Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Do You Want To Sew A Snowman?

For a craft activity at our next home education group we are making felt snowmen.
If you would like to make your own with your child, here's how...

Place your background piece of felt into your embroidery hoop. If possible, buy the decorative hoops that have a handle so that your embroidery can be hung afterwards.

Cut out your snowman shape using white felt.

Sew the snowman on to the background felt using a running stitch like this - - - - - - - - -
If necessary, stick it down first with a piece of double sided tape to stop it moving around when the child is sewing it. Be prepared to re-thread the needle about 20 times!

Cut out and sew on any accessories you want your snowman to wear e.g. hat and scarf.

Sew on buttons. We used a piece of orange pipe cleaner for the carrot nose. You can buy stick on felt buttons from the Pound shop to make it a bit easier for little ones.

Add the snowman's arms. We used a brown Sharpie pen to draw them on, but you could cut them out of felt and sew on or even sew on little twigs.

Trim the excess felt neatly off from around the ring and there you have your own embroidered snowman. A perfect Christmas gift!


Saturday, 8 November 2014

Our Week - China and Guy Fawkes Night

We have started a two week study on China. As part of this, we took a trip into Manchester to visit China Town.

The children had fun exploring the different shops and we tried some Chinese food for our lunch.

The children made Chinese dragons following these instructions,
have found out about Pandas

and Chinese inventions.

On November 5th in the United Kingdom, we celebrate the foiled attempt of Guy Fawkes to blow up the houses of parliament and King James I in 1605. This has special significance for us as Christians, because it was King James who authorised the translation of the Bible into English in 1611, the same version our family use today.
The children made mini Guy Fawkes models, which they burnt on the bonfire in the evening.
Remember, remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason, why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

For tea we had hot dogs followed by parkin for pudding. We then went out in the garden to light our bonfire, watch the fireworks and the children had sparklers for the first time. Tabitha and Abigail concluded it was their best night ever!

On Friday we had a home education visit to a local pet shop where the children had the opportunity to hold some pets and they found out how to care for them.

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.