Friday, 31 October 2014

Life Lately

Autumn has been very mild so far this year; we have enjoyed had some beautiful walks in the country. At home, we have come to the end of our weather and seasons project. The children have learned, through hands on activities, about day and night and shadows

 
and have drawn what they have found out in their books.
 
 
They have written some sentences on sun and rain
 
 
and have discovered some of the different cloud formations.
 
 
We did two mini unit studies on the books A New Coat for Anna (seasons link) and the Little Red Hen (windmill link).
 
The children did some paper weaving
 

and inspired by a visit to the Stockport Hat Works, they designed A New Hat for Anna.
 

 
 Little Red Hen activities included bread baking, making windmills and acting out the play with masks.

 

The Vikings came to Stockport Market last weekend, so we went to visit them!
 

 
Nathanael had the opportunity to fire a cross bow at a Knight.
 

We also had a lovely morning out in Manchester this week to see the Halle Orchestra's interactive children's performance of the book Giraffes Can't Dance.
 
 
We celebrated Reformation Sunday at church, with the children performing a short drama and song.
 
 
In History, the children have been finding out about the Reformation, John Wycliffe, Martin Luther, Anne Askew and Thomas Cranmer.  
 


We are moving on to a two week study on ancient and modern China and finding out about Hudson Taylor and Gladys Aylward, missionaries to China.


Saturday, 11 October 2014

Our Week: Autumn Days

We started the week with a lovely walk in the country, collecting colourful autumnal leaves to bring home to identify, and armfuls of apples that we made into apple pies.
 
At home, we printed trees from our handprints and then decorated them with finger paints to represent the colours in spring, summer, autumn and winter.
 
.
 
I used these prints to make bright covers for the children's topic books.
 
 
We made prints with the leaves we found on our walk,
 

 
measured and identified them. We revised the names and order of days of the week, months and seasons of the year.
 
 
As we hadn't done any sewing in a while, the children enthusiastically worked together on an autumnal tree, taking turns to sew on buttons to represent the leaves.
 
 
Miriam, age 3, enjoyed wrapping some yarn around these cut out leaf shapes.
 
 
 
We investigated some of the products that come from trees and the children were particularly interested to find out that rubber and maple syrup does! They decided what their favourite season was and had to give reason for their choice. Winter was the clear winner!

In our daily Bible time we have been singing the Harvest hymn We Plough the Fields and Scatter.
 
"All good gifts around us, are sent from heaven above,
Then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord
For all His love."

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Our Week: A Few Days Away

One of the benefits of home education is that you can get some cheap holidays in school term time! We have just come back from a few days away in Fleetwood, on the Lancashire coast.
 
 
There we explored new parks, had fun at the circus, stayed up late to see Blackpool illuminations and enjoyed the time we spent together as a family.
 
 
"This is the day which the Lord hath made;
we will rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalm 118:24

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Our Week: Lego, Pets and WWI

This week was the last in our 6 week term. The children spent time finishing their current projects. Nathanael completed some Lego challenges...
 
Putting the Lego bricks into alphabetical order.
 
Making a symmetrical Lego design.
 Nathanael was inspired by this news report about a container full of Lego shipwrecked in 1997 off the Cornwall coast. Since then, Lego has been washed up on beaches in England, Wales and even Ireland. Nathanael wrote his own newspaper article based upon this.

 
Tabitha and Abigail made an e-book based on last weeks visit to the garden centre.

 
They finished off their projects with some explanation writing, giving their opinion on what they think is the best pet to have and why.

 

 We thoroughly enjoyed watching Over by Christmas, described as a choral commemoration in Cheshire's railway stations featuring words and songs of the Great War. It was a very moving performance, remembering those who lost their lives for our freedom.  It was also a fitting end to our studies on WWI.
 
 
We also took a trip to Bury Fusiliers Museum where they have a section dedicated to WWI, the children's favourite being the reconstructed trench.  

Nathanael with a WWI soldier!
 On Friday we had a special time where we laid out all the work the children had completed over the last 6 weeks and invited Daddy and Granny to come and see what they had done! We had a piano piece by Nathanael and watched some of the videos they had made. We also had cake, which was the highlight of the celebration for the children! 

 
We are having a weeks break before returning to our formal studies and will be starting projects based upon the weather and seasons.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Our Week: Lego and Pets Projects

*I am late posting this, due to my laptop being in for repair.
 
For Nathanael's current Lego project, he has been researching different themes around the subject. For Science we investigated plastic, the material from which Lego is made. He went on a hunt around the house to find different plastic items.
 
 
We found out how to make plastic out of milk and white vinegar
 
 
so we made our own.
 
 
Nathanael has also been researching Denmark, the country where Lego originated from, and wrote down some facts he found out then made the Danish flag out of Lego.
 
 
He has also been finding out about different toys in the past
 
 
and we took a trip to a local museum to look at some of their examples of historic toys, the children's favourite being a Zoetrope, an early animation device.
 
 
Nathanael has been enjoying experimenting with Lego Movie Maker app on the iPad and made a short animation for his project.
 
 
Tabitha and Abigail enjoyed meeting our friend Carole at the park with Buddy her pet dog
 
 
 
and walked him on the lead. They found out about keeping dogs as pets as part of their pets project.
 
  
We also visited a local Garden Centre to see the different pets sold there and Tabitha and Abigail are working towards making an e-book about their visit. 
 

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Our Week: On the farm, shapes, bridges, lighthouses and home education group.

This week the children had the opportunity to each spend a night away on a farm in the Peak District with their Granny.
 


Nathanael especially enjoyed his stay, spending time trying to restore an old tractor in the children's play area and searching for ancient artefacts at the site of an archaeological dig!
 

 
Using the iMovie software on the iPad he made a short video about his time on the farm.
 
 
Back at home, our maths focus was shapes this week and we had a 3-D shape hunt around the house.
 
 
We also revised the names of  2-D shapes and made people out of wooden shape blocks
 
 
and Abigail made a circle, square, triangle and rectangle on the peg board.
 
 
We finished off our unit study on the Little Red Lighthouse with a lesson on personification,
 
 
and enjoyed learning about different types of bridges; beam, arch, truss and suspension. We also found out about some of the worlds most famous bridges, our children's favourites being London Bridge, Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia, Moses Bridge in the Netherlands and Henderson Waves Bridge in Singapore.
 
  
Whilst Nathanael was enjoying some time at the caravan, the girls and I had a morning out at a local soft play centre and enjoyed an ice cream after.  
 
 
On Friday we had our monthly Manchester Christian Home Education group and the theme this time was the human body. The children sang together, played games, had a picnic lunch and participated in arts and craft activities.
 
A game where the children had to collect letters out of a tub of shaving foam and spell out God made me.
 In one of the activities the children drew around themselves and had to stick their different organs in the right place. It was good revision for the Human Body project we did last year.