Thursday, 19 October 2017

Autumn Term Roundup

We have been quite busy since our last update.  We went to a summer craft club for home educated children.  This meant that the children got to be creative and see their friends at the same time.

Here are some photos from that.

We also exchanged flat travellers which you can see in some of the photos.

We had a project club session - once a month we go to a project club and we present a project on a theme or topic.  We did a presentation on World War 1 which was a lapbook project pack that we bought from In the Hands of a Child.

We have also been going to a monthly project group at the Manchester Central Library.  Here is at long last the finished project which is displayed in the form of a lapbook.  We used resources from the library, handled objects from the asylum and used a resource that we found online to get the information for her project. 

I put clouds as a blur effect to obscure the face of the person sitting at the information desk.

We are also getting ready for a Geography Fair and so we here is the project that she did that we will display at the Geography Fair (30 families will be attending).

My friend at Let Them Be Small managed to secure some prizes for this Geography Fair from companies that she works with.  I am really excited to see them all.  She's done a live post on her Let Them Be Small Facebook Page go and take a look and see what the companies have donated :-) 

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Holidays in Term Time

We took advantage of the quieter term times and took a little holiday in Norfolk. We went to a lovely village on the coast and stayed in a static caravan in a park.  It is called Kiln Cliffs and is in a village called Mundesley which is about seven miles away from Cromer or 40 minutes away from Norwich.

Here are some pictures of the gorgeous beach and the 99 stairs that we walked up and down to get to the beach:

Have you spotted our special guest?  Meet Clover!  He is a member of another family and he came with us on holiday.  He had a lot of fun adventures with us!  We spent a lot of time at the beach and really enjoyed it!

We took a day trip to a town that was a two hour car drive away.  It's called Hunstanton and we went to a Sea Life centre there.  This particular Sea Life is a sanctuary and they also have a seal hospital.  The seals were rescued when they were days old and in some cases still had the umbilical cord attached.  They all have medical problems and sadly were abandoned by their mothers as part of their self-preservation instinct.    Fortunately, the animal care team are able to provide top notch care and when the seals reach a magic weight (30 KGS) they are released.   I must say that baby seals are so cute!

One of them appeared to wave at us and sadly he looked to be in quite a lot of pain.  They keep the sickly seals in separate tubs that have a glass window and a door and walls so that hey are totally confined to prevent their illness from spreading to the other seals.  We saw four or five who were in their own tubs (more like rooms) and then there was a big tub on the end where there were three baby seals.  

We think that when they are well enough to be around others, they go into that tub and then go into a pool outside when they are better.  This end tub helps them to get used to other seals and gives them the opportunity to play.  In the outside pool, the seals were bigger and seemed quite healthy.  We think that they were just not the right weight for being released and so they are there until they are 30 KGs.

Here are some photos of the seals both in the solitary tubs and in the outside pool:

Look at those gorgeous eyes! 

This one looks like he's waving at us.  We waved at him and then he put his flipper up and waved.  We melted on the spot because he was so cute.  Then he started to cry and bite his tail flipper.  We don't know what that means but he did look distressed and in pain.

There were six bigger seals in the outside enclosure. 

We saw lots of fish, sharks, sting rays, and a green sea turtle named Ernie.  Because this Sea Life centre is a sanctuary, some animals cannot be released for their safety.  Ernie is one of these animals.  He is used to human contact and so it is not safe for him to be released into the ocean again.  He will live at this sanctuary for the rest of his life.  We watched him eat and swim around.

 Penguins from Peru and Chile - I did wonder how they coped in the heat, so I asked!

These otters were funny!  They are a family of a mum and her two sons.  My husband happened to be wearing a black t-shirt which is close in colour to the navy polo shirts that some staff wear at Sea Life.  He talked to them and then walked away.  They all scampered to the highest rock they could find and stood up on their hind legs to look for him!  Either they really liked him, or they thought he was going to feed them and they were waiting for him to come back with food.

There was a rainforest display and there I held a stick insect on my arm. It was a strange feeling! It tickled and I could feel little prickly things at the same time.  Here are my badges of honour for holding the stick insect and touching a star fish!

We have the education group membership for the National Trust.  This means we can only go and visit National Trust properties Monday to Friday during the school term times.  We were in Norfolk for the last week of their school term and so we went to Felbrigg Hall. It was lovely and I got to play a beautiful piano there.  Sadly, I did not manage to get any photos of it.  I found it difficult to play because the keys felt different to my piano at home. 

Here are some photos of that day.

A game that is like snakes and ladders 

The dining table

Clover at the card game.

The main entrance

A beautiful church on the property.  This church is independent and is not in any way funded by the National Trust.

Exterior shot of St Margaret's Church

This church was beautifully decorated with flowers and it was so fragrant.  Here is a photo of the altar.

There was a gorgeous walled garden on the property and there were three free range hens roaming around.  There was also a dovecote and Little Miss chatted with the doves and they answered her cooing!

Both girls were amazed by how close they got to stand to this hen!  They got a nice surprise when another hen came running over to them :-) 

The next week of our holiday was the tail end of the school term for other areas and we went to Bradford for a day trip to the Museum of Science and Media.

We saw all sorts of really interesting things.  Here are a few photos from that day.  It was absolutely packed because it was the first day of the school holidays for Bradford!  (Note to self - check the Local Authority website for their term dates before going to Bradford!)

The sign telling us what was where.  We were there for Level 5 which was the animation museum but saw all of the other floors and the hands on activities.

The only Wallace and Gromit set left in existence because it happened to be at this museum.  Sadly there was a fire at Aardman Studios and everything was destroyed.  This is from The Wrong Trousers.

The set from a TV show 

 Puppets used in some animated TV shows.

Wallace and Gromit


We were standing and waiting our turn for a photo opp. I overheard the following conversation:

Man to girl: Will you please take my photo next to this?
Girl to man: Me?
Man to girl: Yes, please.
Girl to man: OK (takes phone and gets ready to take a photo) Smile!
Man to girl: No, I'm not supposed to smile, there's a dalek behind me!

This is a map of the London Underground.  But why is it at a Science Museum?  If you read it closely, you will see that the stations are names of flavours and it was called "What Flavour is the London Underground?"

An ear trumpet.  I made something similar with my pBone and demonstrated it for Science Club.

This is billed as the biggest hearing aid in the world.  If you wanted to speak to the King, you had to kneel down and speak into the open holes at either side of the arm.  Everything travelled up the chair and to the black hose.  The silver end of the black hose was in the King's ear.  This meant he could hear you perfectly well.

We started our flat traveller adventures again this week and we welcomed our first flat traveller in four years!   Her name is Sunshine Drop.  Yesterday we took her to a local fun fair and we enjoyed ourselves.

Star - who is Little Miss' newest creation and the host flat traveller

Sunshine Drop who is our visiting flat traveller.

This brings us up to date for now and as we are now in the summer holiday period.  One of the local home educators has set up a holiday craft club so that the children can get together regularly with their friends over the summer.   We will be going to that.  As well, Little Miss has started going to a gymnastics club and does recreational gymnastics.  This is not a dedicated home educator group. It is an after school club.  We've just added this to our timetable.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Local History Project Group

We have been going on a monthly basis to a library in the city centre.  It's the Central Library and it has a very large archives section.  There are several floors of artefacts and records in the Archives section.

Little Miss decided that she wanted to learn more about asylums. She is a  chip off the old block because when I was in my last year of school, I did a project on the provincial hospital for the mentally ill.

We are fortunate enough to handle artefacts both written records and items from the asylum.  It was amazing to handle and see these things.  We were very careful with handling these items.     We were looking at things, and trying to decide what sort of project to do.  One of the ideas that I ran past her was building a model of the asylum.  That would have been difficult because we don't know how long this group is going on for and what materials we'd use.  We only get two hours once a month to visit.

I suggested that she make a lapbook on this and she agreed.  We brought home some resources that we could take copies of the photos we wanted to use.  Today I photocopied the pictures she wanted to use in her lapbook and I printed off the photos that I took of the various records and artefacts that we were allowed to handle.

I had to make two copies of everything because we decided that we would keep a version for our records.  As well, we will use our copy or version for our monthly project club.   She did some writing and so I photocopied her written work for our version and included the original with the one that will go on display.

Each child is doing something different and when everyone is finished, the projects will be on display at the Archives and they will keep our projects.  Eventually they will be archived.

It's very exciting to be part of history like this!  The project as it appears here is not complete and is a work in progress.  She will add more to it on subsequent visits (as I have already mentioned).

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

April Activity Roundup

April was a quieter month for us because it was the Easter holidays.  We still managed to squeeze in a fair bit.

We went to our monthly project club where we did a presentation about daffodils, Marie Curie, and St David's Day.

Here is the project board from that:

We even made daffodils to go along with the display board.  Everything tied in together I promise!  The daffodil is the symbol of Marie Curie Cancer Care which is a charity in the UK.  Marie Curie did a lot of research into radiation and her books are in a lead box under lock and key because they are still radioactive to this day, 70 years after her death!  The daffodil and the leek are the emblems of St David's Day which is celebrated in Wales.

We had a tour of a local fire station and got to use the hoses AND try on the firemen's gear!

I can't show any pictures of the children who were there for obvious reasons but we had a full group visit and it was a lot of fun :-)

We went on a Religious Education visit to a local Orthodox church.

We also went back to the local synagogue.  We learned about Passover and it was fantastic!  We even got to try matzos :-)

We went to the Central Library and got to practise handwriting in the style of the Victorians.  The sentence we had to write was 'Children should be seen and not heard.' I certainly don't agree with that statement but I did have fun writing with a pen and quill that I had to dip in the ink pot!  It sure is different from using a ball point pen!

We are working on a local history project that will go on display in the Central Library in their archives section.  M is interested in asylums and so she might make a model of one.  We are going to practise making models of other buildings at home so that she can get some practice in.  We will be soon posting our May roundup!