Category Archives: History

Getting back in the Swing

We don’t specifically have terms as such in home ed, but things do change a bit with clubs and groups stopping for school holidays, and we also catch up with school friends more then too. Now L is at school it makes the difference between term time and school holidays even more obvious…. Although L has been back at school now for almost 2 weeks, we have been slow getting our brains in gear at home. Partly because we went camping last weekend which extended the summer further for us, a chilled out weekend with friends.

We also had a trip to the magnificent Highclere Castle the weekend before.

Highclere Castle
Highclere Castle
Highclere Castle
Highclere Castle

This week has been more library stuff, with the decision going back to Cabinet again, basically to be rubber stamped through …. 5 libraries facing closure unless the community steps in and runs them. Also the mobile library has been axed.

Rant alert

Very disappointing as we had genuinely researched alternative ways of keeping our library open (and others) and we have faced a council set on one way of dealing with things, even though in our area there simply aren’t a plethora of available volunteers to take on running (and funding / paying bills / rent / training volunteers etc) the library. We have been totally ignored and it has been extremely frustrating. The council now wants to talk with us about options…. ie.. us taking it on… we aren’t able to!!! Half our group are 70’s / 80’s and the rest of us already do as much as we can. R is keen to come to the meeting with Councillors to have her say. She is disgusted. We will lose where our home ed group meets regularly too.

Amazing tour of our local theatre today. We are seeing Horrible Histories Groovy Greeks soon and have had some educational workshops with that at the theatre, today’s was a tour, including the fly floor…. where they lower scenery and set from above the stage!! That was great. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take pictures.

We also saw Jason Donovan rehearsing on stage as we walked through, for Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Very exciting.

Still chasing L’s school where they said she would be moving up sets in everything this year… she still hasn’t been, apparently she was overlooked (the no SATS results problem again… bizarrely as she now has exam results!!) but they seem unable to rectify the situation and will apparently re-jig in a few weeks… have phoned again, awaiting a phone call back!

R has been keen to have some ‘work’ to do each morning when she gets up, so I’ve been leaving maths and art and writing out each day, which she does early morning. It is working well at the moment.

 

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Break from technology

We have been away in Tenerife for two weeks… sunshine and relaxation… and no gadgets, no television… no phone.. only a basic kindle & books…. great to have a break from so much technology!

Playa de la Arena
Playa de la Arena
Playa de la Arena
Playa de la Arena
Loro Parque
Loro Parque
Siam Park
Siam Park
Jardin Botanico
Jardin Botanico

It has been really lovely, and although we’ve now been back from holiday a while, it has left me wanting to not dive straight back in with computers. Not here on my website / blog particularly… I have been thinking about things I’d like to write about… the biggest joy to be away from has been Facebook! It has also been good not constantly seeing news all the time.

We have read so much and played card games and chatted and swam and lazed…. the first really relaxing holiday we’ve had since having kids…. not that we haven’t relaxed a bit before, but both girls really appreciated chilling out too.

So it is a gentle start to September, at least I’m trying for it to be…. I came back to over 400 e-mails and a council decision to close (unless community groups step forward) local libraries. So now it is back to campaigning. Not what I’d hoped for.

We had our Not-Back-To-School Picnic / Sports Day with our home ed group yesterday, it was lovely to catch up with so many people, and the weather was fairly kind, if slightly chilly… but good fun. L got to come too which was good… as she had an inset day.

 

L went back to school today.. she was excited about going.. unfortunately there was incredibly sad news about her friend’s sister, so there were tears after school.

R and I had a gentle day, we chatted a lot about things we want to do this term (it feels more term like with L at school!)

We created some weird and wacky Alice in Wonderland clocks for an event coming up….

We played with the guinea pig, and picked lots of blackberries. Rose made a blackberry smoothy with lunch.

Then we carried on reading ‘The Outsiders’ by Michelle Paver which is taking us a while but we are enjoying. We like the point of view of the dolphin and also bits about Ancient Greece. R read a page for every chapter I read…. it is a pretty wordy read and she did really well.

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Choosing to stay at home

Today we had all sorts of nice possibilities …. I had researched a trip to the beach by train as it was yet another warm day. The Hat fair was on in Winchester which we do usually go to with the local home ed group, we could have met with friends, gone for a cycle ride, or many other options….

We talked for quite a while about it and R was adamant that she wanted to stay at home and have time in the garden.. Although I was up for going out it would probably have wiped me out for the weekend, so I was happy to chill at home too.

We had a lovely day. We sat and read together… I read some more of The King’s Curse by Phillipa Gregory out loud to R and she read some Secret Seven to me. She laid in the newly decorated hammock I was in my comfy camping chair… in our lovely shady garden, with the guinea pig in her run by us. It was great.

We had discussions about Henry Tudor and the goings on around 1500.

We then chatted more about elements and atoms and molecules and listened again to the Periodic Table song …The Periodic Table Song which we listened to ages ago and R remembered an impressive amount of! We talked about ionic bonding and covalent bonds. We then watched a couple of videos of the alkali metals reacting with water, and chatted about some science sessions R had been to quite a while ago and how they connected.

It was then time for some art, R started a minecraft style picture of herself, which is going well. I especially like the small squares that are her eyelashes.

R went off to play some minecraft and I got my paints out, sat with my feet in a bucket of water in the shade in the garden and got lost in some painting which was lovely.

R then went to a friend’s house and is staying for a sleepover, so some time with L this evening which was good too.

See also: What do you do when you are totally free to choose?

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A whole week?

How does that happen? A whole week has gone by. I’m not very good at posting everyday, as if we have been out or done much then I am often wiped out for the evening with a brain that isn’t functioning well. The joys of M.E. 🙁

The week has whizzed by. R had a trip to Legoland with home ed friends, they had a fantastic time. Rose was the guide as her friends hadn’t been before. They also had a trip to Runnymede (the riverside site of the sealing of the Magna Carta) which was yet another addition to our Magna Carta knowledge! See more here: Magna Carta

Father’s day was a lovely relaxed affair, with just the four of us, Ticket to Ride Europe board game, the film Skyfall, and a barbeque.

We caught up with Home ed friends we hadn’t seen for a while.

I’ve managed some painting which I’ve really enjoyed and been pleased with.

painting
acrylics

Pizza making at Woodcraft.

Lots of Algebra, we’re now on around level 6 stuff on MathsWatchVLE as R wants to stick with algebra and keep working her way up before we start a different topic.

We’re reading another Michelle Paver book, The Outsiders, this time set in Ancient Greece, so some good conversations about that, and a book on ancient Greece out from the library.

I’ve read my first Bernard Cornwell book, Sword Song set in England in 885AD, which I enjoyed. Not a period I know much about, so I’ve learnt a lot and have chatted with L and R about it. L knows more about King Alfred than I do, so we’ve chatted about that and what I read in the book too.

Drama, they are starting rehearsing ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ which R is enjoying.

Auntie M came and had R for a day, they went fabric shopping and laid out the pieces for a shirt that Auntie M is going to make. R helped with the design.

I went to see ‘Curious incident of the Dog in the Night Time’ at the theatre which was fantastic. I had considered taking the girls, but wasn’t sure. In fact I think they probably would have enjoyed it. Maybe I will try reading the book with them first and go another time if it comes again.

Lots of other things went on, it has felt like a productive week. R and I also had a sort through resources and cleared some out and got on top of the house a bit…. One thing that is hard about home ed is keeping the house tidy and clean… or even approaching tidy! It is a constant flow of things moving around the house as games are played, craft is made, resources are used, with things left out to go back to… but I’d rather that than a tidy house with nothing going on!!

That’s a quick round up of this week!

It has been a good one. Hope yours has too.

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LiberTea and cake

After a gentle day for me and a seaside trip with fish and chips for R with Granny and Grandpa we then had a LiberTea party to go to at a friends house, mostly Woodcraft folk and a few home edders too.

We took a print out of the Magna Carta and also a quiz, but the friends had also done a really good quiz, with info all round the garden. There was a good turn out of adults and kids and cake and sunshine, so it turned into a really lovely afternoon. People gave donations for the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture too.

Lots of good discussions and chat and laughter, followed by a pub meal on the way home.

We did have the offer of another LiberTea the following day but we needed a day at home. Which involved some serious den building.

Indoor den buiding
Indoor den buiding

Poor S worked all weekend.

We had a great home ed session at the library today, made up as we went along, all about the Magna Carta, we did drawings of soldiers, animals, forests, houses and gave them out to the kids playing Barons.

R was King John, who then took various resources away from different Barons, the Barons then had to discuss what they would do to stop the King, and what they would demand from him.

So we wrote our own Magna Carta for the King to agree to, otherwise we would fight him.

The kids got engrossed we had a 14yr old (only there for some of it) A 10 yr old, a 9 yr old an 8yr old, a a 6 yr old and 2yr old.

They all joined in, and all took turns to be King John, with him eventually dying of infectious diarrhea, (we had to look up what he had died from!) He wasn’t really going to stick to the Magna Carta and had signed it to keep the Barons quiet. He had no idea how far reaching an effect the Magna Carta would have, carrying on right through to today’s human rights and also the forming of Parliament.

Then spent ages drawing weapons and discussing what they would and wouldn’t have had in 1215. A really good session.

See also

Magna Carta

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Magna Carta

A fantastic trip to Salisbury to see the Magna Carta.

It was a glorious day and we went on the train, which was a lovely trip. Salisbury is such a lovely place anyway and we went via the park and river in the sunshine, with plenty of wildlife about

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We wandered around the cathedral first, looking at the points of interest on the leaflet, there is a lot there and it is a beautiful building.

view from the cloisters
view from the cloisters

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The World's oldest working mechanical clock (1386)
The World’s oldest working mechanical clock (1386)

This mechanical clock has ticked more than 4.4 billion times since it was built.

We also saw lots of statues and tombs which were really interesting. We saw the tomb of William Longspee (1226) who was the first person to be buried in the Cathedral, he was the half-brother of King John, and his advisor at the 1215 Magna Carta negotiations.

After a good look round the Cathedral we then had a go at writing with a quill and ink and making a seal (with soft modelling clay)

Writing with a quill
Writing with a quill
An Original King John Seal
An Original King John Seal

We then got to see the Magna Carta display, which included a draw containing this above. We couldn’t believe how neat and small the writing was.

It was then time for the big event, which was seeing the Magna Carta itself, which is surprising small and took over 50 hours to write out.

The Magna Carta
The Magna Carta

There was a full transcript on the wall with some very interesting bits. There was also more information about how the Magna Carta was used and renewed at various points in history and how it was used in the English Civil War against King Charles I.

Also how it was used by the Suffragettes.

We finished will an ice-cream and a paddle in the stream which was fab.

See also: LiberTea and cake

Some very good resources here about it all:

British Library Magna Carta Resources

See here for more history

Oodles of History

 

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Drama, Den Building and Maths

R had drama this morning, they have started rehearsals for a production of Where the Wild Things Are. As usual she came bouncing back afterwards with her friends W and L.

There was a serious carry on of the epic playmobil game they’d started last week, with dragons and fairies and clans (I haven’t moved any of it yet but will definitely need to vacuum soon… it is just so elaborately set up I haven’t had the heart to move it yet! Even the electricity meter man was impressed as he tiptoed through it to read the meter today. We then had lunch in front of a clip about order of operations in maths on MathsWatchVLE see Maths that we’d mentioned and wanted to show the 3 of them…. so as a time management thing, so they wouldn’t miss out on important play time we watched it during lunch!!!

Then there was den building in the front room with soft toys galore moving in, and signs keeping adults out.

R also played with her guinea pig who is so chilled out with us now.

Plus some gardening… cutting back some of the jungle that has appeared very recently. R has also been practising her chin-ups.

I’ve been looking through resources about the Magna Carta as we are going to Salisbury tomorrow to see it. Some excellent resources here: British Library Magna Carta resources

If you’re into history you may like:

Oodles of History

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Butser Ancient Farm

Fantastic Half-Term trip to Butser Ancient Farm with friends.

Iron Age village with Round houses, neolithic buildings, roman villa and lots of hands on things for the kids to try. We had 7-12 yr olds and they all loved it. It had a fantastic quiz to do which the kids and adults enjoyed. Very reasonably priced, a lovely place to visit. Great staff/volunteers who are obviously passionate about history, but not imposing, if you show an interest then they are keen to share knowledge which was brilliant, we learnt an amazing amount about Roman soldiers. We also learnt that there were female gladiators called gladiatrix!! R was impressed with that.

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Mosaic floor in the Roman villa made from Lego!

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Chalk crushing for the round house floor
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jaw bone found on the dig
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Roman Villa
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Roman Soldier
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Iron age round house
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Inside a large round house
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Iron Age village

Butser Ancient Farm

Our Oodles of History

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