Category: Guides and Reviews

Non School Uniform Shopping

Non School Uniform Shopping

It’s coming to the end of the school holidays (we are a home ed family that takes advantage of them), and although we don’t have a uniform per se, it’s got me thinking about clothing supplies that B needs. The one major thing I noticed when we first started home educating was that B didn’t actually have that many clothes any more. With the bulk of his time spent in uniform, he had comfy gear for after school, jeans for the weekend and one or two smart outfits for “best”. Within a couple of weeks his jeans had been destroyed! Back to spending hours on the floor building LegoKnex and Hex Bugs, the knees on the jeans were spent. So now I’m on a mission to find clothes that are a match for a home educated child! We are big fans of Boden in this house, for the both of us, so we shall be sourcing plenty from there. B likes to pore over the catalogue choosing himself many an outfit over breakfast so that will be our first port of call. I’ve also found that outdoor adventure type clothes work well when busy engineering in the front room, or climbing a mountain, so a trip to Mountain Warehouse is probably due.

As much as it can be tempting to stock up on cheap gear, it seems a false economy to me. We’ve been able to get a couple of years wear from some of B’s favourites, which pleases the both of us!

The other thing B goes through like there’s no tomorrow is socks! I swear he can wear a pair out in a day. I’ll be pairing them up and notice the heels are missing, it’s almost like we need some kind of reinforcement!

So we need something hard wearing, not made from animal products, child friendly and from an ethical company. Not too much to ask?

If anyone has any awesome clothing finds to share, we’d love to know!

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

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.

Septimus Bean and his Amazing Machine review by B age 6 and a half

Septimus Bean and his Amazing Machine review by B age 6 and a half

Yesterday I went to see Septimus Bean and his Amazing Machine.


You can go on the overground from Kent or underground you can take the northern line or the jubilee line. 

Cool Bits

I like the end where it was like a cinema. I liked the start where there was no machine. At the start they pretended that there was a machine.

Worst Bits

I didn’t like the end where the machine broke but I liked Bean Park.

Favourite Bits

I like the cube.

I like the big machine when it flied. I liked how they said the same row (lines). I like the King, Septimus Bean and the Queen. They are all the characters.

Septimus Bean crashed his machine and it was like a cinema.

The End.

The Little Girl Who Lost Her Voice – One Third Stories

The Little Girl Who Lost Her Voice – One Third Stories

B has always been intrigued by different languages from a very early age. One of his best friends who he has known since birth speaks Greek, so the concept of speaking a different language has always been on his radar. From Latin to Chinese Mandarin, to French, Spanish and German, he wants to dabble in them all. Even convincing me to pop to France on a ferry one morning just so he could ask for some bread in French when he was 4 years old, he has always been the driving force behind it.
So when we heard about One Third Stories it sounded right up our street. The stories are engaging and comical, with fantastic descriptive language which kept B’s attention over and over again. He was in hysterics over people who had “hid inside the loo”. The story starts in English, so with readers of B’s age, they can confidently read the story and find their rhythm before the language kicks in. Once they are underway, the subtly of the Clockwork Methodology that is used doesn’t seem to dent their stride.

Having scuppered my own language qualifications after asking for a rabbit of coffee, (it really did happen), I was amazed at how easy it was to pick up. By slowly introducing a word into context so that you can work out what it must mean, is a fantastic idea. Compared with laboriously learning long phrases on how to get to the town hall, this was a breeze.

Due to the fact that the words are placed within the text without a translation, they are open to a little discrepancy. B and I read most of the words the same, although he was adamant the kettle must be shiny, whilst I thought it meant blue. I found that when we read it together I could prompt him into whether his interpretation would entirely make sense. So for a 6 year old, I would say it’s still good to read together whilst they get the gist, then they could happily read it alone, to reinforce the language.

Out of all the methods we use at home to learn languages, from apps to books and CD’s,  this has been the easiest in my opinion. We are really looking forward to reading more and expanding our language repertoire!

* we were kindly sent a copy of The Little Girl who Lost her Voice, but all opinions are our own.

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