Tag Archives: Woodcraft folk

Three letter abbreviations and the mysteries of school

It was L’s IAG day today (information and guidance) not to be confused with ICT (something computery) or HLT (homework learning tasks), school is full of these mysteriously named things…. we’re gradually finding our way through them!!

So, IAG day is a ten minute appointment with L’s tutor, she has to wear uniform and parents can go if they like, then the rest of the day is free. So we got an earlyish appointment, R wasn’t overly impressed at having to walk there with us, but I didn’t want to leave her at home alone for that long…. even if she felt ok about the idea.

So behaviour and effort graded from 1-5 for each subject (5 being good) and also homework and classwork, again from 1-5. All fine. Plenty of 5’s and also L has taken part in plenty of after school activities and attended well, so all boxes ticked for the school. (not that we’re fussed about the boxes being ticked)… for me the boxes I want ticked are her happiness / well being / friends, and also her enthusiasm for learning and staying interested and engaged. Tick for those too, so I’m happy. We did mention to her tutor that the school system still seems unable to cope with the fact she has no official SATS results, so the computer system has basic target levels for her, despite them being obviously wrong and us knowing her levels… It doesn’t seem to be possible just to adjust them on the computer!! Very bizarre. Hopefully now L has done all her end of year exams, the results can be fed in? (You’d hope so!)

L then met friends for a trip to the park, I read some of The King’s Curse to Rose and we did some maths, then it was out to the Chiropractor (R went to play next door) with L… as she has been having hip and leg pain (we had a car accident a few years ago, so she’d been to the chiro then. The chiro said it isn’t nerves, it is muscles tightening, most likely due to sitting at a desk each day…. Doh. Another downside to school!! We now have some exercises for L to do each day to stretch herself out.

The girls then had Woodcraft at the park, a nice walk and a bit of geocaching.


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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.


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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Algebra, Smoothies, Exams and Sword making

Made use of some time at home with R to look at some maths videos on MathsWatchVLE, a resource L has from school. We’ve covered some interesting algebra and also long division which seems 100 times easier than when I did it at school.

It has taken home education to finally fill me in on the education it would have been good to have!

We’ve also done some art, R is mostly creating drawings of new creatures for Minecraft. All very colourful.

Woodcraft folk this week was a smoothie making session, which went down very well and I should think managed to dose the group up on their 5 a day in one go!

L has had her first ever ‘proper’ exams this week, in the hall at school, full exam conditions (there have been plenty of tests at school this year but only in class)

She has had three exams today and seemed happy with them all, she just ran out of time with the last couple of questions in the maths paper.

I have really mixed feelings about it all. L is totally chilled out, she has done a bit of revision but not loads, and she doesn’t seem worried in any way about the exams. Her teachers at parents evening suggested that she should be in higher groups for English and maths. I think my main concern is that I want her exams to reflect her ability as they don’t have SATS results for her. I want her to be in the right set for her so she doesn’t get bored.

I have been suggesting she might want to look through some things with me, as I’ve had that horrible pre-exam feeling and haven’t wanted her to get into the exam and panic.

I’ve then had to step back and give myself a talking to….. she is not me…. she is not seeing it as I would have… and this is a good thing! She is in control of her education, and the wobbles are mine, not hers!! I’m very proud of her.

We had friends round today and had a session making things from balsa wood with files and saws….

Making a sword
Making a sword

R was very pleased with the result and is keen to make other things too. It was good to get advice on the best way to shape things and join things. I learnt things too.

We also sat watching some baby mice that have appeared in our garden….

Little mouse
Little mouse

See also:

How we do Maths


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Rest Days and Sushi

We have had some quiet days after the busy week last week. I have M.E. / CFS / SEID,  whichever label you want to use… it is a frustrating thing to have, so it means I always have to fit in rest days between the things we do. Last week that wasn’t really possible, so this week I’ve been out of action, lots of sleep, lying down and staying in. Feels like a cross between a hideous hangover and flu, with muscle pain, brain fog and extreme fatigue. L and R are used to it and are great about it when I need to have a lie down.

R is a real homebody anyway, so there has been a lot of playmobil, just R and also R plus friends – we have a whole encampment across the dining room (the rule is there needs to be a clear path through so we can get to the kitchen!!) There are different clans and camps ranging from dragons and warriors to princesses and fairies (and the princesses and fairies are no push overs!!) R has spent hours joyfully playing… put on voices and also singing to herself, lost in an amazing world.

We’ve read together too, watched a few things… we’re both enjoying Kings and Queeens… the programme about a Debate challenge for kids at Cambridge Uni… it is on CH4.

We’ve also been having a look at some KS3 BBC Bitesize engineering video clips. There is a good one about designing roller coasters which R enjoyed as she has recently entered a competition to design a roller coaster. She also watched one about improving weather forecasts with lasers taking readings through different levels of cloud. We’ve had a few cases recently when the forecast has been wrong and we’ve had discussions about why it isn’t better.. so that was a good follow on.

We had Woodcraft group at our house this week, we did a sushi making session. L pretty much ran the whole session herself and it worked really well, with everyone having a go at making sushi or Japanese egg roll. Almost everyone liked the sushi 🙂

R went out to drama and had friends back to play afterwards that afternoon.

Today she has been over to Granny’s for the day, with a long badminton session and out and about with Granny, Grandpa, Great Auntie J and Auntie M too, so she’s had a lovely day. I had a good rest , with chance to sit in the sunshine and read. Gearing up for the next expenditure of energy tomorrow!!!!

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Woodcraft folk group

Woodcraft session today which both girls go to, was about Global Poverty – not the most fun of topics and parents decided not to include the really hideous statistics of how many children die per day etc, but even so, just how many children live in poverty was hideous enough.

It was more focussed on how much money some people are forced to live on per day, with a look at prices of food and how hard that would be to manage. Then followed by a game where the children had to make bags (working in three different groups) and then sell them. They were given a certain amount of newspaper and the buyer had to decide whether he wanted to buy their bags and how much for. Various random events would then happen in different groups – an ill member needing hospital treatment – costing x pennies, or a flood wiping out their stock etc.

Paper bags
Paper bags

The girls are in Pioneer group now for age 10-12 and a game like that works well. They’d done a similar Fairtrade game with oranges in the younger group… Elfins.

We’ve been going to Woodcraft since L was about 5 and it is really great. Our group is co-operatively run by the parents, I know some other Woodcraft groups are more run by a leader, without parents, but we love the ethos of Woodcraft, non-religious, peace-loving – a sort of scouts/guides for hippies 😉 S takes the girls so it has become the thing he goes to which is great all round. We usually go to camps with the group too, a lovely load of people.

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