Friday, 18 May 2018

Friday Reflections - 98

On Monday this week, we attended my Grandad's funeral together. Although there were many tears, we also remembered together the lively and vibrant man that my Grandad was - full of jokes and humour. It was good to be with family and share those memories together.

Our home education group met today. We had a session learning about fungus, which turned out to be an interesting topic. We made bread rolls together to start with, prepared some kits for growing our own mushrooms, learned about why fungi are classed as neither plants nor animals, and discussed the uses of fungi. My daughter is an aspiring mycologist, so she was particularly thrilled to give a short presentation as part of our session.

Mushroom Spores

My children are very keen on their cooking and baking at the moment, so most days I have at least one request to do some cooking! My 9 year old has always particularly enjoyed baking bread, and we gave him a bread cookery book for his birthday. He made Fancy French Bread from his book earlier in the week.

Fancy French Bread

A highlight for my middle two children was a visit to the London Mithraeum, the remains of a Roman temple to Mithras. This would be exciting enough, but there was also a short (and very engaging) talk about the cult of Mithras given by Caroline Lawrence, author of the Roman Mysteries and the Roman Quest stories - books that my children have really loved.

Caroling Lawrence and my 9 Year Old

Temple of Mithras

Finally, we were also very pleased to have our first frog from our batch of tadpoles! It has been released back into the wild now. There are a number of froglets too, so we will hopefully have plenty more frogs soon.

Our First Frog

Friday, 11 May 2018

Friday Reflections - 97

We've ended the week by celebrating a 9th birthday.

My 9 Year Old

My 10 year old made the cake for his younger brother, and he had to make it over two days as it was an ambitious project that he wanted to manage without much help (which he did!).

My Baker

He was very pleased with the results, and the birthday boy was happy too.

One HUGE Castle Cake

Cake with Candles!

My 12 year old also contributed to the birthday tea; he made Oood Head Bread from his Doctor Who cookbook. It was tasty as well as impressive to look at.

Oood Head Bread

On Monday, I ran the marathon that I have been training for. It was very hot - which certainly made the run harder work, and slowed me down - but I was still really glad to have done it; I enjoyed quite a bit of it, and found some of it very hard work, which was to be expected. I'd like to try another one at some point, so it hasn't put me off running yet!

I made it...

In between the marathon and the birthday, we've had a quiet couple of days. The children have done some work, and also found time to relax.

My daughter decided to paint some pictures of our guinea pigs.

Painting in the Garden

My 10 year old made milk shakes for everyone.

In the Kitchen...Again!

We still did some book work, but it was lovely to have a few quieter days too!

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Friday Reflections - 96

We've had a fairly quiet week for the most part, with a steady flow of our usual activities. However, we ended the week with a trip out to a fellow home educators to learn about the life cycle of chicks.

There was a short talk, followed by a chance to handle some chicks (very popular!), then a craft activity for the children.

Holding a Chick

As part of the craft activity, the children carefully broke open a duck egg so that they could examine the different parts more carefully.

Taking Apart an Egg Carefully

It was a lovely day out for the children.

On Monday, I will be attempting to run a marathon for the first time. I am somewhat apprehensive about how it will all go - but also looking forward to getting on with it now that I have completed all my training. Hopefully I will make it to the end in one piece!

Friday, 27 April 2018

Friday Reflections - 95

At the moment it feels like there is very little breathing space in the week, with one commitment following hard on the heels of the next. Although it is busy, hard work, and at times overwhelming, there have been plenty of bright moments along the way.

Last Saturday we enjoyed a very sunny parkrun together.

This was followed by a trip down to the Thames foreshore with my 8 year old.

He has been very much enjoying his archaeology trips, and his various finds.

Most of the week has been filled with our usual work and activities. We finished up with our homeschooling group today, where we were learning about sound. My group particularly enjoyed making pan pipes with straws.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Our Easter Break

We've had two weeks break from our usual routine over the Easter period. We've used the time to catch up on household jobs, to rest, and to have fun.

My 12 year old has spent quite a bit of time reading, but also decided to buy a Captain America action figure, and freeze it in a block of ice (which makes sense to fans of Marvel films).

My 10 year old has spent some time cooking (as well as reading quite a bit), including making a huge Easter nest cake for our Easter Sunday lunch at church.

I've also decorated a bit of hallway outside his bedroom to make a study area for him to put his desk in, which he is enjoying.

My 8 year old particularly enjoyed a trip down to a different section of the Thames foreshore with his archaeology group. He seemed to pick up quite a few pieces of Tudor pottery, which he was very pleased with.

He also received a desk of his own. He knew that he would get his own desk once he turned 9, but we gave it to him early in order to catch him with a surprise. He is very pleased with it!

The highlight of the break for my 6 year old was five days of swimming lessons. She's been unable to get into any regular lessons as there is a long waiting list, so she really enjoyed herself.

She's also had fun getting out and about, either going for walks, or heading off to parkrun on Saturday mornings.

I've been painting, gardening (under supervision - I have no idea what I'm doing), cleaning, sorting, running, and planning for the coming term. As well as all the usual activities of the term, the marathon I have signed up for is just over 3 weeks away, and I have been focused on preparing for that too. I just hope I manage to finish it in one piece...

Friday, 30 March 2018

Friday Reflections - 94

Well, we've made it through the term and reached the Easter holidays - just about in one piece! It's fair to say that everyone has been quite tired this week as we wound down to our break, and we are all looking forward to a chance to recoup a little.

I suspect the fact that I am training for a marathon at the moment is significantly increasing my levels of tiredness. It is very satisfying - even if the last couple of miles of my 20 mile run felt like a real slog.

Last Saturday, I took my 8 year old along to an archaeology session on the Thames foreshore. He was chuffed with his little hoard of pottery, and is looking forward to the next session which is in just a few days.

We have been remembering the events of Easter in our morning Bible times using our set of resurrection eggs.

Since it is Good Friday today, we also spent the morning at church, focusing on Jesus' death for us.

Now we are busy preparing for Easter Sunday. I am in charge of the church lunch, and have delegated desserts to the children (under my supervision!). My 10 year old is already beginning the baking for an ambitious chocolate nest cake as I write. I'm also leading Young Church - so I will need to be very organised to make sure that lunch happens on time!

Friday, 23 March 2018

Friday Reflections - 93

I've had a special day out today with my younger three children, learning about the life cycle of frogs. We met with a number of other families for a talk about frogs, a craft activity, and a chance to prepare a tank so that we could take some frogspawn home to watch it develop into frogs over the coming weeks.

Collecting Shingle for the Tank

My 6 Year Old with her Craft

Our Tank at Home

There was also the opportunity to cuddle some baby chicks, which was very popular!

Holding a Chick

Earlier in the week, my eldest continued with his chemistry. Doing practical science at home is working well, and anything which involves heating stuff in a test tube will always be popular. He was distilling various solutions to extract water this week.

Time for Science

My 10 year old is continuing to enjoy his cooking, and made patatas bravas with a friend for the Spanish recipe category in his cooking challenge.

Time for Cooking

My marathon training is happening in real earnest now - so I seem to be tired and hungry all the time! After a very cold parkrun with the children in the snow last Saturday, I have been covering plenty of miles this week. It's tiring, but very satisfying, and certainly a good opportunity for me to get out of the house and have a bit of a rest from all the busyness of home life for a bit.