Tag Archives: home education

December Daftness…

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So our December was full of fun, daftness and family time.  In December, we don’t do our ‘ordinary’ learning we generally do crafts, write cards, listen and sing along to christmas songs, read christmas stories and enjoy the month a lot.  This year we had a snowman, with North Pole Magic, who came to stay-think ELf on the Shelf but not quite.  Our snowman was visiting and we could help him by ‘generating’ christmas spirit’ which he could take back to the north pole.  Generating Christmas spirit led to some interesting discussions a bout how, what, what happened if you didn’t and got us all thinking about what this meant.  Snowy sometimes was found in silly or slightly naughty poses (like making snow angels in icing sugar, or riding the reindeers across the living room but he was generally a lovely guy who happened to be able to speak to me and I could tell the boys what he’s said-Ot in particular loved this and would bring snowy to me to ask me to (wish I could remember the exact words) bring him to lit or speak for him.  

Snowy bought us packages which contained a book (a christmas story) and an activity for us to do.  We would do these during the day, interspersed with movies, reading, creating our christmas village in mine craft, reading part of the christmas story from our songbook and singing a song-the boys decided to learn to sing ‘The Angel Gabriel’ which they sang on CHristmas Eve.  

Here’s a little peek at some of what we did in December…..

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Mission Out and About!

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Well, it has to be said I am a bit of a hermit, home body call it what you will (maybe it’s my Taurean nature!)  Recently, however it has been a bit beyond a joke.

  I think I am naturally an introvert but I have a ‘game face’ developed over time which enables me to get by….it does mean I need quiet and some solitude to keep me sane and re-charge (it’s not a want or it would be nice I think it’s a necessity) however my boys are different-Ot  loves to be around people but he does get too charged up I’m not sure what he needs but I know that people and groups are really energising for him (although he does withdraw fro quiet after a bit) . He too can be a bit of a home body-more so he can have access to a screen and because he doesn’t like walking but still he is content to stay home and go to the park to let off steam.  Tig on the other hand likes, no loves to be out and about and he likes to meet up with people-although not necessarily in small groups.  With B it’s hard to tell…he loves new stuff but most of all currently he wants me.  SO it can be difficult juggling our introvert/extrovert needs along with managing Ot’s super charging, B’s desire for 1 on 1 with me and Tig’s desire to be out and about a lot.

What is certainly true though is that days out do tend to result in less pent up energy (obviously) and less arguments about doing our ‘jobs’ mainly because we don’t do them!!!!!!  Well we do what we can then get out and don’t worry about it!

This week we’ve been to Bradgate Park in Leicester (beautiful, stream, deer, ice-cream, walks fab.  We made a dam, caught crazy fish, fish, paddled and all in relative shade and cool.  watched the deer within a hands span, saw reindeer, ate ice cream and walked a lot….all in an afternoon!

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Tuesday club with Jubilee inspired fun-the boys did one or two activities and caught up with friends-B did some Mento sconce with me and bubble blowing, listened to the story and played Lego; Ot made Jam tarts, had a bit of Mento fun (spoiled by mommy confiscating his bottle when he squirted it at people) played with friends, listened to the story and  bubbles (lots of really almost out of control body singing and movements and me on tenterhooks as he was in full everything is a gun or a sword mode :0()  Tig made a jubilee plate and had some mento fun as well as catching up with friends.  I forgot to get the ice lolls out at snack so by the time we had got home and had some food it was too late to meet up at the Rope swing so we just went to Chase water, played on the park, had ice cream, walked and climbed, read a story and had a gentle fun late afternoon/evening.

We went to Conkers (after Ot’s doc appointment-must make the follow up appointment soon) with assault course triumph, grazed knees and bruises withstanding, ice cream (I think there’s a theme here ), den playing, park and zip wire fun,

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We went to Blists Hill to the Victorian town (Ot was desperate to go) visited the hut, the big ship, the butcher, baker and leather friendship bracelet maker.  had chips by the canal (fed the duckling and big carp), got sweets from the sweet shop.played on the fair ground then headed to Inginuity.  Some sciencey fun was had, investigating fans and wind turbine speed by Ot and TIg, building arched bridges, making tessellating patterns, using the fly wheel, powering the boiler, trying the track challenge, finding all kinds of fun stuff and Ot going manic at the dam!

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It has been a hectic week with less formal learning but lots of stuff going on, lots of little chats and moments to think which is great.  Interesting observations, rising to challenges, facing fears, testing our limits, feeling successful, testing boundaries (not so good), using maths to work stuff out, guessing, postulating, laughing, rolling, leaping, getting dirty then clean then dirty again!  Playing in the garden, looking after the Gpigs, playing with aqua play, swinging, cooking our own breakfast…..

B had a monster blast at reading eggs today and moved onto the next map, Ot and Tig have been doing a bit of whizz, their spellings and both have done a blog entry this week (Ot has done 2 and TIg has handwritten a letter to my cousins daughter O.  B has been writing notes and counting, we’re practising getting to beyond 10…he’s confident with 1 more to 5 but after that less so.  I’m not sure why but I feel less urgency and pressure with B to do formal stuff….at his age the other 2 were reading and maths was further on but it doesn’t feel at all like an issue…..he’ll go there when he’s ready!

We’ve had stories at bed time, ranging from Michael Morpurgo’s Gentle Giant through Harry Potter chapters, Enid Blyton (daddy reads these as I love them and have to then sit and read them again and don’t want to read them the next night!), we’ve read the greedy triangle sung as we walked and watched the Owl Guardians (we needed a film when we got in today!)….It’s work for me tomorrow, Jubilee fun!

I wonder if we’ll keep this going out up next week!

PS it’s been great having Aunty E coming along too!

May Madness

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Ok, ok, I admit it, yet again I kind of slipped on the blogging-heck no body’s perfect so I did  a quick album on Smilebox.   It doesn’t cover half of what we’ve done this month, like catapult making at Tuesday club or B asking to do maths and reading, Ot getting further in teaching himself to play chess, Tig creating increasingly complex Lego but it gets in the basics!  I’ll try to blog more over the next few weeks (maybe I should Blog when the boys do theirs!)

The End of the Romans!!!

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…well ish anyway :0)  We still have some games to play and some crafty stuff to finish off but we’ve kind of skipped through the main events and spent the afternoon filling in some gaps and completing some mini lapbooks together (sounds incredibly dull doesn’t;t it)  It wasn’t.  We were all tired so I read in my best bloodthirsty manner extracts and we chatted then the boys created some different sentences answering questions (oral sentence construction using different starting words) and I typed.  as the main focus is on then sentence construction rather than the retaining of historical fact then it was good lots of good constructions, using connectives, increasingly complex sentences and encouraging to use so, because and explain why things had happened which they were able to do.  They could see the how’s and whys of what had happened-regardless of whether they remember about tribes of Britons, different currencies and bartering they were very much able to figure out from the info I gave.  We talked about how bartering might work now and digressed into talking about bartering for Lego pieces!

B has a had a difficult afternoon- I am not sure what to do with the huge amounts of aggression but I am starting to see a pattern well 2, needing more time playing with me (he has had very little today) and imitating sometimes the behaviour of his brothers or others….bears some thinking about

T club was good although the rough housing got a bit too rough in places and some older kid/kids were  for want of a better word goading Ot (who is only 6) and he has no idea how to respond but is himself struggling with big emotions…..so a difficult morning for the guys although they say they had a good time overall.  There is an element of well enough of that!  We got to Wickes, and I bought white sealant instead of clear diuh!  SO have to go back and change it!!!!!

An Orgy of Roman-ness!

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…has been had this week.  We started of with a trip to Lunt Fort, in Coventry which was fantastic!  We had a guided tour around the fort by Dominicus, a Roman soldier.

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We found out about Celts and how they prepared fro battle (plus a brief idea about why they were fighting the Romans).  Tig and Ot enjoyed role playing as Celts creeping and finding out how the Romans used nettles, caltrops and drainage channels in the ditches (ankle breakers) to help defend the fort against invaders.  Lunt Roman Fort 2012-04-23 002Lunt Roman Fort 2012-04-23 003

They found the idea of drunk, naked, blue Celts pretty funny and both decided they’d much rather eat with the Celts than the Romans. 

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Inside the fort we  found out about the battlements, the ballista (it could shoot a bolt through 7 people, 3 times a minute-Tig answered the maths for that one I was pleased that he used maths and he was pleased that he could answer.)  We food out that Romans would have sung songs to keep their spirits up and had a go at old mac Donald in Latin.

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We had a look at the gyrus, found out about it’s possible uses for animals, cavalry and horse training and had a go at being horses and Romans-good fun but tiring.  To get to the gyrus Dominicus had us crawling along the floor, following his signal which was enjoyed greatly by my guys Winking smile

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We looked at the remains of the barracks and found out that 8 men shared a room, 3 bunk beds and 2 people on duty working on the walls ta any one time.  We found out about using mouse brains as toothpaste, urine as mouthwash and got to see a real sponge on a stick (although the stick was a bit short!).  we also found out about where the silver was kept and Tig played the part of a guard, although he did let the Celt in a few times before he got the idea-way to trusting!

The tour really bought the fort to life and the guide was fab.  we would recommend going there to anyone who can!  After a short break we went inside for a talk about armour.

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D got dressed up as a Roman and we found out the names of some of the armour, we had looked at this the night before using this video which helped to grasp the new vocab.  We saw a Lorica, cingulum, gladius, pilum (I think!)  Then another couple of friends F and G got dressed up as Celts although F wasn’t too keen on the blue paint or the nose necklace!  We saw how the ballista worked-these bits were interesting but it was a little hard for the children to see-especially as some of the kids needed parents to sit with them so it was a bit squished.  After lunch and some playing we made face pots then it was a quick look in the shop and homeward bound. 

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A great if tiring day.

Tuesday club was Roman themed this week, we started off with S reading the story of Romulus and Remus-perhaps a bit challenging for some of the younger kids but B enjoyed it.  We made bullas, roman style mosaic coasters, dug up ancient artefacts and found out what they were used for, made money purses and coins, printed mosaic pictures, made clocks with Roman numerals, played with forts, had a feast and played with balloon swords in the garden. A lovely meet up.  My Dad came with us to help B out-B still didn’t join in with the activities but at least  there was someone with him whilst he was playing-swords and my guys do not mix at meet ups!

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ON Wednesday, it rained a lot!  We stayed in with the guinea pigs, did some of our normal everyday stuff and also some mini books and made some mosaic and started our modroc shields.

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Today we’ve found out about the Punic wars, built Roman town models (from Lego or on Roblox) after we found out what would be in them and found out a little bit about the Roman Republic.

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Mosaic afternoon-B and I did the dragon fly; Tig worked on the guinea pigs a little more and Ot drew a titanic (I have cut the pieces ready as the tiles are big ceramic tiles and they make very spiky shards and are tough to cut!)

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I made or at least started a list of links on Weblist for the boys to explore tomorrow.

Roman numeral biscuits

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Alongside all that there has been Lego building, Batman playing, Xboxing, wii playing, draughts, building with various things and reading.  B did some great number biscuits learning about 1 more and writing the digits as well as some reading eggs and writing notes, plans and signs.

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We played a game with Batman…. Mr Freeze tried to eat his biscuits but if Batman followed the clue and got to the correct biscuit he could stop him-clues were Mr Freeze is going to one more than….. great fun.  There was a bit of playing in the sandpit and also reading some Enid Blyton together :0)

B’s map of the bat cave, and Bat written on.

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B looking at a ladybird using a magnifier

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This weekend, B had his first official swimming lesson (at the same club as TIg and Ot) and did brilliantly.  Listened really well, followed his instructions, kept his eyes on Terry and had lots of fun!  He got his 1st puffin award :0D

We got the Roman artefacts out before they go back to school on Monday and had a look at them, talking about how they were used, what for, having a go with the strigil and thinking about what they might say if they could talk.  We then used morpho booth to make them talk and record them.  These are our videos…

If a calligae could talk…
If a Roman chatellaine set could talk…
If knuckle bones could talk…
If a Roman magistrates rod could talk…
If a Roman oil lamp could talk…
If a Roman arrow head could talk…
If a Roman thimble could talk…
If a Roman toy could talk…

They were enjoyed by all (less so when we realised you needed to save after each one or the soundtrack recorded over itself and had to re-do them but still really good fun!)

Wet Weekend!

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It has been wet-very wet!  We went swimming on Saturday, Ot was working on arms and breathing and Tig was working on dolphin kick amongst other things.  b i going to try a session next week to see how he goes.  After swimming we went to Sandwell valley for a play on the park then we went to Toys R Us for the boys to spend their pocket money.  Ot bought himself a draughts set, B got a joker and Mr freeze to go with his bat cave and TIg got Rocka 4.0- a  hero factory model.  Some playing in the afternoon and some Batman in the evening.

Today we’ve pottered, popped to the Holly Bush and got a freestanding folding pen for the pigs-it’s been to wet to let them out outside and we thought they could do with a bit of play time!  We grabbed sawdust and hay to clean out this week.

The boys tried grapefruit for the first time-it was quite a sweet grapefruit in my opinion but I’m not sure they’d agree!

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Ben did some playing on a new game with dh-lots of great fine motor, logical thinking, speed decision making going on as well as estimating lengths, matching, sequence remembering and more….bet you didn’t know that ‘Tap the Frog 2’ was educational!

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After that we had cake and sandwiches for dinner then went and played hockey on the road to nowhere-everyone enjoyed it and showed great improvement in dribbling, passing and stopping-B just did his own thing whilst I helped Ot and dh helped Tig-sounds bad but it worked well as B already had the idea of dribbling!  Unfortunately Ot managed to ‘drop; a stick down the drain so we had to abandon and go home to get the crowbar-dh went back and rescued it!

We read a bit about legionaries, their armour and talked about why there might be a fort in Lunt ready for our trip tomorrow but not too much detail!  I started a weblist fro Romans and we watched a video from that.  We had a look at the artefacts we borrowed from school but we’ll do more with them after Tuesday.

We had some guinea time and then baths for everyone and a bit of Xbox playing before bed.