Recently we have been learning about mushrooms and have gone on a couple of walks to find some.
Did you know that mushrooms don’t have seeds? They drop spores so we picked a few and made spore prints with them by putting the mushrooms on white paper. Some mushrooms drop brown ones, some drop white ones and some drop cream ones. It was quite an interesting experiment.
We learnt about the parts of a mushroom, the life cycle of mushrooms and where they grow (mushrooms grow in shaded damp areas, some grow in mossy areas, some grow on dead trees branches and some grown up live tree trunks).
On one of the walks we saw lots of different edible mushrooms from blewits, which are pretty as they are purple/pink underneath, jelly ears, which are very weird as they look like ears stuck to branches and some type of bracket mushroom which grow off the side of dead or living tree trunks.
On another of our walks we saw red mushrooms (Fly Agaric), which was the first time we’d ever seen them and it was very cool. We didn’t pick them though as they are known to be poisonous.
We are not brave enough to eat any though as you have to be 100% sure if they are edible or not. We will keep looking and learning and maybe one day we’ll be able to eat what we find.
We are always thinking how we can do science at home and one day Elsa asked if we could make crystals. So…. we popped to our local library and found a at home science book which had it in.
It looked too easy to be true as you only needed 5 things (eggs, water, alum powder, pva glue and food colouring). First of all we emptied the egg shell of the eggs (we made cupcakes), then washed them and left them to dry.
Then we painted a little PVA glue to the inside of the shell and sprinkled it with alum powder, then again we had to wait for them to dry.
We mixed up 2 parts warm water to 1 part alum powder and then added different food colouring. We stirred it for what seemed forever until it had all disolved.
We put the eggshells into the different mixtures overnight. The next day we removed them and placed them on paper towels to dry out.
As part of our Italy topic the girls found out that Michelangelo was an Italian artist. They researched a bit about him and found out that he painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel which took 4 years to complete.
I thought it would be a challenge for them to try to paint how he would have had to paint this ceiling. They would also see why it took so long to do.
They soon realised that painting lying on your back is very difficult and they did say their arms hurt a bit after a short while, but they both managed to produce a painting. 😀
If I were at school, I’d be in Year 8 (high school) and as such we wanted to start making sure I’d be ready for GCSE’s should I want to take them in the future. We found an online college, which I’ve blogged about previously, which do all sorts of subject but I chose Maths to start with as it’s my favourite one.
We weren’t sure which year to start at at so they sent me a test to see which year I should begin. AND I got 18 out of 22 which meant I would be able to start the Year 8 course. Therefore, I am doing the same work as I would be doing at school.
I have almost finished my second module after passing the first one at 94%.
I am so happy I am doing the work I am meant to be doing for my age.
We watch a programme called The Great Pottery Throwdown, which we love and one week on the latest series, they made tiles. We decided we wanted to have a go at making them. So we bought some air drying clay (as we don’t have a kiln 🙂 ) and used the tools we had already from our old playdough days.
First we had to warm the clay up to make it easier to roll out. We then rolled it out until it was about 3 or 4mm thick then we cut a square ish shape out of it.
We then used different tools to make indents and marks into it, we added clay to make the clay more 3d. The results were good.
We left them about a week on the window sill to dry, then we painted them.
Once a week on Fridays, I go to a tutor group with other home educated children where we do formal Science, English, Maths and History/Geography. We get given homework most weeks but we don’t get homework from Science or Maths on the week before half term. School holidays still apply to tutor group.
At the moment we are learning about the internal organs of the human body in Science.
In English we are learning about A Midsummer Nights Dream and the language that Shakespeare uses in the play.
In Maths we are learning about coordinates and how to plot them various ways.
Last but certainly not least in History/Geography we are learning about Japan.
All of the subjects are interesting.
The lessons are an hour long and we have Science and English before lunch and Maths and History afterwards.
KS2 and KS3 are in a class together so the works is pitched somewhere between the two. Some work is a bit harder for the younger ones in the group. Those doing GCSE levels are put in a separate class.
Another really good thing is we (the students) have an input into what we would like to learn about. So this term we as a group, chose Japan which we thought would be an interesting topic.
It’s a good time to see my friends and if you send your children or you come to the one I go to. I will introduce you to my friends then you can sit with us. (you may even already know someone there).
I have recently started an online Course with Wolsey Hall Oxford that I fully recommend to all Home Edders out there.
You can choose from lots of different subjects including Maths, English, French and many others.
I have started Maths and more than likely will start computing as well fairly soon.
You have the course sent to you, but you have an online tutor who you can contact if you can’t do something and they will send you a video telling/showing you how to do it.. You work through modules (for instance Temperature) and when you have finished all the required modules you can do a quiz, which if you get more than fifty percent you will unlock the assignment for that module. You print that off complete it and then send it back to your tutor who will mark it. Once completed you will move on to the next module.
It’s challenging, but I’m enjoying the one I’m doing.
We learn about a variety of artists and another different one we decided to take a look at was an American T.V. artist called Bob Ross .
He had a show in the 80’s and 90’s called The Joy of Painting where he showed you in real time how to paint a landscape picture. So using one of his tutorials and using watercolour paint, we painted a mountain range with trees and a river.
He has the most calming voice and made it simple to follow. It was fun and the results were good. I’d like to do another of his tutorials one day..