Month: June 2016

Charlie & The Chocolate Factory – Reviewed by B

Charlie & The Chocolate Factory – Reviewed by B

Chapter 1 – Transport

We went on the overground then changed at Liverpool Street for the underground. On the underground we went to Holborn, then changed for the dark blue line to Covent Garden. It was on Duke Street.

Chapter 2 – Best Character

Mike Teavee

Chapter 3 – The Names of the Characters

Augustus Gloop

Veruca Salt

Violet Beauregarde

Mike Teavee

Charlie Bucket

Chapter 4 – Charlie Bucket

He lived in a cottage with his mum, dad and Grandpa Joe.

Chapter 5 – How the Children Go

Augustus Gloop falls in the chocolate waterfall and goes up a pipe. Violet blows up by eating gum. Veruca Salt goes where the eggs go to see if there good or bad and Veruca Salt was a bad egg. Mike Teavee goes on TV.

Chapter 6 – Charlie’s Chocolate Factory

Charlie celebrates being the boss of the chocolate factory.

The End

Making Maths Fun

Making Maths Fun

Maths seems to be one of those subjects that really splits people into the lovers and haters. Once that maths dread sets in, it’s really hard sometimes to stem exactly where that original loathing comes from. Personally I was a happy mather (probably not a real word) all the way through primary school. I like calculations, I loved arithmetic. I loved knowing that there was just one right answer.

Then all of a sudden secondary school changed all of that. I found myself struggling in class and it impossible to keep up. This destroyed my confidence, even though I managed a grade C and a successful career in finance for many years after leaving school. I’ve never considered myself a maths person. Living with an accountant we seem to function as house split into the maths lovers and haters. I am very aware that I don’t want to create that kind of mentality when teaching B.

So far he is proving himself perfectly adept at maths. He picks it up with very little instruction and relishes sharing his knowledge. I guess my only worry will be when we hit my weak spots. Luckily we are fortunate enough to have plenty of math heads in our circle to pick up the slack!

I think one of the things which makes so much sense to B is that he sees the purpose to our maths work. From adding and estimation when shopping, to measuring and weighing. It all has a purpose. To help us reach our targets we have pieced together some games to help us keep maths fun and we thought we’d share them here.

Dice Games

  • Take 2 dice, roll them and multiply the numbers together. You can shout out the answers, or write them down if there’s more of you.
  • Roll a pair of dice and write the numbers down on a piece of paper. Once you have rolled them 5 times, add the 10 numbers that you have together.

Card Games

  • Pontoon or 21 is good for quick fire adding.

Baking & Cooking

From weighing ingredients, to getting children to double or half recipe ingredients. This one always seems to please children, and helps with mass and capacity.

Times Tables

We use to recite them in the car to practice, but B soon tired of this. We’ve made it fun by making each sum into a fun scenario. Here’s some of ours:

  • If dogs wore socks, how many socks would 8 dogs need?
  • I’m putting 3 cherries on 6 cakes. How many do I need?
  • If we are having sausages for dinner and 3 of us want 2 sausages, how many do we need to buy?

Amusement Arcades

Start with £1 in two pence pieces and try and keep count of how much you have whilst playing on a two pence machine.


From measuring things from around the house, to the length of the garden, to growing plants. All good fun.


Learning about time signatures, crotchets, quavers and semi breves all help.


Try counting in twos, threes, fours etc as you skip


From cutting fruit to pizza, this is always a good place to start (and a good excuse for a pizza or cake)

Tally Charts

Get outside and find things to count and collect the data. Social media is always a great place to ask people their favourite things and record the data.


We have a great book called Divide and Ride which makes division a lot more fun! Working out how a group of friends can fit on a ride at a funfair serves a purpose!

Are you a maths lover or a hater? We’d love to know your top maths tips!

Sum Fun Games

Sum Fun Games

When you talk about making maths fun, you see eyes roll and hear the usual groans. Can maths really be fun? Well thanks to Sum Fun Games it really can be.

This innovative game is incredibly well thought out because you can really play well together as a family, each playing at your own level. You are playing alongside each other but at your own skill level. A great idea if you are catering for players of all ages. It’s great in this house when one of the players is an accountant too!

The game consists of tiles similar to scrabble but with numbers and maths symbols. Younger players can work out more basic equations whereas older children can test themselves to their ability. I found it refreshing to be able to play together and still challenge myself. In fact, as with so many aspects of home education, your eyes open to abilities you’d forgotten you had!

With the game fitting in a handy zip up case, this is a great companion to take on trips out or on holiday.  We will definitely be using it within both our structured learning sessions and for fun. It’s certainly a hit in this house!


We were kindly sent the game to review, but all opinions are our own.

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