We went on holiday and I did a rock climbing activity. I managed to get to the top on most of them. There was also a timed wall and on my first try I got exactly the same time as the person who was quickest at 37.00 seconds. I tried again and got quicker knocking nearly 17 seconds off my time to get 20.24.
This week, we are home, so we decided to go to a local rock climbing centre. There are a lot of climbing walls there and Anna went on them as well. She completed the big cheese one. I managed to get to the top of all of the ones I tried. There is also a timing wall there which I tried and got time of 15.24 seconds.
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’.
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.
At the beginning of every September, I ask the girls if they have anything they would like to achieve by the end of July. Anna (who was 5) said she’d like to learn to read.
I helped with this by teaching her blending sounds and split digraphs which we worked on until Christmas last year. This was to give her the basics. She already knew that letters have a sound and a name (ay or a, bee or b, etc).
After this, we started reading simple books. moving on to reading programs such as Oxford Reading Tree which we bought, but also got different ones from the library (one of our favourite places to go). By July she was on Level 5 books.
I have no idea the ‘comparison’ with schooled children, but this child has pretty much taught herself to read fluently. As of now (August) she is reading Liz Pichon (Tom Gates) and Andy Griffith (13 Storey Treehouse Stories).
To continue with her gaining confidence in reading alone, we now all read for half an hour a day (or more if you want to). So far I have found that instead of picking up a gadget or putting on the television, they have been picking up books to read.
My conclusion after this year, is that if a child wants to learn something they can do it anywhere, given the right encouragement and facility to do so. 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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. 🙂