Category Archives: Books

so a bit of crafting!

for my occupational therapy :lol: today started, as always, with BB hurling hersel on me, squiggling, squirming, and thoroughly waking me up! SB came in with book to snuggle and continue to read – horrible histories Barmy British Empire, which she has now nearly finished. Downstairs to have breakfast, and then to check on rabbits. snuggling, holding bigger babies and the adults – snowy much happier to be held, Skittles not so, but had to be checked as ok – so far so good! little babies still there, and the pink ones looking like they might be spotty. I don’t think this new litter can beat the old for diversity and adorableness tho!!

Having done that, SB and I did a piano prac, we have decided to be brave and enter grade 1 piano, and now – a few collywobbles later! we had better do it. She did well, and concentrated nicely, so think that the 2 pieces we are currently learning should be ok! She then wanted to make something for friend chloe, currently in france! so we got our made by me sewing book out and the felt and embroidery thread – hooray to having had forethought to buy stuff to go with book!! SB made a lovely bag which she embroidered sequins onto, and BB a cute easter design cushion. she fell in love with that so much that she has decided to keep it after all :roll: so BB! she wore her leaving present to C whilst she made it – another present she couldn’t part with. there is a theme here! this took quite some time, with a break in the middle to eat pizza crumpets for lunch – yummy!!

so we then enjoyed the sun outside, fed rabbits, cuddled babies, played on swing [well I didn't do that!] SB did some galore park science, but as getting close to gym, she is going to collect seeds and look at them under the microscope tomorrow. she has taken with her to gym her journal – as it is months since she has written in it, and she is going to start from now and write about baby bunnies [aargh! think she forgot to take pen :roll: !!!! ] as she has an hour whilst BB does her class, and she also took a french workbook, so we will see if she did any of that! and another box book – on prehistoric people, which looks like the thing she will be doing! :smile:

edited to add – daddy had a pen, so wrote about the baby rabbits in the journal book, and did some of l’art de lire workbook and a schofield and simms science workbook i had forgotten! but not the prehistoric book! now reading me a story in french – emilie n’a pas sommeil which we bought in france last year.

they will get home after 7, and we have macaroni cheese for tea, prob with some more david attenborough! so the day goes!! Had a lovely phone call from dad :) have been having lots more calls than texts than the otherway round, and he was really supportive of me being off work, whereas i thought he would be disappointed in me. I should have remembered he loves me and has best interests at heart <3

Books of today are:

Our Home Education Resources update!

I think every so often I am going to post the core resource books we use. These are the workbooky or series books that we have found suits our childrens style, that they are happy to use. This is not the sum total of our home ed, or even, particularly, the majority. Just the bits that others new to home ed can grasp as a possible resource series that may suit them. September being nearly over, there are always a few parents out there who are wondering what their other options might be! I would heartily recommend home education. For a bigger look at what we use, what we do and our style, up there near the picture is a row of links to our Mission Statements and some other kinda key thoughts splurged on the computer! And also if you look at our pages down the side, you can see some of the more as it happens thoughts!

Key Resources for our 9-10 year

Core resources:
Singapore maths my pals are here 4 this is the cheapest place to buy this maths series from!

french – we haven’t really found a good home for her yet, still looking, tho spent a lot of money now!

Major Supplementals:

Are the variety of books by these publishers in these series, as she likes the layout and variety.

and then we use lots and lots of books! from the library, book people, etc and DVD’s etc!

Key Resources for our 5-6 year old

Singapore Maths 1

We don’t spend the majority of our day at the kitchen table with nose in workbooks, but we do snuggle up and do the above on a regular basis as a core progression through! SUpplemented with reading/visiting/playing/crafting/experimenting and all the other stuff that makes home ed such fun. But I’m also not saying that this is ‘chore’ work, it is just another facet! And hopefully those new to home ed nosing around blogs can look at this list and get some ideas! Anyone else care to blog there core and most used resources?


thinking of ‘growing up’ books

aimed for SB really. Any favourites out there?? was wondering what these were like.

it doesn’t need to be really simple for littlies, but also not complex teen stuff, so thought these may do? Apparently Big and SB talked a bit about changes of growing older, and she has been asking me questions. Although always happy to just do questions, thought she might appreciate a book as well?

edited to add: I bought the first and thrid of the above in the end. I haven’t read them, but skimmed through and both seemed comprehensive. SB obviously did have a desire to read them, as she read the first as a bedtime book, and the third first thing in the morning. her verdict – both are good, she prefered the first one. she feels the first one better for her age and a bit younger, andthe third book ok for her age, but better for those a little bit older as far more detail.

A snippet of Matisse

Since we went to the tate modern in jan, and admired some of matisse, SB and I had thought we could have a thought about looking at making art ‘in the style of…’ starting with Matisse this year. Art is not my strongest point [ :lol: ] but I do enjoy it. SO we planned that for today. before we began, however, some tidying was in order. We all hate tidying, it is true, so it was well past midday before the room was enough tidy to move on! then as the kitchen wasn’t, we had to do other things first!

SB and I did a great recorder practice, the scales [though not arpeggios] and the 3 exam pieces. gradually coming together. mostly notes and rhythms right, so now to work on phrasing and dynamics! BB and I also did a recorder practice together, and SB did some french.

BB started with her own craft project, which she tells me daddy musn’t know anything about, and SB and I looked at a few matisse pictures and she said she knew what she had in mind and didn’t need to see any more, thankyou very much! BB also had a clear plan, so they got on with that whilst i read

The Pasteur book fits nicely with the science i plan to do later in the week as well. SB and BB both liked these books, and periodically stopped cutting/glueing/sticking to peer at the pictures and have a snuggle. The we moved onto story of the world and queen elizabeth 1. i corrected the succession order from henry VIII story, and then we enjoyed reading it, and then a bit about francis drake and sir walter raleigh from these books

BB’s has gone up on the wall, but SB’s has rather a lot of glue on it, so should be placed on the wall tomorrow! Having covered the kitchen table in Matisse style art, we ate our stirfry watching Dr Who in the living room before off to bed!!


an excursion to london

on friday, i had booked the day off work thinking that we would be doing a ww2 evacuation day, but it was cancelled. we decided to make the most of it though, and do an overnighter to london! we had a number of possibilities and a definite. the definite was tower of london, as we have a palaces pass currently, and possibles thrown open included the globe theatre, tate modern, museum of london, imperial war museum, something found on a leaflet… and bookshops! bookshops were picked out as the girls each have a lot of book tokens to spend!

so we started at the tower, we were a bit worried, as the day started off v bleakly rainy at our end, but london just dismal rather than overtly wet – so v happy!! SB picked up a ‘thing to do’ so off to the treasury [has it always been called the jewel house?] to do the sheet. SB loves doing sheets, and this one has a sense of humour. we looked for the frog for ages before sb read on and said it was a joke :roll: !! BB lost patience before SB had finished, so some dividing and conquering, but think the sheets are good, mostly info and v little writing! SOme serious lagging later and we went to the restaurant for lunch – that set us back a bob or 2! the weather was too cold and wet to picnic out in any kind of fashion unless truly masochistic – and although chris and i alone may have been, the addition of BB warrants gentler treatment! [SB is pretty much game!] After that we went into the Henry VIII armour exhibition and hands on area – which was really good and SB spent a long time looking, and even BB made a fairly impressive coverage. The annoyance for me was the no photography rule. grr! finally, we went for a walk along the ramparts, and really liked all the info and background noises placed along them. i did wonder if there was a leaflet for that actually. We were chased out by warders for it being closing time. so we did only do that one thing!!

mooched back to the travelodge, with BB falling asleep on the tube, a rest, re-invigoration and out for a meal at a nearbye italian where they made a fuss over the girls being lovely – and they were. the travelodge is directly over the circle line, and initially BB insisted on looking out of the window at every rumble, but the game eventually palled…

next day up and to brekkie, when surprised by BB shouting there is k-! and there she was!! on breakfast TV, so we cheered her on defending her educational choices. SB had chosen the globe theatre, and by a slightly devious route we got there. loads of the tube was closed, either whole lines or stations, so we had to do some extra thinking! we decided to get to st pauls and then walk across the millenium bridge. we checked on a map our bearings, and BB made other tourists laugh by saying she now knew where the toilets were – she knows the important signs! [aside - though not the letter p however hard we try, she insists it is an r or a t - although she can recognise those]. we meandered around st pauls garden, had a look at the fireman memorial and ambled our way to the globe, just in time, as it started absolutely chucking it down.

we loved the globe! we started with a look around the top information exhibition. thought it was nicely done, could be read at a number of levels – pics for bb, skim read for sb, bit more for chris and i had we had the chance! then a break in the middle of more display items and then on how built. we then had a 40 min guided tour of the globe, and although abslutely teeming it with rain, the guide was excellent, and so were our children. so much so, that i bought them home ed books in shop at end [well, they are still on a no museum money as spent 4 museums as one at hampton court - currently £1 a museum, but with poss of slight extra if needed, so usually better saved up!] I chose 2, and agreed to SB’s choice off 2 as well. [what a moment of weakness!]
SB’s choices:

my choices [a bb and an sb book]:

[I will not look at cheaper-by-far prices on amazon!!]

and we read them whilst having lunch there, which was good, as SB’s had a printing error, and it was easy enough to exchange! we went back and did the musical uppersection and then the ground floor of the exhibition, discussing printing presses with a demonstrator – SB is fairly happy with discussing printing presses, she has seen quite a few in action as well as having it on the inventors story cd! then we popped next door to the tate modern – the printer recommending the black box, so we went in it. not quite dark enough as lots of ppl held their mobiles out to see [headdesk!!] and then we peaked at a couple of the galleries SB and i had a chat about what she could see, what she liked, if she thought there was an emotion there, and how might the art have been created, but BB becoming tired, so we had a restorative cake before moving to a bookshop.

i am going to gloss over finding the bookshop, suffice it to say that chris and i had different ideas of where to go, i agreed to choose chris’s idea, and we both regretted it, and the girls did a fair bit of extra walking before we ended up at the known fabulous waterstones by picadilly… SB chose nearly all famous 5 books [£40 worth!] and BB was dissuaded from buying all dr who story books – mainly because she can’t read, they have no pics and she doesn’t want them read to her, just turns pages, so we found a variety of doctor who alternatives, and she then picked 2 fairy based books she was also happy with. we had passed a buffet chinese on shaftesbury avenue earlier, so made steps back there, stuffed our faces, staggered back – well, we were going to get a bus at girls request, but by the time had walked to leicester square, decided to tube it! BB sang a v cute and jolly looking for a bus song, complete with looking actions. just made the train, easy journey home and there you go, a lovely 2 days in london!

bacteria galore!

today was a latinetc day, always enjoyable for all of us. we were still late, because somehow our kids don’t get out of the house, and my poor sleeping is making me just want to curl up in bed unless matter transported! We started with SB doing some music theory, which apparently she struggled to do there, but at home raced through the sheet, so as gina says, prob due to arriving half way thro. BB similarly shy in french, doing opposites, but got going, and for the rest of the morning toddling about quite happily!

I like being in the kitchen with michelle, though think she may have been a bit more dubious about our proximity as we were looking at bacteria! i reassured everyone that they were actually dead! fixed on a microscope slide in fact, and we had a peer at some, but my microscope not really powered quite highly enough. we did a fun bacteria division game with peas and paper ‘cells’ obviously these were intracellular bacteria! and that was enjoyed. then i got out the petri dishes and swabs and we all thought of somewhere that might harbour bacteria, swabbed and plated it. now, with any luck, the petri dishes are in airing cupboards gently warming! the plan is to look every day and draw what you see. we may, or may not, have the older group try and make a microscope slide depending on how well it goes! unfortunately, it used up way more agar than i imagined! so i have had to buy lots more, and am waiting for it before we do part 2 – grow bugs and then put in something we think is bacteriocidal – what do you think? teatree, lavender, breast milk, alcohol gel, soap?? oh and an antibiotic and see if we can kill them! so we will dissect a fish next time instead. we had lots of discussions about bacteria, and it is always great to see what info kids already have and can pull together, we had a bit of evolution, yoghurt making, pasteurisation, ‘good and bad’ bacteria…

latin and music also happened, tho not clarinet – will happen 2moro. we came home, and sb did the clarinet and theory sheet whilst BB got going with painting a plaster of paris frame she had made. she really paints v carefully, and acrylic paints are so much better for this!! just as SB was about to get a kit to finish out, we had the deependers arrive after baby music, so supplied tea and refreshments. M very taken by that maze ball thing we all have! J,K and SB played bohnanza for a bit, and L and BB played together v happily. apparently the frame is prob for L, but don’t get too excited, as BB often keeps the things she makes for others…

Other things this week – SB had and really enjoyed her first golf lesson. she has done loads of maths on angles. BB done lots of crafting and finally starting to learn some letters!! chris put up the new bookcases, so looks fab in hallway, and currently he has started on room of doom! work been stressful as always, but have some time off coming up – woohoo!! oh, and it snowed – somehow that is no longer newsworthy, and i have hardly mentioned this prolonged cold snap in the blog, but it hasn’t really affected us, not like so many others!

a kit finishing kind of day

I apologise to all Kits out there, not Kits were maimed in the process of the day!

I was a bit blurgy with some droopy virus and am having problems with both insomnia and recurring nigtmares, not altogether sure that it isn’t the nightmares that are causing the insomnia. last night the cats bought it v unpleasantly. Anyhoo…

Girls started with watching some nature prog on the tv, then SB did piano with me – her new upgrade book, thanks sarah, and recorder. BB also did a bit of piano. Bit more ds-ing – mostly cooking mama – and then we got out the kits pile! SB has finished her egg cups and horses, and BB her dinosaur. SHe then started her zebra kit, though sand one unfinished, as she told me she was just going to pour sand over all of it. seemed like a waste – these kids foil me at every turn!!

Whilst they did their kits, i read some SoTW – Council of Trent, and we then had a discussion about all the pathways christionity has taken, and if we were to be anything, we would be on the protestant side and the more minimalist the better – quakers have always struck me as quite a good idea, but dad a methodist, and chris’s parents baptists [tho not so keen on that myself] and i have had friens of ‘all persuasions’ and they all now get on – as there were bits about catholics and protestants killing each other! We also read a nice book about a viking family [which i will link to when i get home]

I felt interacted out, so we then watched some walking with dinosaurs whilst chris sorted out the pipe leak in the garage – aargh!! luckilly nothing ruined, but a nuisance none the less, and v cold for poor chris. BB and SB both did some maths as well.

SB has her first golf lesson tomorrow, so hoping that goes OK!

wednesday science madness!!

before we get to today, i thought i would just like to say i went out to a restaurant both monday and tuesday! monday with chris, as girls at nanna’s so we made the most of the evening by going out to a local turkish, which was delish! tuesday was work night out at a chinese-malaysian – mucho yummy! had mock peking duck for the first time and liked it [have always steered a bit clear of the mock things!] must take chris there, it was near where the deependers live so would recommend it, tho a bit on the pricy side! mind you, the non veggies all had lobster as one of the courses, so i am guessing if i had been with chris it might have been half that price!

and so to wed, thought would raise christmas cheer with the science, and thinking hard for a good end of year finale, decided on crystal structure! went really well. we looked at crystals with SB’s rather fab microscope

now, this has mixed reviews, so anyone considering one, i think digital with usb port is a fab thing, it works quickly and easily and the laptop we run it on is our oldest one. the x200 doesn’t have enough light, so i agree there, but if you see one of these going cheap, snap it up, as far more fun than something you have to look down eyepieces for! all the children were v interested in it, from the v youngest, and it was quite some time before BB declared boredom! tho i notice that when they moved to slides, she was still watching!

we discussed crystals, how they form, and that if i had a powerful enough microscope [they don't do toy electron microscopes yet!] we could have seen the actual crystalline structure – which we discussed! then, whilst gina did music theory we them, i prepared my ace card – we made the crystalline structures out of maltesers held with royal icing. great fun! enjoyeed thoroughly by all, and hoping that they might remember some of them [i said them till blue in face!] simple cube, face centered cube, body centred cube, hexagonal close packed. and here are some examples!IMG_0143 IMG_0119 :lol:

actually it was a busy session and v much enjoyed by all. Gina also did bells with the big’uns and clarinet with the SB. Merry continued with sewing samplers with everyone – remarkably patient with all the needle traumas! BB also remarkably patient with hers. katy did latin christmas carols [well, latin translations!] and french and also boiled sweetie window biscuits. All went down really well, lots of happy laughing kids learning lots.

we were not only first to arrive [as hadn't seen any morning emails!] but also first to leave, as BB wanted to go to the rainbows christmas party. she didn’t join in any game, but when we ate, a girl sat with us, and they got on well, as she was really outgoing and friendly. not sure if bb will ever go to rainbows again, but she was much happier having had this interaction. i think she is just much younger than the others – prob directly due to home educating as we don’t push the outward facing thing.

SB had brownies party afterwards, which apparently didn’t have enough games. we watched doctor who, a crazy long bath was had, and the day was done.

bah to migraines

i think sometimes this blog is a catalogue of things that we didn’t quite get to do. not a very positive and uplifting thing! so i am going to positive spin the fact that i had such a migraine that i couldn’t drive to what looked like a fab art and craft experience for the girls into a positive opportunity for home learning! [though still, i hate being bound by migraine].

Anyway, I was up, BB was happily playing with happy street [they've been playing with it all week since it was about to be consigned to loft!] and SB was still asleep. chris roused her, and she did music theory whilst i cut out tissue paper circles for a craft in homage to harmony art mum. Luckilly, when i was thinking of doing this, i accounted from the differences in artistic temperament between her own offspring [guessed and hinted at on her blog] and my two! SO we had much smaller areas to fill, no particular design/plan/ rules, just a desire to stick something at the end on the window that might liven it up through the winter. So we did it, BB just did one, and returned to happy street. SB did 3 and i did one. we decided to string them together and hang off the window, and decided that we liked them, and SB has plans to vary it a bit. it was a bit fiddley, even massively simplified, to get the 2 bits of plastic to stick nicely. If i was going to be a bit more expensive about it, i think using laminating pouches would give a much neater look!

IMG_7370 IMG_7371

oh yes, before craft, SB had a second ever clarinet practice. I think chris is going to blog their fantastic trip yesterday, but also her part-christmas-present-early of a new clarinet arriving yesterday has heralded the sound of a very novice clarinetist. yesterday, sans migraine, i was enthusiastic. somewhat less so today, so suggested playing it to chris in the kitchen…

Erm, and a bit more ermmming!! well anyway, at some point we did some french – acombination of walking through the jungle with The Usborne First Thousand Words in French. they make a lovely combo, with a lovely story book with few words, but then all the names of the animals in the other one, so we can look and see if we want.

i was going to say we did some story of the world, but we did that yesterday, christopher columbus, magellan, amerigo vespucci. both girls were gripped with the idea they didn’t know the rest of the world and just sailing straight from spain, so we followed it on the globe, imagining we didn’t know what was there. SB and BB both did a bit of maths, we snuggled, I sowed on brownie badges, dozed a bit, repepped with medication etc etc. i didn’t move much from the sofa! played games with both girls, rummy, snap, monopoly. oh, i did piano prac with SB too, and she did some recorder.

Chris’s parents arrived after their hospital appointment, so we had a nice chat, SB and BB played snap etc with them whilst i rehydrate them :lol: and then nanna got suckered into an enormously long game of monopoly. chris’s dad has a few further tests to get through…

then it was mad ferring around – BB had rainbows, then SB brownies followed by Judo. BB got out the gears, and had fun with those, then the funblox, and finally fell asleep in my arms watching ice age.

i think i am going to call it a day, but think i rescued a lovely family home day from a disappointment day.

oh! edited to add – and how could i forget! major fuss today, as sb insisted she wanted to try some fake ham, as apparently she had it at nursery and liked it [?], so she did, and nearly gagged. chris, bB and i didn’t even try! but she also hurt/jiggled a wobbly tooth eating it, and later this evening it fell out. so she is 10 down!

work in progress – next mission statement

This is the next mission statement for SB, to last jan 2010 to 2012 [oh my goodness!!] when she will be just short of 11th birthday. But an initial immediate disclaimer!


I guess, this is going to be a slight change in pace for our mission statement. We are moving out of our first period of home ed, and into the second, consolidating and expanding phase. This is where we hopefully make sure she has a solid ground start, and then gradually work on accelerating the learning/doing pace vs the fiddle faddle space for when secondary school age. We absolutely reserve the right though to change this mission statement dependent on SB’s preferences as this 2 year period passes.

we have, I think, delivered more or less on our basic mission statement for SB. She has, i believe, gained a basic warp and weft tapestry of knowledge that now we should start to embroider with extension of the things that she loves. Not that we have tested her knowledge in anyway, and it is possible that she retains no knowledge of anything. She reads fluently, enjoys and progresses with maths, has a wide enjoyment of learning, including history, science and biographies. We have started out the path to music, with some hitches along the way, and SB is developing a clear idea of music styles she enjoys, including jazz. We have also started out with languages. We have had a lot of fun, done a lot of playing, visiting, messing about and forming bonds with other home educators who have become her friends and peers.

We need to encourage her to see the need to strengthen the areas of weakness, so that learning is not prone to unravel unexpectedly in the future. Since this is is something she doesn’t enjoy so much, we need to find and agree levels that will incrementally lead to improvement, but don’t make it an unbearable chore, scaffolding and encouraging. this is most noticeable in the area of english language, grammar and spelling. At present we don’t write or record many of the things we do, because of the dislike and difficulty writing. I think that we gradually should start to encourage a record, be it lap book, mostly drawings or photos and a few words of some of the experiments/trips out and about, and ‘topics’ should we do them. This isn’t something that will come naturally, so we will consider how this might work for us – perhaps a learning journal?

In progressing forward, we hope that SB will more and more choose what to concentrate on, and what are the resources she likes to use and how. We hope that she will now begin determine the shape that the fabric of her education will take. Certainly, when we find the right resource for her – like currently the dk project books – she is capable of prolonged focused study and discussion. This is a period of emotional growth and change as well, and our home ed will aim to support personal development too.

One of the problems of home educating and blogging is seeing the best of other peoples home ed, and contrasting it with your areas of weakness or vacillation. we have more structured friends, whose children appear to be romping ahead in all areas very happily, we have more autonomous friends whose children appear to be having more fun, creating a very individual identity, we have friends who extrovertly educate, going to lots of workshops, events and just knocking my socks off with the wow factor, and those that lapbook and project and those whose children are driven by special interests… We can’t be all these different people, but will try and use their expertise and influence to perhaps balance our home ed, being a check to whether we can do anything better than we are.

So we will remain child led rather than completely autonomous. I see it continuing that there are activities we try and accomplish on a regular basis, be this daily, weekly, fortnightly or what seems reasonable . The actual minutiae will not be programmed, and will be child interest led. Although I have rough idea of what we may get through as such in the next 2 years, it isn’t ‘must do or else’, and often I will stillskip bits : more a guide to where i see us being. SB has a wide ranging thirst at the moment, and so it seems unreasonable to fix her attention on something she truly deems boring when there are many other things to catch her spark. but i think we will gradually be encouraging some structure – for her to find her own best patterns within it, but that she develops a balance that suits between pure play, enjoyed, enriching learning and the targeted ‘hard slog’ learning.

I think the other key issue, which runs as a theme throughout, is that as parents we need to be tidier, keeping resources tidy and accessible – we can be helped and enabled by SB.

As before, i will do a nitty gritty consideration of curriculum , and am putting in links to some of the resources. Again, i reiterate that this is a rough draft planning of possible goals, but i do not tie myself or SB down to achieving them, and we may change our minds completely over course. it is a rough working for us to see what might be. It is unlikely to submitted to the LA

the Nitty Gritty


to read herself a wide a varied amount of literature, encouraging her to try new genres and authors, and to stretch her imagination. to still read aloud to her a variety of stories, again across different genres and writing styles.

to start to discuss the mechanics of style and writing in the books, stories, poetry etc we come across. not much to start with -don’t want to impede the reading explosion! but to start thinking about why she liked bits, what the story is about, what interests are sparked from it, and perhaps the use of language. This might be aided by a book club or group?

SB is also doing a small amount regularly of the galore park english, being on book 1 at the moment, and we would perhaps like to have finished this and be nearing the end of book 2 perhaps if all goes well. this is one of her areas of struggle though, so just doing a tiny bit regularly is the aim. If we find something she prefers to do to this, we will swap!


SB has stated an interest in writing more legibly, and was gradually working through getty and dubay. this has stopped for a while, but we have discussed it and plan to carry on with this. i hope to add some story writing or copywork activitities if she fancies start her on the path to writing her own stories – encouraging the use of grammer and spelling! Writing could perhaps also be encouraged in a learning journal for experiments and trips out and about.


we don’t do any drama at the moment, which i think is a bit of a shame. I am hopeful that we can look at some opportunities in the next 2 years. i would also like to start visiting the theatre more again, now BB is older.


singapore maths we are halfway through 3b at the moment, and hoping to move through a year of singapore with each calendar year, so perhaps starting 6a. it just depends really! SB loves this series, has no interest, she says, in trying anything else.

To add a bit of sparkle and interest, we will try and do some maths experimentation from our DK book.

we have quite a few maths story books that we all enjoy.

A friend is contemplating primary maths challenge, and maybe we will consider that next year.


we haven’t completed the second story of the world as a reader, although we had planned too. We are still enjoying it, however, and will finish that and commence the third. We will hope to do more of the activities as well – perhaps a bit of parental pre-planning! alongside this we have lots of great usborne books, other good books and good piccies in DK eyewitness

I would like us to consider pulling out a few things to do larger topic work on, as we did the vikings, mixing crafts, history, visiting, dvd’s etc. SB is currently really enjoying a DK mediaeval project book, which suggests this might be a place to start. certainly we are near enough a few castles!

Also readers set in different time periods, and myths and legends seem to go down well. we can use this to spark interest and discuss as and when she fancies
we may start to introduce timelines, and see where this gets us .

Historical re-enactments and visits should add some external WOW to learning, and we will try and make the most of opportunities.

critical thinking:

We are working our way through the bond verbal and non verbal reasoning books, which SB enjoys – particularly the non verbal, where she is working on the 9-10 book, as opposed to the 8-9 for verbal. the problems with spelling and grammar hinder the verbal reasoning. ALthough this may sound dull and dry, she really enjoys them, like her mum there!

We play lots of board games as well.


this is a multipronged pronged event. We read a fair number of easy access science books – such as those by jaquie bailey and meredith hooper. the magic school bus chapter books and programmes are a hit, and contain solid wodges of info in easily accessible formats. i think as she loves them, this is definitely something to encourage. Science is a no brainer subject for us, she loves it, we love it and great enjoyment had fiddling and learning! may have to kit out a lab one day!

SB is also doing a small amount regularly of the galore park science book, being on book 1 at the moment, and we would perhaps like to have finished this and be nearing the end of book 2 if not on book 3, depending on whether she continues to like this series. At the moment she is also racing through schofield and simms science workbooks for key stage 2 after picking one up casually!

We are aiming to do regular experiments at home, and have a number of kits and resources. i am hoping to encourage at least a small write up in a learning journal. We are also part of a fortnightly meeting where we do more science experiments with a bit of a theme.

We try to go to a number of RI events in the year, as well as the local science festival to add some external WOW to this area.

We have joined the astronomy group, but need to go more regularly and hopefully hiring one of their telescopes again, as we all learned a lot last time and really enjoyed it.


will still be predominantly history and holiday based, but perhaps something such as geocaching may take SB’s interest if we do it more regularly, and also working out cycling routes? it also gets covered alot as part of other things.

Actually, since writing that, we have started postcrossing, and all the excitement of writing and sending, then receiving postcards and plotting them on our map is proving quite thrilling at the mo.


we have good resources for french, and we are trying to regularly use french for a small conversation, and also to read some toddler french books and base words around this. we have enjoyed doing this, and some words are retained. I am not sure this is the most efficient or best way of learning french, but we are are least learning some and enjoying it.

I am trying to supplement this with dvd/video/cd’s and may, hopefully, have some french sessions with a friend on perhaps a fortnightly basis,

we have for the last 2 years had a short camping holiday in france, and plan to continue this. i am not sure about sending SB on an en famille camp, but may host.

We perhaps need to work a bit more regularly at latin. this is done on a fortnightly basis, but possibly a look in between times would be useful!

music :-

piano is probably SB’s favourite, and we will encourage regular practice
recorder is also practiced, and am hoping SB can attend a local venue regularly enough for Gina to continue teaching

i have some first duet books to add a bit of a difference with our playing, and hope to regularly write group music for SB and friends to a level they are comfortable with.

we will also do lots of singing, and listen to a wide range of music – i don’t think we have enough background music on in the house, and since we have so much…

At some point, we may possibly add a bit of composer study, should SB show inclination or interest.

for the out and about WOW factor, SB has really enjoyed holiday orchestra, doing singing, musical games and recorder, and is v keen to do again. there are a number of events nearly locally that she can participate in.

i also want us to start going out to more concerts. BB is def not interested, and i think for sb too they would still have to be short, but she did enjoy the LSO


is covered well at the moment, and we will continue to encourage a core sports practice and trying out all sorts of new ideas.

current activities are ballet, gym, swimming and judo on a weekly basis
She also goes to a variety of HE group sports as and when they happen.

she still like to at least try horse riding, and see if she enjoys it.

more ad hoc are yoga and dance videos [which i should do too!!], and perhaps finding someone to get her started with in line skating. half term and holiday leisure centre taster events also popular


surprisingly, this is an area which we are not using much at the moment. SB prefers reading and playing to IT. our computers did break, which was prob v unhelpful, and we have not got back into using them. perhaps a few new and interesting cdroms will kickstart.

Arts and crafts:

we do a fair amount of art and crafting, using fimo and hama beads, kits and paints in a freestyle way

I would like to add in some art appreciation, look at different artists and styles, and ‘have a go’ now SB is getting more confident in painting

SB periodically is interested in tuesday sketch, so I might encourage this as well

Domestic Science!!:

slight rofl at title, but a fair bit of baking and cooking, gardening, some tidying and laying the table. SHe is interested in sewing and knitting too, so it is just about making sure the basics are available and accessible for her to do when the mood strikes, or re-introducing if there has been a gap.

personal development

we will think about supporting her through the hormones and body changes to come, taking advice from people that have been there before! getting good books, and hopefully building on the groundwork of loving family and good friends to give her confidence in who she is.


regular attendance at not quite local groups, local clubs [ie rainbows], national camps and making sure we have a steady stream of houseguests.

family is also very important, and maintaining close family ties and bonds.

trips and outings:

i think we should be a bit more proactive now BB more amenable to going out and about to places for experiential learning opportunities. this would add a bit of sparkle and pizazz to the whole thing, add external excitement for looking at some things, and generally be fun for all.


we have lots of resources and opportunities, i think in the next 2 years we parents have to hone our presentation skills, storage solutions etc, so that they are all readily accessible for SB to find . i think we need a ruthless look at groups that work or not for SB, and keep an eye on the opportunities to play and socialise.

If we actually did achieve what i have listed above, i would be a very happy bunny! The devil is in the implementation! life gets in the way etc etc, but i think we really must try.

obviously we do a lot of ed by conversation and seeing where that goes – sometimes quite tricky, so the other thing is to make sure that we are available , enthusiastic partners in the educational process.

this is a boring bare bones thought. chris needs to look, add and ponder. it is harder to really look at this in any more detail, as SB really will become more and more the driving force for her education, depending on her interest. I think for me, it is enough to know that i think we have resources and information and enthusiasm to back her up, but also to at this stage continue to encourage and lead and offer where necessary. by 9, i would hope that for the most part she will be autonomous and enthused about continuing to learn and find out. That we will have facilitated her spending ages on minutiae, and whipping through huge subjects in nano seconds where less interesting to her.