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.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

January and February

Over the last few weeks we have been busy working on our current project on Brazil. The children and I have enjoyed learning about this country and I feel we are progressing well.

I hope to write another post soon detailing all that we have done on this project.

We had some snow in January and the children were very excited to get out the sledges. Elisabeth didn't enjoy it so much so she and I retreated to the warmth of a nearby café whist the other children took turns sledging down the hills with Daddy.

During the school half term holiday we had fun decorating and eating biscuits at a special event arranged for Valentines Day.

We took a trip to Bury Fusiliers Museum where the children dressed up in military costumes.

 Nathanael enjoyed a day out in Manchester with his Granny and visited the Cathedral, John Rylands library and the huge Waterstones bookshop, always a favourite to browse around.
A highlight of the month for Nathanael was having a loft bed built in his small bedroom. This means he has doubled the space in his room which enables him to build Lego on his new desk below his bed.
Another interesting day was spent in Liverpool joining with other home educators to attend a performance for schools by the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
We were seated in the boxes at the side of the hall and the children enjoyed listening to the live performance.

We also visited Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, which is an incredible building, and explored a contemporary art exhibition there based on the Bible.

Another highlight of the month was our home education meeting where the children presented a book review on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Despite flurries of snow and cold winds, we are glad that Spring is finally here and we are looking forward to sunnier weather!