Friday, 27 February 2009

A Trip to Chichester Cathedral.

Today Hannah and i went on a trip to Chichester Cathedral. The Cathedral is beautiful, and both Hannah and myself were overwhelmed by the amazingly peaceful feeling inside. 

The Cathedral is over 900 years old - it's building was started in 1076 under Bishop Stigand and was completed under Bishop Luffa in time for it's consecration to the Holy Trinity in 1108. There are daily services held and the Cathedral Choir sings at each Evensong. 

There is a very friendly atmosphere inside the Cathedral, and Hannah was really pleased to hear that small visitors could go on a Church mouse hunt. Around the inside of the Cathedral there are hidden 5 little carved mice for the children to find and she spent a very happy hour searching them all out.

Hannah is a tiny speck against the west wall.

The information booklets we received .
The west wall again.
The Spire.
Standing in front of the Piper Tapestry -  woven in France in 1966 , the central  subject is the Holy Trinity to which the Cathedral is dedicated.
Part of the Original Mosaic Floor uncovered during building work.
One of the Church Mice that Hannah found.
The Chapel of St Thomas and St Edmund.
Outside again under a Yew Tree.


It was such a lovely sunny day yesterday that we decided to spring clean the garden and get it ready for planting out the seedlings later. Hannah helped us cut back the ivy and rake it all up, and she also did lots of the digging to get the beds ready for her seedlings when they are big enough. After that she helped to sweep up and finally, she discovered the sandpit was still useable and decided to make a mini Africa in it complete with a watering hole!

Helping in the garden

Collecting the Ivy that we cut back...................................

.................and turning the sandpit into Africa - the leaves are a watering hole for the animals!

Here are some of the seeds that Hannah potted up a couple of weeks ago. So far we have carrots, spring onions, tomatoes, pumpkin, strawberries, rhubarb and green beans coming up, and are waiting to see if the cucumber, blackcurrant, melon and cranberries germinate. Hannah's cousin gave her two boxes of seeds, potting compost and pots for christmas and she has been very carefully tending them since she planted them. The snowdrop bulbs were a present to her from my mum so she could welcome spring, and she traditionally rang the bell of the first snowdrop that flowered to bring good luck :-)

The seeds Hannah has potted.

The Snowdrops she grew  - she was delighted when they flowered.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Indoor Learning

Since all of my entries so far have shown our outside learning adventures, i thought today i'd show a little bit of what we do inside. 

We have a learning room in our house - it used to be the dining room but we felt that it would be good to have somewhere inspiring for Hannah to learn.  All her information books, workbooks, art things, and posters are in that room and she can access any of them whenever she chooses to. Each day (or every other day) we do an hour or two following the curriculum (Horizons) we have for Reading, Writing and Maths, and then if we're not going out to a home education group or play date, Hannah chooses her afternoon activity such as art, craft, science, or cookery. The curriculum we are using is a Christian based curriculum, so we spend a little time each week reading bible stories as well (we are using "Step in the Bible" which is a lovely book of short stories with a questions after each story for discussion).

Cursive writing practise.

Maps and posters in the Learning room.
Books and Learning materials.

Art Work

Here are some examples of Hannah's recent art and craft work. At the moment most of her work has been nature based, although she does also enjoy drawing pictures of our family too :-)

Daddy, mummy and Hannah outside our house!

Decorated Butterfly

A Bird Mobile decorated with coloured tissue paper
A Poem Poster made at Book Group
One end of Hannah's art  line
The other end of the art line.

Spring Walk in the Park

After all the snow and rain we've had this winter it has been lovely to finally start getting outside again, so yesterday we went to our favourite park to see how spring was beginning to show her colours.  Here are a few things we found..............................


The Trees are in Leaf
A Great Tree For Climbing
Camilia's in Bloom
Hannah took this picture - she loved the shape of the fungus on the wood.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

A Visit To Baffins Pond

Last week Dean took Hannah back to Baffins, where we used to live, to visit the wildlife pond there. The pond covers 2 1/2 acres, with a small island in the middle and is surrounded by willow trees, woodland and open grass. It is an absolute haven for wildlife and in the late spring is full of baby water birds. On this visit they were able to find snowdrops and the first spring crocuses.

Ready to feed the ducks..........................................
.........with a big bag of wild bird seed.
The snowdrops in the woods.

The first spring crocus.

The pond has designated feeding stations and viewing areas, in the background you can see the enclosed wetlands where the birds nest.
It's a big throw for a small arm!!

Saturday, 21 February 2009

"Spring Is Coming" at Butser Ancient Farm

Butser Ancient Farm

Yesterday we went to the "Spring Is Coming" event for children. It was a lovely spring day, we went with our friends (also home schoolers) and spent a really happy afternoon. The farm had organised a story teller "Red Phoenix" to tell ancient stories in the Great Roundhouse around a log fire, and a host of other activities for the children including games, weaving, mosaic making, and chalk bashing. The chalk bashing was a big hit and the chalk was to be used later for re surfacing the round house floor.

The stories we heard were amazing. Red Phoenix was dressed in traditional iron age clothing and told the story of how winter captured spring and held her captive until the sun rescued her and helped her to gain strength to overcome winter. She told a story showing how there is good and bad in everything and we need to try to be positive in all things, and also a lovely story of a rabbit who was always afraid but learnt to face his fears and become courageous.

After the stories the children were able to try all the games and crafting activities on site, as well as visit the sheep, chickens and the sheep dog Moss.

 The Roundhouses at Butser Ancient Farm

The fire inside the Great roundhouse where the story teller was. 
The entrance to one of the smaller houses.

Fun and Games at Butser Ancient Farm

Jumping Competition

Hannah loved this pedal thing but i don't know what it's called. 
Hannah trying her hand at chalk bashing

Making a mosaic


Sunday, 15 February 2009

Season Tables

Last summer - inspired by the mum's at Green Parent - we decided to start a season table. Season tables are a great way of bringing nature indoors, and of teaching Hannah about the changing season and the passage of time. This is our current Winter table.

 Our season table from last summer 

This was our first table which is why it looks a bit bare - we did have a lot of fun making the flowers and butterfly though!

This was our Autumn table. We made this just after we went to the harvest festival at Butser Ancient Farm. Hannah made an autumnal posy for the table tied with orange ribbon to reflect the turning leaves, and gathered nuts and apples on our walks. Later on we added a real pumpkin to the table and some conkers.

A Family Walk

Today we decided to go for a long family walk in Droxford. We started in a lovely little churchyard which had some beautiful snowdrops, and followed  the footpath out and over the fields. We crossed the Meon River and walked up hill through a field of cattle, over a stile and along a wooded footpath at the top of the hill. Scattered along the footpath there were rabbit burrows and mole hills, and Hannah collected sheeps wool from the fences and feathers and moss from the path to add to her nesting boxes at home. The path later went across the field and down the lane and then back across the Meon River. Following the river we came to a water mill, and then back through a field of sheep to the churchyard. The following are Hannah's favourite pictures from today.