Learning About Colours and Shades

I thought it might be a nice idea to teach Anna about the principles of colour in that you really only need 3 colours to make a variety of different ones.

I created 2 different types of colour wheels (well Anna’s wasn’t a wheel at all, but still).

We chatted about the primary colours, mixing colours and what happens if you add more or less of one colour.

The girls then set about making their colour charts.

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This was a good exercise for Elsa as it showed her that to make darker or lighter shades all she had to do was add more or less of one of the primary colours.

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Finished chart/wheel.

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This was a fun and useful activity for both girls. ūüôā

Science – PH Indicators

For Christmas, one of the fantastic presents Elsa received was a kitchen chemistry set.  She has been nagging me to try it so this week we did the first experiment which was using a natural indicator to find out whether liquids and powders are acid, alkaline or neutral.

Firstly, to make the natural indicator we had to cut and boil up some red cabbage.  We strained it to keep the juice and left it to cool.


Next, while that was cooling we discussed what we would like to test.¬† Then she wrote a chart which listed them, included a ‘my guess’ column and a results column.¬† We chatted about the principles of acids and alkalis so she was able to make a¬†more educated guess.


After collecting Anna from nursery, we started our tests.  Firstly the girls had to put a bit of the cabbage juice in some test tubes (indicator) and to each tube they added some of the item they wanted to test.




After adding a few drops of the vinegar to the tube the indicator went immediately pink.  This was a good one to start because the result was so quick and obvious, the girls got excited.



Anna added water to another tube of the indicator and it stayed purple, which meant it was a neutral liquid.

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Lemon Juice

A few drops of lemon juice to the indicator and it went pink.


Results of the tubes in order vinegar, water then lemon juice.


Dishwasher liquid

Adding a few drops of the dishwasher liquid and it went bright pink.

Hand Soap

Adding a bit of hand soap to the cabbage water and it went dark pink.

Baking Powder

Not only did adding baking powder to the indicator cause it to stay purple, it fizzed over the top which caused a few giggles.

In order of results – dishwasher liquid, hand soap and baking powder.



Elsa added some salt to the indicator and it stayed purple,



Anna added some sugar to it and it also stayed purple.



Adding flour to it changed the colour to light purple but still it stayed purple.


Final three results salt, sugar and flour.


We all enjoyed doing this even if we didn’t guess so well at the results. ūüôā

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 ūüôā


This is her favourite and most recent picture.


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 ūüôā

Topic – Romans – Mosaics

Elsa mentioned that she’d enjoyed learning about Romans when she was at school, but told me it was taught a bit quickly for her, so she wanted to go over it again.

I think this is a great opportunity to do a load of crafts (mosaics, make a seal etc) and to go on a couple of field trips (the castle to look at artefacts and a local Roman castle building)

As it turned out our first day ended up changing a little bit as Anna wasn’t at nursery as I’d expected, so we decided to design and create our own mosaics, which both girls enjoyed.

Firstly, we chatted about where Romans would have used mosaics, what they were often made from, and what common pictures were made.

Then both girls designed their own mosaic  on some squared paper.


They used some cardboard as a base as it is sturdy and squares of different coloured card to make the designs.

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Finished mosaics.¬† As you can see the designs of the mosaics weren’t exactly as their templates (not the same at all ūüôā ), however, that’s the beauty of it, the ideas evolve as they are creating.

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Busy Bags – Keeping little people occupied

As you know, I have two children, Anna is at nursery most mornings, so Elsa and I can do all our ‘sit down’ work then, however sometimes¬†Anna joins in with what we are doing and sometimes she doesn’t want to. She’s 3 so that’s fine.

I was mooching around Pinterest, looking for inspiration and I stumbled across busy bags, which are self contained activities either stored in a box or zip lock bag (hence the name), which Anna can just grab from her tray and do on her own.

I already had a few bits which I’d bought and was already using but put them in the bags so they were easier for her to find.

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I then created Lego pattern cards and sorted out all the lego bricks she’d require to do it.

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Then I had a look at this lovely website for some other ideas.¬† I’ve used the bottletop barnyard (but used big counters instead of the bottletops as they were super cheap on ebay), and the cupcake decorating ones so far, but there are loads of fabulous ideas.

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I’ve also¬†printed clothes peg alphabet wheels from Confessions of a Homeschooler, however, Anna prefers the pictures to the letters.¬† I think this is because the letters are backwards on the wheel to¬†on the pegs (something to sort out when I get some free time).

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Anyway busy bags have been a wonderful, helpful addition to the resources we use. I will be adding more as they are relatively easy and cheap to make up.