Making Big Bubbles

While we were in Wales, we bought some big bubbles but we decided to see if we could make own mixture for when we ran out.

We found a recipe on a website called Steph’s two girls and decided to see if it would work for us.

This is the recipe we used.

  • 6 cups of water
  • 1/2 a cup of cornflour
  • 1/2 a cup of washing up liquid
  • 1 tbsp. of glycerine
  • 1 tbsp. of baking powder

First we put 6 cups of water in a big bowl.

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Then we added cornflour  and stirred it well.

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Next we added baking powder, glycerine and washing up liquid.

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Then we stirred it gently and our spoons got caught together which made us giggle . 🙂

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While we left it for a hour to settle we used straws and string to make another big bubble blower. We slid the string through the straws.

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Then we pulled funny faces through the big bubble blower.

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We had fun, we managed to blow bubbles in all shapes and sizes.

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We made BIG BUBBLES which was fun.

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Some of our bubbles just floated about.

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WE LOVED IT!

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.

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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.

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

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We put it in some jars to cool down.

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Then we had some on tiger loaf for lunch.

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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We had a GREAT day!

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.

KidZania London visit

On Tuesday we went to London to go to kidZania.  KidZania is a City for 4 – 14 year olds with more than 60 real life role play adventures.  It is in the Westfield Shopping Centre.

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When you go in you get given 50 kidzos, which is money you can spend around kidZania’s City and you also get a bracelet that links to your parent so you can’t get lost, as they can’t go into the activities with you.

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First I made some chocolate, the lady told us where the coco beans grow and we even got to feel them. My favourite part was when I put my chocolate on the vibrating table.

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I went to the art place next and painted a picture of our garden.

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So far I had spent Kidzos, so I went to earn some at the hairdressers, that was fun.

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Next I made an Eat Natural bar, which was yummy. I made it with apricots, raisons, rice, honey and chocolate.

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I made a stop start animation film which was fun and I got paid to do it.

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Next I was an estate agent which I got paid to do. I had to measure a house and put in details. I also got business cards and a wallet.

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After that, I was a post girl where I had to deliver some parcels which I got paid to do.

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The last thing I did was H and M fashion where I got to dress-up in different outfits, I put on a hat, skirt and t shirt.

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I got a passport which means next time we go I get more money when I go in, because they stamp it when I go in to a room.

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I liked it so much that we are going back again in September 2016.

 

Burgh Castle Field Trip

Our recent topic is Romans and we have done a variety of subjects on it including Boudicca, mosaics, Hadrian’s Wall and Gods.

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To find out about Roman buildings we went to Burgh Castle. Mummy made a field trip sheet to fill in, but Anna didn’t do it so Nanny did it for her.

The sheet asked us to see what it was made of and I thought it was made of stone, clay, brick and flint.

I took some pictures of the layers in the wall.

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Next we had to look for the bastions. A bastion is there to help defend the castle. We saw 6 bastions but there would have been more.

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These are my pictures of the different bastions we could see.

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These are holes in the walls where the bricks have fallen out and they are not supposed to be there. You could see a bastion through one of the holes. Can you see which one?

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I think this hole might be something to hold a roof up with a wood pillar. There were 7 and they were square so looked like they should be there.

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These walls have either fallen down or are wonky.

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We learnt a lot and had fun exploring!

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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 🙂

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.

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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.

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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.