The future…

Its been a while since i blogged, we are still here home educating but i have just lost my blogging mojo as other things have been going on around us, however i thought it important to continue with this blog so i can keep check on how things are going ๐Ÿ™‚

So, we made a decision about a month ago to enter Skye into two exams this summer!! Eeek!! She will be taking English IGCSE and Maths GCSE. ย Preparation has been mostly using practise papers for both subjects with a little extra help from a very lovely friend with the Maths ๐Ÿ™‚ ย Although not a big believer in GCSEs i think if Skye can achieve C grades or above it will help her access a college course or apprenticeship a little easier.

We attended a college open day at the weekend, we all really liked the college but Skye is still undecided what path she wants to choose. ย I think being such a talented artist she should enrol on the art course but she is not convinced she wants to go to college. She quite likes the idea of earning and studying at the same time in which case an apprenticeship would seem the sensible choice, the stumbling block being she has no idea what she wants an apprenticeship in. ย We have another 2 local colleges to see and hopefully after a little more discussion she might have a little more focus.

Apart from English,Maths and art/photography, Skye isn’t really studying anything else at this time.

Poppy is also completing some of the Maths GCSE practise papers and she thinks that she might like to take an exam or two next year. She is still doing English bookwork and also Art, Biology and Geography. We have had confirmation from a local college that Poppy can start their 14-16 year old Hair and Beauty course from September 2015 and will be fully funded ๐Ÿ™‚ Woohoo!!

Poppy and I are putting time aside each week to do something arty together. ย Taking inspiration from our friends over at The Frog Academy we created some beautiful watercolour flowers.

This is mine


and Poppy’s


I chose to outline mine in a fine pen, Poppy went with a bolder outline which i though might be too much but i think i actually prefer hers ๐Ÿ™‚

Poppy has also been doing lots of cooking and baking and made a delicious cannelloni dish with cottage cheese and spinach ๐Ÿ™‚


We are lucky that our friend who helps Skye with her maths also has an indoor pool so Pops had lots of fun with her friend B whom she hasn’t seen for a while ๐Ÿ™‚



Contour Drawing

This morning both girls sat with maths books but just couldn’t get motivated to do anything so Skye got out her art book and started with sketching a face, she then showed me blind contour drawing. Basically you use you pen or pencil in a continuous movement and draw something, without peeking! Sounds easy but it’s so tricky not to look. Suggestions to help are to attach a paper plate to your pen. It look fun so Poppy had a go and then me, I find it difficult to resist getting involved with art ๐Ÿ™‚

This is Skye’s sketch and some blind contour drawings, I particularly love the collection of faces. I think in a frame they would look rather cool ๐Ÿ™‚

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and mine…I like the bear but I don’t think he is plump enough ๐Ÿ™‚ ย I might add some colour to the flowers though.

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Poppy added some colour to hers and created another sketch inspired by contour drawing;

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Loved doing this ๐Ÿ™‚



Skye absolutely loved her art lessons in the short time she attended school and its the one thing she really misses. ย I love the project she was working on, her art book is full of written research and photographs to inspire her. ย These are some of her amazing sketches ๐Ÿ™‚

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The sketch below was inspired by Egon Shiele, an Austrian painter;



We’re back!

Well we have been away from this blog for quite a while. After our Eurotrip the girls decided they wanted to try secondary school. ย It was a bit of a sad moment for me as I really missed having them at home. ย Long story short, school didn’t really work out for either of them. ย I think the integration process was non-existent, going from working in small home ed groups to a school with 1600 pupils was somewhat overwhelming, that along with disruptive classes and hours of homework it just wasn’t what they expected so we made the decision to de-register them and go back to home ed so here we are ๐Ÿ™‚

We haven’t really pushed the girls since they came back out of school, we took a few weeks to chill and get used to being at home together again. ย They both really miss Art, they are both very talented artists and gained a lot from their teachers who saw their talent and gave them lots of encouragement and great opportunities. ย Something Poppy in particular struggles with the most from being out of school is being surrounded by people and friends, she made lots of friends and really enjoyed the social aspect. The downside was that their personalities changed so much and their behaviour at home was quiteย very challenging at times and they picked up some bad habits ๐Ÿ˜ฆ However, we seem to be back on track and have a plan, Skye is hoping to start an Animal Care course next September and she has a work placement at a local cattery for Spring next year. ย We are meeting with a local college next week as they have provisionally said that Poppy can attend one day a week on their 14-16 year old Hair and Beauty Courses from September 2015 and we are also going to discuss the possibility of Skye attending to do English and Maths ๐Ÿ™‚

We are only really focusing on English, Maths, Biology, Art and craft. ย Skye is also interested in Psychology and has some workbooks which she can flick through at her leisure ๐Ÿ™‚ ย  We are not sure at this stage whether we will do exams, after discussions with colleges it may be possible for Skye study English and Maths GCSE if necessary alongside her chosen college course.

So today, I woke up feeling very positive. ย I had a lovely walk with the dog, though I was sad to see that the huge weeping willow opposite our house was being lopped and was no longer weeping ๐Ÿ˜ฆ The rest of it was lopped later this afternoon, it looks so bare now!


I got home and the girls had decided to bake a cake, which was very yummy ๐Ÿ™‚ They even cleared up after themselves!


We spent an hour working together on biology, cells and tissues which they have both already covered, and remembered ๐Ÿ™‚ but we have decided to start from the beginning of the book again ๐Ÿ™‚


After this they worked together on CGP GCSE Maths and Skye also did some reading whilst Pops watched Miracle on 34th Street courtesy of the Christmas channel ๐Ÿ™‚ Love that film ๐Ÿ™‚

I had a bit of a mishap with the oven door and the front glass has shattered ๐Ÿ˜ฆ The hinges broke yesterday and I forgot so opened the door letting it fall open and it hit the floor smashing the glass. Could really do without things like that interfering with what has so far been a very lovely day :/ Grrrrrrr…..

Taking a break

This blog has been a little neglected recently, mainly due to us planning and preparing for our 3 month Eurotrip. If you would like to keep up with our travels you can read all about it here ๐Ÿ™‚

Fashion Photography Photo Shoot

The girls were lucky to attend a free Fashion Photography workshop at the British Museum in London. We dropped them off and had 3 hours to ourselves so we had a wander round and sat outside a little cafe drinking tea and watching the world go by, it was very lovely ๐Ÿ™‚

The girls had their make up done by a professional make up artist, got to dress up and have their photos taken and take photos of each other ๐Ÿ™‚ย  They loved it! ๐Ÿ™‚

<a title="SAM_0001 by British Museum: Samsung Digital Discovery Centre, on Flickr" href="


Time Travel – Part 4

We returned to Germany for F’s confirmation as I had been asked to be Godmother – needless to say I was very honoured and touched and couldn’t say no ๐Ÿ™‚

We had the best weather, the sun shone for the whole weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

The girls went out into town on the Saturday and the grown ups had a wander around the botanic gardens ๐Ÿ™‚



Loved this insect hotel ๐Ÿ™‚


In the evening we were introduced to a fab garden game called Viking chess or Kubb.

Sunday morning woke up to more beautiful sunshine, a perfect day for F’s confirmation.ย  All the girls looked gorgeous ๐Ÿ™‚ย ย I was a very proud Mum andย Godmother ๐Ÿ™‚

The church was packed and thankfully I only had to stand up front and smile ๐Ÿ™‚ The choir were fab and even sang a familiar song….Abba’s ‘Money Money Money’ which was quite funny ๐Ÿ™‚

Back to the house for champagne ๐Ÿ™‚




After a lovely lunch we retuned back to their house, relaxing in the garden drinking champagne and watching the sunset over Dusseldorf ๐Ÿ™‚


The following day the girls went off to school and D, C, Oma, Wayne and I took advantage of the gorgeous weather and spent the day at a beautiful park which had buildings dotted within it containing art and sculptures. In the middle of the park was a brilliant buffet style cafe/restaurant that served a variety of teas and coffee, bottled water and food which is grown and sourced within the grounds, so free range eggs, bread made fresh on site, apples from the orchard and freshly prepared salads and the best thing about it was it was included in the entrance fee ๐Ÿ™‚







A rare exhibit ๐Ÿ˜‰



Time Travel – Part 3

Blogging the best bits – Part 3 (Part 1 can be read here and Part 2 here)

Sadly the time came for F to leave ๐Ÿ˜ฆ It’s gone so fast!! We waved her off at the airport and followed on a couple of days later driving the Germany with all her luggage ๐Ÿ™‚

We had an amazing few days staying with her family. They were exceptional hosts and made us feel very welcome. We hardly saw the girls, they went off on their own into town, to dance class, to a tree top adventure park and even went to school with F, which they loved ๐Ÿ™‚

We had some lovely walks, their house is situated on the edge of a huge forest with a walkway through a zoo so we even saw some tiger cubs ๐Ÿ™‚


Took a trip on the hanging train ๐Ÿ™‚


Whilst the girls were in town us adults visited the museum of early industrialisation which was very interesting.

It was great to see working spinning machines and looms but so noisy! It must have been awful for the people to sit in huge rooms full of these machines clickety-clacking all day!





This was the schedule for a typical day for a child from 6 years old.

Up at 5am a one hour break from 1200 until 1300, food between 1900 and 2000 then school from 2000 until 2200 then to bed to be up again for 5am ๐Ÿ˜ฆ



The house of Frederich Engles, who was the son of a cotton manufacturer. The house is typical of the style of this area, slate covered building, green doors and shutters with white window frames.


Whilst the girls went to school, D & C took us to a sculpture park. Tony Cragg is an British sculptor who purchased the grounds and started to redesign the park and buildings, installing his sculptures. Its a beautiful area and we really enjoyed walking round. Definitely a place to revisit as I can imagine the changing of the seasons change the atmosphere too.








Exhibition by a guest sculptor




The girls decided to go to a tree top adventure park and were going to make their own way back via bus and train!


Reading the rules


Getting harnessed up…


And off they go ๐Ÿ™‚


So another day out for the grown ups ๐Ÿ™‚ This time we visited Muengsten Bridge highest road bridge in Germany, we crossed the river Wupper and walked into the beautiful town of Solingen, took a chair lift to the castle and walked back again through the forest by the river. We must have walked miles but it was worth it, we had such a lovely day ๐Ÿ™‚




This is how we crossed the river, its a hand cranked contraption and its hard work!!






Going up….





Going down…




The girls had a great day out too, really enjoyed their tree top adventure – we all slept well! ๐Ÿ™‚

Time Travel – Part 2

Part 2 of the Time Travel blog series ๐Ÿ™‚ ย Read Part 1 here.

We couldn’t let F leave England without a trip the the seaside – fortunately the only day available for us to go turned out to be fairly warm (in the sun anyway ๐Ÿ™‚ )



We had chips on the seafront followed by warm sugary doughnuts ๐Ÿ™‚ Naughty but nice ๐Ÿ˜‰





Time Travel – Part 1

Oh dear, it appears that i am so behind in blogging its hardly worth going back so far. Saying that we have had some fantastic times over the past few months and it would be a shame to miss them out completely so I am taking a quick trip back in time to (photo) blog the best bits in a blog series titled Time Travel ๐Ÿ™‚ This is Part 1……

Skye attended a poetry workshop with Jackie Kay at Kettle’s Yard which I started to blog about here. After completing all the sessions there was a poetry reading and presentation evening of all the students work which was fab. The students had to find a space within the house at Kettle’s Yard to display their work. Skye did an amazing job and Jackie thought so to, told her she was very talented and that she should keep up the good work ๐Ÿ™‚ We are very proud of her ๐Ÿ™‚


Skye took one of our dining chairs from home, repainted it and using letters cut from magazines (which took her hours) wrote her poem on the chair ๐Ÿ™‚ It looked great and seemed to fit in this library area of the house ๐Ÿ™‚ She received lots of positive comments on her work.









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