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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Our next chapter... We have news!

I've been pretty awful at keeping this blog up to date lately, well, for months in fact. Life has been busy as we have had a Summer packed full of busy days and fun, but that's not the only thing that has kept me busy since my last post... Since the time I last posted (with great intentions of keeping up to date - whoops) we discovered that we are expecting baby number 3! Another Little Person to add to our lovely family!

Although Little Miss is only 3 it feels like such a long time since we had a tiny baby in the house - it's very exciting. We are all looking forward to completing our family (yes it really is the last one this time) with another precious little person.

Of course with September almost here the other thing we have been busy doing is getting our plans together for our first official year of home education! 
We have spent the last 18 months, since we decided to home educate, researching, finding resources, trying out different local groups and generally exploring the world of home education, It's been a fantastic experience and we are now ready and raring to go on our first term as a semi structured home educating family. 

Some seriously exciting times ahead.



Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Floating tea bag experiment, by Little Mr

This is an exciting post for our little family as it will be the first of many vlogs bought to you by Little Mr!

Little Mr is a confident little chap and loves to learn, teach & perform so over our time home educating he likes to get involved as much in teaching as learning, which we happen to think is awesome! He has been saying for some time now that he wants to be "in the shows" when he gets bigger, so we have started filming his words of wisdom, mini lessons, tutorials and all sorts of things that he finds interesting. 

Lesson 1 is "The flying tea bag" and is an easy science experiment that you can do with your little ones.

This experiment shows how the warmer air, heat caused from the flame within the cylinder, rises as it is less dense. Of course we could go into this much further but since our little professor is only 4 we have started with basics.
convection currentsco
convection currents
convection currents

What you'll need:
  • a tea bag (the best type are the ones with a staple, usually individually wrapped but you can make it work with most types)
  • a saucer or bowl
  • a candle/ match/ lighter
  
You can subscribe to Logan's lessons here (he would very much like it if you did!) and please feel free to leave comments and suggestions for future lessons that you'd like to see on Logan's channel.

PS please bear with his film crew while we get used to filming ;)

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Science fun - surface tension Milk experiment

Once again life has been so busy I have found it very hard to fit writing into my schedule, which is a shame because I do love it so. Anyway, I'm here now & we have been having so much fun with our science 'lessons' & experiments that I thought I'd give it a regular slot in my blog and get things rolling again.

Today we went for a quick & easy but fun experiment that is a great introduction to surface tension.

All you need is:

a saucer of milk
food colouring
Q tips (cotton buds)
washing up liquid

Pour a little milk into a saucer and add a few drops of food colouring.

Dip the Q-tip in washing up liquid, just a  touch, you don't want to drown it :)

Have your little scientist touch the surface of the milk with the q-tip and watch how the colour "jumps away" from the tip. 

 

You should be able to do this a couple of times with the same saucer full providing you haven't used too much washing up liquid.




Very simple but effective, fun and is a nice little introduction to learning about surface tension. 
You could try dipping a dry q-tip as well to show your little ones that the addition of washing up liquid is what makes this experiment work. 

Another fun alternative to this experiment is to put a spot of several food colours into the saucer and then drop a squirt of washing up liquid into the centre of the saucer & watch the colours spread quickly.

My Little People are quite young so we didn't go too much into what happens to the molecules but this is how it works:

When you introduce washing up liquid to the molecules that make up milk, it dissolves the fat molecules (just like when we use it to clean our dishes) and the surface tension is lowered. This leaves the colouring able to move around the milk much more freely.

 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Infused raisins - lovely afternoon snack

With my little darlings being home each day I have the tricky task of coming up with new and exciting snacks for our afternoon down time. 

I had started buying Nakd infused raisins as a treat for myself but the Little People also liked them very much so my treats were often gone by the time I was reaching for them.

This week, having come across a bag of raisins in the baking cupboard, I thought I'd have a go at making my own infused raisins, and at a fraction of the price I had paid for my little bags!

I have to say I didn't think it'd be this is but it really is. I simply put some raisins in a dish and covered with fresh apple juice and left to soak for about 24hrs


After soaking I drained the juice and was left with lovely, plump, juicy raisins to try out on my little ones, they loved them and ate the lot in a matter of minutes. I did get to try a couple myself and they were delicious! We have made them each day since and are experimenting with other juice flavours. Unlike the store bought ones the raisins were juicy rather than dry, I'd like to say I'm going to try leaving them to dry out after draining but I can't imagine these yummy raisins being left long enough to dry out again!


 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Learning about plants (free printables)

Spring is (apparently) around the corner so we have been busy planting seeds in the hope we get lots of lovely flowers, veg and herbs in the coming months. The garden is a wonderful place to learn & The Little People love to get stuck in and help with digging and planting & of course there are always lots of questions.
Garden fun
We spent time talking about what seeds we were planting, what a seed needs in order to grow and the shapes of the different seeds.

Of course, typically for England, rain soon stopped play so we set about learning a little more about plants and based on the key areas The Little People payed attention to, I made a few quick work sheets to help them remember what we had talked about.

So far we have planted violet carrots, asparagus peas, twinkle peas, lettuce & radishes! There are plenty more to plant and I'm looking forward to updating you on our progress.

Please feel free to download the sheets for your own use, using the links below each photo. (the images shown won't be as good for quality)

Please note: the handwriting sheet seems to preview blank, once downloaded the sheet is actually complete
Download here 
Download here
 

download here
Download here


Download here



Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Friday, March 14, 2014

Learning with The Gruffalo

The Gruffalo is a firm family favourite in our house, as I'm sure it is in many, probably yours right? We are always trying out different things to keep the kids interested and excited about learning, although I must say they love to learn so it's not been a problem yet - still, no harm in jazzing things up a bit eh? ;)

Last week I found some fab Gruffalo printable resources on twinkl.co.uk and we had plenty to get us started on our Gruffalo themed activities.

We started with a Gruffalo breakfast! Toast, fruit & icing to make a a fun Gruffalo face, while they were eating we put the Gruffalo on the TV for them to watch and enjoy and to get in the spirit of the day.


After breakfast we sat and read The Gruffalo together, each acting & reading a character - The children love to act out their favourite stories, it's great for their imaginations as they grab props from around the room and play out their part. 

Later we cut out some Gruffalo themed letters, this was great for both The Little People as Little Miss is still getting to grips with putting letters in order (she can tell me the order no problem but isn't quite there with sorting the letters), Little Mr enjoyed helping his sister sing through the alphabet and put them in the right order, then they went round together matching uppercase with lowercase. To stick with the theme we used words and sentances from the book while looking for each letter.

F for Fox




Note the blob of blu-tack here? Little Mr was struggling to remember how to hold his pencil correctly so I put a simple band of tack around the pencil, toward the tip which reminded him where to grip the pencil and made it easier to position the pencil. I'm not sure how great this will be long term but it is really helping him get used to holding a pen/ pencil correctly which has helped with pen control and handwriting, as he gains confidence we will take the tack off and try different styles of handwriting pens.