Friday, 24 November 2017

Friday Reflections - 79

Most of the Peaches have come down with colds this week (Michael has been spared - so far) so we've been feeling a bit grotty. The children have been well enough to work most of the time, however, though sometimes wrapped up in their blankets a bit as they did so.

Snuggled Up For Reading Time

Last Saturday was a significant milestone for my 8 year old as I read him his final chapter in our reading through the Bible, which began on his 5th birthday. He was thrilled to pieces with his new Bible, and is looking forward to a celebratory trip to see The Lion King with Michael in a couple of weeks.

Happy with his New Bible

That same evening, a few other home education mums came round for tea, cake, and a chance to catch up and talk about home education together - the encouragements and the challenges. It's also an opportunity to share some of the resources we use.

Cake for Home Educating Mums

In spite of colds, we went on our nature walk this week. We had come across a new nature trail very near to home recently, so thought that we would explore it this week. Although we didn't see very much lichen (the topic of this week's nature study), we did see some great fungus, and the children enjoyed exploring a new area.

Today we had a visit to the National Gallery with our home education group. We enjoyed being shown three individual paintings by one of the education team at the gallery, and everyone was very positive about the trip. It's great to have such fantastic opportunities so close to home.

The weekend is looking fairly quiet at the moment, which is very appealing! A chance to recharge a bit together, and get ready for another week.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Friday Reflections - 78

Although we are back to work after our holiday, it felt like a week full of activities rather than normal week of work. We had friends to visit, a trip to meet up with Grandparents, and our home education group meeting to ensure that there was plenty going on.

We also went for a walk in the woods for our nature studies. This week we were looking for fungus, which was very popular with my daughter who says that she would like to study fungus full time when she grows up. My 12 year old informed me that this means she wants to be a mycologist (which google confirmed!)

Examining Fungus

She found this fungus under a log.

A couple of weeks ago, my eldest's much loved hamster died. Everyone was very sad, and Yoda was buried in our garden. This week it was time to buy a new hamster for my 12 year old:


She's been named Caramel, and is very fond of using her hamster wheel, unlike any of our other hamsters!

We went to visit the Ragged School Museum half-way through the week, meeting up with my Dad and his wife. The children loved seeing their grandparents, and particularly appreciated Nanny's knowledge of what all the items in the old fashioned kitchen were used for!

Time for School

Fun with Grandparents

One addition for the week is a fruit/ vegetable and exercise chart for the family. I'm not especially concerned about our diet or our exercise, but I am encouraging my eldest to make sure that he does enough exercise as he gets older, and we all love a chart. A decent walk, a bike ride, a run, a swimming lesson, or a stretch of gardening will all earn a tick in the exercise column. It's been positively received this week - though we'll have to see if it continues to be a useful tool.

Fruit/Veg and Exercise Chart

This afternoon we had our home education group, looking at the heart and lungs. My younger group looked at a model lung:

Model Lung

We also drew round my daughter to get the outline of a person, then the children helped me to draw in blood flow towards and away from the heart, both around the body and to and from the lungs using red and blue pens. It seemed to work quite well:

A Rough Picture of Bloodstream

Finally, we made a model of the heart and lungs out of cake - which looked even better than I hoped. I had three groups - two with a lung shaped sponge cake each to decorate, and one in charge of making the heart. Using fondant icing, and following a rough paper sketch prepared in advance, the results were very pleasing:

Heart & Lungs in Cake-Form

It's been a full week - and felt a bit hectic at times - and hasn't always felt at all like it is going well. We have finished positively, though, which helps as I begin to plan and prepare for the week to come.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Friday Reflections - 77

This Friday I am looking back over the last 2 weeks, one week of work and one of holiday.

We finished our half term by spending some time looking at the events of the Reformation 500 years ago; you can read about what we got up to here. The children were pretty tired by the end of the week, and very much ready for a break - as I was!

Reformation fun - nuns in barrels.

The last activity of our half term was our home education group, where we were looking at blood. We made a model of blood using play-dough for red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets, with yellow paper for plasma.

Blood Model

The children also made models of blood in cups, this time using oil for plasma, skittles for red blood cells, marshmallows for white blood cells and sprinkles for platelets.

More Blood!

I also managed to finish the blanket I have been crocheting for my 6 year old on Friday evening - which we were both pleased about.

Another Crochet Blanket

We have spent the last week in Center Parcs, where we have enjoyed cycling and swimming, reading and walking, and bonus maths for my 8 year old each day (as a special holiday treat).

Holiday Maths

Now we are back - better rested and gearing up to get going again tomorrow. I have had a chance to think about what is working well and what needs adjusting for the rest of the term, so I am hoping to make a few small changes to my weekly timetable to hopefully help the household run more smoothly.