Category Archives: party

To Wonderland and back again

Half term was a blur, the girls did a two day drama workshop with a performance at the end which was great. We caught up with friends, went to a birthday day in the forest, which was a good mix of old home ed friends, some who now have kids at school, others who are still home ed, and us with one of each!

Went to an Alice in Wonderland event which was fab,

The Red Queen and Alice
The Red Queen and Alice

Caught up with more friends, went out for a walk at Holly Hill.

Out trick or treating with my sister and her boys, what a treasure trove!!

The last day was spent in pj’s having a lazy day which we all needed I think!!

This week we started on Monday with an art session at the library, we made stain glass window pictures, which came out very well indeed. Using gold card and cutting out holes and sticky coloured see-through coloured sheets on the back.

Unicorn
Unicorn

We’ve done some reading. Having had a break R’s reading has yet again improved a lot. She has also had a go at some typing and her spelling is getting better… the attempts at words are much closer now.

More algebra, we both enjoy that using MathsWatchVLE videos. Today we covered Factorisation of some fairly tricky equations.

A local author has asked R to critique some of her new poems, which with the promise of a small recompense R is very excited about doing!! We had a look through, and commented on the first five poems today.

R also had a go at some 11+ Non verbal reasoning quizzes on Education Quizzes which is a great site with lots of different subjects and levels. Worth e-mailing them as they offer free access for teachers and also Home educators. You have to sign up for each subject separately, but well worth it.

I’ve been busy as ever with the local library … which looks like it may well end up closed by the end of March 2016, along with others in the city. We have now written to the Secretary of State asking for an inquiry, especially as all 5 libraries and the mobile library come out in the most deprived quartile of the poverty index. R challenged one of the Cllrs at the Alice in Wonderland event we went to at our local library. He actually blushed when she asked why certain options hadn’t been properly looked at!!

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Learning in Chunks

A sociable Saturday with visitors and an anniversary party.

A chunk of gardening and woodwork

Then we had S’s parents and Auntie J round on Sunday to help clear a load of bits in the garden so we can move our old shed and put up a new one. We achieved loads, especially the clearance of a particularly large buddleia. L and R came out in the garden too and helped clip up the pieces into more manageable sizes. R decided that when the new shed is up, there will be room for a den behind it… so she is keen to build it. There were some pieces of wood with lots of nails in them, so Grandpa showed R the easiest way to remove them and L helped too, so they both spent ages sorting out the pieces of wood, ready for den building.

A chunk of games

The last library session of the term yesterday, with board games and card games, we had an excellent laser board brought it, with puzzles to solve of sending the laser round different ways using different mirrors. Someone else brought a Bakugan board which was popular, most of the kids played Tsuro,

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which is up to 8 players and most ages can cope with it. We also had Happy Families. So, a good session. There were also judges there looking at the library borders, which our group had planted some of the bulbs for.

Friends round in the afternoon to play playmobil, and out in the garden too.

 A chunk of Maths, Spanish, Art and Molecules.

Today has been a very constructive day with a huge chunk of maths, we looked at Straight line graphs, distance-time graphs and real life graphs. Videos on MathsWatch VLE.

Further Algebraic simplification… Multiplication and Division.Expanding brackets. Also videos and questions on MathsWatchVLE. R was really enjoying it, we only stopped when her numbers started to be written backwards which usually shows she needs a break.

We then had a chunk of Art, R is designing mythical creatures and lands,

 

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and we had a Learning Spanish CD on while she was drawing. A Michel Thomas CD, who is absolutely brilliant for learning how to speak various languages. Worth getting out from the library if you can. R moved on to playing with the molecule kit we have, but still wanted the Spanish on, and must have listened for a couple of hours (in amongst chatting over some of it… ) not full concentration, but she was obviously getting something out of it. We also managed a chat about the structure of diamond.

This isn’t an average day, we have some much less ‘formal educational’ days, but when R is interested and chooses to she picks up an incredible amount…. and takes in far more than if we had a lot of days of forced learning without her being engaged. She is excited about Algebra, so we can carry it on as much as she likes… and she is really understanding it. We definitely work learning in chunks, and we can adapt the size of each chunk of each thing on each day to suit the circumstances. So sometimes a five minute chunk of maths is all that is needed, other times it is twenty minutes, today it was an hour and a half solid. Other days nothing. It is all valuable. 🙂

 

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Gentle days

We are enjoying having some gentle time at home more often recently. R and I have been making the most of sitting in the garden reading together, having water fights, doing art together and chatting. We’ve also carried on with more algebra related maths. It is a chilled out time and the days fly by. R has also been challenging herself to improve and gradually be able to do full chin-ups… she still can’t quite manage it yet, but she has improved with trying every day.

We had a student round this week. I met her at the library, she is here for a year from Taiwan to do a Masters degree and wanted to meet some non-students…. normal British people (I can’t help with the normal… but we are outside University life.) She came round for the afternoon and we chatted lots about all sorts of things, differences and similarities in culture, travel, families, education etc. R came and chatted with us for quite a while too. K has offered to cook some Taiwanese food for us another day, so we’ve got to decide on some English food to introduce her to as well.

Woodcraft was a walk around the old city walls, which the girls really enjoyed.

R had drama, which has one more rehearsal before the show next week and a play with friends here, they built another den in the front room.

L had a trip to Paulton’s Park with the school. She loved being able to go with her friends and not have to be with an adult.

Today has been a Granny and Grandpa day for R, which involved an hour of badminton and then a catch up with some Great Aunts.

I had some time to catch up on a few things and also do some painting in the garden which was lovely to lose myself in.

A twelfth birthday tea after school this evening with our “baby” group… we’ve met up pretty much every week since our oldest kids were babies and they’re all turning 12! Amazing. All so grown up and so lovely. 🙂

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Library, Tie-Dye and Parties.

At the weekend I had an event at our library which I supported… A repair cafe we’re trialling as a possible thing to run regularly to possibly help bring in some money (from us running the cafe part of it) to support our library which is under threat of closure. We’re waiting for a council decision in August after an impressive response to the consultation. The Repair cafe went very well, with a good attendance and lovely volunteers. We’re hopeful we can repeat it again soon.

R was still at a sleepover and L was tired, so wanted to just chill out at home. I love how her chilling often consists of baking something, or playing the ukulele or chatting with me.

L wanted to have a go at tie-dye, as R had in the week and Auntie M had left stuff for L to use too. I did some with her and we were pleased with the results.

tie dye
tie dye

R was gone most of the day as she then went to the swim party of her friend too… so two tired girls by the end of the day.

We then had a barbeque at Auntie A’s for G’s 18th birthday with all the family. It was lovely. Can’t believe our ‘little’ nephew is now 18! Shows how quickly the time will go with our girls growing up too. I keep being surprised quite how grown up L is looking, real glimpses of her as an adult peeking through. Our nieces and nephews are all in late teens and early twenties and a really lovely lot of young adults, so lovely to have them around chatting with us and our kids.

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Productive family day

We had one of those days that just comes together, happily pottering at home. Sometimes I get frustrated at weekends with housework calling me everywhere and people in front of screens… usually I’m happy if I get chance to do some painting and also have some time with us all together. We got a fair bit done, L decided to make shortbread scone biscuit things which are lovely and S and L worked together on mending the guinea pig run, which was really beginning to fall apart. R had a go at sawing and hammering and measuring, and really took it seriously. I had chance to paint, but it was lovely because we were all near enough to chat as we did our individual things. It was a nice chilled out day after our busy London trip.

S, L and R also filmed the next in the series of Minecraft Tutorials they’ve been making.

See them here: YouTube Minecraft tutorials

We then had a family picnic to go to the next day, (which is what I’d done the painting for) my sister & her husband had a joint birthday picnic. Lovely to catch up with people. It only rained a little bit and managed to stay warm, which when we have picnics is unusual! Lots of chance to play with little nephew and niece too which was fab.

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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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A 12 year old!!!

We now have a 12 year old in the house. I don’t know how this has crept up on us… she is so grown up and so lovely to have around.

Doesn’t seem long ago that she was like this:

Baby L
Baby L

She wanted a quiet morning with friends after the sleepover, then we had an open house in the afternoon, so grandparents, aunties, cousins and more friends popped in to have a piece of cake.

Most of the kids brought 3ds’ if they had them, as we got L one for her birthday (2nd hand.. as we don’t usually spend as much as they are new, and we knew someone selling one) The 3ds’ linked up… there were lots of mystified expressions when the kids tried explaining about it all to the adults, especially the grandparents!

She got lots of other lovely things, many minion related! Including a birthday cake made by one of her aunties.

Minion cake
Minion cake

L had a really lovely time and a fairly early night ready for the wedding the next day.

Big family wedding of our nephew… it was lovely and the first wedding where our girls have stayed for the whole thing and really enjoyed it all, especially the disco.

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Rock-up Climbing and a Sleepover

The day before L turned 12 we had a trip to Rock-Up climbing walls, Whiteley. We’ve been before, well worth going, I even had a go last time (not this time as we have a family wedding in a couple of days and I wanted to be able to move!! Oh the joy of M.E.)

It is very reasonably priced, and there are loads of different walls to try. The staff are really good and most ages can have a go (I think it is for over age 4… but do check)

Going up the chimney!
Going up the chimney!

L and R made it to the top of quite a few as did S, and they braved the big green towers you have to walk up too.

L had a friend came climbing, then milkshakes and a wander round the shops, followed by pizza in the evening and a sleepover.

Amazingly they both settled down without prompting at around 10.30pm after watching a Harry Potter film. We seem to be hitting the ‘wanting’ to sleep phase… not something you imagine reaching when they are younger!

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