Saturday, 16 May 2015

Catch Up - Part One

Trying to catch up on some of the things we have been up to over the last few months...
Nathanael had his eighth birthday at the beginning of March. To celebrate, we had a fun day out together at Legoland Discovery Centre in Manchester.
We were blessed to have a few days away on the East coast of England in a caravan, which the children thoroughly enjoyed.

Do they look like they're ready to go to sleep?!
A highlight of the holiday was a day out in York, where we visited Jorvik Viking Centre. 
Particularly memorable was a ride that took us through the reconstructed village of Jorvik (York)  meeting different Viking model people as we travelled. The commentary gave a good overview of the Vikings and has fired an enthusiasm for the subject. Since returning home the children have begun a new project, researching further this period in history.
We also visited the York Castle museum which spanned several different periods in history. There they had a fantastic reconstructed Victorian street where we could enter the shops and buildings - a lovely hands on approach to learning.

Whilst we were away we viewed the Solar Eclipse which tied in nicely with our Space Project that we completed in January. We also spent some time learning Psalm 8 together which includes the words "When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him?
and the son of man, that thou visitest him?"

The children enjoyed our Reptile Day. I think just spending a day on a theme can be a good introduction to a project and can spark interest to pursue a more detailed project in the future.

We spent time preparing for and participating in the home educator's Science Fair.

 As part of this preparation we revisited Quarry Bank Mill and the waterwheel.

My Mum taught an introductory lesson on electricity and the children made simple circuits.

They made clowns with noses that lit up!


A highlight of the Easter period was taking the older three children out one evening to an Easter Story Trail. Scenes from the Bible were recreated and the Easter story was told. It really brought Easter alive to the children.

In our Easter Bible times we looked at the week leading up to Jesus' death and resurrection and as a follow up we made an Easter wreath to help us all remember the events in the story.
The wreath halfway through the week.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Science Fair - Water Project

Today we have taken part in a home education Science Fair. In preparation for this we decided to revisit the water project that we completed over a year ago.

The children made their own water wheel following these instructions.

Last week we spent a fun afternoon visiting Quarry Bank Mill where there is a working water wheel. Following this visit, Nathanael made this short video about Hydro Power.

At the Science Fair there were lots of other interesting exhibits to explore and learn from.


It was an enjoyable morning and the children were thrilled with the medal they were awarded for their hard work.  

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Reptile Day

Today we have been learning about animal classification. We borrowed some books from the library on mammals, reptiles and amphibians to help us with our research. Following this we categorised our plastic animals into the various groups.
The children made books about what they had found out

in which they drew pictures and wrote simple sentences about the characteristics of each group.

In the afternoon we had a chance to handle some reptiles including a snake, gecko and bearded dragon at a home education workshop.
Feeling the scaly skin.
Each child also had the opportunity to hold a giant snail (molluscs) and an African millipede (arthropod.) Fortunately the adults didn't have to participate!


Saturday, 7 March 2015

Brazil Unit Study

We have thoroughly enjoyed another virtual trip to the other side of the world! For the last four weeks we have been studying Brazil and various themes connected to it. The children started by locating Brazil on our map of the world, discovered its capital city and made its flag.
We got out a big pile of books from the library on the subject of Brazil and read them together. In them we found out lots of information about the different sights and landmarks and after this the children stuck pictures of the different tourist attractions on a map of Brazil. We "visited" the landmarks on our Google Earth app! Using tissue paper, the children collaged flags of Brazil and found out what the different colours and symbols represent.
Nathanael did some writing on Brazil's tourist attractions.
We found out about the foods they eat in Brazil and had fun making and eating Brigadeiro, a chocolate sweet like a truffle.  
The children wrote simple sentences about the weather in Brazil
and drew pictures of Samba dancers and percussion players. We watched some videos of Samba and tried to dance the box step!
One of our favourite parts of the project was finding out about the Rainforest. We started by making some rainforest jigsaws.
We discovered the different layers of the rainforest and the creatures that live in them.
We were amazed at all the different animals that live in the rainforest, some of which we had never heard of before. We watched various YouTube videos about them.
The children were especially interested in all the beautiful varieties of birds, so vastly different and unique. We decided to design our own birds to live in the rainforest!
 We looked at some of Henri Rousseau's jungle paintings and the children created their own rainforest artwork in his style using oil pastels.
The children were interested to find out that chocolate and rubber come from the rainforest! After watching this video on how chocolate is made they made a flow chart, documenting the process. They then thought of all the different things that were made of rubber after watching this video on how rubber is made.

As a writing activity the children pretended they were rainforest guides and used what they had found out to describe to visitors what they might see, hear and experience in the rainforest. They also wrote acrostic poems using the word Brazil.

 For other ideas on things to do for Brazil, here is the link to my pinterest board.