Vikings – An Interesting Topic – Part 1

Each term I ask my girls if there is anything they would like to learn as a topic.  This term they asked about Vikings. There is quite a lot of Viking history in the County we live in so I hit the internet to find a curriculum to base from then we went to the library  to borrow some books and we were ready.

The first thing we talked about was the most obvious. The longboats.  We talked about the history of them, the size, why they had the shields on the outside and why they burned them.  We completed some worksheets about them then made an origami one to finish that part of the topic. We went to Sheringham which had a replica (small), which they set light to in the evening.

IMG_0726 16836196_10212731260181406_3270459094282735075_o IMG_1055

We talked about the different foods they would have eaten, then we made some Viking bread from a recipe we found in one of the books we got from the library. It was very salty 😀

IMG_0714 IMG_0717 IMG_0718 IMG_0719 IMG_0721 IMG_0723 IMG_0724 IMG_0725

Next we talked about weapons and armour.  We visited our local museum where they have an extensive array of weapons and videos which was really interesting.

WP_20170425_005 WP_20170425_006

Then we made a shield and some swords out of card.

IMG_0747 IMG_0748 IMG_0749 IMG_0750 IMG_0751 IMG_0754 IMG_0758 IMG_0759

The display of work we have been doing.  This includes a timeline through history, some research on runes, food, longboats, weapons and armour, and where the Vikings attacked the UK.

IMG_1058

 

 

Tie Dyeing T-shirts

We did some tie dye because we have been learning about rainforests and all the colourful birds, flowers and animals that live there.

First we wet our t-shirts in warm water so that the dye would sink in to the t-shirt.

img_0252 img_0253

We twisted our t-shirts into two different patterns.  In this one we have called it a sunflower fold and did it by twisting from the middle.  We had no rubber bands so we used string to stop it from undoing.

img_0254

We made the dye by mixing the dye powder with warm water and salt.  We put the dye in squeezy bottles so it was easy to put the dye on the t-shirts.  Next we dyed our t-shirts by squirting the dye in random places.  We suggest wearing gloves or something on your hands so you don’t end up with colourful hands.

img_0255 img_0256 img_0257 img_0258 img_0259 img_0261 img_0263 img_0264 img_0265 img_0266 img_0268 img_0270 img_0271

We put our t-shirts in a bucket of cold water to set the dye into the cotton.  Then we rinsed them in warm water to get rid of any dye that didn’t soak into the t-shirt.

img_0277 img_0279

Final results.

img_0282 img_0283 img_0284 img_0285

Left to dry on the washing line.

img_0287

We really enjoyed doing this, it was really fun and we had great results.  We didn’t think they would turn out this well but they did.  They look amazing.  We can’t wait to wear them.

Rainforest Cocoa Bean Madness Game

We have been learning about the Amazon rainforest.  Part of our topic was to create a game.

We brainstormed our ideas on a board about what we might see or come across if you were in the rainforest and then we chose the best ones to make our game.

We decided to make a game where you had to collect cocoa beans as you went through the forest, but you met good and bad things as you went.

We called our game Cocoa Bean Madness.

Firstly we cut out lots of cocoa beans and coloured stones and other bits, which we had printed from the internet.  We used the stones to design the game and we used various bugs, villages and animals as ‘to do’ spots.  We made our own spinner which worked well.   We chose and printed out our own explorers as our moveable piece.  We also decorated the board to make it more colourful, with trees, rivers and other animals and flowers.

img_9777 img_9778 img_9781 img_9782

The rules were, you use the spinner to move around the board and every stone you land on you collect a cocoa bean, but if you landed on a tiger you had to go back to the start, or if you landed on a spider you had to lose all your beans.  If you landed on a village you collected 4 extra beans and if you landed on a parrot you get to go to the nearest village.  The winner was the person with the most cocoa beans when everyone had finished.

img_9783 img_9780

img_0288

It’s a lot of fun to play this game and the coolest thing about it is we created it and made it ourselves.

Homemade Blackberry Jam

We live on a farming estate and therefore there are lots of lovely resources we can look at, find or use.  This time of year is good for wild fruits such as blackberries and elderberries.  We thought we’d make some jam.  I had never made any so it was experience for all of us.

First we picked some blackberries.  Anna proceeded to eat them as she picked but we still managed to collect plenty. We soaked them overnight in water and ice and a bit of salt to kill off any bugs.

IMG_8852 IMG_8853

Today we rinsed and put them in the blender and then added jam sugar. Next we put it on the hob to melt the sugar.  When the sugar had melted we added some butter and let that melt.

IMG_8855  IMG_8856 IMG_8857 IMG_8858 IMG_8859 IMG_8860 IMG_8862

When the butter had melted, we brought it to boiling and let it boil for 4 minutes.

IMG_8861 IMG_8864

We put it in some jars to cool down.

IMG_8866

Then we had some on tiger loaf for lunch.

IMG_8865 IMG_8867 IMG_8868 IMG_8869

The verdict was, it was easy to make and delicious to eat.

Human Body – Our Insides

After completing our skeleton we next decided to do our insides, so Elsa drew around Anna (the keeping still part was pretty difficult) 🙂

IMG_8197 IMG_8198 IMG_8199

We had already ordered some information from the British Heart Foundation, which was brilliant and free (donation if you choose).

We discussed the different organs and what they did, then I asked the girls to put the internal organs where they thought they went.

Anna’s attempt was not bad, but I guess having your brain in your neck could cause a problem and maybe having the oesophagus that way round might make it difficult to eat. 🙂  Elsa’s was near on perfect with the placing of them, not the order though.  Well done girls.

IMG_8202 IMG_8204

Next we drew the organs onto the life size drawing of Anna, which the girls had fun doing.

IMG_8205IMG_8342 IMG_8343IMG_8441

We discussed the large and small intestines in a bit more in depth.  To give perspective, we measured out the actual lengths of them with wool.  The small intestine is 4 times as long as you are tall, and the large intestine is as long as you are tall,  The girls found it fascinating trying to fit it all in the little space in the body.  As you can see we did it perfectly 😉  We also watched a short video which shows the route of the digestive system, which was funny.

IMG_8301 IMG_8300 IMG_8302 IMG_8299

Next job was talking more about the heart and what job it does (very important if you didn’t know) 😉 We did an experiment involving pulse rates, we took resting pulse, then did a minute each of star jumps, running, skipping and dancing to see what happened to our heart rates.  The girls enjoyed doing this and even made me do it.

IMG_8439a IMG_8440a IMG_8382 IMG_8377 IMG_8385 IMG_8383

We talked about the respiratory system and how that works.  We drew and labelled the parts on our body drawing.

The final part of this topic was a discussion about muscles and tendons.  We talked about how they work in pairs, how many there are, what the tendons are there for and then we made a tendon hand which was fun, then Elsa wrote down what she remembered about what we had learned.

IMG_8567 IMG_8566 IMG_8568 IMG_8569

Our completed drawings look great (and very busy) 🙂

IMG_8570

This has been a very interesting topic and we will come back to it in more depth in the future.

Matisse – Art Project 2

The art curriculum we are using had several art pieces to do by Henri Matisse.  This one was inspired from his Icarus cutout.  We decided to use paint instead of paper for the main part of the picture.

Firstly we drew round Anna to get the rough outline of our painting.

IMG_8575

Next we changed the shape so it was more fluid and similar to the original then started painting it in the same colours he did his cutouts from.

IMG_8578 IMG_8585 IMG_8589

Next we cut out random stars and stuck them on.  Elsa painted on the heart.

IMG_8590 IMG_8592

Final painting.  This turned out really well.  The girls enjoyed doing it, it was lovely to spend time outside in the sunshine.

IMG_8595

 

Learning about Famous Artists – Henri Matisse

Lesson 3 of the Famous Artists curriculum, and this time it’s Henri Matisse.  Elsa researched him and we chatted about the different styles of art he did.  He is most famous for his painting/drawing with scissors which is basically a collage.  He used a lot of organic shapes and very few straight edges.  We had already done a name panel in this design so we decided to do his banner style this time.

Elsa decided one half of her banner was going to be a superhero style cutouts with Batman, Dangermouse and Star Wars all making an appearance.  The other side was more organic and like the style of Matisse a little more.

To start with she cut out different coloured rectangles and stuck them down in two strips, then cut and placed the various things she wanted to put on it to see how they fitted.  After moving them around for the best look, she stuck them down.

IMG_8494 IMG_8495 IMG_8497

IMG_8498

This was great fun.  I know that because I did one too. 🙂

How Hill Adventure Time

I think I say this a lot but the beauty of home education is the freedom it gives us to try different things.  One thing that came up was a day out at How Hill in Norfolk.  What a fun place.

The children were able to try things they would never normally get to do such as thatching.

Thatching

We smashed the reed on the floor to make the bottom angled so it would look nicer and so it would line up with the roof. Then we put it on the roof with some special nail hooks called bottom layer hooks and hammered them down. On the second layer we needed different hooks called top layer hooks. After we had done three layers we had to stand underneath our roof while he threw a tub of cold water to see if it leaked but it DIDN’T luckily.

13274971_264794483870888_1334625330_o 13288794_264794653870871_1973095164_o 13275183_264794620537541_426864152_o 13275576_264794530537550_749855507_o 13282383_264794640537539_1579056116_o 13288230_264794503870886_893006628_o

Dry and Wet Woods

We went on a nature walk into the dry woods to do some tree spotting and log turning to spot bugs.  Anna found lots of little bugs.  Elsa played a game where her eyes were closed and she was led to a tree to touch it, then led back to the middle, then she had to open her eyes and try and find her tree again.

13288449_264794450537558_1483808716_o   13313776_264794400537563_2106894155_o 13313889_264794323870904_1099922364_o IMG_8396 IMG_8397 IMG_8408 IMG_8398 IMG_8399 IMG_8400 IMG_8401 IMG_8403 IMG_8404

We walked through some pretty gardens to the wet wood where the bogs, and the reed beds are.  There and lots of bugs on the river.  This was such a lovely walk.

IMG_8405 IMG_8406 IMG_8407 IMG_8409 IMG_8410 IMG_8411 IMG_8413 IMG_8418

They wanted to show us how deep some of the bogs are in the wet wood, so Emma showed us a stick in the ground which was the tallest stick they could find and she pulled it out of the bog and it kept on going up to about 2m high.

IMG_8417 IMG_8415 IMG_8416

We all then went into a bird hide to spot birds on the broad. Anna didn’t see any, but Elsa saw a moorhen.  So not too many birds about that day.

IMG_8414 13288728_264794233870913_101097806_o

Pond Dipping

Finally we did some pond dipping and Elsa found a massive snail and some water boatman along with lots of other bugs and larvae.

IMG_8433 IMG_8429 IMG_8430 IMG_8431 IMG_8432

We had a GREAT day!

Bees & Honey

Whenever I have uncooperative children, my go to thing to do is a nature walk.  This weeks nature walk was about honey bees while they were busy collecting nectar.  It was a gorgeous day so I ran this topic by the girls.  Elsa didn’t really want to come but reluctantly agreed, and while Anna skipped off down the road spotting flowers, butterflies and bees Elsa dragged her heels a bit.  We talked about whether she knew the differences between a bumble bee and a honey bee, she did and I could see her becoming more interested in what we were discussing.  It didn’t take her long to spot a honey bee and we were able to look closely at what she was doing.

IMG_8461 IMG_8464

They really are fascinating, they flit from one flower to another so quickly (so getting a photograph was near on impossible).  As we continued we saw lots of them all busily doing their job.  When we got home we watched a video about how honey is collected by the beekeeper, then the girls wrote in their nature books.

IMG_8492

We made honey cookies (recipe 40 here), which tasted lovely, but we did have to add twice as much flour as we wouldn’t have been able to roll out the dough otherwise).  The girls loved doing this 🙂

IMG_8471 IMG_8472 IMG_8473

The next day I asked Elsa if she’d like to do a comic strip about how the honey bee makes honey.  She said yes she’d love to as she’d really enjoyed this mini topic.  So she searched for information on the honey bee and then got to it.  The final result is really great.

IMG_8486

Thank goodness she enjoyed it 🙂

Learning about Famous Artists – Claude Monet

Lesson two of the famous artists curriculum.  I love the fact we can just pick these up as we feel like it.

We went for a nature walk (included as a different post) and as we got to the lake at the end of the lane, what should we see but lily pads all over it.  After a quick discussion with the lady at the house she said we were allowed to sit on her boardwalk.  We went back the next day with pens, pencils and crayons and drew them.

IMG_8276 WP_20160505_004 WP_20160505_005 IMG_8279 IMG_8282 IMG_8281 IMG_8277

When we got back we had a look in our art book and the next artist was Claude Monet.  I couldn’t believe it.  Anyway we decided to try and recreate his lily pad watercolour paintings which he did in his back garden at Giverny.

IMG_8288  IMG_8285 IMG_8284 IMG_8287 WP_20160506_001

We also had a chat about Monet, where he lived and what the term impressionism meant.  Elsa had to also do a little written biography on him where she found out that the impressionism term came from one of his paintings, Impression Sunrise.

Elsa and Anna both enjoyed doing watercolours (neither of them used enough water though 🙂 ) and the results were really nice.

WP_20160506_002 WP_20160506_003