Monday, 30 March 2009

Woop Woop! (again)

My youngest competed in her second trampoline competition this weekend and came 6th out of 19!
In her section, her team mates came 3rd, 4th and 12th place. The team consisted of 4 girls under the age of 15 and they came 1st, each getting a gold medal. I am extremely pleased and proud of her as she was very nervous this time. They were all wearing their new royal blue leotards and they looked lovely... I just wish I had taken my camera.

Another good bit about the competition was, that this one took place just down the road, so we were back in plenty of time to enjoy our Sunday Dinner, followed by a lovely evening walk along the beach, all in all a good day I think.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Shakespeare Lapbook

I've put off posting piccies of this one as each time I look at them I feel so horrible, selfish and pushy, you know the total opposite of what us home ed mums are 'supposed' to be like.
Even at the time of 'making' my youngest finish it off I knew that I was wrong and that it didn't really matter whether she completed it or not, that she would get around to Shakespeare in her own good time but Noooo I had to keep at it until it was done.

So I was left with a completely unhappy child, frazzled mum, and a half hearted lapbook... still we all learn by mistakes don't we and I certainly have!
Above is the front cover, it is of Shakespeare on stage with sweeping stage curtains.

This the left hand side of lapbook. It's a review of two plays that we either read about or watched on the tv. We were lucky enough to have the re-runs from the BBC of the plays in cartoon or puppettry format so this helped a great deal in our enjoyment of them. A timeline of Shakespeare's life runs along the top of the lapbook.

The middle section with information about the different kind of writing Shakespeare did and info on The Globe Theatre, again the timeline across the top.

Above is the left hand side, again with timeline along the top and review booklets of two plays. My youngest enjoyed drawing and colouring them in; she enjoyed Romeo and Juliet the best.

An unfinished cut and glue Globe Theatre. By this stage I really didn't have the heart to insist that she finish it as she truly had had enough of Shakespeare to last a life time. I got this from a really good site that has heaps of things to make.

The books I picked up very cheaply from a second hand shop and the videos we had from when my previous children studied Shakespeare. I got all of the print outs from Jimmie's site I think, but it was a while back now so I may be wrong about that, please correct me if I am.
So on the whole not a complete disaster, the lapbook came out quite well and we didn't stay unhappy and frazzled for too long :o)
We moved onto The Victorians but I don't think she is doing a lapbook, the human body with a lapbook and we've started doing Geography now and my youngest is doing a lapbook on rivers. So all is not lost, she still enjoys lapbooking, just not Shakespeare ;o)

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Spring has sprung!

Wow! We've had a lovely few days of sunshine here and it's made such a difference to the garden. We've put up the back fence now and given it a coat of paint, unfortunately it will need another one though. We've been buying various shrubs and climbing plants ready to plant in the back and we've sorted out the front garden too. All this activity has left me feeling a little tired but very, very happy!

The Human Body project continues. We went to a workshop about the human brain as part of the Newcastle Science Festival and had a go at creating our own out of a kind of play dough material...
The above one is mine... it is a little flat because I did it as a side view cut in half. My daughter's (below) is much rounder and in my opinion looks more like a brain, but she is the crafty one in our household. I don't seem to have a photo of my son's and hubby chickened out.
We also saw some real brains when watching Victorian Farm as the lady made 'brawn' using cow's brains yuk!
We are plodding on with 'The Victorians' too using a few chapters out of SOTW. Below is a model of The Crystal Palace made out of paper, this one is obviously not as stable as the original ;o)

Also did a bit out of a chemistry set that my youngest has been wanting to do for ages! This is were she separated a mixture. All easy stuff really, don't know why I put it off, I must do more of it with her.

Then, of course, we celebrated mother's day with lots of choccies,cards and flowers and yet more gardening. We went and finished Granny's path for her, so now she can walk easier on it, hopefully without falling over.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Human Body Lapbook

Over the past week or so we have started doing the human body. I have bought a lapbook from HOAC. My youngest is steadily working through the lapbook but we are supplementing with lots of our own activities and experiments.

We started with the skeletal system, including joints and muscles. Please meet Boney Bob our skeleton below:

To begin with the children had to find the correct bones and make the labels for Boney Bob, then each day they had to put the labels on in the correct place. They have now just about mastered the bone names and where they should go. I think I'll leave it a week or so and then see if they can still remember...
We did an experiment to to do with bones and their calcium content:
Then we moved onto the digestive system. We did a few simple experiments: and coloured in and labelled a diagram.
I also did the 'path of food being digested' as I wanted them to remember the process and the names, which they did, as it was totally gross!

I started off with the oesophogus (the first part of my mixer) and put bits of bread in it, this fell into the stomach (the main bowl) with water and vinegar (stomach acid) added to this were some rather colourful enzymes from the pancreas; the red one is carbohydrase, the yellow one lipase and the blue one protease. This got mixed up really well as it would in the stomach and then passed into the small intestine (a stocking with the toe cut off). Due to the mesh the molecules could be squeezed out just like the small intestine would do it, to enable the food to travel in the blood. The food bits were then pushed further along the stocking until it reached the large intestine. Once there it had a final squeeze getting even more water out and then it was released through the anus with a 'plop' into the jug (toilet bowl). Thanks to the food colouring enzymes it was a murky brown colour which the children thought was disgusting!
The above is of the children putting the food into the small intestine.

You can see the stomach clearly, with the three enzymes brightly coloured. I don't think they are this colour really but it made a lasting impression on the children.

Squeezing the food down the the small intestine into the large intestine. As you squeezed so the water and colourings and bits of squashed bread ran through your fingers... distgusting!

The end result in the jug (toilet).
So I think the human body project is going well so far.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009


I can't believe I haven't yet posted in February and it's nearly half way through March!
Anyway here's a quick catch up:

My youngest has made a good start with Year 7 maths using conquermaths; starting with the number system, fractions and now decimals.

In science we've finished rocks and the rock cycle, completing work sheets on these to see how much had been retained... the less said about that the better.

We have finally finished our Timeline on the Georgians (hurray!) I found this time period to be very boring which is unusual for me as I love history, but I just couldn't get into this at all but my youngest loved it... all the make-up and fashion I expect.

In English we've started to read a book about Charles Dickens intending to write a biography on him at the end; this seems a long way off at the moment as it is slow going for us both. I would much rather be reading one of his many novels but it's not about me is it?! Maybe this is payback time for Shakespeare (see previous post).

For Geography we are reading 'Raging Rivers' and have designed raised beds for our vegetable plot, nothing to do with rivers but they needed doing. These have now been built and painted and are looking great ready for the plants.

We've also had half term in the middle of February so that meant downing tools and lots of play with Natalie (school friend). Being home edded you have to make the best of the time available to you I suppose; I had a lovely stress free week too :o))

We also had 3 major birthdays during the month so we've had lots of family celebrations.

Saturday, 31 January 2009

End of January

I can't believe how quickly this month has flown by! We've done lots of things but haven't really photographed anything as the camera batteries are playing up, well it's either the batteries or the charger, I'm not too sure but I will get it sorted soon.

My youngest has finished her Shakespeare lapbook, although she didn't really enjoy it and because of this it's rather thin on the ground. I feel really bad because I pushed her to do it. In my mind you can't study Elizabeth I without Shakespeare can you? They go hand in hand or so I thought, but not in my daughter's mind.

She found it difficult to understand and rather boring so much so that she has declined to go see 'The Tempest by Shakespeare for kids' with a home ed group. Aaaagh! I may have put her off for ever...

We've started to go to a local art gallery for lessons with an artist fortnightly. I hope this will kickstart our art at home again, as I have neglected it of late.

My youngest has now finished Year 5&6 maths so we celebrated with a walnut loaf topped with fudge icing, yummy - I love it when we celebrate!

We are doing the Georgians in history using Our Island Story. They arn't on the national curriculum which means there's not a lot of info/crafts out there suitable for children but our timeline is filling up nicely anyway.

We celebrated Chinese New Year with calligraphy, painting and making tea for everyone which we ate with chopsticks naturally - some better than others but it was lots of fun!

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Woop! Woop!

Yeah, I am soooooo proud of my youngest daughter, well I am proud of all my children but particularly my youngest this week because she won a trophy at her FIRST trampoline competition. She came joint first with 46 marks, but because she did the same set for her voluntary she received a 2nd place trophy. The other girl did her set routine and a different routine for her vol and therefore received the first place trophy.

I am over the moon that she got a place at all as we didn't expect her to. I thought her nerves would let her down with it being her first competition but she was just wonderful on the day.

We don't usually go in for competitions or exams in our house so this has been a big thrill for us all. I will try for a piccie when I find my camera... lost in the graveyard of my room....


I can't believe my last post was early in December; the time has flown by.
We started a Jesse Tree but only got to day 11 and then one by one we fell ill. We had a variety of coughs and colds etc to keep us going well into the new year but somehow the big day was not affected too much by it all :o)

I had a lovely time surrounded by family, everyone playing games and generally having a good time but almost as soon as this was over my thoughts started to turn towards goals for 2009.

Ideally I want to get fitter as I really don't do enough exercise, none of us do really with the exception of my youngest who does trampolining. I want to start flylady (again) and stick to it this time and finally get our bedroom sorted (it is definately the graveyard for everyone's junk).

Educationally I would love my son to knuckle down and get into the college that he wants and I would love my youngest to have a desire to learn the things I want her to learn as well as the thing she loves to do! I would love my oldest to finally sort herself out (her dreams and aspirations seem to change on a daily basis).
As for my hubby, well, last year had many upheavals for him on the job front and I would just like him to be happy and contented in his work.