Everything else

Signed both girls up to mathletics this week and accidentally set Poppy’s to Y7 – bearing in mind she would have only been going into Y5 in September. She seemed to be doing OK so I mentioned that I had made a mistake but she doesn’t want it changing at the moment and said she is winning lots of her challenges but did wonder why it was giving her challengers from colleges! I think she will struggle with some aspects of it at Y7 as she will not have covered some of the topics but we’ll see how she gets on. Skye is happy to stay on Y6 – maths is not her strong point – mainly due to lack of confidence so it is my intention to keep her on Y6 for a bit then bump her up to Y7 once her confidence has grown.

They made their first victoria sponge cake this week with absolutely no interference, I mean help, from me 🙂 Although when I did try to get involved passing stuff from the pantry I managed to spill a whole packet of sesame seeds and spent most of the time it took them to make the cake, clearing, hoovering and reshelving! The cake looked fab! It is a birthday gift for my Mum’s neighbour (Merlyn’s owner).

Birthday Cake :)

We went to a local home ed group meeting – far too young for the girls, the average age was around 5 and they spent 2 hrs decorating cut out masks with sequins – they did actually enjoy it and were rather creative.

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I chatted an ex-secondary school Art teacher who was able to pass on some very interesting ideas for our art projects and is happy for me to email her with questions of further help so not a completely wasted afternoon.

We’re still looking after Star the dog, so lots and lots of long long walks and bike rides which have been great. Am very encouraged that a dog would fit in with our family – this was a bit of a test to see if a) we and the cats could cope with having a dog around and b) to see if the girls could be responsible and they have certainly proved themselves – not moaned about walking anywhere with her or clearing up after her, feeding her. She has been utterly loved and spoiled and I doubt she will want to go home!

On one of their many quick walks round the brook, they found these little teeny-weeny frogs and a newt – very cute.

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The girls received a letter through the post from Young Writers stating that the short stories they submitted would be published in a book and copies of which would be held in the British Library as well as many other libraries around the country – oh and of course we can buy a copy for £14.99! That’s great except they have cleverly put the girls stories into two separate books! 🙂

They each received a certificate of merit for their efforts and are proud of their achievement 🙂

The girls ordered themselves a netbook each which have arrived this week. They are fabulous! We were worried they might be too small but they are perfect. Has encouraged more Mathletics and improved their typing speed – so hopefully more blogging from them 😉

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Picasso Art Day

Stage three of ‘the plan’ – Picasso.

Arrived at Merry’s shortly before lunch so whilst the girls played we discussed the plan and prepared food.

I began by reading to the girls about Picasso, showing some of his work. We then, as a group, worked on an acrostic poem, firstly coming up with some words relating to Picasso, then thinking about how we could construct sentences to describe him, which worked well with all the girls contributing to produce this;

Pablo was a painter
Interesting Art
Cubism was his style
A joker
Spain was where he was born in 1881
Shapes and colours were bold
Oils pastels, oil paints, pastels; he used frequently

They all did the same with their own names;

Stormy is my cat
Knows a lot about animals
Young and happy
Enjoys drumming

Poppy is funny
Over dramatic
Pretty
Plays lots of games
Young and cool

Many friends
Animals
I love cats and dogs

The next step was focusing on portraits. We discussed and looked at how Picasso’s portraits were rather abstract and did not look like perfect examples of a portrait. We closed our eyes and attempted to draw a self-portrait which we then outlined, emphasising key features and added some colour producing some different results.

Finally we all tried out using collage to create a picture in the style of Picasso.

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This was great fun and we all did rather fabulously and with the help of Picnik were able to jazz them up a bit 🙂

Skye’s

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Skye's Candles on a Windowsill collage

Poppy’s

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and mine….

Zoe's collage

Zoe's collage

Merry and her girls produced some great collage’s too – click here to have a look at their blog which shows more artwork.

I think its fair to say that everyone enjoyed this art session and everyone came away happy with their efforts, me included 🙂

Latinetc

Our first official Latinetc invite!! Very excited and happy to be part of a lovely group. We were greeted by a blue toothed J and L – later found out this was due to eating the blue icing used on Chloe’s cake!

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The girls were late to bed last night preparing gifts for Chloe as it will be the last time they see her before her French exchange 😦 Skye thought out her gift, choosing ‘Chloe colours’ and she couldn’t have been more spot on as she was wearing the exact same colours on her t-shirt!

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Poppy took a rather ambitious approach and created a ‘Chloe doll’

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After a bit of playing and running around the field making dens, some, Skye and Poppy included, went off with Gina for music theory and practice, although Skye has decided that she only wants to stick with drums she went through to watch. Poppy loved playing the recorder again and is very keen to move onto flute. Gina was pleased with her efforts, albeit a little rusty, but she tried hard and did well considering its been over a year since she played, so well done Pops 🙂

Latin – working from the beginning of Minimus bk 1 (thank you to Chloe for loaning the girls her book whilst she is in France 🙂 ) and French – Katy devised a game identifying contents of a pencil case. The girls thoroughly enjoyed both 🙂

I took along a craft activitity, making brooches/soft toys from felt using some pre-cut shapes (thank you Michelle for your assitance). Pick a shape, any shape, and stitch, sew, stuff, glue, add beads/buttons and finish up with….

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….some had slightly more adult help/input than other but I think it went rather well.

Had lunch out in the sunshine, ate cake, children played and, after saying our goodbyes and giving hugs to Chloe, we arrived home and Poppy went straight into recorder practice!

A puddle chick comes to stay

Saturday morning the girls and I popped to my Mum and Dad’s for a cup of tea leaving Wayne at home watching football. Ended up taking Star and Merlyn for a run around a huge field which completely wore Star out for the rest of the day!

After lunch, Maddy arrived to stay with us for the next 3 or 4 days – she and Poppy disappeared off to play. Some of Skye’s friends turned up at the house, one of which was her best friend from school who moved to Scotland a couple of years ago and was visiting for a couple of days before going onto a pony competition – lovely to hear she has picked up a Scottish accent! 🙂 It was brief reunion as Skye was due round a friends for a sleepover which she enjoyed.

Sunday we took all the girls and Star to Stanwick Lakes where they spent the next 3 hours playing, climbing, running, laughing, chatting, walking and having oodles of fun 🙂 Back home Poppy and Maddy played some board games and over the next couple of days there was lots of ds-ing, wii-ing, playmobil-ing. We all had a game of Cadoo which was a lot of fun 🙂 and watched a DVD ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ – I wasn’t impressed but the girls seemed to enjoy it.

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All of a sudden it was Tuesday and time for Maddy to go home – she was a pleasure to have stay and welcome here anytime.

Lazy days with some home ed thrown in

We spent most of today curled up on the sofa watching TV – both girls were unwell, Poppy was up most of last night throwing up and so today was very much a duvet day.

I had recorded Ben Fogles Escape In Time – a series in which families are challenged to become Victorian farmers on the Acton Scott Estate in Shropshire – we have so many to catch up on so watched about 4 episodes back to back 🙂

Poppy slept, I watched Countdown with Skye and amazed myself at getting both the numbers round correct! 😀 They were fairly simple and maths isn’t my strong point but I was pleased with myself 🙂

All had an early night, hoping for a better tomorrow 🙂

Thursday, Poppy still not great but better 🙂 I didn’t go into work today, felt the need to be at home with my poorly girls. Had another fairly lazy day. We snuggled up on the sofa and I read the whole of Michael Morpurgo’s Kensuke’s Kingdom – we’ve had the book for about 4 years but never read it. We all absolutely loved it, such a fantastic moving story. So, that was 2 1/2 hrs gone by….had a very light lunch then both girls did a bit of fairly straightforward work from a GCSE Maths Revision Book.

We have a 4-legged-lodger for the next two and a bit weeks, our friends dog Star has come on holiday to us. Was a bit worried about how the cats would react to her and her to them but everything seems to be ok. There’s quite a bit of food sharing going on!

By late afternoon Poppy seemed much brighter so we took Star out for a little walk for some fresh air.

Whilst I prepared something for tea, the girls spent an hour or so cutting out pictures from magazines my Mum had donated and made some collages.

Wayne arrived home, had tea, snuggled on sofa before sending them off early to bed so they could have some ds time 🙂

Friday I went to work to hand in my notice – I’ve was approached by a previous employer who I worked for 11 years ago for 10 years – they offered me an admin job, same days, less hours, bit more money and biking distance from my house – if I am prepared to negotiate a rather steep hill – we’ll see. Will be great coming home though………..
WHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!! (did think of you Michelle – would have been perfect for you!).

Wayne had a lovely day with the girls. They went into town to withdraw some money to pay for their own netbook, both have enough birthday money saved and would rather them spend it on something worthwhile rather than waste it all on tat! Just need to find them both one – Ebay here we come 🙂 Also visited the library and managed to reduce the fines by half – 3 weeks is just never enough time really – not for the amount of books we take out 🙂 I know you can renew online them but always forget! Rented a DVD – Where The Wild Things Are – for when Maddy comes for a sleep over this weekend.

My Auntie had dropped of a huge bag of veg from their allotment and was surprised to find Wayne busy preparing it for tea when I arrived home 🙂

The girls and I played Brain Box History which Poppy won! Then Poppy and I had a game of Rummikub whilst Skye and Wayne hunted on eBay for a netbook. Not looking for a new one but ideally refurbished with some warranty. Think they may have found some but will continue the search over the weekend.

Blogging to the end of July

A brief run down of other things we got up to in July….

Spent a fab day at Papworth Park with the Manor Borns, the Deependers and Gina. We have never been before, driven past many times but never stopped. Arrived at 10.20am – Michelle was already there and found a nice shady spot under the trees. We were joined shortly after by Gina and Katy. Once they had a while to play, Gina gave a quick 10 minute music theory lesson in the paddling pool which seemed like fun 🙂 I took along some sketch books, pencils and watercolour pencils and all the children went off to find something to sketch and colour. More playing and splashing and finally left at 6pm!

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They have made some lovely greetings cards, produced lots of great artwork, Skye especially likes using pastels at the moment.

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Girls had a camp out in Mum and Dad’s garden – they had a great time, not quite the same feelings from my parents :~

Other things have include Horse riding, bike riding, trampolining, dog walking, geocaching, walking, wii-ing, ds-ing, syvanian-ing, role play games – mainly vets which they have set up in the spare room 🙂 plus daily ‘normals’.

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They have also attended a First Aid Course with Daddy – which they thoroughly enjoyed. Squeezed in lunch at Ikea too so they had a great day!

We had a lovely day at the Beans party – the theme was African Savannah and the girls planned their own outfits; Skye was a white lion….

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and Poppy was a panther…

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The girls made many new friends and spent the day running around playing and laughing, splashing in the pool, Helen and I face painted. The company, weather and food were great and we stayed well into the night and sat round the fire chatting and toasting marshmallows. Got home very late with two very tired but happy girls 🙂

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Van Gogh Lapbook and other things

Following another successful art study day on Monday, the girls expanded on it by creating a mini Van Gogh Lapbook.

We discussed what we already knew about Van Gogh and from this created an acrostic poem;

Van Gogh
Incredibly talented
No-one bought his art
Chopped his ear off
Emotional
Not famous in his time
Theo, Vincent’s brother

Vincent
Artist
Nobody liked his art
Good paintings
Only sold one painting when he was alive
Gauguin, Vincent’s friend
Holland

We looked at some of his other pieces of artwork in particular; Sunflowers and his Bedroom in Arles.

Van Gogh Bedroom

Skye used the latter to create her own piece using pastels…

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and made her own observations about his painting;

I like this painting because Van Gogh has used a variety of colours.  Although it’s simple, there are a lot of textures used.  I like it how it doesn’t look real but it’s still really good.  There is a lot of detail in it, like the things on the table.  The pictures on the wall could be portraits of himself and his friend or brother.

Poppy made her own observation of ‘Starry Night’;

I like the colours.

It looks pretend.

It is really clever.

I think it is a great piece of art.

I had a go at recreating Starry Night using a mix of pastels and gel pens…

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The girls have also been exploring National Geographic Kids website which they seem to really enjoy.

More French using Byki…

Using Byki

Made jam tarts…

Jam Tarts :)

Merry mentioned a clever way to recycle old t-shirts by turning them into bags, so Skye dug out her favourite camper van tee that she has been reluctant to part with, although its too small, and set about cutting off arms, shaping the bottom, stitching and sewing to produce this…

Ta da… 🙂

Recycling :)

At the beginning of last year when Skye was still attending school, she, along with other classmates, entered an independent Poetry Competition and had it published in a Poetry Book. Anyway, we received a letter from the same company for a Short Story Writing competition – first prize – a laptop. Well that seemed to swing it and they both got busy writing.

This is Skye’s entry…

A Day In The Life Of…

Mr Gordon Ivor Ant, that’s me! You can call me G.I.Ant. I’m a working ant in the city, I work for the Queen. I just LOVE summer; it’s when all the yummy, sugary food is around; can’t get enough of it really!

It was all going well ‘til last week when me mate got crushed by a falling ice-cream! Tragic! I felt sick trying to eat ‘im out – we did it though. He had the most painful headache after, infact we all did; brain freeze is ‘orrible.

The big people leave some strange things layin’ around. Like yesterday, I was takin’ me normal route to the dustbins, talkin’ to me mate on the way, when BANG!!! We bashed into this giant yellow curvy thing. I had never come across anythin’ like it in me life. Sniff sniff! Didn’t smell of anythin’. I took a bite… Blahhhh! Yuck! It was ‘orrible! The ants be’ind us were makin’ a right ol’ racket; Get a move on! ‘Urry up!

Definitely the yuckiest thing in the world, I don’t think the Queen would appreciate it. We left it and carried on.

Oh, must go, tea’s ready!

And this is Poppy’s….

Teddy the Tiny Toy Terrier’s Big Adventure

One day Teddy the Toy Terrier and his owner went on holiday to Hawaii. When they got there Teddy’s owner fell down the stairs and broke her leg so Teddy was left alone whilst she went to hospital and he sat there waiting and waiting and waiting until he decided to take a walk around. He snuck out of the villa and walked to the beach where Teddy made some new friends. When they where playing, Merlyn one of Teddy’s new friends, spotted a huge boat and thought it would be a good idea to have a look around. It wasn’t just any boat; it was a ferry, back to England!

When Teddy’s owner came out of hospital, she was very worried and put up lots of posters to try and find him. A few days later it was time for her to fly home and she cried all the way. When she arrived home, she had the biggest surprise she could wish for – Teddy was there, sitting on the front door mat wagging his tail, pleased to see his owner again.


I think they are rather fab – am particularly impressed that Poppy has had a go too 🙂

They have also managed to create their stories into Wordles 🙂

Wordle Skyes story

Wordle Poppys story

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