Sunday, 29 June 2014

Summer Bucket List

  • Go camping together as a family
  • Build dens in the woods
  • Celebrate Miriam's 3rd Birthday
  • Celebrate Tabitha's 6th Birthday and Granny's 60th Birthday (on the same day!)
  • Visit the zoo
  • Visit different parks
  • Formby Beach
  • Postal Bible school BBQ
  • Library summer reading challenge
  • Go swimming
  • Have a day out with each child on their own with me
  • Stockport carnival
  • Picnics outside
  • Go to a country show
  • Long bike ride together
  • Fly our kite
  • Paddle in a stream
  • Visit friends
  • Blackberry picking
  • Harvest garden produce
  • Memorise Psalm 100

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Our Week

Our morning routines are the same every school day. After breakfast, chores and quiet reading we have our Morning Bible Time. At the moment we are studying the book of Mark together.

We then move onto workboxes for Nathanael, Tabitha and Abigail, which are prepared with their maths, literacy, spelling, phonics and handwriting activities.  Some of these tasks are designed to be done independently whilst others need my input and support. In this session Nathanael also does some piano practice and Tabitha reads aloud to me.
This week the weather has been really lovely, so we have made the most of the sunshine and visited some local parks.
We have been given a tent, which we tried out in the garden, and we are planning an overnight family camp at a local site. We are not anticipating much sleep! Picnic lunches outside have been so much more exciting under canvas. Afternoons have been spent listening to 'The Secret Island' by Enid Blyton which I have read aloud to them. It was a favourite of mine as a child and the children have enjoyed it as much as I did!
On Wednesday we attended a superb music workshop at Gateway called "Sounds Like . . . The Far East". A hands-on musical journey around China and Indonesia.
As well as listening to music from those countries they had the opportunity to compose their own tunes. 
At the workshop we watched a clip showing an Indonesian shadow puppet performance and the children came home keen to make their own version of it.  They made a puppet theatre following these instructions. The children found it interesting that the shadows became smaller when they held their puppets further away from the light source.
The shadow puppeteers...
In History the children are currently working on a World War I project to mark the centenary year.
History books - War in the Air.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Life Lately

Summer has finally arrived! We all thoroughly enjoyed our monthly Nature Study at a local country park. The ducklings and goslings were a delight to see.
On Family Day we went to see the From Street to Trench exhibition at the Imperial War Museum North.
Tabitha and Nathanael made a windmill each for the garden in the shape of a fish at their Maker Fun workshop.
We have had afternoons at the park...
..and mornings exploring the countryside.

I have had a big sort out of all our homeschool resources and curriculum. I came across a Five in a Row manual that I had forgotten about, so we have very much enjoyed using it this week and studying the book  "Make Way for Ducklings" by Robert McCloskey. 
After reading the book and watching a google earth video of the route of the ducks took around Boston, we made our own maps of their journey.
Miriam drawing her map
Nathanael's map
 We also tried to copy some of the illustrations from the book, recreating shading effects, speed lines and lines indicating water.
Nathanael has been so inspired by the story that he has written his own version of the book, based on sights around Stockport.
Illustrating his book.
 We have had fun building with gears,
played some educational games on the computer
and got the paddling pool out in the garden.
Even though the water was only about two inches deep they still managed to enjoy themselves. We have no garden hose; it was a laborious job filling it up with tubs of water from the kitchen tap, so that was all I could manage!
I am busy making plans for the next academic year. Its hard to believe Abigail will be officially school starting age in September. Where has the time gone?!

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Alice in Wonderland - Cambridge Touring Theatre

Nathanael and I had a special afternoon out together to see an open air performance of the Alice in Wonderland Musical by the Cambridge Touring Theatre.

The Mad Hatters Tea Party.

Nathanael thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, giving me a running commentary throughout on the accuracy of this production to the original story! A highlight of the afternoon was when the Mad Hatter dedicated his version of 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' to Nathanael who had requested it before the show started. 

Sadly heavy rain ten minutes before the end brought the performance to a speedy conclusion.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Art Bots

Today we attended our second Maker Fun workshop at a local library. This is a non-profit club that aims to get children designing and making for fun, using traditional craft supplies and more modern digital materials.
The packs included a motor, motor holder, offset weight, battery holder, plastic disc, wire covers, bolts and nuts, sticky pads and a set of instructions. The craft materials were provided separately.
Following instructions, the children made their own robots,
checked they worked
and then decorated them!

To make them into Art Bots, cotton buds were inserted into their legs and they were dipped into paint. The children turned them on and watched them paint their own masterpiece!
Here is a video of Tabitha's Art Bot painting a picture!