Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Exploring The Countryside Around Denmead

Yesterday morning we packed a lunch, and set off with my mum and sister for an all day walk to explore the farmland and countryside around Denmead. We parked in a lane and started off along a beautiful shady bridleway leading to Pitt Hill, we saw lots of hazel nuts growing along the hedges and found this lovely little 'fairy pool' in the hollow of a tree.
Hannah thought this Ivy was amazing as it had plaited it's self to the tree!!

At the bottom of the bridleway we were in open farmland. It was hot out of the shade and the smell of ripe corn, and the sounds of the breeze rustling through it were wonderful. Hannah had so much fun following the pathways through the corn, and spotting wild flowers and insects along the way.

She found poppies,
and Wild Marjoram with these beautiful butterflies on it.
We walked along footpaths alive with the sound of grasshoppers and birdsong,To a little pond with dragonflies dancing over it.Hannah practised her tracking skills by following hoof prints and working out the pace of the horses that made them,Until we came to a dairy farm, which we walked through to complete our circle. The cows were very friendly!

It was wonderful to be out in the countryside for the whole day, the change in Hannah is lovely to see when she gets out in the fields. Her whole body relaxes and you can almost feel the peacefulness radiating from her - my mission is to get us out of the city at every opportunity!

Weald and Downland's Wonderful Wednesday

We spent a lovely day at Weald and Downland Open Air Museum yesterday with our friends Carole, Tess and Brodie and some of the other local home educating families. It was Weald and Downland's 'Wonderful Wednesday's' where they have crafts and activities for children during the summer holidays.
Hannah learnt all about the games children used to play, and tried her hand at cat's cradle, yoyo's, and jacks. She made a woollen tassle, a bees wax candle and some lovely printed pictures as well as exploring some of the old buildings including the brickworks, the blacksmiths, and a water mill, and playing with her friends.
Here are some pictures of her favourite parts of the day.

Playing with Tess

Riding on the horse drawn wagon.

Watching the Maypole Dancing

Making tassles with Tess
Learning about horse shoes And how they are made.
It was a fantastic day, thank you so much Carole for organising it all :-)

Hannah's cousins visited today.

We have had a really nice day today. My dad and step mum, my sister, and two of Hannah's cousins came to visit us from Leamington Spa.

We had such a lovely visit and Hannah had the best time playing with her (extremely adorable) cousins.

Here are Hannah, Amber and Fraser in the park,
Fraser and Auntie Anita

And Hannah and Amber scooting home under the watchful eye of grandad!
We are really looking forward to seeing you all again soon xx

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Moving Forward

After two years of 'officially' homeschooling and trying out a variety of styles and theories we have decided that Natural Learning / Unschooling is the way forward for us at this point. I'm not saying we'll do it forever, as everything evolves - wants, needs, personalities etc, but right now, in this space and time, getting back to our roots seems the most important thing we can do. Hannah has been raised in a very hands on, attachment parenting way. She was breast fed until she was 6, co-slept, carried in a sling (and sometimes still is) and grew up in as natural a way as we could possibly manage. But when it came to homeschooling there were so many ideas, so many different approaches, and sadly, so much self inflicted pressure on me to 'fit in' that we lost ourselves along the way,and i regret that. My dream was, and still is, to raise a free spirited, unschooled little girl who loves life and everything in it, who is excited by knowledge because knowledge is freedom, and power, and love, and expression, and is everything she needs to make her world, and her life, her own. I want her to wake up each morning and follow her dreams, to learn through play, and exploration, to go wherever her curiosity takes her, and i want to be right there by her side! So we're saying goodbye to the lessons and workbooks and saying hello to a new exciting passage in our lives starting right now!!!

Friday, 23 July 2010

Summer Season Table

This is how our summer season table looks this year! Hannah made raindrops to hang next to the sun yesterday as we've had a lot of showers!!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Swings and A Party

Last night was the last Rainbows of this term so Brown Owl had a party for all the Rainbows and Brownies. This was Hannah when we picked her up, she had had a lovely time! She was so excited still from the party that we made a brief visit to the park to play on the swings and get out all that extra energy!!

Does she look tired yet???
We did eventually get home and Hannah did eventually go to sleep.......................sometime slightly before midnight!!!!!!


Today was our day to look after Hannah's friend Archie, and guess where we went?? Yes, the park again for more swings - only this time Archie did the swinging and Hannah pushed him.......................

.........until he fell asleep, then i carried him home!!
Now Hannah is having her last session with her tutor before the summer break, i can hear them playing reading games and spelling words out....................... Hannah is going to miss her over the summer, she has so much fun with her.
We will look forward to more session in September though.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

The Portsmouth Green Fair, Cooking and Riding!

Yesterday Hannah and I went to The Portsmouth Green Fair! We had a really fun,interesting day. Hannah learned a lot about solar power, alternative energy, and reducing our carbon footprint, she tried pedal power (unfortunately her legs were too little for the bikes so she cheered on her friends parents instead!!) and she danced, and danced, and danced!!!

This was the music tent powered by bicycles.
Hannah dancing.

and dancing!
Playing with her friend Laura (Laura's parents are pedalling behind the girls)

Making a Bees Wax Candle
The finished candle and her certificate.
After the fair we were hungry, so Hannah changed into her chef clothes and helped daddy to make a potato, mushroom and spinach curry (with chicken on the side for daddy).

She did a great job and the curry was really yummy!
At the end of a long busy day a little girl needs somewhere comfy to sleep - and daddy seemed just the right place :-)
This morning we had a slow start, and then Hannah went riding before having sunday dinner at my mum's house.
Here are a couple of pictures of her riding over trotting poles - she loves trotting poles!!

Thursday, 15 July 2010

The week so far................

................has been full of rather messy fun !!

On Tuesday Hannah did her morning table time with her grandma, and then baked fairy cakes with her,
In the afternoon we had Archie over and the two of them made muddy puddles in the (still not finished) garden with the hose pipe and then spent the afternoon jumping in them!!!

On Wednesday we went to our home ed group for recycled crafts and Hannah made a ginger tabby cat out of an old juice carton,

and in the evening she helped Dean and I to rearrange and improve the chicken run and coop - this meant emptying and repositioning the composter, moving the huge stone slabs the coop was standing on and digging over the ground..............on the wettest day we've had for weeks lol - we were very, very muddy but the chickens seem impressed!
Well, maybe not that impressed since i could barely get two of them in a picture!!
And finally, today we did some art. Hannah wanted to explore some different paint effects, so she started by painting on wet paper and letting the patterns run in together

That was a big hit and she painted several designs like this, then i had the bright idea of letting her do some paint flicking, well, that was a HUGE hit and after i'd hosed down the patio, table, back wall and windows, we decided the whole thing had been really fun and daddy now has some fab new artwork for his desk at work.

Hannah's paintings drying in the breeze.

Hannah also saw her tutor today and did lots of reading and word games with her, some writing and sentance structure and is looking forward to seeing her again next week.

It's been nice to be finally free from builders and to be able to stay at home this week!