Month: February 2016

Educational Sessions at Colchester Zoo – Habitats by B aged 6

Educational Sessions at Colchester Zoo – Habitats by B aged 6

I always find the zoo a bit of a dilemma, the caged animals pacing for our entertainment does not sit well, so I’ll let the boy answer this one….

  1. Can you remember the 6 different types of habitat?
  • taiga forest
  • desert
  • ocean
  • rainforest
  • woodland forest
  • savannah

2. What is the weather like in the rainforest?

The rainforest is hot.

3. How many seasons are there in the savannah?

In the savannah, there are 2 seasons.

4. How do animals keep warm in the taiga forest?

They have thick fur to keep them warm.

5. What is the main habitat in the UK?

Woodland forest.

6. Who might live in the ocean?

Fish, sharks, squid, whales and dolphins.


The Great Fire of London – an account by B aged 6

The Great Fire of London – an account by B aged 6

On September 1st 1666, Thomas forgot to put the fire out. It runned away in fury. There were sparks and flames, it rushed everywhere. It burned St Pauls cathedral.

Samuel Pepys recorded the great fire of London.

They tipped water on the fire. They were scared of the fire. It started on the the 2nd and went on until the 5th of September. It almost went to the Tower of London.

The Monument is 61 metres high. Wren designed the monument to remember the fire of London.

To Half Term or Not to Half Term…

To Half Term or Not to Half Term…

Having only embarked on our home education journey the week before half term, we decided to take a half term ourselves. After all, technically we are still in the deschooling phase ourselves. So we spent a week spending precious time with all of our friends who are in school and whom we rarely get entire days with.

On the whole all seemed pretty normal. From frosty days out to the wonderful Danbury Lakes, where we spent time building dams, to some high speed adrenaline at Adventure Island (or Peter Pans Playground as it will always be to me). It was great to watch B just having fun with friends, and without the ever impending cloud that this would only last for a week.

What struck me away from the safety net of close friends and familiar surroundings is how my little one has lost his confidence. This was the boy who would talk to anyone and try everything before he started school. A reticence from 18 months of bullying is still there. So rather than worrying over what we are going to learn over the coming months, I’m working on getting that confident, exuberant little man back on top form. We will of course be out and about, working on the varied projects B has planned, and writing never ending stories no doubt. But first and foremost I want to see that care free boy who’s intent on changing the world through the power of rollercoasters back.

Watch this space.

Getting The Wobbles

Getting The Wobbles

I like to think of myself as a go with the flow chilled out kind of a girl. I’ve absolutely no idea where I get this odd misconception of myself from as it couldn’t be further from the truth. I plan, write lists, panic I’m missing something, remind myself I’m this go with the flow hippy and tell myself not to worry, buy a new diary, forget to write in the diary, triple book myself, then get stressed out about the whole being a grown up process.

I’d tried to convince myself that I was going to go for the whole chilled out approach with the home education but today I had a bit of a wobble.

Had I done enough?

Did we do enough reading/writing/maths/school type things?

So I decided to do a recap of what we’d done today to evaluate what I could do better tomorrow. We started the day off poring over the recipe books to plan our meals for the next few days. B wrote up the planner in probably his finest handwriting. Win!

B had an hour long violin lesson. This used to be my lesson, but he seems to have taken it over since the home education has begun. Musical interest has to be another win right?

We did some grocery shopping. We weighed things, looked at price comparisons and worked out what we needed to make the meals on our planner.

Home for lunch and a bike ride. Previously B had very little interest in his bike. He has always found it hard and never had the desire to persevere. Today I noticed a sea change. He actually wanted to do this. Another win.

Off we went for 45 minutes music theory, where we looked at using fractions and music. Now I know that ticks an educational box, so again, win!

Nearing bedtime we spotted the moon looking a little different tonight. Out with the books and B realised we’d seen something known as earth shine. He also managed to find Orion’s belt and we had a chat about planets and reignited his love of all things space.

Fundamentally what I’ve realised today is its really quite hard to measure “learning”. But what I have seen is my wonderful little man is getting the spring back in his step. He’s falling in love with the world again, and I can’t put a value on that. Its the best feeling ever.

Chinese New Year by the B Man Aged 6 1/4

Chinese New Year by the B Man Aged 6 1/4

Inspired by our day out to China Town, B man wrote a story….

B Man in China

Once upon a time there was a boy called B. He was very excited. I was with my friends and family. I was making lanterns. There were dragons dancing, some of them were 100 feet long.

There were fireworks that night. They were loud. There were pretty houses, they were high.

Chinese New Year lasts for 15 days. They have dragon fruit and dim sum. The dragon fruit is pink and spiky and the dim sum is peach.

There are dancers with fans and altogether it is really cool.

The houses are really cool. They are putting decorations outside the houses.

They do some sparklers and they do crackers that pop like a firework. They are very loud.

The houses have lights on top. It’s a very good season, like brilliant.

Chinese New Year 2016

Chinese New Year 2016

Day 1 of our home education journey and we survived! With no particular plan in place of how our first week was going to pan out, we hopped on the train to London with a loose plan and winged it. With Chinese New Year coinciding with our new foray into home education it was too good an opportunity to miss. Here’s what I thought might happen and what actually did.

  • A journey on public transport.
  • A wander around China Town.
  • A visit to Foyles bookshop.

When I started investigating home education I always believed in the adage that education really is everywhere. Today I learned just how true that is. Our journey on public transport began with the bus. From learning how to use the timetable, to discussing what might affect the bus arriving on time, B was keen to talk and discuss ideas. We spoke about money and numeracy when we bought the tickets for the bus and train. Adding up how much we’d spent so far, and how much we had left. Once we got on the train B planned how we’d get to Leicester Square on the tube, and we researched how the tube stations got their names. We nosed through the Chinese supermarkets and stocked up on ingredients we couldn’t find closer to home. From Chinatown we took a walk to Foyles on Charing Cross Road using the compass on the iPhone. Inspired by Chinese New Year, B chose books on both the New Year celebrations and Chinese writing.

I recently started reading Good Ideas by Michael Rosen, and what struck me was teaching children to make connections. Today has been a good day for that.

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