Tag Archives: discussion

Science at the Library

We had a science session at the library which I ran.. I had a few ideas ready but decided to wing it depending on who came along. Initially a few children started a game of chess, others joined in helping with advice on tactics etc, then when that finished I offered the science idea.

It went well (these things don’t always)

I got each child to be an H or an O and then we had O2 molecules or H2 molecules. Then we did H2O molecules with the H children holding hands with the O children and acting out how things worked. We talked about elements and molecules and the periodic table and then we built some molecules with a kit I have.

This led on to talking about carbon and carbon chains and organic chemistry, and diamonds and graphite. The session went really quickly and the kids were all engaged.

A couple of friends then came back to play, but we also did a bit of algebra because they’ve been doing some at home and so have we, so the kids showed each other (and parents) what sort of methods they’d been looking at. We’d been looking at working out the nth term. They’d be looking more at factors, so it was a good swap of ideas.

There was then lots of playmobil play, and some time playing in the garden as well.

Share this page...

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.

Share this page...

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

2015-06-11 12.05.11

 

 

2015-06-11 12.06.49

 

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

2015-06-11 13.49.43

 

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

 

Share this page...

Algebra means less writing

What an excellent way to sell algebra to a dyslexic child!

Instead of writing: Think of any number and then double it, then add five.

You can just write 2x+5.

This appealed enormously to R and we worked through how to write out quite a few expressions. We also worked on simplifying fractions which appealed to her as well.

R finds reading and writing hard work, and as she reads to me I can tell that she is seeing words in a very different way from me, she can recognise some very complex words and then stumble on a word that looks simple to me. Thankfully maths doesn’t produce the same issues, although we do still occasionally have a backwards 3 or 2 and also mixing up of which word means which operation. Sometimes it is just a lack of confidence and she does know, she’s just not sure enough.

It has been confidence building for R to realise that she understands and is capable of much of what L is doing at school (especially in maths).

In school R would struggle so much more though, one-to-one is so beneficial for her – I’ll do the reading while she focusses on the mechanics of the maths problems. It seems that combining too many different skills at once makes it harder – so processing reading, writing and maths all at once is very difficult.

The same with writing things herself, if her brain is concentrating on the content it makes it extremely hard to also concentrate on word formation and spelling, so dictating a story to me helps, or writing practice just for actually writing, rather than content makes it easier for her.

R read some more Secret Seven to me out in the garden with chin-ups on the swing frame as little breaks. I then read more of Ghosthunter, the final book in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness by Michelle Paver – R had listened to a CD of it but then wanted me to read it as the CD had been quite intense, with scary mood music, with me reading we can stop and talk about bits. We did both well up a bit as it got quite sad, but it gets happier at the end 🙂 Fantastic series, based around 6000 yrs ago, really exciting stories.

More playmobil playing, some minecraft, chatting, playing with the guinea pig, plus a bit of tidying and cleaning.

R set up a spy game for friends coming round after school, with disguises, walkie talkies and pens and notepaper, we had two lots of two friends round today, one lot after the other, so the kids all had a good play, spies in the garden and Wii U too.

Share this page...

Weekend Spying and Equality

I went to the first WEP meeting locally (Women’s Equality Party) at our library. There was a good turn out, 30 something people (mostly women), interested in what it is all about. A lovely and very interesting group of people, many of whom I would like to get to know. I will be going back… especially if the cake is that good every time!! I recognised a few people, but lots I didn’t.

It led to some excellent chats with R especially about equality and what that means, and what is still not equal in our society. She is very astute and has her own ideas about it all already, she was very interested and she brought up the generational differences and we talked about that. Also talked about being involved at the start of setting up a political party and how exciting that could be, and what would be good things to suggest. Love how in-depth our conversations get… she is a deep thinker (I was going to say … for a 10 year old…. but actually I think she is just a deep thinker, regardless of age.)

Lots of reading, chatting, computer, and then we all watched ‘Paddington’ I don’t think we would have picked it if other people hadn’t raved about it…. we all really enjoyed it. Funny and sad. Lots of famous faces too.

Clean fish and guinea pig today. Then I sat in the sunshine reading the paper while the girls played spy games with walkie talkies, changing what they were both wearing several times, with different props as they were in disguise.

S, R and L also did the next in the YouTube Minecraft series ..

Minecraft Tutorial YouTube videos made by R

S cooked a lovely roast tonight and paella yesterday. We all needed a quiet weekend as all cough and coldy, so it was just about the right level for us all. Happy days.

Share this page...

Talk, talk and talk

Today has consisted of a lot of talking. We watched a bit of a documentary about Rainforests… it is a long one so we’ll save the rest for another day… then we had long talks about why areas of rainforest get cleared, types of sustainable wood, why the forest would take so long to grow back and the stages it would go through first before returning to anything like its original state.

We watched a few ASAP science videos, again with plenty of discussion… I love the ideas that R comes up with, so thoughtful and innovative.

We watched: The 6 craziest extinctions ever

Along with a few others… it is hard to stop at one because there is always another one lined up that’s looks interesting.

Some will not be suitable for younger children…. but that is usually clear from the title.

We talk so much about everything. I’m sure that this is one of our most effective educational tools. We take time to talk about things as they come up, and we look up things together, often heading off at a tangent. It doesn’t feel like learning, it is just living and having fun… and as a side effect of that we all seem to learn a lot too!

You may also like: Taking the Struggle out of Education

Share this page...

Home Ed Group Meet up at Scout hut.

Our home ed group hires a scout hut about once a month for the day where parents take it in turns to run or organise sessions.

Today we had one parent run a music / vocal coaching session, which many of the older kids prepared a piece of music for in advance (they could if they wanted to)

What I think is so lovely about the sessions at scout hut is that none of them is compulsory, children don’t have to take part if they don’t want to, and if they aren’t enjoying a session they can leave. They are usually encouraged to have a look what is on offer, and if they choose not to join in then they do not disrupt the others. R didn’t want to join the music session today (not her thing), so she played in the woods instead. Activities sometimes have a guideline age group but in general children classify themselves as big enough for activities, so it isn’t unusual to have smaller children joining in something if they are keen or interested.

We then had a lawyer come in to talk about the Magna Carta (there was a trip to Salisbury last week to see the Magna Carta), which led on to a discussion where the children had to put forward ideas for their own Magna Carta.

It was a really good activity, and there were some very interesting suggestions put forward. A few funny ones, like unlimited ice-cream for children, but most were serious and there were a lot to do with children’s rights. It was suggested that it should be made law that children be treated with respect, especially by teachers and parents. Also, how children should have more say in decision making, and that children should not be forced into school against their will (alternative childcare would be a different issue). Some children also wanted to only have electric cars, to reduce carbon emissions. Another one that came up was a total ban on smoking. It was a large age range 6-14 and some of the youngest ones had the most idealistic suggestions. The older ones were more realistic about the idea of scrapping all cars apart from electric cars for instance.

There was a school nurse session next about alcohol… which a big group of kids did go in for but R wanted more Wolf game in the woods (an ongoing group game for all ages which happens regularly at scout hut… and has probably been running for over a year or more.)

Share this page...

Models, whittling and carving

R is very into making figures from clay and other modelling materials, we have now moved on to some small tools / blades to try some whittling / carving with balsa wood and also soap.

Great discussions about density from the balsa wood and led to looking up about more dense woods too.

I think she could do with perhaps a very small chisel type tool and hammer to carve out with more control?

Wondering what else to try for her?

Share this page...