Historyetc – Arshibanapal, Ninevah, Hanging Gardens and Minotaurs!

Apparently we should be reading SOTW chapters 16-19 Arshibanapal and the Library at Ninevah, The Hanging Gardens of Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar and the Minoans, sadly we are not. We have got ourselves a little behind but that didn’t stop us from having a fabulous Historyetc day full of crafts 🙂

I think I chose the most time consuming craft of the day, hanging wall frescos, but they turned out to be well worth the time and effort. So after being handed a lovely cup of coffee, I began making a zillion moulds from cardboard boxes, it was actually only 17, but it felt like a zillion. Working with small groups, we mixed the plaster of paris, poured into the moulds and left to dry for an hour or so, after which the children tore the mould away from the plaster and either selected a pre-drawn design or created their own. A piece of carbon paper (yes you can still buy it!) was laid onto the tile, placing the drawing over the top then tracing carefully over the top to transfer the drawing onto the tile – clever 🙂 Most of the children were rather impressed and had never seen or heard of carbon paper!! Once their designs were transferred, they added colour with poster paints. They did all look rather fabulous. I though Skye was being a little adventurous choosing to draw a Greek Temple but the end result was amazing 🙂

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There was a huge variety of other crafts, fimo baskets taking inspiration from the ‘hanging gardens of Babylon’, Minotaur masks and Minotaur peg dolls, wordsearches and crosswords, maths in archaeology, drawing labyrinths and mazes, bookmaking and using multi-cell plant trays, cut up and glued together in a wacky bonkers way using a hot glue gun, filled with compost and seeds, created their own ‘Hanging Gardens of Babylon’! 🙂

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We were hoping to finish of the day with a look through the telescope but the weather had been rubbish all day and was unfortunately too rainy and cloudy 😦

The girls and I had a chippery tea then we all popped over to see my Dad as he is celebrating his 60th Birthday today 🙂

Poppy is suffering with a horrible nasty cough and took hours to get to sleep 😦


Creative Consonance

In the morning the girls worked from their tick sheets; mathletics and reading. Poppy is considering a project on chimpanzees and did a little bit of research and then drew an amazing picture of a chimp! Skye was busily flicking through an encyclopedia.

Bfish dropped off J and then we called round to collect C and brother B on our way to Creative Writing. C is a school friend of Skye’s who has just begun her home education and brother B is considering it for himself and has taken time off school this week just to see! Anyway, arrived first and set up the hall with tables and chairs ready for Melanie. A good sized group turned up and with me bringing an extra 3 did seem like a large group! Melanie began by reading a Quentin Blake book ‘Amazing Daisy Artichoke’ which I had not read but was a lovely book. She got the children to think about the title and the use of consonance within it. She then gave some examples of consonance;

Happy Poppy
Big-eyed Skye (correctly pointed out by Michelle and confrmed by Katy this is actually an example of assonance – i was clearly not paying attention in class!)

Then she invited them to work in groups of 3 or 4 to create a character with each group member drawing an element of the character. They all had fun creating and naming their character choosing a surname carefully so that they had lots of words to rhyme it with for their story writing part. The girls worked with C and came up with ‘Whacky Wendy Timberlake’ and her daughter ‘Laughing Martha’!

They compiled a list of words rhyming with ‘lake’ from Timberlake and got writing. They created a very comical story which they were happy to share with the group at the end of the session.

Wacky Wendy Timberlake

Went to the doctors with a tummy ache

‘You have eaten too much cake’ exclaimed Dr Jake

Her favourite chocolate is Cadbury’s Flake

She dances around the garden with a rake

In her bag is her stripy blue and orange snake

She likes to wear fur coats, of course they are fake!

My Mum, Wacky Wendy Timberlake.

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Hopefully C will pop round to spend some time turning their story into a book. It would be good to see the whole project through.

Artetc – Architecture #1

Forward planning certainly helped today. We had a fabulous artetc day, achieving everything we set out to achieve. Merry arrived and took Skye and Fran off for half hour of biology whilst I started working with the others on our first art session. Basically drawing houses; used graph paper to firstly practice drawing house shapes, roofs, windows and doors then transferring some ideas onto another sheet and colouring it in using pencil crayons

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Second session was reflections; drawing a thick line across the centre of a piece of white paper using white oil pastel, then drawing in skyscrapers above the line, reflecting below the line, added a moon, stars, street lights the painted over the top half dark blue and the bottom in a slightly lighter shade

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Final session was an idea taken from Art Projects for Kids, cut and tear cityscape, we tore pieces of brown card, paper, baking paper and newspaper, arranged them on a piece of white paper to creat a skyline, outlining the buildings and adding windows and doors, clouds, cars and trees

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The whole day worked so well for everyone, all producing some lovely artwork. Success 🙂

A chilly evening as we have a problem with our boiler so no hot water or heating – snuggled under blankets and watched a couple more Merlins 🙂

Geocaching with The Beans

Got up bright and early, made flapjack, walked dog whilst it was in the oven. Returned home for breakfast then Poppy and I went to help my Auntie and Uncle sort out resizing photos on their new printer. Apparently Uncle B had been fiddling with it for a couple of hours and couldn’t get it to do what he wanted it to. Twenty minutes later photos resized and printing as required 🙂

After numerous texts back and forth we finally met up with the Beans for our geocaching outing 🙂 It was a very chilly day and the ground was very soft underfoot, lots of slipping and sliding in the mud, not helped by a crazy dog who didn’t stop pulling and running for the whole 3 miles!! Found all of the caches relatively easily bar one which was the most cleverest hide I have come across 🙂

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Stopped off at a little cafe for a well deserved cup of tea, the Daddies, Skye and Skipper walked the final 15 minutes back to the car whilst H and I finished our tea and popped down the road to look for a cache in a supermarket car park – we did have a look for it at the end of the summer but failed to find, and I’m sorry to say we failed again this time! 😦

Back to ours for curry and flapjack, the girls played Super Mario Bros on the Wii, sylvanians amongst other things. Adults played Ticket to Ride, I lost again but managed to get to the right stations this time 😉

Had a fab day and were all rather exhausted by the end of it!

New recruits!

What else have we been up to this week…

Thursday Wayne swapped his working days round this week to accommodate meetings and so was off today instead. A work day for me though so after i had walked the dog off I went.

They spent a couple of hours on Geography – not a subject we have really touched on before as just haven’t really come across anything to follow, however we got one of the BBC Geography books from the library to have a look through. They found it a bit boring apparently!

In the afternoon, Wayne took them ice skating (he watched, they skated!) which is a weekly event organised by a local home ed group. The girls had a great time! They haven’t been skating for a long long time and Poppy found it a bit tricky at first but was ‘rescued’ by some lovely children whom she had never met and they helped her round the ice until she was confident enough to go it alone! Apparently by the end of the session they were practically racing round!

Followed with a visit to Nanny to collect Poppy’s birthday presents, new pjs and a dress 🙂

I arrived home shortly before them, after tea a friend of mine from the village popped round with her 12 year old daughter as she was seriously thinking about home education and wanted to have a chat about it, so we did and she has made the decision to remove C immediately! Skye and Poppy are very happy and it will be lovely to have someone so so close for the girls to work alongside. She also has a son who seems happy at school but is going to leave the decision to him whether or not he wants to leave, which she suspects he will! That’s two other families in our village now who have taken the leap to home ed!

Friday took the girls to Mum’s, my Dad is in bed very poorly with flu type thing – he is never ever ill and never ever has a day off work so he must be really poorly 😦 Girls spent the day sorting through her sewing box, working through their maths books, reading, drawing and watched a dvd. I collected them then spent the evening with our lovely friends P & S, whom we haven’t seen for absolutely ages! Had a lovely evening catching up.

Saturday morning did some houseworky things, shuffled some furniture from one room to another, girls played on the Wii for a bit. Mum popped in and i helped her sort her pressie out to my Dad for his 60th Birthday on Wednesday 🙂 Took girls into town as they had some Claire’s vouchers for Christmas/Poppy’s birthday. Managed to get themselves some bargains to they were happy 🙂

Back home, prepared a veg curry for Sunday as we have planned to meet the Beans for geocaching then back here for something to eat so very much looking forward to that 🙂

Watched THREE more episodes from Merlin! Really, really do need to get Series 2 ordered!

Latinetc – Chemical Reactions and Klee inspired Art

5100713374_15a1d378ef_b I felt quite unprepared this morning for Latinetc. I was struggling to think of something quick and creative that would appeal to all ages and that I already had the materials for. But I found something, we did it and it worked perfectly. I asked some of the children if they enjoyed the art sessions, if they found them fun and interesting, because at the end of the day that’s how I want it to be. It was a resounding ‘Yes’ 😀 I feel better now.

So, here it is, art inspired by Swiss artist, Paul Klee, taken from this example of his work, we created these…

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They did some ‘real’ science today using some very toxic chemicals testing reactions. Helen explains beautifully here. 🙂 Girls thoroughly enjoyed it and Poppy said it was quite scary using poisonous chemicals but loved it!!

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French and Latin with Katy, music with Gina – Poppy’s practising this week paid off and she came away feeling happier 🙂

Sang a belated ‘Happy Birthday’ to Poppy, stacking the doughnuts she made to create a ‘cake’ 🙂

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After much chatting and tea drinking, we came home, dog walked, prepared and ate dinner and had a family game of Ticket to Ride. The girls played together as a team and came second, I came last, again 😦 It would help if I joined the correct stations though I guess!! That’s the second time I have played and the second time I have made the same mistake!!

Keeping up…..so far so good!

After spending almost ALL of Saturday catching up on blogging Sunday was mostly PC free 🙂 Had a trip into town to the library – was surprised it opens on a Sunday but thankfully for us it was. Picked up a copy of My Name is Mina which i had requested and the girls chose some books to assist with projects; Skye is looking at 60s fashion and Poppy got various cookery books out as she is apparently going to cook for us a few times this week 🙂

Back home the girls played together upstairs; they have converted one of the spare rooms into a shop

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…especially love the footnote ‘Terms and Conditions – selected products only. Sale ends 3 Feb 2011. See you soon’

Skye has been transforming old clothes to make new ones to sell and Poppy has her own section doing hair and make-up 🙂

Monday Read a little more of Story of the World, currently up to Ch 5 so a little way to go to get caught up but hopefully reading a little bit each day will be ready for next week!

Poppy spent ages on recorder practice. Was doing ok but getting herself a bit stressed with it so i tried to help but as i can only play by ear and don’t read music, wasn’t helping much 😦 Sought help from You Tube to get the tune, which helped me and then I was able to help her!

Skye went off somewhere quiet to read and Poppy scanned through the recipe books to see what delights she is going to cook up this week! 🙂

Maths for Poppy – sad that she is almost at the end of her ‘Using Maths be a Zoo Vet’ book 😦 They both really love using these books. We have about six of them, not sure how many are in the set but will have to look out for more, although think Skye needs something a little more challenging but not scarily so! These books have certainly helped to build her confidence with maths as has mathletics which they have also used today.

After lunch we spent the afternoon at Merry’s. Whilst the girls busied themselves with lego and role playing games Merry and I spent a couple of hours planning for the next few weeks, but to be honest we have so many ideas it will probably last the year! We brain stormed things we would like to do working on an architecture theme – feels good to have a plan 🙂

Took the girls to dance, then off to the cinema to watch preview of the new Disney film, Tangled. Was very fab and would recommend 🙂

Tuesday Poppy up bright and early making doughnuts to take to latinetc tomorrow and selected some things from her tick list she wants to achieve today, starting with recorder practice 🙂 Skye up slightly later than usual and took a while to get herself motivated 😦 After some encouragement she finally had a look at her tick list and went off to read – reluctantly stopping to take the dog for a walk! Played a lovely game of French lotto together and they did a good job with pronunciation and remembering new, unfamiliar words 🙂 Played a few games of the word game ‘Boggle’ which was fun.

They spent ages snuggled up on the sofa together doing a literacy quiz, filling in the gaps with the right words to complete sentences 🙂

I purchased the original version of Ticket to Ride on ebay yesterday and it arrived today so after walking Skye to Scouts, Wayne, Pops and I had a game. I lost by a lot but I love it! 🙂 Re-match tomorrow!

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