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 🙂

 

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. 🙂

Free Choice Fridays

Free choice Fridays are an idea I had.  Elsa does a lot I ask of her during the week.  She does choose her own topics though (this half term it’s the Romans)

Every day Elsa does a selection of the following, Maths, History, Science, English and Geography, which she enjoys and normally it’s only mornings.  In the afternoons we do things with Anna as she’s home from nursery, often related to what we’ve been doing in the mornings.

For instance, if Anna had been at nursery for the first morning after the Christmas holidays, Elsa and I would have learned about the Roman Empire and started our India geography topic, however she wasn’t so we did a Roman mosaic craft instead.

But as the title suggests, on Fridays Elsa is able to choose exactly what she wants to do.  Sometimes she chooses to continue with work we’ve been doing in the week because she’s finding it interesting.  Other weeks she chooses to do some drawings in her art book. which she can often spend hours doing that as it’s her favourite pastime. Until this week, that was all she’d chosen to do, but she’s becoming really detailed in her pictures and it’s really great for me to see her progressing and becoming more confident with her drawings.

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She’s also drawn comic strips 🙂

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This is her favourite and most recent picture.

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Obviously it’s not just drawing she can do, she can do whatever she would like to.

When we started home educating, to give her some ideas, I’d shown her a cross stitch I’d made when I was at primary school.  She said she’d like to do one, and last Friday she spent some of the morning designing hers and choosing the coloured cottons she’d like to use.

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I’ve got a feeling I know what her free choice Friday choice will be next week 🙂

Topic – Romans – Mosaics

Elsa mentioned that she’d enjoyed learning about Romans when she was at school, but told me it was taught a bit quickly for her, so she wanted to go over it again.

I think this is a great opportunity to do a load of crafts (mosaics, make a seal etc) and to go on a couple of field trips (the castle to look at artefacts and a local Roman castle building)

As it turned out our first day ended up changing a little bit as Anna wasn’t at nursery as I’d expected, so we decided to design and create our own mosaics, which both girls enjoyed.

Firstly, we chatted about where Romans would have used mosaics, what they were often made from, and what common pictures were made.

Then both girls designed their own mosaic  on some squared paper.

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They used some cardboard as a base as it is sturdy and squares of different coloured card to make the designs.

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Finished mosaics.  As you can see the designs of the mosaics weren’t exactly as their templates (not the same at all 🙂 ), however, that’s the beauty of it, the ideas evolve as they are creating.

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Christmas Fun – Christmas Crackers

For the last few years we have made our own crackers and this year was no exception.  They are really cheap and easy to do.

I bought hats and snaps off ebay, very cheap and very quick delivery.  Elsa wrote some jokes, (typical of an 8 year old) :)and we put in a chocolate as the gift.

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Next we wrapped up toilet rolls with Christmas wrapping paper.

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We put in the snap and closed one end of the paper with ribbon, then put in the hat, joke and chocolate. Then closed the other end with the ribbon then used pinking shears to pretty the edges.

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Tah dah, all finished.  They look fantastic.  Let’s hope they work on Christmas Day.

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Merry Christmas and enjoy the holiday season.

 

 

Space Agent – Build a Rocket

The final mission and Elsa has been looking forward to this one the most 🙂

For the final time, we watched Jon’s introduction video. Apparently Little Jon is doing a secret mission.

Science

How does gravity work on earth?

We watched some videos about Isaac Newton, forces and gravity.  Then did an experiment using a jar and ball to see if we could cause enough pull to keep the ball in the jar.  Elsa wrote what was happening and why and spoke about it as we were doing it and we did a video of it to upload to makewaves.

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Mission 6 Part 1 complete

DT & Maths

This task needed us to design and launch our own rocket.  After looking at various different ways to do it, Elsa decided to use a bottle and make a cone to create hers.

Firstly she made a cone out of card and taped it up using parcel tape, she then taped it to the bottom of her bottle and decorated the whole thing.

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She then put a bit of playdough around the open end as a weight and taped it on.

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Tah Dah, all finished.

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To launch it she was going to use force from the pump and water.

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We used between 100ml and 400ml of water for the launches to see which one would work best.  Our results were the less water used, the higher and further the rocket went.  We uploaded a video to makewaves.

Mission 6 Part 2 complete

English

Write a letter of support to Tim?

Last task of the challenge was to write a letter in letter format, using full stops, commas and a variety of vocabulary to Tim and post it to him for his return.

Elsa wrote a bit about what she had learned and that she had watched the launch and docking of the Soyus rocket on the 15th December and that she thought the docking would be frightening for them all.  She wished him a good mission. 🙂

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Mission 6 Part 3 complete

She uploaded all of her work and was issued with not only the launch rocket badge,

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but she has also qualified as an Agent of UNSA

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This has been a brilliant, interesting project.

Christmas Fun – Gingerbread House

Anna attends nursery and their school encouraged all the children to decorate a gingerbread house (which they had made at school).

Both girls enjoyed doing this although gluing it together is great fun. 🙂  We ended up using superglue to stick the roof on.  Glue was a last resort as the icing and melted sugar hadn’t worked.

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We used royal icing to stick a variety of sweets on it.

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We decorated the roof with crushed up shredded wheat.

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The end result.  It looked great.

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Such a shame it wasn’t edible. 🙁

Christmas Fun – Sock Snowmen

I love the run up to Christmas, we get all festive and do lots of lovely crafts.  The internet is such a fabulous source of information, you can never run out of ideas.

After seeing this cute little video on You Tube, we decided to give these lovely little snowmen a try.

Firstly, cut off the foot part just above the heel then fill the foot part with rice (or whatever you want).

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Tie some cotton to make a head and body.

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Glue on buttons, eyes and nose.

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Then put the top half of the sock on as the hat.  (easy peasy).

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The finished items look so cute 🙂

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Diwali

Another subject Elsa asked to do back in the summer was Diwali.  I know she had covered it at school, so I asked her why she wanted to do it again.  She explained she found it interesting. 🙂

I found out it was on 11th November this year so we started the topic the week previous.

I thought it was would be best to find out why Diwali is celebrated so we watched a video and read a story. To make sure Elsa had remembered this, I asked her to filled in some worksheets I’d downloaded from Activity Village and Twinkl, while Anna completed a maze.

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We then made Diya’s out of beads (from Activity Village) and clay.

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We talked about henna patterns and both Elsa and Anna created one on paper then painted it onto their arms with face paints.

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We made lanterns 🙂

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We also discussed Rangoli patterns, where they are used and why and then both girls coloured one in downloaded from Twinkl.

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Finally we made coconut squares.

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An interesting week of learning 🙂