked something different as there was a Q&A after with someone from the UK Space agency.  These things are always a bit of a wildcard as to whether they capture Sam’s imagination – this one did.  He now wants to be an astronaut if he can’t be a rich entrepreneur who tells people they’re fired.

Took a photo in there on my phone.   Came out as a rather atmospheric pixelated arty picture.  Appalling photo but I quite like it.


Now the bus diverts via Fareham it takes us nearly as long to get to Southampton as it does to get to London (we cheated on the way there and went to work with Pete and jumped on the bus near there missing out a good 45 mins of the bus – was an early start though!)  So decided we should do something else while there.  Had a google in the morning and chanced upon a new exhibition at SeaCity with images of space.  Highly recommend it, very pleasant way to spend an hour.


Tuesday started with a trip to the nurse, booked early so Sam could go to cafe for breakfast with Pete.  To salvage the early start/out of routine we made the most of being out and spent a lovely half hour or so on a very windy beach.

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Back home we warmed up with hot drinks and spent a very productive rest of the morning working on pen and paper and computer and app style learning.  The bread and butter basics.

Afternoon was spent on Scratch and then on a new Lego – took about 1 1/2 hrs to build.  Love that he’s got back into it again.

20151111_2620151111_3120151111_32Evening and it was Cubs at the church with a tour and apparently they made churches from cocktail sticks and jelly babies.

Really enjoying the slower pace of life at the moment.  Sam’s reading, lots of murderous maths and playing with the concepts, Horrible Science and more coding books.  He wants to talk to us about what he’s reading too which is interesting (and slightly mind blowing).  Also strangely he’s go into folk tales.  Lots of coding, Lego and Minecraft is resurfacing as an interest  Feel like we’ve got some much needed time and space to relax and explore.


Collecting Resources (Free Stuff)

With the new academic year on the horizon I, like so many others I expect, keep getting distracted by sparkly new resources.  However, there is not much we actually need.  We are still mid book with Maths and English having started in January with the current set of books, and having bought several years ahead when they have popped up second hand on the lists.

So I have distracted myself by tracking down free resources to support project work (actually got distracted again and started looking at more…).  All the links below provide free resources inc free delivery.




The British Legion produce a fabulous schools pack.  We received the 2013/14 pack but later in the year they sent through the 2014/15 pack off their own steam.

20140731_15Booklet from the OU.  One for older children probably.

Not received these yet as only ordered this morning.  DVD’s from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.



Teaching pack, posters and recipes on grain farming.

20140731_7Masses of resources ordered from various places on the FACE website.


20140721_620140731_8 Posters and teaching pack from the RNLI


Posters and leaflets on road safety



Free sample storystarter kit from Lego Education.



Hertfordshire and film making

Geography group has reached as far as Hertfordshire.

My research led me to discover that Hertfordshire is incredibly dull!  Briefly toyed with some sort of New Town/Garden City design project possibly drawing on Minecraft but decided my group are more Lego minded.  So decided that we would use the fact that the county was home to the Elstree (Star Wars/Eastenders) and Leavesden (Harry Potter) studios to do a bit of film making.

My webcam wouldn’t install properly so these are very slipshod, cobbled together efforts I’m afraid (from the technical aspect obviously the kids were brilliant 🙂 )



A lot of Tuesday disappeared in trying to get software and webcam operational, so here is Sam’s test.


Fun days

Following Gang Show, I felt Jack needed a holiday so we left the books alone. We had a quiet week getting back into the swing of groups and activities.  Not for the first time I was thankful he wasn’t in school, his friends were struggling with tiredness while he was having long lie ins, one day until 12.30! (Kindle helped!)

I busied myself getting up to date with Rainbow and household stuff and feel a lot happier without little things nagging at the back of my mind.

We also had a crafty splurge for work, in preparation for Olympics and Jubilee.

On Friday we were supposed to be meeting another home ed family in Southampton to go to the Titanic exhibition at the new Maritime Museum.  Unfortunately they were in quarantine for a sickness bug, so plans fell through.  However, as Jack had found what he wanted to spend his birthday money on in Toys R Us, we decided to go anyway for lunch and a potter round the shops.

We found a lovely ‘chocolate cafe‘ for lunch, where they sold cups of melted chocolate with your choice of sweets to dip in.  Think this is our regular place now (regular, as in the once a year trip into town).

Bit more of a potter and it was home to play with lego.

Ta da a dragon.

And the cat and rabbit got new outfits!

Spring days…

While I’ve been lying in the sun reading and recharging the boys have been busy. Here is a snapshot of what they’ve been doing the last few weeks.

They’ve been busy reading too …

… and there has been lots of this…


… and some ice cream of course.

There’s been building…

…including attending a trial at a new Lego club in the village, which they both loved.

There has been some work too…

including some much needed handwriting practice…


we started a new human body project…


and Sam did some weighing and measuring…

which led onto baking of course.


We set up an experiment to test factors that affect corrosion.

We picked up some puzzles from a local charity shop which given us some fun.


Sam has discovered Beast Quest and is reading his way through Jack’s collection.  There have also been lots of requests to set him quests and the Beast Quest top trumps have come out of hiding.

We have made some spring flowers…

some to look at…

and some to eat, along with some marzipan chicks and bunnies.


Sam has been playing with sand.

And we’ve all been having fun with some stretches from My Daddy is a Pretzel (he’s a lion).

Finally here is one of the beautiful sunsets we’ve been enjoying.  I do like living by the sea.

Harry Potter and Lego

We’ve been being creative

image of Harry Potter wands
Harry Potter wands
image of paper plate golden snitch
Golden Snitch
image of our crafted Harry Potter glasses
Harry Potter glasses
image of Jack's spellbook
Jack's Spellbook
image of Front of Jack's Marauder's Map
Front of Jack's Marauder's Map
image of Jack's Marauders Map
Jack's Marauders Map


If anyone wants to make their own, instructions are on Activity Village or click on the pictures above to go direct to the relevant activity.

And, our Saturday morning project isn’t he brilliant?  He’s nearly as tall as Sam!

picture of a lego man
Lego Man