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.
 
 

Friday, 5 September 2014

Our Week

Monday school began with maths and a science lesson on light.
 
 
We then read together the book "A Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge" by Hildegarde Swift. Set in New York City, it tells the story of a lighthouse that is feeling overshadowed by the George Washington bridge which has been built next to it. We are using this as a springboard for a unit study based upon themes in the book such as lighthouses, boats, bridges, New York, personification etc.
 
Books to read for our project.
The children thoroughly enjoyed the book "A Walk in New York" and learnt lots of interesting things about the city. The children then compiled a collage about New York.
 
 
On Tuesday we read together Rachel Lyman Field's poem "I'd like to be a Lighthouse" and the older children wrote their own versions of the poem.
 
 
"I'd like to be a lighthouse
which guides ships so tall.
I'd like to be a lighthouse
 who sees fish so small
and when its dark, I shine so bright
with a great big flashing light!"
Nathanael age 7
 
"I'd like to be a lighthouse
so everyone can see me.
I'd like to be a lighthouse
not a tree."
Abigail age 4
 
Before piano lessons on Tuesday afternoon, we had some fun in the garden experimenting with different bridge designs to see which would hold the most coins.
 
 
This was the strongest bridge, with the card folded into concertinas.
 On Wednesday we had a family day out to Liverpool. Two highlights of the day were seeing the boats docked in the Albert Docks 
 
 
and visiting the Merseyside Maritime Museum.  
 
 
Nathanael found this P&O poster of particular interest, as it had been recreated using Lego bricks.
 
 
In the afternoon we visited the nearby Speke Hall, a National Trust property.
 
Riding on the buggy.
 It was a beautiful afternoon, so we spent lots of time playing in the woods, the park and in the maze. It was lovely and quiet as the schools had started again after the summer holidays. Abigail would have been starting Reception today, if she had been going to school, so it was nice to mark the day with a family day out.
 
 
Building on our theme of bridges,on Thursday we split up into two family teams and tried to construct bridges using newspaper and sellotape that would be strong enough to support two toy cars and passengers.
 
Team A's bridge!
 
Team B's bridge!
 That afternoon we visited a neighbouring homeschooling family, whose Mum, Elisabeth, is from America. She described to the children what is was like to grow up in America, she shared some stories from her childhood and talked about the similarities and differences between her homeland and England. She made the children popcorn to eat, which was a hit!
 
 
As part of our Bible study, we mind mapped all the references to light we could think of in the Bible.
 
 
In our technology session the children made their own working lighthouses out of plastic cups and some battery operated tea lights which I found at the pound shop. I hope to conclude this unit on the "Little Red Lighthouse" next week.
 
 
On Friday morning we enjoyed a nature walk at a local park, documenting the changes in season, seeing how much the ducklings had grown since our last visit and picking blackberries to make into a pie.