Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Double Figures and Strawberry Crumble Cake

We've had a birthday in the house! N is now 10 years old. Single figures are a thing of the past now for this family!
N's collection of cards....

 N had a sleepover with her friends and we had a family picnic ( thankfully it didn't rain)....
we popped to Daisyroots for some supplies and they all decopatched together....
 the finished result, N did the star, you can tell which ones E, M and L did can't you?
 Tuesday was the start of the schedule and Tuesday is French, so we dragged out our BBC French is Fun DVD..... SALUT SERGE (anyone outhere with that DVD will now be hearing the theme tune in their head!

Wednesday is cooking, N got down to it listening to her new ipod (I don't think she knows that I took this picture so i'm probably in trouble).

 Strawberry Crumble Cake - twas delicious and will definitely be made again. N decided to make it gluten free, so I could have some, so we just substituted normal flour for gluten free flour.
Anyone want the recipe?
Oven 190C
Cream together 85g butter  and 85g caster sugar
beat in 2 eggs
fold in 85g self raising flour
add milk to give dropping consistency and set mixture aside

slice 450g strawberries and mix in 1 tablespoon of demerara sugar - set aside

put the cake mixture into a 20cm cake tin and put the strawberries on top

then rub 60g butter in to 85g plain flour and add 30g caster sugar and sprinkle the topping over everything else

bake for 1 hour

eat it all up

Thursday, 25 August 2011

day 2 at Cogges Camp and Apple Dappys

It had rained overnight, and as the girls needed to cross the empty moat to get to their den, they were finding going up and down the slope a bit slippy. They decided to tie a rope to the tree and that seemed to work perfectly and made it even more fun! They also started to make a ladder.....

 N sawing the wood
 A knotting the rungs
 we were cooking in the clay ovens we helped to make again today, here it is lit....

The recipe today was Apple Dappy;

200g of self raising flour
60g of softened butter
2 tablespoons of caster sugar
120ml of cream

combine together, roll out and sprinkle grated apple on top, the children collected apples from the garden in Cogges and blackberries were added from the hedgerows...
sprinkle some more sugar or cinnamon on top if you like
 then roll that up into a sausage and slice....
 place on a tray....

The children loved it so much we made 3 rounds of it! I can't wait to make a gluten free version at home.

Home-made outdoor board game

Yesterday evening N and her brother created a board game outside which involved various sporty mini games......

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

making dens and vegetable soup at Cogges Museum

Today was all about making little camps all around the woods at Cogges for everyone to enjoy who visits the museum. We are so lucky to be able to create these things for the community.

time for a break, with fun in the new hammock
In the afternoon we each had a chance to harvest some food from the garden.
our little group's collection
was lovingly prepared.....
and added to everyone elses vegetables and we all ate soup and toasted squash seeds.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Holograms 2 exhibition at Banbury Museum

Today we went along to Banbury Museum to look at the holograms 2 exhibition and complete the holograms activity trail.

 The exhibition is excellent. We both really enjoyed it. It was great to see N's eyes light up with wonder at the holograms. The constant stream of "look at that" "look at this" is always a good indication that an exhibition has gone down well with N.
 I tried to take photos of a few of them.......

 Display of products with holograms. N and I both heard angels singing in our ears when we saw those Dr Martens!
The museum and exhibition are free to get in and the prize trail cost £1.50, there are also art activities with holograms you can do for £1. I thoroughly recommend a visit if you are in the area, its a nice way to spend an hour.

Monday, 22 August 2011

chalk, bubbles,beads and sleeping in bed

When we were visiting Grandma in the Forest of Dean on Saturday, she gave N some chalks. Needless to say that yesterday and today has involved chalk designs on our driveway....with some bubbles thrown in... here is a couple of her doodles...

At the moment N is really into making bead necklaces and bracelets. She has spent hours doing it, which is nice to see as normally she has a very short attention span :) Hopefully a video post will be on her blog very soon.

We have also been making birthday and anniversary cards for September, and today we took the tent down from N's bedroom. She has been sleeping in it for 2 weeks now! A mountain of clean laundry and other items from her bedroom had been growing on the landing as we couldn't get in her room for it to be put away! However putting away a pop up tent is not as easy as it seems... or is it just us? After a 20 minute workout trying to get it down to the small sized bag it is suppoed to go back in, I suggested we wait for N's brother to come over later as he will probably look at it and do it in 5 seconds! I hate that when you can't get things back in the box / bag it came in.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Summer Stage School, Education City and The Schedule!

The blog has been quiet hasn't it. I really don't know where this week has gone.

N attended the White Star summer school this week. She went along last year and really enjoyed it. The children attend for three days and at the end of the third day, they put on a show for the parents. I am quite an emotional person and the first two days that I collected N, I was moved to tears when I watched them rehearse. I felt sure there was no way I could watch the full performance tear-free (after all it has never happened before),  but I managed it!! Then the dance teacher gave a speach saying how great the kids had worked and how much effort they had put in...... and she started crying, well that was it for me... I find tears catching! Never mind - there is always next time ;)

We have been spending the week finding our way around the Education City website, now that we have our bargain subscription (very big thanks to another home educating Mum who put hours into negotiating that deal). You have access to all year curriculums, so we thought we would start working through the Year 2 activities - making sure there isn't anything that a 6 year old should know (according to the National Curriculum) and N doesn't! and work our way up to Year 6 which is the year in theory N would be starting in September.

I'm not particularly concerned that we don't stick to the NC as I really don't want to, but it is nice to check and see that even though we don't do things in order or the way they would in schools, things are still getting done.

I am not going to worry too much as since N has been playing with the local school kids during their holidays, I have heard her having to explain to one of them what a 'predator' means and she came home the other day slightly shocked that none of them had heard of Cleopatra. Her words to me were "I don't know what they are teaching them at that school". That made me smile.

We haven't started working to our schedule yet because of the summer school and N has two days next week at the Cogges Museum Philosophy & Outdoor Learning sessions so maybe the week after! We WILL start it (I went to the trouble of laminating that)!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Alice In Wonderland, Museum of Oxford and The New Schedule

We popped along to the Museum of Oxford today, and we follwed the Alice in Wonderland activity trail. (Whilst secretly keeping an eye out for anything Georgian!) We both enjoyed the trail and at the end the children received a little goodie bag. Inside was a little notepad and pencil and a book shaped rubber. N was thrilled with the book shaped rubber and vowed not to use it, but keep it with her special things. It really is a sweet museum and as it is free to get in, its worth a visit whenever you are in town.

Afterwards we went next door to the Town Hall to look at the Alice in Wonderland inspired art exhibition. The art was impressive to say the least. The work that has gone into the textile art was amazing. Of course there were Alice dressing up bits and bobs for the kids.
N is the Mad Hatter naturally.......
 After much deliberation I decided to set up a little schedule for our week. It is not set in stone, but it is laminated so very official!!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Tents, Sun Dried Tomato Rolls and Badbury Woods

It was Daddy time on Monday and Daddy took N out to sell her two bikes that she has grown out of to someone who fixes them up. N came home with £30 (that should teach me, as I was going to give them to the charity shop).

N can't keep money in her purse too long, so yesterday after calling in to the library we went into town and N very wisely spent £15 on a pop-up two man tent. Which was immediately and easily erected in her room.

 She has done her Maths and English work inside the tent for the last two days and she slept in it last night.

We met up with some other home edders and walked the dogs around the Witney Meadows yesterday afternoon, it was lovely in the sunshine. We spotted the biggest caterpillar I have ever seen. (I forgot to take my camera!) It was so peaceful there, (apart from Ralph barking at Pepper in the river) it seemed a world away from the riots happening over the UK. N has watched some of the news footage with me, finding it hard to believe that some of the rioters were the same age as her.

 N made sun-dried tomato bread rolls this morning

This afternoon we met up with N's godmother and her family and walked the dogs around Badbury Woods. The dogs LOVED it and had loads of fun sniffing out the smells and chasing each other around.
 N moaned the whole way around, but I am definitely going back...... (perhaps during Daddy time!)

 The swing was a big hit though......

Monday, 8 August 2011

Brean & Weston Super Mare

 Yesterday we went to Brean beach. They allow dogs all year. It has been so hot lately the dogs have not been having many long walks, so I thought we would treat them with a day at the seaside. They do love the sea! (and so do we!!)

 In the afternoon, as the rain decended on Brean, we decided to drive to Weston for a walk along the promenade. To N's delight they had a fair......
 N rode on this boat powered by a steam engine.....
 They had a side show.... Voltini and Electra.... I smiled as I have recently read and watched Cirque du Freak..... ( we didn't go in by the way)
 N couldn't resist climbing aboard this donkey for a photo. We were told off 'thats not for sitting on'. N thought it would be sensible to put a sign on it saying so, after all, any child walking past would want to sit on that!
 I couldn't resist posting this photo of the kind of cheeky antics that go on when you fall asleep in this house. Poor Pepper

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

To plan or not to plan?? (do I want to live by a schedule or not)

This is something I really struggle with, (and I know some other home educators do too). I want to have a schedule so that we get some work done, but I love the feeling of freedom aswell :)

As N has a passion for knowing exactly what we are doing each day, it would seem a schedule would be a sensible way to go. I know some HE families who very sucessfully say 'school stuff' between 10.30 and 12.30 and play for the rest of the day. You know where you stand and you have that time set aside each day.

I just don't know how I feel about differentiating between learning and having fun, I like it all being mixed up together. Then every now and then (as we home edders do from time to time) I have a panic of ahhhhhh, we need to finish this project before we forget what we were doing in the first place!

Uninvited guests

We spotted some guests on our plant in the conservatory.....

 The last few days have been very HOT! Which is lovely.
In between scootering in the sunshine, we have been working on our English and Maths. N really seemed to enjoy 'mass'. She loves any excuse to weigh anything. Even after we have finished the work, she is still looking around for things to weigh to compare with each other.

After weighing the saucepans, she decided to play them and realised that size and weight makes a difference to the note they 'play'.

We finally got around to staining the chairs that we dyed the fabric for months ago.

N was picked up just before 10.00am this morning for our Cogges Museum Philosophy and Learning Outside session. As we have another session tomorrow, I am sharing the shifts with another mum and N's friend is sleeping over in between.
Late night for me then!