Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Chief Scout in the making

 One Chief Scout Bronze Award earned- representing a fair amount of work- but more importantly motivation and interest! Apart from the fact that he loves Beavers- the absolute favourite activity of the week- it also gives an opportunity to get some excellent HE work from him. Motivation- working towards a badge and set criteria (set by someone other than mummy)- sometimes requiring set work which ticks of an awful lot of activity work targets too.
A piece of work prepared for his Imagination Badge- to design a poster representing life in the future. SJ envisions grass powered cars and planes, grass roofed earth houses (providing fuel for the cars), Home education for all, self inflating tents and wings as a part of the Beaver uniform! One term left at Beavers and then the challenge of Cubs!

Friday, 23 March 2012

Gorgeous spring trot

 The sun was so beautiful today that it drew us away from jobs and chores (which sometime threaten to overwhelm) and out into the open to a local country park where the children scooted, climbed trees, made daisy chains, watched anglers and fly fishermen, looked at buds and spring flowers, watched a heron catch and then drop a fishe- which we then flipped back into the water and saved! Few 'looks' from other walkers (how shocking- children out and about in school hours!)- but no questions.
Cobwebs blown away and then back home to fresh soda bread and butter for tea (always forget how quick and simple that is!)

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Mothers Day Paintings

This represents a fair amount of bravery for me- I haven't done much painting at home with TP as he goes to Playgroup where he has free access to paint and sticking and junk box modelling. Unfortunately since we updated the kitchen with rustic slate tiles I have lost the kitchen as a tolerated venue for messy painting with the palette paints was a 'first' for him. Having said that he did quite well as there are fairly complicated instructions- add water but not too much, self mixing, brush cleaning etc- quite different to ready mix and a clean brush sitting in each. He even managed to share with his sister on a small surface!

This is FIs hedgehog- produced as my mothers day picture/card bless!

Well we have had a quiet weekend - which was required after a week of rushing around. As always I find myself struggling between the balance of 'in' and 'out'. This week the children have been 'victims' in emergency services decontamination exercise. This required them to go through decontamination showers and into provided clothing- its seems their excellent behaviour has earned them a free visit to the local ice rink as well as a VIP tour around the local police stables (interesting but they never got asked why they weren't at school teeheehee not even by the police). Another busy week coming up again....

Thursday, 15 March 2012

My works in progress...

 Firstly- yes I know it isn't Christmas! Part of me wondered if it might take that long! Just before Christmas DH bought himself a cross stitch kit of a Lancaster Bomber (fantastically hard for your first ever project)- and it made me remember actually how much I enjoyed a bit of cross stitch- as well as 'proper' embroidery (crewel type etc)- so having spotted a few mini kits in the various sales bins I thought I would give them a try...
 So I think I am officially 'back into it' now- even if I do have to put these away carefully for the next 9 months! I think I am readdy to start something a little more challenging too- although I do have 2 more mini christmas ones too!
My other WIP is my crochet blanket (or small pile of squares that will eventually turn into a blanket)- mini granny type squares. 28 done, 404 to go......hmmmm- quite enjoyable to crochet but sewing in the ends is a bit of a chore (six ends per square- 2416 left to go-yum!)- so I do believe this may be a lengthy project.
Am starting to 'learn' that it is all about having two or three things on the go so you can choose what mood to be in-even if that means having to double up on common crochet hooks etc.

My other WIP is that I seem to have found myself (and DH too- by merit of being dragged in) as a cub leader- so that is using up a fair amount of brain space at the moment- as well as planning projects space- japanese mashed potato bird cake anyone??

Monday, 12 March 2012

Imagination Play....

What does this look like to you?? A frightful state?, a pile of mess?? A dangerous zone?

Well to my children this is the place to be!!! They have spent hours playing here over the last few days- it's a boat, its a raft- the two hillocks are the islands and they are ship wrecked....they have to 'swim' to the islands for help.....they have to erect a flag and flagpole to catch the eyes of passing ships...saw up the raft to build a shelter (Daddy has lent SJ a small hack saw) family 'k'......

Of course to passers by- it a broken fence panel and the front garden is a mess (but a safer mess these days with our lovely new gate!!)

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Unschooling- Another day

SJ and I have been re-visiting some of my childhood Ladybird stories- the Garden Gang - stories written by a young girl with pictures hand drawn in felt tip. They make good reading for him- stories are not long but have nice varied language with a few challenging words to tax him and a nice simple story line. We have almost finished my little collection and SJ has decided to write his own - Peter Potato. He has almost finished it and we are hoping that he can use it towards one of his Beaver badges

Poor Peter Potatos wife has fallen in the river and can't swim-what a good job that Peter has his jet plane to hand!!!

Colouring is one of the top activities at the moment-especially in felt tip. SJ is enjoying copying pictures and the opportunity to mix his WW2 interest with his current passion.

Another current favourite is Lego- he has fussies between free-building and building his model sets. We are in a 'sets' phase at the moment and he is working on his fire station. He will quite happily poddle off to his bedroom and put on an audio story (Roald Dahl or a classic like Black Beauty)
We are currently watching a few Richard Hammonds Blast Lab which are going down quite well and introducing some ideas - they are also bringing out some amazing snippets of information that I would have never realised that he either knew or understood!

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Unschooling days

what does an unschooling day look like to us????

Outdoor play celebrating the first warm sunshine of the year and having been asked to do the task of cleaning some stones (not child labour honestly- we have just had building work done and the stones in our French drain were covered in dust/render and filth- I did my fair share - but not in a bathing suit!!!) so of course a wet job deteriorated into a water fight followed by running round the garden whilst wet thus becoming muddy..... Followed by a shower....

Colouring is a real favourite at the moment with all of them spending hours on various pieces. The current favourite medium is felt tip as it is all about instant gratification and dense colour-although the message about the ability to shade and add tone occasionally get through to the older ones.

FI loves her dancing and is all to happy to be shut quietly into a room with the CD player and her ballet shoes to give some little performances - occasionally I am allowed to view.

Some days we do things that look like conventional work but today we were too busy celebrating sun/ warmth/ season changes and everyone was happy!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Stickman oh Stickman

We have been playing with trying out a circle time in the mornings, a few songs with some instruments then some stories and a family chat.... We have been revisiting some of The Julia Donaldson classics- Snail and the Whale and Stickman and the Gruffalo/'s Child. We decided to have a go at copying pictures from a book and rather sillily I made the mistake of identifying my favourite picture-so of course they both decided to do that one......

FIs contribution
SJs effort

Very interesting to see how they are alike and how they differ- FI chooses minute detailing whereas SJ goes more for the broader sweeping picture approach.