Saturday, 17 February 2018

A RoundUp

A little caching up post of some of the other things which have been going on over the last week or so...

Another reading challenge completed thanks to the library and a nudge to get Gabe more confident with his reading. 

Lots of penal letters, this time to France which by their own choice they translate. 

Some little treasure bags Gabe & Thea wanted to make out of the African cloth we still have. 

Brighid's crosses made using art straws, after they saw mine made from straw reeds at the beginning of the month. 

In celebration of the goddess or saint depending on your persuasion, we also made a small triskele each. The third spiral symbol which is seen all over Celtic lands and signifies the triads of past, present & future, mind, body and spirit, life, death and rebirth and of course the triple aspect of the goddess in maiden, mother and crone. 

We used 1.5mm copper and it was really easy on the hands apart from the starting curve. 

Ayla has a new favourite thing... the kids have decided she must be the next Mozart, I think we need to take a break from the Mozart composer study for a few weeks! 

Now that spring is firmly in the air, she is spending more time outside and its definitely one of Orion's go to places when its his turn to look after her while I do food prep. 

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Science the Home Ed Way

I used to think that science was the hardest subject to home educate, and in some ways it is but my perspective of what constitutes as science has changed a lot since we started using the Charlotte Mason method. Last year the focus was zoology and this year it's been anatomy. Using the Sassafras story book as our framework with its logbook, we've added models, experiments, documentaries and much discussion to leave each child (an adult) with a really solid understanding of each system of the body. I love that they are not just approaching the subject in a comprehension based format for here's the information, now reword it on this worksheet. They genuinely have an understanding  that they can add to as the years pass. 

Anyway... this last couple of weeks has been fun and all about DNA, and as cells are a bit abstract we needed lots of tangible things to really create understanding for such as big age range!

The 'building blocks of life' became literal building blocks which helped them understand the ladder idea, and that they belonged in couples but only only certain ones 'fit' together. 

We used sweets to demonstrate the double helix visual, and in this case jelly babies helped show how although each of our children were given the same building blocks, they can be put together differently creating a different child... skin colour, hair type as obviously ones in this house!

They then used an experiment kit to extract DNA from freeze dried strawberry which was a lot of fun.

Mixing the freeze dried strawberry, sodium chloride (which somehow only Gabe knew was salt) and detergent.

Adding the alcohol layer which sits on top of the strawberry solution. 

Then the wait...

and the impossible task of trying to take a photograph of the white strands of DNA. 

Their plan is to try the same process on different fruits to see the difference in the strands. 

Thursday, 8 February 2018


Our time in Paris last week sure did have highs and lows. The crossing on the shuttle was really surreal as you don't leave your car, so for those 35 minutes you feel like your in some futuristic movie but it doesn't feel like you're moving at all. Its definitely the best way to keep Ayla happy in a car because for a change she doesn't have to be separated from me!

The first day at the park was perfect, we arrived as it opened, full of excitement and the dry weather held. With no queues they got to go on as many rides as we could possibly fit in... even the crazy ones which poor Game did not enjoy at all.

Ayla was a huge fan of the small world ride.

And everyone got exited to meet the characters in real life. It was especially nice to meet the characters whose original stories we've been reading in our English work this term... Alice and her friend the Meat Hatter...

Loveable Pooh who Ayla took real shine to...

 And visiting Toad Hall.

The whole place was magical for them. 

I think my high moment was watching Gabe's face during the parade as he saw the 'real' Elsa and Anna. The night time illumination show was pretty spectacular also with fireworks, waterworks and an animated show all set to music, featuring all the most loved characters. It was definitely worth sticking around for.

The other very happy coincidence was that this year Star Wars has taken over a bit which meant meeting the Dark Lord on a day where Gabe happened to be wearing his Star Wars t shirt... Vader was very impressed (unlike Thea).

I think they all ended up on the Star Wars ride three times in total, they loved it so much.