Earth Day 2016

Wishing you all a wonderful Earth Day. We wanted to share some of our crafts that we did earlier on.

We started our day by making handprint Earths. On one side of the Earth the girls placed their handprints and on the other side they drew a picture about ways to protect the planet.

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We briefly touched on the Earth’s layers. You can print this worksheet from Twinkl.

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We also made coffee filter Earths. The girls loved how magical this activity was – we will definitely be using coffee filters for future crafts.

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These lovely decorations look so beautiful on a window. They will brighten up any home for Earth Day.

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We will be spending the end of our day with board games, books and popcorn.

We hope you all had a wonderful day. Please feel free to share what you got up to today over on our Facebook page. Please follow us to keep up to date with our journey.

If you would like more information on Earth Day and what it’s all about then please click here.

Colours

This week we’ve been looking at colours and discovering what primary colours make which secondary and tertiary colours. We have prepared an activity for each day of the week. If you don’t home educate and don’t have much time in … Continue reading

Colours Experiment: Toddler Version

So as part of our week exploring colours on day two, we conducted an experiment on mixing coloured water. The original version can be seen by clicking here and scrolling down to Day 2.

This is the toddler version and I would recommend this for children aged 3+ although your child may be able to do this experiment earlier than this depending on their ability.

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All you will need is 3 bottles of colored water in the primary colours, a large glass, a large jug or bowl (for waste) and a towel just incase there are any spills (which there will be!)

We started off by holding the bottles up towards sunlight, we held one bottle in front of the other to discover what colours would appear. In fact this would be perfect for children from 12 months upwards – just make sure they are supervised and the lids are fastened tightly!

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We discussed primary colors and which combinations made secondary colours.

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We also briefly explored tertiary colours.

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Emily had so much fun doing this experiment! So much so that we did it all over again!

We hope your little ones will enjoy this activity too. Please share your experiences over on our Facebook page. Also please follow this blog and like us on Facebook to keep up to date with our journey.

Cookery: Cheesecakes

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Yesterday, we decided to make strawberry cheesecakes. It was fairly simple, but quite messy! I love cooking with the girls, it’s the perfect opportunity to talk about ratios, numbers (addition and subtraction etc.), units, textures, smells, origin of foods – I find cooking links onto so many other subjects!

Below I shall put the list of ingredients along with instructions, should you wish to make some of your own. The following ingredients made us 10 generous sized cheesecakes.

YOU WILL NEED:

  • 350g soft cheese
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 200g plain digestive biscuits (about half a large pack)
  • 125g unsalted butter (half a block)
  • Half a jar of strawberry compot

TO MAKE:

  1. Melt the butter slowly in a saucepan, on a very low heat. Once melted, put to one side while you complete the next step.
  2. Crush the digestive biscuits up in a bowl, using the end of a rolling pin. Do this until the biscuits become fine crumbs. You can alternatively put the biscuits in a food freezer bag and bash with a rolling pin, or blitz in a food processor, depending on the childs level of experience.
  3. Pour the biscuit crumbs into the saucepan of metled butter and mix thoroughly.
  4. In another bowl, add the soft cheese and the icing sugar and whisk together.
  5. Add about one heaped tablespoon of the biscuit mix to each ramekin and pat down with a spoon until level.
  6. Next, layer an equal amount of the sugary cream cheese to each ramekin.
  7. Top off your cheesecakes with your desired amount of strawberry compot -we used about a level tablespoon, for each cheescake.
  8. Finally, don’t forget to chill your cheesecakes for a couple of hours, for best results… Although, if you’re like me and my little ones, theres no harm in skipping this step and tucking in!

Here are some pictures of Ava, making her very own cheesecake! She even decided to write her name on the foil so she knew which ones were hers.

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#ditchthedisposables

I’ve been wanting to talk about alternative menstrual products (AMPS) for a while now but I never really knew how to tie it in with home education. I was unsure whether it was appropriate to discuss anything that wasn’t considered part of our journey. Then I suddenly realised that AMPS are relevant to our journey.

Before I begin to discuss why this topic is so important and how it is relevant to our journey through education, I would like to show you what alternative menstrual products look like.

CLOTH PADS

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Above is a photo of a few of the pads I own. I have used these pads on numerous occasions, including the white one!

Cloth pads work just like disposables, except they clip together with snaps, they are so much prettier, more comfortable and the obvious difference is that you wash them.

If cloth pads are something you like the look of, then I would recommend checking out Lady Days Cloth Pads, it is run by an amazing WAHM called Helen, who makes every single one by hand. As well as regularly stocking her website, she also takes custom orders. I would like to add that I am not an affiliate, nor do I know Helen personally. I am simply just a very happy customer of hers.

MENSTRUAL CUPS

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Menstrual cups are a common alternative to tampons. They are usually made from medical grade silicone. You simply fold it up, insert it into your body and the cup collects the blood. You can leave a menstrual cup in for longer than a tampon as there is no risk of TSS (toxic shock syndrome). Once you have finished using your menstrual cup; you simply remove it, pour the blood down the toilet, rinse and re insert.

mc 1If menstrual cups are something you are interested in trying, then take a look at what Feminine Wear has to offer! They also sell a range of other alternative menstrual products and are currently offering a 10% discount with the code FWAUTUMN14 until the end of November.

CLOTH TAMPONS

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Cloth tampons are similar to the disposable ones, except they don’t come with an applicator and you can wash them. They are usually made from fleece so are super soft!

SEA SPONGES

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Sea sponges are literally sea sponges. They are another tampon alternative. You simply wet them under a tap, squeeze the excess water and insert. You can remove them once they are full.

Now, let’s talk about why I feel this is such an important topic to be discussing!

I have two daughters. They will both start their periods, one day. Although it’s a long time away, I think this is a topic that needs to be discussed as so many young girls, women and parents today are not fully informed on all of their options.

If my daughters were in school, around the age of 9 or 10, they would learn about periods and how to take care of them. They would be lead to believe that the choice between disposable tampons and pads, was an informed one… But this is where sex education (in my opinion) is fundamentally wrong within the school system. Young girls are only taught about disposable options, which I find extremely worrying. If schools can’t even teach young people the basics, then how can schools teach sex education properly, in the later years?

One could argue that it’s up to the parents to teach their children about the alternative options – but I disagree. If a school teaches about disposables, it should and it must teach about the alternatives as well, otherwise they will never be seen as normal and they will remain a taboo. Schools have the power to make a difference to the masses. A lot of people only view disposables as normal because they were only taught about disposables in school – every pupil accepted this as the norm and as a result, the majority use disposables.

What would happen if the alternatives were added to the curriculum?
In my opinion, it is a schools duty to teach about all the options. How can anyone make an informed choice, if they are not 100% informed?
Why do schools not teach about the alternatives?
Is it because they are paid to teach (or should I say ‘advertise’) about disposable sanitary protection?

You might be asking – How does this affect you? You home educate.
This affects my family for two reasons; firstly, I have always said that home education may not be an option for us forever. Situations change and one day, we may not be able to continue our journey for whatever reason. If my daughters do ever attend school, I want to know they will get a well informed education. Secondly, if my daughters decide to use AMPS, the way society’s attitude is today, they are likely to experience shaming and negativity towards their decision, just as I have experienced negative reactions from a few individuals for choosing to use alternative menstrual products. Luckily, I am a very strong minded woman and I am not easily influenced by others.

It seems ridiculous that schools do not include alternative menstrual products within sex education – they teach this subject to young people across 6 whole years and yet there is no mention of them! In my opinion this is as ludicrous as teaching religious studies but forgetting to ever mention Buddhism – like it doesn’t exist!

Sadly, from what I’ve seen, schools are not offering young women the opportunity to make informed choices and I doubt they ever will.
If you believe in offering young women choices, then talk about alternatives with your daughter today. Even if she chooses to use disposables – at least she has made an informed choice and the choice will be there, forever!

Boredom cards

‘Mummy! I’m so bored!’
A phrase that I hear a lot in my house; despite my girls having an abundance of learning resources, books, toys and attention, they still seem to suffer from boredom.
In some cases, boredom can be a gift; it can be the fuse that channels the spark of creativity and imagination. In other cases, boredom can be so intense that the child just can’t seem to escape the rut and this can lead to restlessness and frustration.

Ava can get bored very easily and tends to move from one task onto another, within minutes. There has been a few occasions where boredom has dominated the day and every suggestion that I made was rejected – for my daughter to still grumble the words ‘I’m bored’.

This is where the boredom cards come in! Here they are.

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But, how do they work? I hear you ask.

If I hear Ava mutters the words ‘I’m bored’ I get the boredom cards out, place them all face down and then she selects a card at random.
I think she’s more open to a suggestion that comes from (in her mind) a ‘game’.
For example, if I had just suggested to draw a picture she would be less interested than if she picked the activity at random. It seems to make suggestions fun and from the child’s perspective, they chose the activity of their own free will.

Below I have written some examples of the activities within our boredom cards but you can put whatever you like on your boredom cards, depending on your child’s hobbies.

  1. Read a book
  2. Draw a picture
  3. Potato printing
  4. Go for a walk
  5. Play in the garden
  6. Take care of baby dolls
  7. Build a den
  8. Play hide and seek
  9. Play a board game
  10. Learn something new
  11. Bake cakes
  12. Make someone a card
  13. Dance to some music
  14. Dress up
  15. Have a teddy bears picnic
  16. Create a puppet show
  17. Build with blocks
  18. Play ‘Shop’
  19. Make music
  20. Play with playdough

To make the boredom cards, I used editable templates from Twinkl.co.uk.

When it’s autumn

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The nights draw in and the cold crisp mornings call for extended pyjama wearing and ‘duvet days’.
The landscape is ignited with hues of yellow, orange and red; trees look ablaze.

We splash in puddles, squelch in mud and dive into enormous piles of crunchy leaves.
We collect natures treasures of conkers, acorns, pine cones and blackberries.

Pumpkins glow and fireworks blow; it’s time for fun festivals and fragrant foods.
We come in from the cold and wrap ourselves in blankets; snuggled together, we sip our homemade soup.

The house is filled with the smell of hot apples, bakes, cakes, cinnamon and pine.
And we swap stories whilst amongst a honey golden glow of candlelight at bedtime.

When it’s autumn.

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Cornwall

It’s been a while since I last posted as we have spent the last week in Cornwall.

I really love Cornwall, it’s my favourite place. It is so magical. There is so much diversity – from white sandy beaches, to fertile green forests!

We took this holiday to celebrate Ava’s first official year of home education.

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We had fun on the beach. We went in search of shells, rocks and of course… Crabs!

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We visited St. Ives, where they have the tastiest Cornish pasties!

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We visited St. Nectans Glen. If you are ever in Cornwall then this little treasure is bucket list worthy! It is the most magical place I have ever been to.

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We had such a wonderful week together. I don’t know many children that build sandcastles and play in waterfalls during their first week of school.

I feel so grateful to be able to home educate. I’m looking forward to many more magical moments with my beautiful children.

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Homemade glitter crayons

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This morning we have been sorting through our craft box to see what we can use up before we invite new craft supplies into our home. We came across some old crayons that haven’t been used in over a year. Some were broken, but mainly they were just unused.

So I decided, rather than throw them away – why not reuse them? I grabbed the crayons and a tub of glitter, then Ava helped me make some fab new crayons!

They are so easy to make!

YOU WILL NEED:
Old crayons
Cupcake tin (or if you’re really creative, you could use a silicon one with fancy shapes)
Glitter

TO MAKE:
1. Preheat your oven to 130 degrees Celsius.
2. Peel all the paper off of your crayons.
3. Break your crayons into small pieces.
4. Put the pieces into the cupcake tin.
5. Sprinkle some glitter over the crayons.
6. Bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes.
7. Leave them to cool in the freezer for 5-10 minutes, once cool they will pop out easily just by turning the tray upside down.

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It’s amazing how wonderful they look! They also make beautiful colours when put onto paper. Ava really enjoyed drawing with them.

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Let us know how you got on with them and I’m happy to add links below to your blog!