Spanish Exchange, week 10

so at the start of the week the 2 older girls were still at Kentwell. unfortunately a rainy day for them. They came back happy, bubbly and exhausted! they clearly had a fab time. And thankyou to izzy for lending her caravan for them, as they were v happy with that.

Tuesday SB had her first silver arts award meeting. they need to do a challenge, and apparently hers will be to take grade 1 oboe, this term!!! considering we are starting october, and the exam can be from a months time, and she has never played the instrument before, i am not convinced this is a good idea! also, I think the oboe itself might need a fix. argh!!! I’m not sure how she is going to fit all these things in!

I had pulled a 24 hour work shift on tuesday, so had thought i might spend wednesday snoozing, but that didnt happen! instead i got the girls all chivvyed in home ed, and they all did a good day of work. we also played a game, and BB and SPD did some more sliding on the slip and slide :) . BB finished making a halfpipe for her fingerskateboard. NannyF also came round after her hospital appointment. so quite a lovely day :)

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thurs and fri were more home ed days, making sure that SpD is getting to grips with English well. She has nearly finished her tudor history journal, and the dancers art journal is coming along. She isnt so keen on the IGCSE english as a second language, as this is a bit harder for her. however, dh and i do some with her to keep going!

At the weekend we went off to telford to do some victorian living history. I talked a lot about industrial revolution, and ironbridge being considered a ‘birthplace’ . We had a bit of trouble with our hotel – days inn – and really wouldnt recommend it! However, finally in a room where all the beds at least worked even if the sheets werent spotless!

Our first day was spent at blist hill victorian town. we all really enjoyed it. lots of discussion [ok, sometimes i was monologuing ;) ] and seeing what was there, and how it was done. treated all the girls to old fashioned sweets near the beginning and ice cream at the end [ i think i have sussed this parenting lark!] bb fascinated by wood carver, who told her there was lots of money in it, so she should keep going :)

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we went shopping afterwards and bought bb a wedding suit and then went for a meal at nando’s. this wasnt straightforwards, as bb had been expecting to go home. however, we did eat a meal out so pushing the boundaries!

sunday and we gave Spd the choice of the acton scott farm, or tar tunnel and china museum. she chose the latter. we liked the tar tunnel. we had tried to go there once before and been foiled [waves at the old manor borns!], so it was nice to get to go down the whole length. there was still tar in it! I do like photos of the kids with hard hats!

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we had a pleasant walk back along the canal, though noticed there has been an invasion by himalayan balsam

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i loved the coalport museum. there was a little bit on the actual china and design, and i loved the mixed cups display. but for me, the best bit was wandering around the semi deserted works. there was a lady making coalport flowers, which reminded me of little nanny, because she had coalport flowers. i loved the kiln display. well worth a visit.


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we walked into ironbridge – it was very hot! had icecreams, posed on the bridge and then walked on to the museum. the big girls were all museumed out, but bb had her second wind and read and talked about everything :) . she was pleased to find the boat ‘spry’ in there as a model, as we had seen it at blist hill and it had really captured her fancy them :) . what a great weekend break. i am so lucky with my family to be able to share the sunlight and time with them.

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Spanish exchange, week 9

This week was a pretty sociable week, and also a fair bit of work from SB on her gcse subjects, and SpD on her english. she is really liking the printed worksheets for EFL and going well on her history and art journals. She has to work a bit harder with the igcse book on english, which is no bad thing. I did have a grump at them both midweek though, as I think they can get more out of their days! BB has done less, as from weds onwards she has had a lurgy aka manflu ;) and only been capable of sleeping or putering. TBH, she clearly hasnt felt very well. DH has it now…

Monday was also rollerskating at a home ed meet up. DH says the older girls mostly chat :) . lovely for them to meet up with friends. Ballet in the evening and then judo, so quite a busy sportive day. Tuesday was less sociable! SB had a clarinet lesson, and the rest was home ed. SpD had her 2monthiversary


Weds was a weds4ed day. chemistry had some hard facts to get in – oxidation and reduction – and we demonstrated this with an experiment. copper sulphate and then magnesium, iron, zinc and lead. great :) . SB also carried on with her arts award teaching. she has bought everyone folders and this time they were doing owls with oil pastels. K carried on with the shakespeare lapbooks, and B did maths. so very productive! plenty of time to gossip and chat too.


Thursday was multisports and friday a bit of shopping , as well as the normal home ed type work. BB was ill all these days :( . and then this weekend the big girls have gone off to kentwell on their own. the weather is lovely, and I am a bit jealous! this lovely photo of SpD has been taken by them as part of their advertising.


meanwhile i have had a lovely day with bb, chatting, crafting, giggling, and watching her have a huge amount of fun on a garden slip and slide my parents brought up.


Spanish exchange week 8

So we are back into home ed mode with a bit of encouragement! I have made sparkly new star charts for all the girls.
Sb’s is mostly gcse work. She hopes to take chemistry [CIE igcse], maths [edexcel a gcse] and English [CIE igcse] this year with either Spanish [edexcel igcse] or physics [CIE igcse] ( she wants to do both!) but also some music, silver arts award and other fun bits and pieces.  This would give her 8 or 9 GCSE equivalents in total, as she hopes to do a photography btec the following year, plus additional maths [or whatever it is called these days!] and maybe psychology gcse. She really needs to put her head down though if she hopes to do well next summer!
Spd and I had a long talk about learning expectations, and part of learning being reviewing and making sense of facts and being able to process answers. So she has igcse English as second language book, efl worksheets, a reading list for direct English work and a history project and art project and a science book for the indirect/ functional English. Art, games and exercise also in there!

Bb has a change in that she was greeting hung up at only doing things with me and wanting things she could do on her own. So some new books/ worksheets but also more reading/ fact things. I think she is less comfortable at chapter reading than I thought, so when her bookcase is set up I can organise things for her to find.

On Thursday the girls went to an open gallery day and watched a glassblower at work. Ballet and judo have started for the older 2. Bb is having a break from groups.

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This weekend my parents came to visit . Always lovely . On sat we travelled to the haddenam steam rally . This fits well with spd history project on Victorians , mum got to see the steam engines she missed out on on holiday and it was a great day. There was a steam carousel for the girls and mum to go on as part of a small funfair. Bb loved the trampoline and the big two loved the dodgems.

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In the evening we had a Chinese meal out. It was delicious and also nice to all go out!

Sunday was more relaxed with game playing, saying in the pool and enjoying the last warmth of summer!


Spanish exchange week 7

This week was in part recovering from a rainy Kentwell but also preparing for our summer party. This year somewhat later and more a bit back to school party!
I do need to get the gis reenergised to work tho! Sb is finding it hard to get out of post exam slump mode. Spd thinks it is the school holiday still, and bb is independent!
A good weds4ed helps tho :) and it was good to have a full house with both E and C there. Sb hadn’t prepped art, so must do that next time. Chemistry was exothermic and endothermic reactions and all about the bonds. We did one experiment of each K did a lovely start to Shakespeare lap books. Must make sure any homework done! Lots of games playing and happy kids!

So the weekend was a party with friends staying over. Lots of love and laughter! We have a great group of friends that were met first online through newsgroups and lists well before social media developed! Always lovely to see and spend time with them and marvel at how gorgeous our children ate and how they surprise us!

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Spanish Exchange Week 6 – Kentwell Tudor Recreation.

We had prepared spd for Kentwell by reading Tudor history, walking around Kentwell and general chat. I think she was still not prepared for the experience! Being a first person reenactor is quite different to anything else! She was with me on the dyers station and did some fire making, collecting dyestuffs and untangling and skeining wool. She did a lot of playing with little master w who is adorable :) she particularly liked the freedom to roam and be with other teens.

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SB was a sottler this time, and she really enjoyed it. later in the week she ended up taking responsibility for the station, learnt how to skin a rabbit! and produced some lovely food for people.

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BB was with me on the dyers, and started to whittle a spoon. i think long term being on the coppice would be good for her. She also enjoyed helping out on the builders, and was generally very useful. a great breakthrough, in that she will now eat pottage!

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I continue to love the dyers, both the people on the station and the dyeing itself. i love weld for the vibrant yellows and how quick the result is. I enjoyed a new dye – purple rush heads – whihc were best boiled and loose rather than in a bag. we also dyed with woad and madder. woad is always fun! the overdyeing is interesting, and purple rush heads overdyed with woad come out a rather stunning green!



DH was at the builders, and enjoyed that as they were making a nonagon structure from green oak which will eventually house the basket makers. [i am hoping they can make us a hurdle wall to keep some of the wind out at the dyers!

rather fun things at kentwell – always the company! also the ceilidh! and i did enjoy the celebration picnic, and all doing a lineup. i got the wrong end of the stick about the disco and thought it was for kids! whereas it was a dress up school disco and looked a lot of fun!

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the weather was atrocious tho…


SB has 4 IGCSEs!

Well, thought I should put the results on the blog of our first public exams [well, excluding music and dance] . We are very proud of all the work that SB did for the exams, despite a pretty difficult year otherwise. SO, drumroll please………

IGCSE Geography [CIE] = A*

IGCSE Biology [CIE] = A

IGCSE French [edexcel] = A*

GCSE Classical Civilisation [OCR] = C

Congratulations :)

Spanish Exchange Week 5 – an out week

Having had such a quiet week in week 3, this was an extrovert week! SpD is a delightful, friendly, laughing sister for SB and they have a great time together. Although she does a lot of smiling and laughing with BB, they dont play together so much, tho do a bit of chasing and laughing, so i need to encourage that a bit more.

Monday and Tuesday were pretty much focussed on hospital appointments for DH mum, and getting her better. She had had an infection which was holding her back. SpD has decided not to go to air cadets any more. Instead she will go to Judo, and give ballet a try.

Weds was a fun weds4ed. for the science component we are working through the chem igcse syllabus and doing appropriate experiments. This one was on electrolysis, which was fun. A bonus was electroplating things with copper :) . I didnt take many photos though unfortunately. Fairly sure some baking went on as well! definitely some games and some playing in the pool.

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Thursday was the local home ed groups summer picnic, always an item on the calendar and much enjoyed.

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Friday the girls were all lucky enough to have a go at zorbing. no photos unfortunately as in a public swimming pool. they all had a great time, though they only got a small time in the balls each. Always good to try something different! The deependers were there too, which always makes things more fun!

on saturday, the much better nanna finally went home and we packed up and went to Kentwell to re-enact again, and give SpD her first opportunity! On the sunday, SpD, BB and I went for a look around.

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Spanish exchange week 4 – an in week

This was quite a quiet week actually. DH mum had a routine operation on the monday and came to stay with us on the Tuesday to recuperate. So it was a quieter worky week around that. SpD is having a go at igcse english as a second language, and it is making her think quite hard. She doesnt really want to do much of the other books i have found her though at the moment! When September comes, I will have another encouragement to do more!

We have also played lots of games and done some painting, including some lovely thankyou cards for my parents!


Also made sure that SpD had a full kit of clothes ready for Kentwell :)


Friday they did all go out and went and met up with some other home educated kids and all went swimming.

At the weekend I was working, and in work nearly all the time. I did find time to make lots and lots of scones though! we made plain, cheese and fruit. and had a cream tea as well :) . DH mum not so well though, so hoping will recover soon from the surgery.


Spanish exchange week 3 – family holiday in Southwold

Life is short, and holidays are even shorter! so i took a week of unpaid leave to spend more time with my family and we went to suffolk coast. I have never been to Southwold before, and loved it!
Before we went, somewhat crazilly we went to have a sleep over at a friends in the opposite direction so that we could be there at the start of her party! the girls rampaged aorund with friends, the teens chatting and watching teen films. We oldies played games :) and I have a new favourite game.

Have put it on the christmas list! it was lovely to see the pies as well as TB and family :)

the next day, as people were arriving we went home, picked up DH and drove to the cottage in suffolk. It was really nice arriving, meeting up with my parents and nephew and niece. More so because my mum had had an ealry morning visit to a and e. luckilly only pain killers required!

We had a minimal screens time there, so that we played lots of games when in the cottage, there was also a pool in the complex, so a fair bit of pool playing as well! M had his birthday there, so cake, candles, balloons and silliness :)
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Obviously, one of our first excursions was to SOuthwold beach, and we went a number of times after that. I loved the beach, even if partly stones, because there was enough sand, I love there being a prom and a pier, and icecreams :) and the kids enjoyed making sandcastles and playing swingball. dad also enjoyed swingball. The water was pretty warm [for Britain] so even I went swimming :) . oh, and one day the girls enjoyed mooching around a market too.
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That is probably too many photos! I should reduce them somewhat!!
There are plenty of other things to enjoy seeing in suffolk, not just the beach, tho we were lucky with the weather! We are also lucky that our Spanish daughter is so lovely. She got on very well with all the new family members, and my niece E has her as her new best friend :) :) We went to Framlingham castle. I love the walk around the top, it has a small museum it for some learning, can do some education ;) and also then have a nice lunch at a local pub garden. All a win! Mum wasnt up for the climb up windy stairs unfortunately, but the rest of us did and enjoyed it. Dad had all the kids listening to him as they went around the somewhat bijou museum of ‘old stuff’ on one of the floors. At the pub, all v happy with the foold. Kids particularly happy with some swinging chairs, and want us to have some in the garden. Hmmm! On the way home we went in the soutwold maize maze. v expensive so only the kids went in, but they had fun, and then loved bouncing on the air pillows.
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Our trip to minsmere wasnt entirely succesfful. nephew M was feeling ‘teen’ , BB didn’t want to go, and dad was a bit lonish feeling. Even an icecream at the start didnt manage to perk everyone up. Dad went around on his own, mum turned back with M after the first hide. SB went around on her own to take photos, and BB had a melt halfway round. hmmm! but after that it all went rather well, and SpD, E, BB, DH and I had a good last half of a walk :)

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We had a particularly lovely time at flixton air museum, which i would really recommend. It is in the definite pile them high boutique museum style that I love. SB and dad wandered off immediately, and he told her lots of stories from his early time in aviation. BB and M also ran off to see the interactive bits, and SpD and E looked at the things to buy and then wandered around with me. It wasnt really either of their idea of fun. However, the day was balanced with a shopping trip – so each had something! Did I say that I really loved the museum?

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SO fab a holiday, loved every minute of it, and we had a great time :)

Spanish exchange week 2 – camping weekend

We started the week with a camping trip to Cromer. The weather was pretty blustery and Friday night there was quite a gale that flattened a number of other tents. We had to reassure SpD that our tent was pretty sturdy. It did leak tho!

The next day was mostly sunny. We went to the nearby felbrigg hall and looked round and then played games at the tent.

The following day we went into cromer and walked along daring the sea to the pier and back again. It was a great weekend.


Monday was a pretty quiet day with some home Ed work for SB and bb and predominantly English for SpD. Tuesday saw the girls go into the city and SB have her bronze arts award moderated and passed. First air cadets that night for SpD who enjoyed it – phew as SB does a lot of air cadets!

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Weds was another weds4ed and chem was balancing equations and turning magnesium into magnesium oxide, which was quite fun. SB superheated her crucible so it cracked!. Nice doing ‘proper’chem!

Sb started on the group tuition for her silver art award. She took a cat and made it cubist. I loved the results :) the big kids then went all crazy in the pool… Luckilly we have a fire pit to warm up around!

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Thursday i was off examining, but the girls had a chiled teen meet up including AA and C. They had a great time. Playing games, splashing in the pool and enjoying being together.
Friday they didnt manage to go swimming with the fishes. However in the evening we raced off for a games night and sleepover with B and other friends which was fab :) did have a family crisis with mu hurting her back so lots of texts and phonecalls. All ok though :) we left at lunchtime as loads of friends arrived to party, but we had a holiday to go too!