Yes, I had a full on panic with sb as to whether we can achieve gcse this year! We are hoping for 2 good weeks if she wants to do Kentwell Michaelmas. BB was strong and steady – note her reignited interest in doing some music



This week turned out to be a poor work week for SB, and we can’t afford to many of those this year! she did, however, have quite an interesting week as she had volunteered to be part of a medical research trial, which meant she spent the majority of tues and weds in the teaching hospital [including the night] having loads of measurements as part of a normal child baseline project. so many tests must cost a fortune! she could have done some work, but i think she mostly facebooked and watched tv!

weds bb and i spent a lovely day together, and then when SB came back we planned to go to the local snake place, but unfortunately when we got there it was closed. BB was quite devastated about this, as this is the second time we have got there and it is unexpectedly closed. so we arranged to go to a local farm that has a few crocodiles and miscellaneous other animals! [it mostly is a farmer/butcher, the crocodiles were a side line that didn't take off!] it satisfied BB anyway :) i was glad to have bb out and happy, as this week she has been very reluctant to leave home, so not gone to swimming or cubs :(


She did have her french lesson with tutor and clarinet on the thursday, and both of these went really well, and she has some work to do! bb went shopping for new shoes at this time, and is really happy with some cool brown boots with mustard lining. also so M and the r’s – all happy with that! Apparently it took most of friday to pack – rolls eyes!

I was working this weekend in the mornings and available for call backs [which happened sunday night] but took SB in with me on the saturday so we could go to a BBQ at a retired work colleagues. I think she was a bit bored sat in the office, but was very happy t te BBQ. He had hired a steel drum player – who was really good – external caterers and had lots of people i knew, and none SB did, but luckily the brought kids with them. so some nice socialising, chatting and great to see him so well since retirement. lovely afternoon.

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on the sunday we were extremely happy to welcome the puddle family – yep, all of them :) . At first just merry and the younger 4, but max and fran joined after rugby. weather was lovely, chilled in the garden. the kids bounced on the trampoline and chatted. SB and Maddy talked as if they would never stop – sb has v much missed maddy since she went to school. BB and Josie took their usual pairing too, and loved being together. Bene loved our little tykes car – which had once been merrys! lovely to see them and to have them. I so miss that!

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home education is wonderful in primary years. it is fun, enthusiastic, no pressure and full of adventure. But at some point it is likely that one of your children will either want to, or need to do some exams. SB [see MS 2014] wants to go to university. she is otherwise not particularly clear what to do, but this will needs some planning. Quite a lot of home ed kids go to university with traditional exams to back them up before, and some go with not so much, but with good talking. SO it isn’t a done thing that exams are definitely needed. for a number of reasons, we are doing the exam route, and decided to get some out of the way this year. Spreading is good [apparently]. However, in our area there isn;t a home ed exam centre, and the LA is currently not that interested in getting it going. SO I have been emailing schools. 28 to be precise! So far I have 10 definite NO, and 6 variably YES -  2 quite likely possible to cover, 2 not really able to accommodate us this year, but prob would another [but v expensive] and 2 with so many ifs and buts and not able to accommodate us at all. our problem is that the schools don’t really want the hassle of an external candidate – they can charge what they like though, and 2 in partic seem to be doing that. in particular, accommodating things other than the final writtens is a nuisance, and we have a french oral and a classical civ controlled assessment to juggle. My main 2 schools aren’t entirely definite, but it seems probable that one, or other or both will accommodate us with some accommodations on our part – we might need to do the classical civ controlled assessment elsewhere,  but it looks like that might be possible to do, and we might need to provide our own french teacher for the oral at one place, and pay for a half day supply/bank at another place – pricy but also I think possible. So I am starting to breathe again about the whole thing. for those that do home ed, I am putting the details on the local group when they are all back, and also the national exams group – will make it easier for others!

monday dh and the girls went to visit his mum, do a few jobs, be sociable etc. the girls did a bit of work whilst there, but mostly they were making nanna happy :) .  Tuesday was a staying at home kind of day, weds we have already done, so onto thursday.

Thursday was a london day. TB had some tickets for the mammoth exhibition at the natural history museum and so DH took the girls down nice and early. it was more stressful than planned, since bb had slipped in the shower and twisted her ankle, but she bravely said she would go in on crutches, as it seemed too good to miss. so bright and early they all met up at the natural history. the deependers were there as well, so I think it was extra lovely that they all got to meet up 2 days in a row. both girls enjoyed the mammoth exhibition, and then went into the rocks bit, bb was quite impressed with the vault and the hunk of gold ;) . it was very tiring for her though on crutches, so mid afternoon dh brought her home, and she fell asleep on the train. SB stayed with TB and family a bit longer and went out for a meal in the evening with them before being shepherded onto her train. the cheeky monkey pretended she had missed getting off at the right stop where dh was waiting – leaving me in a panic! but she hadn’t and was soon home to regale us of exploits. So definately thankyou to TB, both for the tickets in and suggestion, but also giving SB a fab bit of indepent time :)


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Friday SB had her first french lesson with her tutor. she really likes her tutor – which is good! the tutor [d] agreed with kfish that sb’s conversational french and vocab is good, but her verbs need a workout, so she is going to concentrate on that for a bit. kfish gave a handy website for french, which I hope sb will use as well as her books. Afterwards they visited M and her kids who were quite local and had a bit of socialising and fun. sb gets on v well with their daughter r2.

This week felt like lots of out and abouting, with a trip into London on thurs as well as a fair bit of socialising. So both girls have done quite well to fit bookishness in, partic sb



I guess it is officially back to school week. We don’t go to school, and I have had a significant number of people at work actually ask about going back to school, and then home education when I have said we aren’t. mostly very positive, in fact I think more positive now than it was at the beginning. Either people are getting more tolerant/aware of diversity or less sold on our schooling system. We don’t go back to school. Home education doesn’t really have such big booms and busts as term time and holidays at school do. There is a pattern to it – for us – in that we do perhaps more worky stuff in the winter when the weather is worse, and more visiting and outdoory stuff in the summer months. we are less worky for longer, but there are no real no education weeks. I dont imagine that that is different from schooled children, as even in their holidays they are visiting places and doing different things. Our actual holidays are taken more evenly through the year, but I have to admit that by july we are all on a go slow for bookishness and enthusiastic for exploring, so that is what we do. Our groups and meetings also tend to have, therefore, a naturalish hiatus over the summer as well.

We were pleased to be restarting our weds4ed group again. The children have seen each other at a number of different things, so there often isn’t such a catching up to do, but we welcomed Ffish [frenchfish] as the deependers are doing another en famille exchange, this time for their second son kfish [they are fishes, like we are beans!]. so for those keen to see how another en famille exchange might go, having read about our exchange and our international daughter FrB [frenchbean], please hop over to the deependers. Not everyone made it, as still in that not quite back together mode had some still holidaying etc.

Science plans for weds4ed

Since SB and Jfish are contemplating their biology gcse this year, and there is a fab website for biology, I am going to be doing some biology experiments until I or the children get bored ;) . I am thinking I will have some alternate experiments for those who are not so interested/have shorter attention spans/are younger etc. and will see what this MOOC has to offer. It looks fun, interesting and more varied. I’ll see how things pan out!

For this session, we did respiration. I recapped on the biological rather than medical term of respiration and what it meant, including the link to the website above for the powerpoint, and also BBC bitesize so that we were all happy with what happened. We then all did a base experiment of looking at our vital capacity. trouble shooting the heath robinson equipment is an essential part of learning I feel! when we were reasonably confident that we had at least slightly reliable measurements, we then measured our tidal volumes. We exercised and remeasured them . we learnt a number of additional things – if you exercise too much you cant do the experiment, as the tube length of dead space and also its reduced flow rate meant you were too short of breath and had to stop and gulp in air [discussion] , breath hold length and the relationship between tv and vc weren’t very exact – but we could see where we were going with this as we had a discussion as to why we might need such a large vc [most of our group were approx x10 to tv], and we could see that body size mattered, as predicted, as did wind instrument playing. we also laughed a lot and completely soaked the kitchen floor! Here are some photos of my experimenters.



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We also did some maths with TB – SB, and lfish in particular got carried away and took ages over it. Jfish and SB did some french with kfish, and everyone did some zentangles. Whilst minecrafting and games playing happened, afish [who isn't keen on either] did fimo with me. I made a tealight holder for SB.

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Life goes on, and I always find it hard to move past the Vivien posts. I don’t ever move past Vivien herself. Though I don’t often talk about it, I live with her loss daily. I also find that the loss of Little Nanny is still an ongoing grief as she was an integral part of my life, and a I measured myself against her yardstick. loss is a tricky thing, as it is just completely changes who you are, gives you a different dimension, just like having a child did. having children I think connected me with the fragility of life, and loss of little nanny and vivien, over and above all the other losses i have had, connected that line with the punch at the end.

So, anyway, life doesn’t stop. we carry on, have joy, love and laughter. And so I have. SB did a week of holiday orchestra after grandparents and cousins left. SHe has always enjoyed hoilday orchestra, and nearly has persuaded BB to give it a try next time. SHe did clarinet in intermediate windband, gamalan, folk and choir. on one of the eveings her friend r2 had a sleepover, which was great, and they played games, watched a dvd and were happy together. I went to the friday concert and I have a few videos on flickr, as she was hidden from me! Concerts were friday and saturday. Although I managed the friday concert,  unfortunately was too migrainous on the saturday so I stayed with BB. She was a bit stumped as to what to do in SB’s absence, but eventually settled down to make rafts, and a number of different ones were made and deployed onto the pond quite happily :) . We also did some piano again, as she is re-enthusiastic about starting!

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On sunday we baked cakes, played lots and lots of board games together – even BB! we played carcassonne, agricola [full length] and star munchkin. I also used up old fimo to make BB a tealight holder with a glowstone minecraft look [sort of!] we then realised the heat of the candle burnt the lid if it was put on… Having brushed BB’s hair beautifully, she let me french plait it [very briefly!] and we finished snuggled in front of harry potter.

i am struggling slight with my new flickr widget, so apologies for weirdly sized or placed photos!

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But I love her everyday

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