Famous Artists – Jackson Pollock

We hadn’t done any work on artists for a while, so I asked if the girls fancied learning about someone else. Of course they did because what we do is we chat about the artist, find out some information about them along with a few interesting facts and the we have a go at their style of art. This time it was Jackson Pollock who is well known for his drip painting style.

The girls added water to the paint so it was runnier than usual and either dripped or flicked the paint onto the canvas sheets we had. This was messy and fun (so they tell me).

The finished products

Jackson Pollock’s style of art is interesting. The big black blob on Anna’s picture was an accident, but she decided that she wanted to make sure it had lots of blobs of other colours on it so when it dried it would be ‘more colourful’.

Pizza Making

We went to Pizza Express to make pizzas. First, we had to push the dough to the edge of the pan to give it a crust. Next, we put one scoop of the tomato sauce on our pizza base, which we had to shake to spread around. Finally, we decorated the pizzas. I decorated my pizza with olives, ham, onion and cheese. Anna decorated her pizza with pepperoni, onion, ham and cheese. Luke told us to put between 30 and 40 bits of mozzarella on the pizza. Anna put on exactly 30 pieces. The pizzas were put into a massive oven to cook for 4 minutes. While they where cooking we tried some different toppings. There was artichoke, capers, 3 different types of chilli and raisins. Anna tried all of them, I tried some of them. We got handed a certificate for making pizzas. Next we went to the park and we ate our pizzas there.

 

Forensic Science – Fingerprints

As Home Educators we are very lucky that we have lots of parents who will organise lots of interesting topics for the children to study.  One such topic was forensic science taught by real forensic police. 🙂

When we arrived at the venue there was a ‘crime scene’ set out. After an introduction about the day and what would be happening, the children were first shown different ways of getting DNA samples from a scene. These were in little sachets and the children had to guess what these might be.

Next it was taking fingerprints and using a magnifier to look more closely at them. They talked about the differences in peoples prints (these include simple loops, double loops, arches and whorls).

Next, it was get suited up so as to not contaminate the scene and then they were given a CD with prints on.  They had to find them using a special brush with the fingerprint dust on. They were told and shown how to do this. They had special tape to lift the prints and then using the magnifier they were to compare the fingerprints with the suspect list and then decide which suspect was guilty.

This was a fascinating subject and Elsa enjoyed it immensely.

 

Have I Given Up?

As Elsa gets older I worry about the fact she’s not doing 30 hours a weeks school and 5 hours a week homework.  I mean we do stuff, but it was getting the point that she was becoming difficult about doing English with me (her least favourite subject).

After several weeks of this behaviour, I suggested maybe having someone else teach her this subject.  She wasn’t happy about it but agreed to give it a go.

I found a tutor who came and tested where she was at so she knew where to start teaching her and my goodness, she was classed as being where she should be age wise for comprehension and maths and ahead for reading. This was a bit of a surprise as we had only been doing a small amount each day.

She continues to have the tutor once a week for 2 hours and is given homework to do.  This will hopefully keep her on track for the future.

So while I may have felt at the time I had given up. I didn’t.  I just passed some things over to someone who could help me. I now focus on other subjects, which at present include Geography, Ancient Egypt, French, Art, Cooking, Sewing, etc.

We still have a varied education and now our tutor is part of this.

Making our own soap

This year we wanted to make our own gifts for families and one of things we decided to do was make our own soap.

I found this video and thought we’d use this one but amend it a bit.

We bought some goat’s milk soap base and chopped it into cubes ready to melt. We grated some lemons to get the rind.

  

We melted the soap base over a pan of simmering water. This took quite a while.

  

We then mixed in a few drops of  both lavender and lemon essential oils.

We poured the mixture into our moulds and let them set. removed them from the mould to let the other side set.

Finally, we wrapped them in cling film to prevent them from being affected by the air and then in brown paper with a ribbon.

These looked and smelled lovely and worked perfectly. We will be doing this again.

Minecraft Plushies

One day while looking through our local library we found this book and the girls decided they would like to make a plush cube. (yay measuring and sewing) 🙂

I asked them which one they would like to make.  Elsa decided on the Minecraft parrot and Anna decided on the pig.  I asked them to design them on some squared paper and then work out what and how many materials they would need.  We popped to our local Hobbycraft (brilliant shop btw) and purchased what we needed.

Firstly we measured 6 8x8in squares out of the felt which would be the base colour of the things we’d decided to make.  Pink for Anna and red for Elsa.

 

We then cut them out and starting to sew them together.  We left the sides which required more detail separate to make it easier to sew.

  

We then cut out 1x1in squares for the details then pinned them on the base squares. Elsa had face, wings, tail and Anna had face and tail.

   

They gradually sewed the pieces on and then finally sewing all the base pieces together we left a little gap so we could stuff them.

 

Then they finished off by sewing up the hole.

 

The girls did these mostly on their own. It took a little while to complete them as there was a lot to sew, but they completed them.

I think they look great. 🙂

Separating Home from School

Something I wanted to do when we decided to home educate was to keep home and school separate.  We would be spending more time here than previously and therefore it needed to be a nice space for both of those things.  We used to have an area where all our school work would be kept, which was away from the rest of the house.  We have a garden office which was being used for our business, but in March the business moved to an office in our local city.  Therefore we now have this amazing space in the garden available to us.  🙂

So the girls and I discussed what we wanted that space to look like.  The girls decided that it needed to:

  • display their work;
  • be bright and colourful (bit difficult because of the black carpet tiles already in there);
  • have one table so they were able to work together.

We were very lucky as at the same time, the gym the girls attend was giving away tables they no longer required.  So I asked for one of those and my husband put some taller legs on it and we had a lovely bright red table to use.  We bought some vinyl flower stickers to decorate it a bit further.

We had the colourful drawers from when we educated inside our home. I always thought if it’s bright and colourful it would be more inspiring and for the most part that is true, so they have a set each.  We also had the wicker storage system which holds all their craft stuff, like paint and paper.  We just moved all those things into the lovely new space.

We found this gorgeous rainbow rug and I thought that would brighten up the black tiles a bit.  The girls absolutely love this. Aside from being lovely and bright, it’s soft too.

 

We had a discussion about where we’d like the ‘work’ to be displayed, they decided to separate it into subjects, which is how we had it in the house as well. So at present we have an art wall and a wall that displays French and Vikings.

Anna sits on the Vikings side of the table therefore, she has things useful to her on the wall. (She is learning to read so blending sounds cards).  Also as time has gone on we have added a helpful hints wall for maths.

Our little school room is coming along nicely.  The girls both like being in there and that is half the battle 😀

 

 

 

 

 

Learning about Famous Artists – Louise Nevelson

I asked the girls if they would like to do another lesson from the famous artists curriculum.  We haven’t done any for quite a while so the girls were both very keen to do this.  We chose Louise Nevelson this time.  As we always do, we researched our artist a little bit to find out where and when she was born, where she studied and what type of art she was most famous for which is Monochromatic Sculpture. She mainly used wood for her art, but we wouldn’t have had enough so we improvised at bit and over the previous week or two we collected items we could use to replicate her art.

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The girls found some box lids and designed their art pieces in those then stuck them down and left them to dry.

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While it was drying we went to our local DIY shop to buy some acrylic spray paints. Elsa chose pink and Anna chose blue.  We went home and went outside to spray the now dry pieces of art.

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Finished art.

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This has been one of their favourite artworks they have done 🙂

Forest School – A Different Type of School

So while I try to do all the formal stuff like Maths and English, Topic and Language, I have to admit that there are some subjects I’m not that able to teach because a) I don’t have the resources, b) I don’t have the space or c) I don’t have the ability.

We love the outdoors and we live in an amazing place to do walks and such, but I don’t like being outside when it’s cold or raining too much, so when my friend suggested forest school I was curious as to what that was.  She told me it’s held at an eco centre and that the building they use if it’s absolutely dreadful weather was made from hay bales and lime by the home ed community.  She also added that most of the time they are outside whatever the weather learning about their surroundings, making dens, cooking on an outside fire and generally doing all I used to when I was 10.

So one day a week, both girls go for the whole day to a safe place with trusted adults where they do all this fun stuff that we are unable/unwilling to do at home.  They both absolutely love it. They get to play with clay and make stuff with willow, (Elsa made a hoopla game). They make swings and play in mud.  They learn about what plants are safe to eat and drink.  They make dampers (I hear a lot about dampers). It all sounds great fun doesn’t it?  Well here’s some pictures to show you that it’s as fun as it sounds. 🙂

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This kind of place makes me wish I was young again. It looks so much fun 🙂

 

 

Vikings – An Interesting Topic – Part 1

Each term I ask my girls if there is anything they would like to learn as a topic.  This term they asked about Vikings. There is quite a lot of Viking history in the County we live in so I hit the internet to find a curriculum to base from then we went to the library  to borrow some books and we were ready.

The first thing we talked about was the most obvious. The longboats.  We talked about the history of them, the size, why they had the shields on the outside and why they burned them.  We completed some worksheets about them then made an origami one to finish that part of the topic. We went to Sheringham which had a replica (small), which they set light to in the evening.

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We talked about the different foods they would have eaten, then we made some Viking bread from a recipe we found in one of the books we got from the library. It was very salty 😀

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Next we talked about weapons and armour.  We visited our local museum where they have an extensive array of weapons and videos which was really interesting.

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Then we made a shield and some swords out of card.

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The display of work we have been doing.  This includes a timeline through history, some research on runes, food, longboats, weapons and armour, and where the Vikings attacked the UK.

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