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.

cross stitch

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

A Message to Tim

Tim,

Tim Peake

I know that you will be feeling a bit nervous and excited.  It is an adventure that not many people get to do.

You have done lots of training to get ready for Mission Prinicpia so you are ready for it.

In space you will see a sunset and sunrise 16 times every day.  That’s one every 45 minutes.  Your jobs that you do are very important so make sure you are relaxed in space.  You need to try and get a good nights sleep which mean going to bed quite late and waking up at 6 o’clock in the morning.  You shouldn’t use the sunrises and sunsets to set your routine even if they are very pretty.

sunset from ISS sunrise from ISS

You will probably miss your family, especially as you will be on the International Space Station over Christmas and your birthday but remember you can talk to them by using Skype, tablets and computers during your free time.

Make sure you exercise as you can’t walk at all while you are in space so you need to keep fit while you are there.

Hopefully the chef has made some of your favourite food and drink to take with you to keep you a bit happier while you are there.

food in space

We are looking forward to following your mission on the ISS, we know you will be great.

From Elsa

 

Coding with Dad on the Dragon 32

In 1983, when I was around 10 years old, my father bought our family a Dragon 32 computer. These were the days when computers had ‘Made in England’ stamped on the bottom and became affordable enough and small enough to have in the home.

home school computer lesson ukWe are talking the era of the early ZX Spectrum, Atari 2600, that kind of thing. At that time, nobody outside of the military or science establishment (people like Sir Tim Berners-Lee) would have known what the internet was. In fact, it was probably still called ‘Interconnected Network’ or something.

These were real computers, where you had to write programs to get them to do anything, or at least buy a cassette tape that might have had a program or two on.

My parents were not well-off by any means, at the time I seem to recall it cost maybe £300 or so – based on averages wages at the time I would have said that is an equivalent spend of maybe £1200 today. A fair wedge for any working parent.

Cutting a long story very short, this computer was my companion throughout much of my childhood and is both the foundation of and trigger for my career in IT. Today I own and operate a small IT support business and I personally spend time writing software for my own and other businesses.

Home School Computing Lesson Dragon 32With my Home School hat on, the first point I want to make here is that I learned about computers in spite of the state school system and not as a result of it. Now we are home-schooling our children I find it very telling that the foundation of my career is based upon an investment that happened by my parents in our home and is most certainly not something that happened as a result of attending any school.

Another interesting fact is that, until I attended college, I was completely self-taught when it came to using and programming computers. Schools had neither the time, expertise nor the equipment necessary to teach me the skills I would eventually need to have a career in IT. This is more of an observation than a criticism, but over thirty years later I am reasonably sure this has changed very little.

And so, it is for these reasons, I fired up that 30 year old computer this week and started teaching my eldest little girl to program BASIC on the Dragon 32. I have to say she loved it, and so did I!

 

Geography Post by Elsa – China

We have been home schooling since September 2015. We are semi structured so we do a number of lessons.

Mummy wrote about the curriculum before.

We have been following a curriculum by Erica at Confessions of a Home Schooler.

We have learnt about China and South Korea.

For China we learnt where it is, the capital city, language (I learnt to say hello in Chinese, which is Ni hao (Knee how)) and we also learnt some fun facts.

We made paper, then we wrote Chinese numbers up to ten on it.

We did a zentangle picture.

We also built the great wall of China out of Lego.

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We even tried Chinese food. My favourite bit was the egg noodles.

I have enjoyed learning about China.

 

Field Trip Review – Mundesley

Wednesday, 15th July 2015.

Today, I went on a field trip to Mundesley.

I learned that a slipway was for a boat to come down on to the beach.

I liked finding different shells and stones on the beach.

I did not like it when my little sister hurt herself on the outside gym when doing the swing to the side exercise.

I took some photographs and I would like to go again.

Mundesley War Memorial
Mundesley War Memorial
Mundesley Church Plaque
Mundesley Church Plaque
Mundesley Slipway
One of the slipways in Mundesley