Category Archives: socialisation

the big bang!

We went to the Big Bang science fair at the Excel building in London, and it was brilliant :) . we went down on the thurs and came back on sat and saw loads of friends whilst we were there as well as learnt a lot. the stands were excellent, a mixture of school science groups, industry and ‘others’ : some you asked questions to, some you made something at, and some had things demonstrated to you. SB asked lots of sensible questions, and really is getting quite confident at this, loved all the exercise to make energy places and did a fair bit of making, but mostly for her it was about finding stuff out. For bb it was mostly about the making, and the getting of goodies :) . the stands were well set out into different zones as well. I was impressed at how well thought out it was.

SO thurs saw an easy drive and park at the excel, just in time for a building evacuation, so was a bit wierd! however, soon back in and to the desks, who were being totally clueless about registration and we had to go back again to get something put right. not a long wait tho, and only needed to do it the once. we never needed the big number we had to print out tho – not entirely sure what that was all about? we had a short wander around some of the v many stands and then went to our first thing – amoeba to zebra. TBH, I loved it. it had a feel of edinburgh fringe about it, was pretty surreal and made me want to giggle, and prob wasn’t exactly what it had been sold as. [well i might not have gone! but i carefully tried to chose things with both bb and sb appeal]. perhaps i should have looked at their website before booking – but then we would have missed something we all enjoyed [bb ran out at chapter 8 of interest, and sb got to 11]. we had our packed lunch and then moved onto the stands some more, and enjoyed some more areas before going to our headline show of Bang Goes the Theory – which SB adores watching. It was really well done, and both girls enjoyed it a lot. we wandered around the purple zone with maths and found wallace a gromit looking empty, so went in earlier than our booking. our lady not v good, thick spanish accent, and couldn’t get the demonstration to work [now bb has made her kit, it is obv that the demonstrators kit joined up all wrong!] but still, got a pic with wallace and gromit and a really fab kit. i think other ppl had better demonstrators and a far better experience. After this we collapsed at the little coffee stand, tried texting the portico again, looked up and saw them! [obviously in the maths section - lol! ] chatted and SB and buttercup went off to do the wellcome institute olympic challenge – which they both loved – measuring leg length against ability to jump far… a well as a number of other stands. BB and i pottered about the maths and physics, she really liked the bernoulli wooden cups and also the v simple stand showing potential energy [it is a long time since we did that at latinetc] . finally we wandered back to the car with a nice breezy walk along the dock front and drove to docklands travelodge – v cheap and parking :) . got kids all in bed, and kirsty family back from the eye, so we got them up again :)

Next day kids were suffering from late to sleep early to up, but we got going and met v quickly deependers, rainedrops, biff and nattyem as the checked in, so arranged to sit altogether at the front for brainiacs. kids really loved it, and i think extra fun to be sitting with friends. lots of capers and explosions and use of fire extinguishers :) . we then went on to have a fab time round the stands. i went round with bb, and DH with sb. BBs highlights was blowing up a nuclear power station :) the lego stand [she was there ages!] making snot, doing the yeast experiment – tho she loved the penguins, and we looked at lots of other things too. SB loved asking ppl things mostly, i think. but also liked the cpr vest, energy challenges at various places, and was complimented on her knowledge. We went for a film workshop with the BBC, which, for one reason and another didn’t suit BB, so i took her out. We had thought it might be a gamble, depending what they did, but it was unfortunate really how it panned out. However, BB had a great time at even more stands – particularly the stick one and the windmill one but also the chocolate one- being told she was clever and adorable and having her photo taken lots :) . I managed to blag 2 solar kits [without instructions] for me, and 1 for thebabs from the dyson people, which was nice :) SB really loved the film workshop, which she did in a team with nattyem and co – also something she loved – and was proud of what they had done, and the things they had learnt. so in the end win win :) . When she came out i took SB round more stands [my poor feet! ]whilst DH had a coffee and BB fell asleep on the table – aww. we swapped for him to have a final look at the stands and had a comedic moment of thinking he and SB would have to roll under a closing hatch to get out as the exhibition came to an end.

It was really worthwhile doing. We had a fab time, and currently plan to attend the one in birmingham next year. Home to the travelodge with kirsty and co, a failure to get chips in, so more expensive pizza option but tucked into heartily and happy kids showing off their goodies. BB realised she had less pompom things, and A v kindly gave her one of hers. BB continued stropping [as v tired] but given short shrift by the rest of us!

We finished off our time away with a great museum day at greenwhich with kirsty and family, and also the porticos joining us for the maritime museum and some general running about. It was great to spend more time with kirsty and family, our kids all got on really well this time [not a given with eldest and youngest!] the royal observatory was excellent, with really good info and displays and interaction. SB spent birthday money on a fab bag as well :) . Also enjoyed maritime museum, but by then could have done with more chairs, as feet were beginning to think i had changed profession :) . nice talking to adults, really enjoyed the science of the seas, not so sure of the kids interactive room, but they loved it :) and by the time we decided to have coffee, i was def in need of restorative :) . nice chatting with adults as kids raced around on lawns, and felt we came to natural end of day before BB completely lost it. I was wrong, of course, and after complete melt down she fell asleep on DLR – obviously what she completely needed :) and remained asleep, even when DH put her down by car to get everything in it. Am amazed she can sleep squatting really.

We popped home via manorborn for some v v nice fajitas [well, how could you turn down an invite like that!] said hello to their new french daughter, who played the piano beautifully for me. We chatted, the 3 older girls played a game, and BB was just not right as tired :( . got home after midnight to a bit of a crisis in part of my life. hmmmmm

so hooray for a lovely time away, with my lovely girls. children who are enthusiastic about learning, meeting and talking to new people and have lovely friends as well :)

rest of week so far

monday, hmm, think that must have been getting braces day for SB – bless her. these are removable, and top and bottom teeth, and she really isn’t that keen, but perservering. Did i say that BB now has glasses too? for long sightedness. I had a genetics counselling appt about risks of breast cancer etc etc. so when we all reconvened at home we were quorate for feeling self indulgent! Home ed stuff got done, fairly happily and i think BB might be about to ‘get’ reading :) once she does it is going to be v fast i think. ballet in the eve.

tues i was at work. various home ed bits in the morning, and then in the afternoon to the absolutely excellent home ed djembe drumming session. Nanna went along too, as it was an undersubscribed session, and they all loved it. swimming in the eve, and i was v late back from work as a long hard day [cue violins :) ]


wed already blogged :)

thurs was mostly drama about whether f-i-l would be sprung from hospital [and in the end wasn't] and whether i could make it through work feeling so v v bad from migraine [i did] oh, and SB had a music theory exam :) she can really easily do grade 2 theory, but veers between concetrating and doing v well, and not using brain at all!! and then not doing so well. i think she is a happy dreamer :) but she says she checked 5 times and was happy with it, so we will see. grade 2 music theory doesn’t ‘matter’ , it is exam practice and confidence, and stretching herself a bit. Just happy that she is happy :) BB had a fab time with the deependers and really enjoyed herself. In fact, I think she has inveigled herself into a home ed trip with them tomorrow, whilst DH finally springs his dad from hospital :) :) thankyou k :)

and adding friday, the girls had a fab home ed trip with deependers today to the cathedral and learnt about middle ages and cromwell. SB said she knew all the middle ages things, but the cromwell was new and v interesting. they both loved the trip, so thankyou k :)

Latinetc – mixing it up

chapter 6 of real science for kids was all about mixing it up :) . unfortunately, the mixing pattern spread out, and we are again in a quandary around groupings. however, i have the courage of convictions to believe that we can work all this out :) . it was also a wonderful welcome back to C and M from the manorborn. we have really missed them whilst C has been doing her en famille exchange. so woohoo and welcome back :)

The mixing it science involved seeing what a mixture was [homogeneous and heterogeneous] and what could mix [polar/charged or non charged - ie like with like] . it still involved ammonia tho!! The newtons unfortunately had me battling the most awful migraine, and i was therefore short on people skills. luckilly M intervened a fraction before BB got sent to the stairs – bad mummy moment. :( however, the science itself went well, and everyone was v happy with the workbook folders from merry :) . the cricks were next and went better, as they are a jolly and easy group to teach, usually remember at least something from the chapter :) and are v amiable about being corrected. enjoy perhaps too much thinking of hypotheses – :lol: the rutherfords had a hard time of it. there are too many of them, they just fitted round table, and didn’t get to finish experiment – they were the same size as other 2 groups combined, and with ascertaining what they remembered from chapter and explaining, and using the sheets etc, we only got half way through the experiments :( so feel quite bad about that really. Hence the mixing up the groups, so that it will hopefully work better. Mixing groups is never a process that goes smoothly, as so many things to consider. fingers crossed we find a good solution :)

Meanwhile the others were far more successful in getting their lessons in right :) and sb enjoyed skoldo french and minimus with k and 3d shapes with z. was even lucky enough to have a blow on an oboe reed of G’s [and now keen to learn to play that too - G is such a musical instrument temptress!] as well as a group recorder session.

BB also v happy with 3d shape making, and v v excited by her recorder session with G :) it is certainly giving her huge enthusiasm to get going on the recorder. she also enjoyed her french stories. next time will think of something else for her to take as well, as had a few footloose moments. maybe colouring or dot to dots.


I redeemed myself [hopefully] by doing music theory, and then some rousting vocal exercises and learning ‘early one morning’ [only the first verse!] which, encouraged by the kids, we went far to high on. But i mostly wanted to make the singing enjoyable, and also learn at least 1 verse of a few of our native folk songs.

Listened to our italian cd there and back, BB fairly happily did some explode the code at latinetc too, and SB had brownies and judo. BB and i snuggled, she ds-ed and chatted at 100 miles an hour too me – love those girls :)

photos may follow if lucky :)

Twilight at the Museums

I am trying to do lots on this holiday at home, so that it seems that i have really made the most of my time off. [tho perhaps should have pencilled in more bed time!] This does mean that if I blog the next day, I may have forgotten what we did!!! We had meant to go to a NT property, but the day was v miserable and awful! so we decided to do some home ed in the morning and go shopping with christmas vouchers in the afternoon. This is pretty much what we did – though not sure exactly what! SB and I did make a cake for DH whilst he was out picking up BB’s glasses. SHe is very happy with them, in mr bump styling. She is long sighted, so they magnify her eyes. SHe looks gorgeous, but v different! We tested it out by reading some more level 2 books :) . SB def did some maths on turning decimals into fractions and vice versa.

After lunch we went out to the city to waterstones and wh smiths to spend vouchers. SMiths first, where bb made herself v happy buying 2 lego things, which were on buy one, buy second half price :) and a winnie the witch in space book. SB bought the missing two harry potters and 2 enid blytons. We then went to waterstones, where BB v quickly bought herself an animal sticker book, the latest astrosaurs book, and the latest winnie book rather than picture book ‘for when she can read’ . SB took aages longer :) and in the end bought 3 jacqueline wilsons, a enid blyton audiobook, hmmm not quite sure what the other 3 were! would have to check :) [sometimes i can't bear to look at amazon price!! however, this was xmas tokens, and the girls love doing it person, as adds excitement to whole deal]

We had a restorative cafe stop before heading for the twilight at museums event [dropping baggage in the car on the way :) ] It is a good thing we had a restorative cup of tea, because allthough we arrived within 10 mins of starting, the queue was just over 30 mins! AND it was drizzling progressing to light rain. BB in particular was NOT iMPRESSED! Unfortunately, although we started at the dinosaur museum for her, this turned out to be a BAD PLAN as on entering she moaned that she had been there before, seen everything before, and it wasn’t that dark! not an auspicious start. we others happy tho, so she had to drag her feet around! I did like the lighting effects, but think that perhaps a something different – trail or craft or something – would perhaps have been nice.

P1120612 P1120610 P1120620 P1120631

We then moved on to queue for the zoology, after 20mins we met lecielrouge coming out, and had a jolly chat before they headed off to join the dinosaur queue. soon after, we were told the queue was prob an hour, and there was no queue for the bijou science museum around the corner. We decamped since both BB and DH had lost their will to live with queuing. [it had at least stopped raining!] . I loved it. Not been there before. txt to lecielrouge saw them abandoning their queue to join us, and the fishes also arrived, so a merry party :) children much happier as there was a sheet to go and find out things. BB happier as not been there before, and played with the zootrope and various other visual effects. Z and I completely failed to use a slide rule cylinder :blush: and we all got our happy back :)

P1120663 P1120686

SO much so that when we saw only a tiny queue on the way back to the car at the zoology, we decided to go there. it was still 20 mins tho! and so only 10 mins actually in, and they switched lights on after 5, oh well!! Kids happy making an angler fish head band, and actually queuing with friends :) .

so actually, what had seemed like a v stressed and over sold evening whilst queueing for zoology ended up being fun and happy :) and also the cause of BB’s griping became clear in the car – she was just desperate to make her new lego!! A chippery tea and late bedtime. I fell asleep on the sofa, woke up at 1am, plodded upstairs to hear SB switch off her light and pretend to be asleep!! naughty naughty! I think she couldn’t wait to read new books :)

artetc – wax and tissue paper buildings

I am on annual leave but having a ‘staycation’ . A number of reasons for this – F-I-L in hosp and M-I-L staying here prob being the most important, followed swiftly by the eeeekk! canada trip so expensive!! SO since I havn’t planned going away nor staying, i do think i musn’t fritter the time away! SO today I ‘invited myself’ to artetc with lecielrouge and Merry. We do enjoy this greatly every time we manage to go :) Today was no exception :) tho we were late :( due to a complete inability to get out of bed [i am blaming the weekend!!] Great to spend time with 2 good and lovely friends.

So there were 2 main art works today, still focusing on architecture/buildings in art. the first was drawing a row of houses/buildings on card and then cutting out the windows [done by z] and putting tissue paper behind. Think this was the favoured one, and v impressed by the imagination and differences the children used with the same brief. I had a go at this one, and was v happy with it. My kind of art :)

P1120564 P1120563 P1120561 P1120539


the second was making wax rubbings of interesting textures around the house and then drawing on paper 4/5 buildings and using the wax rubbings to delineate some of the structure/floors. v interesting idea but quite hard to pull off! BB was being a bit wobbly about this one tho :(

P1120538 P1120537


SB did some music theory practice [after a bit of a reminder to concetrate and use brain!] we are thinking maybe of giving her elastic band around wrist which she has to ping on every new question to remind her to read it properly :) she scored 90 in the practice paper which she read and concentrated, and 63 in the one she didn’t :roll: .SHe took it all v well and happily, since she was doing this whilst others playing. BB did some explode the code and finally read ‘the’!!! woohooo!!

We finished with colouring in little boxes and making fimo keyrings for upcoming triple birthday celebration :) I wish we had thought of those mario mushrooms sooner tho!! they are cute and easy to do :) . merry and girls left, and we nattered to z for longer before heading back via the hospital. F-I-L doing much better and in less pain. early days tho… we listened to italian cd on the way there and back.


So, i have varnished the fimo, flickred and then to bed.

Latinetc – acid base titration

today we tried to follow the new timetable for latinetc a bit better. It worked better than anticipated for a first go, but we did make a bit of a mess in the afternoon :lol: anyway. sure we will do better next time, and still went fine enough and the kids seemed to have fun. Have taken some good photos and science went well.

the science bit was acid base titration from chapter 5 of the real-science 4 kids. we did quite a chat around various bits. the rutherfords actually asked some v in depth questions, and i think got drowned by the answer :) but were really good at working out their aims and hypothesis. then we got going and all did very well at considering the science behind the practical. will be glad not to do ammonia again for a while tho :)

P1110963 P1110939

Art was paper weaving, and then placing into a bigger pic. i was v impressed with SB’s boat and both she and bb loved it. both loved the recorder too, and bb v happy that she could do what she ws asked to. i heard a raucous latin session :) and sb loves skoldo anyway. BB initially reluctant with the french stories, but was happy to listen to the end. Even the workybook bit in the middle went ok. the only prob was the drift we had, so didn’t do the song I had planned. Ah well!! I think the youngest ones had a much better balanced session to, with mice making with gina and zoe reading loads of books.


SB had made a cake on tues to bring, dairy free and with sparkler candles, so was v happy with that and the happy birthday singing. the children also all had occassion to run about and be crazy.


SB had brownies and judo. on arriving home m-i-l and f-i-l were hear, as f-i-l has knee replacement to go to tomorrow – hoping will go smoothly! BB was a whinge-bag really :( but did happily make sb a birthday present. take away chinese for tea was rather lovely, and bb fell asleep v v quickly :)

Historyetc , libraries, gardens and labyrinths

lol – next time I am going to be able to say that it is all greek to me!! ANyway, this time was about arshibanapal and the library at Ninevah, The hanging gardens of Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar and the Minoans. It was a full house and some really interesting and different crafts/activities.

As usual, our chapters and crafts are based around story of the world, I am taking an archaeological activity from the kids book, and we are also reading some relevant myths


My girls and Big both agreed that their fv today was the plaster frescoes that Lecielrouge came with but that there was a great selection of different crafts to do. Merry brought fimo, and all the kids did some v careful ‘hanging baskets of babylon’ :lol: I did a slightly crazy hanging gardens of babylon, where we cut up those black plastic modules and then used a hot glue gun to glue them back together in a more ‘interesting’ configuration. we then put in compost and seeds, so a garden they will be :) . for the older kids we had some wordsearches and crosswords and a ‘maths-in archaeology’ scenario. Lots of the children drew labyrinths and mazes. The younger ones had a paint a minotaur mask as well and they all made minotaur peg dolls and books for the library at nineveh. All v successful :) .


P1110299-1 P1110306-1 P1110261-1 P1110262-1

unfortunately it was a bit too rainy, so no trampolining and then no clear skys to starwatch :( Also within 5 mins SB had had an accidental collision with one of the toddlers, and her broken but fixed tooth is now broken again. :( . It was pretty hurty, and hurt periodically thro the day, enough to keep dosing with nurofen :( so visit to dentist in the morning.aarghh and hope no damage done. now children playing before bedtime, Jax and i have imbibed a bit of wine in a phew, another successful session, now relax kind of way! Will add a few pics when flickred


A Bit Behind on the blogging

it is that time of year, a bit behind on everything really :( [tidying, sending cards out etc etc]
Mon and tues, i don’t know what has been going on, i think mostly playing ;) too cloudy for the telescope, which is a huge shame :( I have been doing loooonnnnngggg days at work as well.

But today :) see the logo :) it is historyetc. This week with the theme of christmas crafts. Not everyone could make it, as lots of christmassy activity all over the place, so we missed them, but still had fun :)

first craft out of the stable was chocolate making. we smashed 3 polos and stirred into 6 squares of melted milk choc and then filled a 12 days of christmas mould with them. was hoping at the end to take a pic of all the finished objects, but half of them were eaten within seconds :)


next we planned to do wreaths, and sent the girls out into the garden. Merry arrived and so her girls did chocolates. the girls did a fab job of getting lots of greenery. it became v clear that making the wreath bits out of straw would take longer than planned, so excavated out some old opitec kits, and the girls all happily coloured theirs in whilst Z mostly but i helped [grin] made the wreath bases.

Nanna and grandad bean arrived, having had a v relief inducing hospital visit [phew emoticon] and so hugs and joyousness :)

then we started the wreath crafting, and apart from some nasty stab wounds from the pyracantha and holly, it all went really well, and there were some very different yet all gorgeous wreaths created. BB and J went off and played instead, i think they did a bit of felting, as BB was finishing a mouse house. it took quite a while to do the wreaths, so lunch was pretty late. and didn’t have mildly alcoholic mulled wine and mince pies in the end, but did have carols blaring forth :) [even if some of them were sung by the monks of prinknash, and perhaps an acquired taste :) ] SB ‘judged’ the wreaths, and i think that went ok. not encouraging the ranking thing tho as always risks upset.
P1090769 P1090739

4th craft was making lovely bead christmas stars to hang on the tree. slightly complicated, but Merry worked them out, and then all did some lovely ones. we also started decorating the girls trees in the playroom. slightly scared by all the climbing up and down the ladder :) it was too cloudy though to wheel out the telescope.


Christmas Camp 2010 :)

we are back from a fab week at Christmas Camp. One of the surprising joys of home education for me has been the finding of firm friends via the internet, who crossed over from imaginary to real friends by the home ed camps. These were initially Muddlepuddle camps at Melrose and Kessingland open to allcomers, but the Nic Christmas camps are friends only and we are happy to be on the invite list :) . This year we were in Okehampton and it was snowy :)

We went down via mum and dad’s, said farewell to some of our baby bunnies – Olive, Tweedledum and Hamster. Tweedledum and Hamster being a last minute rehoming :) I hope they are all settling in well. The girls were rather devastated to be losing the babies, as they were hoping to keep them all – but I am v happy knowing that they have happy homes to go to. :) . I stayed up late chatting to mum and doing family hugs.

SO an easy drive down to Okehampton, third there, just pipped there by kirsty and co :) and we were sorted. Hugs, hoorays and beginning the dinner. we ran bets on the order of arrivals, and we were mostly right. Nice to see everyone in real life and give and receive hugs and benedictions :) . jacket potatoes cooked – amazing for a youth hostel – and eaten in convivial style and game on for holiday :)
we played games and drank mulled wine [diet coke mostly for me], ate cake and caught up. Children raced around like loons and also caught up :) . Actually SB mostly spent the evening with Kirsty’s A – which isn’t the most common exclusive pairing – and they made some really fab christmas cards for everyone between them, and were really lovely with the drawing and sharing.

So most of the week we only saw the girls at meal times and bedtimes, tho we both periodically wandered to see what they were up to and make sure happy. They always were and seemed to have had a fab time. Nice to see BB with her own posse of friends – J, R, J in partic. SB was far more fluid with who she spent time with. Both played many games tho with many friends and had a fab time with no fallouts and flounces [that made it to my ears :) ]. SB has said that she missed C and B, both in france on en famille trips, and is looking forwards to seeing them again.

So what did we grown ups do then?? well, a reasonably large amount of kitchen and catering – i enjoy cooking for a group, so this is no hardship, partic when giggling with the other kitchen krew. We played board games, ate cake, drank tea, ministered to each others worries, prepared activities and gossiped. I didn’t get to play music with Em – due to migraine :( I begin to think hostels have a something or other that triggers migraine, as cleared as i was driving home – and i was v stressed then! but we did spend an evening writing out carol music and teasing each other, which was v pleasant. i didn’t get to see my friend Shaula either, as snow stopped play :(

communal things were common tho :) Monday we had a geocache walk with our girls, lecielrouge family and a number of friends. I felt fairly honoured that I got to take out ‘wherethedaysgo’ F as well. Failed to find the first one, and I had to return with the youngest walkers and the coldest walkers – :roll: The others found the second geocache, and then found the first one on the way back. It was a beautiful day tho for the walk, bright and crisp and even. Looking forward to seeing our pics [daddybean is in charge of those, as much more brutal with the final cut] In the eve we had the birthday parties. A and J were near enough 40, BB at 6 and S at 8. 17 cakes on a table to celebrate that [photo to add of course :) ] and they were fairly swiftly polished off in order of chocolateyness. BB was ecstatic with the cake, the general singing, and particularly the fab presents :) ppl seem to just know what i like – she said – big grin :) . I was v pleased J and A liked there presents too, and they had seemed to work. Their fav pics of kids on large canvas bought with love from all of us [and a little bit of panic!] Camp Curry night, which went really smoothly, except the hostel had a distinct lack of big saucepans, so we did 3 rounds of 5 small saucepans.

Tuesday was a camp historyetc, predominantly on phoenicians, but with added plague of frogs :) we tiedyed canvas purple – as they developed purple dye from snails. we used red cabbage tho :) . we made bracelets out of ‘glass’ beads, as they also developed glass. We made tanit charms from fimo – isn’t fimo fab :) and also made a plague of frogs from paper plates – and it did look like a plague by the end. we didn’t get to the peg dolls, and we didn’t get to do geologyetc either, but loads of kids did some of it, and loads did all, so chalking it up as a success :) . I didn’t get to go geocaching in the aft, having persuaded ever so many other ppl to go, as BB decided to stay in and make more [and more] frogs, but daddybean went out and all seemed to be great fun. gallons of hot choc drank on everyone’s return tho. Stew night, which was delish, and Z and I did some v genteel dumpling throwing, then wrapped the veggie stew up well whilst the chaotic and crazy meat dumpling throwing went on :lol:

Weds was the Pennywell Nativity. We did this 5 years ago, and SB was spectacularly sick on the way, so we took a longer but straighter route this time :) Arrived in good time to eat packed lunch in FREEZING barn. the kids looked at the animals, and I sat by the only source of heat :) lots of ppl migrated towards it. it was almost like being by one of those bins on a picket line. the nativity was great, SB was the angel gabriel and BB sat with me. I loved that SB asked 2 diff staff members why she couldn’t have been able to say the words, as they weren’t difficult. SHe didn’t get much of an answer :) i was told several times i did a beautiful descant – giggle! not the only one tho. I think the HE parents much more of a rousing joining in crowd than school teachers and parent helpers. Lovely :) Father xmas was slightly ditzy doling out pressies, but both girls happy. I was v much bemused by the reindeer head singing country – odd!! We went home via marble place, bought some marbles, looked at the history, watched the demonstration, and pressed as many buttons as poss for the fab marble runs :) . unfortunately on way home migraine started to be pretty awful, so didn’t help with dinner, and instead had short nap. SB loved doing the bells with E in this time, and BB played with J in our room with their new lorries. E and I then wrote out our carol extravaganza, making them all in G, with tune, cello, easy violin, easy recorder and clarinet parts. 6 carols in total. took us ages [and then the next morning, realised gone wrong with transposing for clarinet so redid 3 of them]. finally set about gaming, but ended game when spilled the coffee – at least all over our game rather than someone elses :( . v late night.

Thurs unfortunately for me, migraine no better. SB rehearsing a play for most of the morning, BB watching films and being a bit under the weather. Lots of cuddling required. Daddybean in the kitchen for this meal, I just helped with plating out. this was the grand christmas dinner, and delicious it was too :) particularly the nut roast. lots of chatting and noise and cheer. We unwrapped secret santas, and were all v happy with those that we received, and the recipients of ours seemed to be happy too – always a relief :) .There was a play by the children, which had much more of a plot than last year, and we all enjoyed watching, then the christmas carols, sung and played with gusto and occasional correct notes :) admirably held by E as conductor and encourager. finally a grad shift of children to bed and initial tidy and pack ready for the morning.

i am unkeen to blog friday :( as it all went disastrously wrong for us, with SB slipping and breaking both her front teeth, and will poss need to lose one of them and have the other rebuilt. :cry: :cry: i feel so bad about it, she is trying to be so brave and it was so scary for her and is still v painful. deep breaths. But i do want to say a BIG thankyou to KIRSTY for asking for a classicfm request for us as we drove home <3 x x x

in true oscar fashion, would also like to thank Nic and Ady our hosts, and our other friends that made another memorable holiday.

photos on flickr

Latinetc and Botanics

Today was a game of 2 halves day, which made me feel v much like the more outgoing home educators whose blogs i read blogs! very adventurous :) Morning was a compressed latinetc and pm was a CHEF event about Insectiverous plants at the botanical gardens. lunch was going to have to be in transit! I thought i had been v organised getting things ready, but unfortunately i forgot all the music stuff :roll:

anyway, we are continuing with our real science 4 kids. Having looked carefully through, I advised all the group to read level 1 and then only go onto Chemistry Level II Student Textbook (Real Science-4-Kids)
if partic keen. it was molecules, and the level 2 does a fab detailed discussion of s,p and d electron orbitals and how it all works before then showing you the sigma, pi and hybrid covalent bonds when it happens. a totally brilliant explanation, but past GCSE standard, and since we are talking predom primary here, seemed a bit far to go! we chatted electrons, protons, neutrons, atomic numbers again, to get more fixed in, and then our covalent and ionic bonds before making some molecules and using some rules. we made freestyle molecules with only CHO and saw what different molecules the groups ended up with, methanol, glyoxilic acid, ethylene, propanoic acid etc etc. If they hadn’t followed the rules, i was allowed to add and subtract the ‘fail’ bits. Still stressful doing the 3 groups, but worked hard on the middle group to redeem last week. this time i think the oldest group not so well balanced and looked like it might wobble over. on the ball this time tho, and i think the compressed timings didn’t help. Third time would be lucky, but just found out i have mammogram that week, so making me v v stressy already. [hate mammos, have had 2 so far, both ok, but now always expect worst and near sick with nerves by the time i have it, and it hurts!]

P1090258 P1090235

Lots of other things go on at latinetc, I write more about the science because I am sitting there doing that! But i know SB did some recorder, and some music theory [i think] and def some latin but not sure about the french? [thankyou katy, she did do some french! ] BB did french and also art and she did bells for music with J and they loved it! We took iced cupcakes with dinosaur sprinkles and some candles to sing happy birthday to BB at snack, so she was v happy :) had so much cake that she only had fruit for lunch…

So on to the second half of the day, and mad drive to a nearby city botanic gardens for the middles and older children to learn about insectivorous plants whilst the littlies played outside. SB was with her friends and lecielrouge mum as a supervising adult. i gave her the phone to take ‘a few’ pics with so i could see some of what she did. she took 182 – in 120 mins. i am hoping she remembers something!! however, she did say it was fab. she enjoyed the ‘lecture’ and film, not so keen on the collecting part – so took loads of photos then, and enjoyed looking round the glasshouses – raking photos – and the insectivorous plants collection. She liked the sarrecenias best. great, cos i do too. for a while i had some pitcher plants whilst we lived in leeds, but they did die off. maybe we can start another collection in the conservatory :) She also took loads of crazy videos too !

P1090297 IMG_1597

Meanwhile i had BB and J, and various other adults with their youngest. we went out and went through the glasshouses first, having a peek and a look at quite a few things and chatting as we went. loved the tropical bit and the fish :) i had planned to do some nature art with the children, but they were having so much fun exploring and racing around that we didn’t do that at all. finally made it to cafe for restorative cup of tea and cookie for the children. BB did some pics of some of the leaves we picked up and chatted to her friends. i suddenly realise what a ‘big’ girl she is getting to be, rather than my baby as she is proud and happy to sit with friends on own table, and that i can now be reasonably certain she won’t be crazy :)

P1090349 P1090348

returned to pic up SB and chat to parents and thank A for organising. All families returned with a carnivorous plant – a sundew. easy drive home, but quick turnaround for SB with brownies, and then judo grading – she now is a yellow belt – woohoo!! i am baking this eve- banana cake