Our Nature walk 1

Another thing we are doing is learning about nature.  We are lucky to live on a beautiful farming estate so we have lovely walks available to us when we want to go on one.  Normally though, someone always gets stung while we are closely looking at something.

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This walk consisted of looking at the different types of grasses that are out this time of year.  Sadly, it has been very cold and we think that the normal spring grasses are going to be a few weeks late this year.

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On our walk, we came to the end of our lane and found a lovely lake which was covered in lily pads. We have done a Monet inspired painting from this.

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On the way home we came across this skeleton which we think was missing a few limbs and possibly the top of it’s jaw, so Elsa thought it was a possibly a fox or deer and Anna thought it was a kangaroo or a bear, which Elsa thought was funny but I thought made sense really, as it was missing two legs.  After a bit of research at home we found out that it is a muntjac deer.

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We had collected lots of moss and stones and pine cones this time so we made a little fairy garden which looked really cute.  The girls picked lots of flowers from our garden to pretty it up a lot.

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We had a lovely day.

Human Body – Skeleton

Elsa decided that this terms topic would be the Human Body.  We had already completed a sub topic on teeth before Easter due to the fact that we had all been to the dentist.

The last couple of weeks we have been learning about the skeleton bones.  Firstly, we chatted about the skeleton as a whole and what we needed it for.  Then I downloaded a skeleton labelling sheet from Twinkl.  Finally, I drew around Elsa so we had a life sized shape to stick our bones on to, (which was obviously very tickly).

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I asked Elsa where she wanted to start and she said hands and arms.  So we started there, using cotton buds as the phalanges.  Elsa said she didn’t realise there were so many bones in the hands and wrists.

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Next we did the bones in the arms.  We stuck on the labels off the Twinkl sheet (which uses the proper bone names), she also labelled them with the common names we use for them too.

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The next day, we did the skull, shoulders and collar bones.  Anna was here to help us this time, so it was nice for Elsa to explain to her the bones we had already completed.

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Next, we added the spine and ribs and sternum.

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Finally, it was the pelvis and legs, feet and toes.

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Our finished skeleton.

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Next stop the internal organs 🙂

 

Learning about Famous Artists – Pablo Picasso

As I’ve said before, Elsa is more of a crafy type of person, more hands on.  So am I really too.

I love art, particularly impressionism, so I thought it would be nice to introduce her to different artists from over the years.

I was searching for something I thought might be suitable when I stumbled upon the Pink and Green Mama website, There are several artist ebooks you can download for a small fee.  I chose the 3rd one, but I think any of them would be interesting to do.

So today we started with Pablo Picasso and his blue period. We talked a little bit about Pablo Picasso, where and when he was born, what type of art he did and why he went through his blue period (1900 – 1904).

I had bought some art books and paintbrushes from The Works, so we were ready to give it a try.

Firstly we sketched our portraits, then using blue, white and black paints we created different shades and tones to create our pictures.  This was a really interesting project for me to see if they could use just 3 colours effectively.  They did. 🙂

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Finished artwork 🙂

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Easter 2016

We don’t break up officially for any holidays.  If we fancy some time off, we take it.  This is one of the beauties of Home Education, however we do learn a bit about all of the various holidays we would be taking if we were at school.

This includes learning about the proper meaning of them, why we celebrate them and doing various crafts.

One of the Easter crafts we did was some decoupage. I’d never done it before and we saw it mentioned online, so we popped in to our local Hobbycraft to see at what they had available.  The girls each chose a basket and a rabbit, which were cheap at £2 and some papers (which varied between £2 and £3.80 for 3.

We just ripped the paper into smaller pieces, watered down our pva glue and off they went.

It’s great fun, it kept the girls occupied for ages and as it doesn’t really matter how much glue you get on it, little ones can do it independently.

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Elsa did a co-ordinates sheet which we found on Activity Village, she had to place the co-ordinates in the correct squares to produce an Easter picture.  She thought this was great fun.

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I found a great little Easter Maths booklet on Twinkl.  🙂 Anna decided she’d like to start on that, she started with her least favourite pastime of colouring.  I don’t understand why she doesn’t enjoy it, she’s really good at it.

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After that she wanted to do a number sheet.  She’s really doing well with her number work.

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There was a great game in the maths booklets which we all played together.  You had to throw 2 dice and add them together and then colour the relevant egg.  The one with the most eggs coloured at the end of the game (in our case 10 throws each) won.  It was a bit easy for Elsa, but we all enjoyed it and Anna won. 🙂

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What a busy Easter. 🙂

Human Body – Teeth

Our new topic is the human body which we will be starting after the Easter holidays, but as we had been to the dentist this week, I thought it might be a good idea to learn about teeth while the visit was still fresh in the girls minds.

We talked about the number of teeth we had and the girls counted each others teeth while using a torch to look at the different types of teeth.

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We talked about which foods were good for your teeth and which ones weren’t, then I printed off some pages of foods and drew some teeth for the girls to decide which foods should go where. Anna drew a happy tooth and a sad face on her teeth. 🙂

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Elsa designed her foods into sad and happy faces on her teeth. 🙂

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I asked Elsa to create a leaflet to help people to look after their teeth.  She decided to explain what were good and bad things to eat and then described how to brush your teeth properly.  She was really pleased with how it came out (and so was I), clever little thing. 🙂

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We chatted about the various adult teeth and the jobs they did.  Then I asked the girls to colour in the different teeth different colours.  Elsa had to write her own text about the teeth and we discussed the use (or not) of wisdom teeth.

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What an interesting start our Human Body topic. 🙂

 

World Book Day 2016

I was thinking that it would be quite difficult to celebrate world book day.  Elsa tends not to really enjoy reading unless it’s Tom Gates :).  Roll on May when the next one is out. 🙂

Anyway, being a member of the fabulous Twinkl website, they had emailed me some world book day ideas.  I asked the girls what they would like to do and they said the scavenger hunt, so they got dressed up as a character from a book, we grabbed some books off their bookcases and got started.

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The idea was to find the page in a book on which a certain item off the list was on.  I printed off the same sheet for both girls but suggested they used different age appropriate books.

For instance one of the items to find was a bus.  Elsa found it written somewhere in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkerban.  Anna found a picture of one in a Zoe and Beans book.

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This was one of the things we did on World Book Day, it was a fun little exercise and both girls enjoyed it.

 

 

Roman Roads

One of the things I love most about home educating is the fact we can be really spontaneous.  So when we were finishing off our Romans topic this week we were learning about why, where and how they built their roads.

During our research we found out they used a groma which was a Roman surveying instrument, to help them build them in straight lines.

Spontaneous head on I asked ‘would you like to make a groma Elsa’?

‘Yes please’ came the excited reply (anything to get out of writing). 🙂

So we discussed what we would need to make one and collected everything together.

Firstly, Elsa created her cross beams (out of cardboard) and used wool to fix them together.  She then made a hole at the end of each of the pieces of card.

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She put a piece of wool at through the holes in the card to hang the weights off.  She created 4 weights out of clay and took bits off them to ensure it was straight.

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Using her knowledge of Roman numerals she wrote the date 🙂

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I’m not sure if this is exactly how you used it in Roman times, however Elsa put it up high so she could see when the opposite weights were in a straight line.

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This was great fun to make and we used it to see if it worked.  It did 🙂

 

Photo Scavenger Hunt #1

This time of year it’s hard to get the girls to go outside as the weather is cold and unpredictable, with it raining one minute, sleeting the next and sunny the next.

I thought we’d go on a scavenger hunt around where we live which is a beautiful spot in the English countryside.  But instead of coming home with stones, feathers and leaves, they would take photos.

So I created a photo scavenger hunt sheet and each armed with a camera off we went.

This was fun as it got the girls looking at their surrounding as we wondered home from our local village.

Learning About Colours and Shades

I thought it might be a nice idea to teach Anna about the principles of colour in that you really only need 3 colours to make a variety of different ones.

I created 2 different types of colour wheels (well Anna’s wasn’t a wheel at all, but still).

We chatted about the primary colours, mixing colours and what happens if you add more or less of one colour.

The girls then set about making their colour charts.

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This was a good exercise for Elsa as it showed her that to make darker or lighter shades all she had to do was add more or less of one of the primary colours.

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Finished chart/wheel.

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This was a fun and useful activity for both girls. 🙂

Science – PH Indicators

For Christmas, one of the fantastic presents Elsa received was a kitchen chemistry set.  She has been nagging me to try it so this week we did the first experiment which was using a natural indicator to find out whether liquids and powders are acid, alkaline or neutral.

Firstly, to make the natural indicator we had to cut and boil up some red cabbage.  We strained it to keep the juice and left it to cool.

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Next, while that was cooling we discussed what we would like to test.  Then she wrote a chart which listed them, included a ‘my guess’ column and a results column.  We chatted about the principles of acids and alkalis so she was able to make a more educated guess.

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After collecting Anna from nursery, we started our tests.  Firstly the girls had to put a bit of the cabbage juice in some test tubes (indicator) and to each tube they added some of the item they wanted to test.

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Results

Vinegar

After adding a few drops of the vinegar to the tube the indicator went immediately pink.  This was a good one to start because the result was so quick and obvious, the girls got excited.

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Water

Anna added water to another tube of the indicator and it stayed purple, which meant it was a neutral liquid.

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Lemon Juice

A few drops of lemon juice to the indicator and it went pink.

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Results of the tubes in order vinegar, water then lemon juice.

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Dishwasher liquid

Adding a few drops of the dishwasher liquid and it went bright pink.

Hand Soap

Adding a bit of hand soap to the cabbage water and it went dark pink.

Baking Powder

Not only did adding baking powder to the indicator cause it to stay purple, it fizzed over the top which caused a few giggles.

In order of results – dishwasher liquid, hand soap and baking powder.

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Salt

Elsa added some salt to the indicator and it stayed purple,

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Sugar

Anna added some sugar to it and it also stayed purple.

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Flour

Adding flour to it changed the colour to light purple but still it stayed purple.

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Final three results salt, sugar and flour.

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We all enjoyed doing this even if we didn’t guess so well at the results. 🙂