Category Archives: numeracy

More Conservatory…

SB decided that she wanted to try and do as much as possible today and spend tomorrow making her halloween costume. Fine! So she raced through various of her home ed books – trying to remember here! kS3 science workbook, maths, french workbook, gruesome grammar, piano practice, she read her last Aquila [that counts as a fact book] and I was sure there was something else?? no idea…

SB, BB and I got to do a lovely afternoon of fimo, SB made a mummy and started a sarcophagus. BB made a skull and also another skull in a black cloak – very great :) i used scrappy bits of fimo to make keyrings, either for geotat or geotags :) so very therapeutic. And I needed therapeutic, having flickred the pics of sisters funeral. feeling v low :( not aided by another BB exploring when people were going to die, and who was going to die first. :cry: anyway, fimo good :) and made all the better by the inconsequential but loving chit chat that goes on whilst we do it. and ooh that is good, or what on earth is that mummy@ [a snake canopic jar - lol!]

also baby rabbits! missed there being shadow/biscuit, but good to know she was rampaging around her new home ;) the babiest babies still all doing well. on discussion, we are not sure whether sedna [gerda as was] is a giant, or whether hamster and the 2 black otters are just small?? all v beautiful. Aware we will be saying goodbye to the final 3 of the big babies this weekend, and feel slightly sad about that, but glad that they are going ro such good homes with friends.

Girls both had gym, and SB was v happy doing something or other on the bars [some kind of backwards twirl thing] and when she came home, did some non verbal reasoning asking that at the end if we could have a treat of story of the world, as she thinks that might be better than baking :) I did say lets do it now, but she wanted to do the verbal reasoning. so, unfortunately, she didn’t get the story of the world as it was dinner time, and then we watched a dvd about plants :( I have promised to do story of the world tomorrow. :lol:

BB hasn’t been mentioned much today in blog, as she spent most of it being either a monster, leopard or baby rabbit. TBH the baby rabbit was bearable, the other 2 challenging… but in between shrieking, rarring and pretending to eat her cuddly toys :roll: we did have some lovely cuddles and snuggles :) And we all had loads of interesting home ed type discussions, the ones where i wished i had google-in-the-brain! [like how many seeds are in a pomegranate, how long would it take to walk round the world etc] and the ones where i could answer, but could tell i was not being believed – ie why don’t fruit and veg tend to grow square…

gotta get movin’ !

hmm, the plan had been to do 3 bits of HE in the morning and then fun craft this aft as my last week off work. however, due to feeling somewhat fragile from the w/e i had a sleep in, so BB watched dvds and SB stayed in bed reading famous 5 till rousted at 11! some riot act read, and actually the home ed she then did was v good, but v long, and she had golf in the aft, which i hadn’t remembered, so no crafting :( . we plan to do better tomorrow as baking in the afternoon, but she and daddy have been reminded! laying in bed reading books all v well, but…

so, she did some more of the galore park geography, and was working out distances and place references all v happily, after a bit of extra encouragement and help. but must have taken an hour. maths took way over an hour, due to distractability etc! but was done really thoroughly. golf lesson was doing a half swing to develop her swing – which she needs to practice. SHe had snack and then ballet lesson. After that we did a piano prac together. pretty much nailed song of erin, gavotte getting there, and stomping needs a fair bit more work. scales, well the majors ok, so now going to do arpeggios and chromatic and then minors last.

BB and I did some music theory [little children book 2] and explode the code. she just can’t get her head round ‘the’ and has a hissy fit each time the word comes up! we painted some more of her kit spider, played with the bunnies and she played with various reptiles :) we also did a v short piano. She then had a VERY long bath! i read her some of the comic canterbury tales, which she v much enjoyed.

the bunnies themselves are all adorable. the big ones are so cuddly, will be sad to see them go :( and the littlies are old enough now for a tiny bit of a pet :) gerda is so much bigger, and hamster def the smallest :) BB loved picking them up. the big buns all love dandelions, and also eat the burgess rabbit food [for those picking up rabs this week] and have been acclimatised to all sorts of veg.

Anyway, lovely eve, nice dinner – which chris emphasised was at table rather than dvd, so we had a discussion about Newton, man and measurement and oranges and apples. Sb is now recording our 5 a day. we all did rather well today, lets see if we carry on :) . we did watch part of a DVD about fish before bedtime, and SB decided to read a fact book or 2 in bed – she took up a rubbish one and a horrible egyptian one anyway, as that will take her to 6 :) . we are back to another roman mystery now at bed time – sirens of surrentum, and it opened with a kiss, to SB’s disgust!

duvet day!

predominantly for my big girl, who finally managed to completely get up at lunch time, having been happily wrapped in her duvet reading a book since 10am, when i had woken her up – giggle, i can’t imagine who she takes after! :lol: It was supposed to be a mega catch up home ed day for all our lazy days this week! ah well, we have enjoyed each others company a lot this week, even if we have neither been ‘productive’ or gone out much! i am going to declare it a companionship week :)

BB, obviously, had been up, and was watching dvd’s on lizards and amphibians. she really loves them, and has asked for a bracelet like mine, but with lizard and frog charms for xmas [they are having something small from us, as getting 1/4 each of trampoline for birthday and xmas]. I don’t know of many small children who have remained as determinedly fixated on lizards/dinosaurs/amphibians for so long. pretty much since she could speak. she then went off to play a complicated game with her lizards and frogs. SB also fancies a charms bracelet, but wants quite an individualised one, so have handed over some likes from other bracelets, and we will see what happens [fingers crossed!]

We did do some home ed today – since this is a home ed blog, this is something of a relief. SB did some maths, science workbook, galore park english and non verbal reasoning – ooh that sounds like quite a lot! SHe still didn’t write the english in sentences tho, will have to remind her again next time! BB and i did some reading practice together, and a tinsy bit of maths. we all did story of the world 1 chapter 6, just need to do chapter 7 before wed :) . no piano got done, as we had made the mistake of lighting the fire in the front room, and that was sooooo nice and warm…

I spent a while on the phone today as uncle D has got a v bad knee infection where he had a knee replacement, so had a surgical debridement today, and has 2 weeks in hospital wth iv ants before they decide, presumably, whether to take out his replacement :( he is feeling rottenly unwell with it. I have got a pavlovian response to the phone ringing of my heart dropping to my feet, and it just isn’t pleasant.

i also painted a tiny square of glass to more or less match with the others to go in our window. very proud of it, as tho not identical, pretty much fits, and if i am lucky, will stay in the house even if we end up moving on. :) I played stork’s nest with BB and SB [i lost!] and a complicated game of blokus crossed with ludo frogs with BB [i lost!]. :lol:

chris bodged a temporary extension onto the rabbit hutch, as the 4 big babies quite big and need a teenager pad :) he has also put all the panes of glass back into window, so i guess paintng next :) .

the rabbits are adorable, and it is hard to part with the older babies, but glad to know what good homes they are going to. flopsy is def most the amenable rabs of them all. will be perfect for aprillia to cuddle :) . fudge just soooo fluffy, so t-bird can have a good cuddle too ;) . lupin has a bit of character, and is happy to be cuddled and also happy to pootle about doing her own thing. Biscuit is a bit shyer than the others, but does sit beautifully for a cuddle once persuaded to not hide. they all v much adore dandelion leaves, and have been handled and loved on a more than once daily basis, and have no bad habits! even more or less litter trained… awww. the baby rabs are quite a mixed bunch. they are now findng their way around the hutch, tho i have made it so they can’t get into the run yet. the white stripe baby [currently called Gerd due to her statuesque build] is 2ce as big as the other babies, and the fawn one is quite a bit smaller [attracting some of my worry, tho she seems quite healthy]

we finished the day with a snuggle watching jem do some explosions, and searched on ebay, and found all the ingredients required to do at home – hmmm!!! well, only the earlier explosives. it was quite clear watching the prog that the later explosives not such a good idea…

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!

no risk assessments other than sense for Home Educators

and my sense told me to panic!! It was another latinetc wednesday, and i decided we would do spy writing [since i think all the children have destroyed their copies, they are on googledocs!]. so i bundled together a number of reasonably hazardous rather than outright dangerous chemicals, and set off! i turned out to be not so successful for the younger group, as the paper wasn’t starchy enough, but they enjoyed it anyway, and were remarkably dextrous at pipetting and measuring. [they didn't get to have really hazardous chemicals! citric acid, acetic acid and iodine!]

the older group was far more successful, mixing up chemical solutions, being v careful. they got some fabulous results, and are gradually being led into the ways of being a chemist! i haven’t done a great many chemical equations, because i am hoping that they get chemical safe yet interesting stuff skills first to build on! but do throw in the technical words and terms, and i think they are all starting to associate copper with blue, iodine and starch and we even precipitated out some iron today. so i think it is working! a bit out of my comfort zone though, exploring chemistry with the so young!! but they have all done so much ‘safe’ chemistry, that a few chemicals seemed the logical next step! [see the chem 2 page in the sidebar]

SB as always loved music, and her and chloe put on a fab latin doctor play. actually 4 other children in pairs did too. BB loves her french and science, so at the moment it does run v successfully. SB had a wobble today though – it has been a while since she has been so easily wobbled, and it reminds me how far she has come in personal resource and strength in the last few years, and how proud of that i am. we had a hug, did some 1:1 chemistry, sorted out the issue, and happiness restored. phew! A bit of discussion going on about the latinetc group, to try and make it work well for all children, and what compromises and adjustments may make a globally better picture. i am always change resistant, but can see that a few tweaks here and there may benefit!! We listened to a max and maxin french story on the way home, to maximise the french!!

home and SB and BB were thrown into the bath and had their hair washed. they were showered after swimming last night, but somehow still looked really grubby all over!! SB did a bit of general home ed stuff, a bit of maths, a bit of preparation for her viking presentation on friday [wish i could be there, chris better blog!], some of her mecchano car and her DK mediaeval project book. We had another postcrossing card to send, so SB had a look at the various maps on our walls, and was struck by the few roads in the scottish isles… I like postcrossing for random map moments!

BB and i went to rainbows, she is loving it. she is by far the tiniest, and she wants someone to stay, which is ok for now. but she joined in readily and loved the guessing game and the bubble blowing. the rainbow leader is v good here, and her daughter also helping out was fun. BB got her rainbow top, so was v happy. passed SB and Chris coming up as we were going home for SB’s brownies and then judo.

BB and i watched toystory as we ate our dinner [spinach, potato and cauli curry, yummy] and when SB returned, she watched the egyptian what the ancients did for you.

now i am catching up with the select committee and home ed activism. i really never pegged myself as someone likely to be an activist!!

lets try and do a decent blog!!

chris and the girls had a busy end of week whilst i was away on a lovely course at Madingley Hall in cambridge. v fab!! I got to start an new book there, which i am REALLY enjoying.

on thurs they went into town and had a bit of a shop. SB is on the lanky side, so has great difficulty in finding trousers that stay up without having to bunch lots of material up either with with elastic or belts. so they popped in to next, and a small fortune later she is really happy! BB had boot heaven at clarke’s, but SB not so fortunate, as with an E fitting there seems to be no shoes for her. the specialist shop in town seems to have closed down, so a bit more of a search is in order :roll: i remember this from my childhood! They then went onto a home ed friend for a playdate before rushing back for gym.

friday. ah yes, a home ed visit to a local orchard. a yearly event where the rather long suffering owner drives round the home ed rabble on a wagon hitched to the tractor!! i have been before, and it is excellent. he is v informative, the children get to try different apples, including new varieties and old trusted, and also see the sorting bit. he makes juices as well. SB came back with armfuls. BB had her footie lesson later on and then both happy to see me :smile: we have found the yoga dvd, and both girls rather cutely did it. SB and i both had a giggle reading the bagthorpe saga – our bedtime story. SB has decided she is rather good at doing trances – i v much agree, having seen her trance for over 30 mins doing one maths sum!!

Saturday. we started with the quest seekers presentation at the library. a bit weirdly it started by a speech about how hard reading was and why most children don’t choose to do it – this may be true, but seemed an odd start to the thing. and anyway, mine love reading, and i imagine a fair number of the other questseekers do too!! BB won the questseeker raffle and got a little ball game thingy, and in the book sale i bought SB 3 of the Spiderwick Chronicles for 30p each – a bargain! also persuaded someone else to buy Azincourt, which i really enjoyed. we posted some postcrossing postcards on the way home and put up our world map with the received ones.

SB has done a fair bit of piano practice over the last 2 weeks, so we had a ‘lesson’ together, and she is really moving forward. i am hoping that the speed of progress when she practices might persuade some more practice!! we did some recorder duetting as well, which we both like. whilst sb did some other home ed stuff – maths and music theory – bb and i played with her farm animals. i think i might neeed to practice at this, as i am less and less fond of playing with things! SB got out a tescos elecetric fan kit, which she put together quite happily – bit like this one Ein-o’s Box Kit Electric Motor Electric Science. we then had a lovely time making cards for chloes birthday party.

Merry having rung, we realised to take an alternate road work free route!! and arrived second at the pool venue, in time to give a very pregnant Jax a hug! and for Big and SB to exuberantly greet each other, before all those staying at the manor arrived too. i loved the pool, a great depth baby pool for bb to manically swim in. as an aside, her swimming is really coming on – although it is still more drowning with style, the backstroke is particularly good! scarily, she actually dived in twice – eek! luckilly bellyflopping rather than smashing head on the ground. i got to chat to the babs a bit! the bigger girls were being crazy in the bigger pool, though SB, big and E were mostly playing with the floats rather than the long floaty obstacle course.

lovely time, i love swimming!! [though i actually didn't get to do much, mostly kept an eye on crazy bb!!] party tea at the venue and lots of the blogring were in attendence! said hello again to michelle’s friend B, who i have met before and like v much! [she should blog you know!!] the cake cutting was a crazy moment!! back to the manor and wine and chat and relaxing until suddenly it was midnight, and we drove home to the sound of kids snoring!

sunday [btw having to blog with left hand only bb asleep on me and sb snuggled up also, watching jungle book - hard!!] anyway, i had planned to go to west stow for a reenactment weekend, but i had an unsettled night with lots of v unsettling themed dreams so had a lie in to recover – as did SB from having a late night. bb was up early tho. so i was a bit put out to have ‘ruined’ the day, but recovered! i discussed with the girls what fun things they wanted to do, and SB wanted to make the viking flatbread that was in the young archaeologists magazine. could i find it anywhere??? nope!! luckilly google to the rescue. the recipe galled for buttermilk tho… so we have made our own butter and topped up the amount of buttermillk with the first ‘washing’. we did do some of the butter in a jamjar for authenticity!! but the rest we did in the food processor, and is now in the freezer! SB then made the dough for the viking shardbread. we made one batch with honey, and the other with herbs, tried some each, but froze the rest to take to history group next friday and hopefully rewarmed there!! tasted delicious!! BB did some painting and stamping happily whilst we did this.

SB and i played bohnanza and landlock, she played castle keep with chris. i played an extremely long game of farm animals with BB. SB and i got the solar panels that we won on ebay to power a knex motor tried out, and thought what we might try and build – but didn’t! instead BB did some fimo-ing – piggies – and SB hama-ed some witches hats and we are all out of black. :roll: i seem to be constantly ordering from bead merrily!! think i might save up the order though!! i used some left out and hardening hama to make eyballs, teeth and worms beads for a scary halloween necklace! [having grumped at bb for starting something months ago and then doing no more so the fimo was dodgy!! Although our present to chloe had sparked some interest from SB, we didn’t actually get round to doing watercolour painting. nor the piano, maths and ballet practice we had planned. oh well!!

hoping for an early bedtime for the girls, but have, unfortunately, woken bb up, so not sure when she might fall asleep again! but an early out tomorrow.

swimming day

its obviously another chris day, but you may have noticed he has stopped blogging. this is a problem, as i am not there!! but i believe they went to the library, read loads of books, sb did some piano practice, spelling and maths. they didn’t get the microscope at to look at crystals though. and then they went swimming. this is the once a month i might get back if i push things, so i arranged to meet them at the swimming pool and chris took our swimmies. i just made it for the end of their lesson, and then we all had a lovely family swim. bb can swim 2m now, but hasn’t worked out how to swim and breath, so tends to have to stop swimming, stand up and breathe – rofl. she also has a weird jelly fish swimming stlye, in that she scrunches herself up then extends and by some miracle she is a bit further along. a bit like dolphin stroke i guess! after having a lovely time we returned for slow cooker lasagne – which was delish. bb exhausted, so fast asleep, and sb should be too. she has been enjoying listeing to anne of green gables on her mp3.

bb go to sleep

well, its not happening, its 23:45 so i have bowed to the inevitable and am watching back eurekas whilst hoping she will fall asleep lying on me snuggled in a duvet. humph. we are more or less ready to go on hols, ok, a bit less, but hey! i can manage about 30 mins of something before requiring a rest, but at least i did do several 30 minute bursts, as though chris is better, he isn’t precisely well…

anyway, the girls have been playing a lovely babies game, slinging their babies around the place and generally getting on well, except when i ask them to pack… to tidy their bedroom… etc etc anyway, i am going to copy kirsty’s today motto and only blog the good!!

SB did some HE spontaneously today, she did some maths, some music theory and some of her mediaeval project book, and we watched the mesopotamian what the ancients did for you [v fab] and sb then watched some of shakespeares stories as bb and i had fallen asleep on the sofa [hence current awake bb prob - well, actually, shhh, but i think she is nearly asleep!]

ermmm, slight contretemps about the not at all tidied playroom, ermmmmm that’s it i think. exhausted, but we are holidaying – woohoo!! expect to hear of torrential rain and flash floods along the loire…

Being more restful

various internet friends, and my DH, have suggested that overdoing it may have slowed down my recovery!! humph! so i have tried *really* hard to do nothing today and totally hated it.

i did nothing whilst the girls played a long, convoluted game of sylvanians mostly beautifully together [i heart sylvanians] , i did nothing whilst SB did her maths next to me on the sofa, and bb tried to make up the same maths to do in her little writing pad, ‘i have 2 bananas and 11 peaches so that will come to 15 pounds – rofl!’ – she didn’t want to do her real maths as she was too busy adding for 5 pages!!

i still did nothing whilst sb did her piano practice – v hard that! but she has finally finished bach’s air. i did nothing whilst they did more sylvanians, and i did nothing whilst sb did music theory.

finally i thought i was allowed to do something!! and watched with them the aztec and the egyptian what the ancients did for you. woohoo to doing something! the girls have really loved this. i followed it up with reading 2 chapters of the gladiator of capua and 1 of story of the world [joan of arc] to SB – and am being resolutely defiant!

no outings 4 us

actually feeling sorry for girls, espec bb. its not much fun when your parents are lying on sofa doing the most minimal of caring and nurturing. in fact, bb has been, on the whole. v loving – coming to stroke my arm etc. the persistent raspberries on my belly less humorous, as she follows this with telling me off for not saying pardon me :roll: sb today also trying to be good, but with an older childs knowledge that if they cunningly stay out of the way and quiet, they wont be asked to do anything.

TBH, i think i am worsening rather than improving, and v fed up at that. chris, luckilly, is improving, though seal like cough awful. in fact he was well enough to do a quick forage for food. and some plaster of paris, but i ended up too unwell to use it. :cry: mind you, i did try and call him back because i had keeled over to find he had left mobile at home :roll:

so what did happen? well sb piled into her mediaeval project book for over an hour – guess that is approval!! she has decided she wants to do the ancient egyptian one next as has really enjoyed working on this one.


BB and i made another fimo duck/goose so that she has the ‘full set’ like on the page! and SB also did some more hama.

bb desperately wanted to do yesterdays colour mixer experiment by herself, so did that, and then made some crystals. we have an ex ebay part used no instructions smithsonian crystal set, and started that. sb wants to make the geode though, and not sure how to put the outside bit on – has anyone out there got a similar type set with instructions for that?? HELP?? we are nominating an old saucepan as a crystal pan for dissolving anyway.

so, both girls then had to play, because i staggered indoors with home grown corn on the cob, popped it in the water and collapsed. it is lovely native american style corn on the cob, and bb still wont eat it! 1 hour i managed of being up. hopeless. chris returned and i napped whilst sb did some maths.

i awoke in time for tea and we watched what the ancients did for us – rome – which was fascinating for all. sb did a piano practice, and has gone to bed clutching a number of box book of the Jacqui bailey
sort to read as she loves those.

time to nap again.

edited to add – i thought i had lost this blog post with a server crash, phew to autosave!! and have looked and other peoples outings to framlingham and to rockingham with jealousy, though know we wouldn’t make it to car without me needing to go to bed! will have to remember for next year