Monday, 30 August 2010

Signs of Autumn By the Water

It was a chilly morning here today with a definite feel of autumn in the air. Hannah and I went to Hilsea Lines Moat for a walk (and scoot) which was beautiful in the sunshine, and spotted some ripening blackberries and some gorgeous red hawthorn berries. I love the sight of Hawthorn berries, they herald my favourite season and get me thinking of apple picking, falling leaves and bonfires!
The Moat
Hannah scoots everywhere at the moment!

Watching the water.

The first blackberries are ripening.

Hawthorn Berries

Inquisitive Swans.

Friday, 27 August 2010

The Royal Armouries Museum

Today Hannah and i have been to The Royal Armouries Museum with our friend Claire. Claire is Hannah's lovely tutor, and has become a good friend of ours. She collected us in her car today, complete with a yummy picnic and we went up to the fort on Portsdown Hill.

The first thing Hannah wanted to do was eat, so we had our picnic in the refectory while Hannah and Claire did a bit of hat swapping and then we set off to explore the museum.

Hannah was quite interested in it all once we had reassured her that no one would be firing any guns lol.

Up at the top of the fort there is a lovely view over the fields and farms towards Denmead, and Hannah had a great time running up and down the grassy banks.

It's been a really nice day, and i know that Hannah is looking forward to seeing Claire again soon (in her tutoring capacity), as after she had left Hannah said that she had wanted to get her books out and do some lessons with her too - funny little girl :-)
Thanks for a great day Claire x

Infinity Session

Recently Hannah and i joined a new group called South Of England Unschoolers, and yesterday we went to the brilliant Infinity Session! Hannah had a fantastic day, she was so happy and relaxed and made lots of new friends and caught up with some old friends too. She did art and craft, played skipping games, picked blackberries, ran around in the garden and made up games and adventures with her friends.

Making plasticine models with her friend Tess Some of the art she did.
An upside down bench boat!

Making new friends.

And what did i do? Well i met some lovely parents and lovely children who were all so friendly and welcoming, i drank coffee, chatted, and marvelled at the fact that Hannah had settled in so quickly and happily!
A really good day :-)

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

An Arty Home Ed Group Session

Our group meetings are usually held in the main city library here, but last week some vandals blocked the 3rd floor sinks and left the taps on all night resulting in flood damage to the whole library and emergency closure of the building for at least two weeks (isn't that terrible?). So, today we had our meeting at my house!!!
My house is VERY small, and we had 15 of us in here, but it was really fun!! The children all behaved beautifully and seemed to enjoy the session alot.

We are having our 'Not Back To School' picnic next week, so today we started to get ready for it. The children all decorated t-shirts with Home Schooling slogans and pictures on them, and then helped the mums to make a big banner to put up at the picnic.
They all did a great job with their t-shirts using fabric paints and marker pens and Hannah is really looking forward to wearing hers next week!

Hannah decorating her shirt
That's the first part done!!I'd like to say a big thank you to everyone who came to my house today and made it such a good session i really appreciate you coming (especially on such a rainy day!) x

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Cake making in Church!

Today in Sunday School Hannah learned the Bible Story of The Loaves and Fishes, did a picture of the story, and then made cakes!!
I was really surprised when she came back into the service clutching two beautifully decorated cakes and smelling like frosting and chocolate!!

She was so pleased with the cakes that i had to take pictures and blog it so everyone could see them - so, here they are :-)

Apparently they tasted pretty good too !

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

What Hannah did today

Did not look much like unschooling, but she was happy and chose the things herself, so i guess i'd better call us Autonomous instead..................or i could just call us home educators and stop trying to fit into a label!! Does anyone else think it's just too hard to stick to one style when there is so much out there, and does it matter as long as your child is happy and learning?

Anyway, to get back to what Hannah actually did, she started off with a story and activity from her new Devotions book. She had the book for younger girls last year which she loved, but thought the stories were a bit too babyish for her now so we bought this one last week. Then we re-read the story of Blueberries For Sal ready to start our new lapbook.
We talked about the story, read all about the different types of bears in the world and then found out that the bears in the story were Black bears from the state of Maine.

So Hannah found Maine on our USA map and we read about the Maine landscape, industry, agriculture and people.

Then we started the lapbook.

and completed the first activity which was to make the life cycle of a blueberry bush.

Grandma arrived at lunchtime and so Hannah's afternoon consisted of a piano lesson, (grandma is teaching her to play as she is quite an acomplished pianist)

and a trip to the park with grandma on her scooter (Hannah that is - grandma walked!)
Tonight Hannah read her next reading book to me, and then went to sleep listening to James Herriot's 'Warm And Joyful Tales' on cd. A perfect end to her day!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Sunday Morning

A few weeks ago Hannah asked me if we could start going to church again. I used to take her as a baby and toddler, but after we moved house she was very shy of going as she didn't want to sit in the adult service and wasn't confident enough to go to Sunday School. But, she decided she wanted to try again, so we went along to a few services and she sat with me in the church. This morning she was really excited, and decided that today she would go back to sunday school !! She did!! And she loved it!!!

Here she is racing on ahead of me on her new favourite toy - her scooter.

Waiting for me outside of Church - she was in such a hurry we were half an hour early lol!
She went into the Sunday School really happily and came out with this lovely picture she had coloured.

She also told me all about the story they had had, which was The Parable Of The Sower, and said that after the story the children planted cress seeds which they are going to check on each week.
She made some new friends and really enjoyed her morning, and i got to enjoy a lovely service too.
The Parable Of The Sower - for anyone interested.
A farmer went out to plant his garden. As he was throwing the seed on the ground some fell on the hard path nearby and the birds came and ate them.
The next seeds fell near some rocks the farmer had in a pile nearby. There was not much dirt around the rocks so the seeds started to sprout and grow the next day. When seeds aren't planted in the dirt they don't grow roots which help them stay strong and wet, which help them grow properly.
So in the afternoon when the sun was very hot the little plants that started to grow among the rocks withered away and died because they had no root in the ground.
As the farmer continued to throw seeds onto the ground some of the seeds fell among the weeds and thorns that he hadn't pulled out. The thorns grew faster and taller then the seeds, so the seeds couldn't get enough sunlight and were choked out by the thorns.
Finally, some seed fell on the good soil that the farmer had worked and dug holes for the seed to go into. Those seeds made plants and those plants produced lots and lots of vegetables.

Saturday, 7 August 2010


Hannah, has been painting today! She wanted to make a summer scene, so started by drawing some summer insects and a flower on to card and cutting them out.Then she painted each insect and while they dried, painted a big summer background on a large sheet of paper.

Finally she put it all together on the wall and it looks like this...............
A lovely summers day. She is going to add other insects and flowers to it over the next week and then she wants to make an Autumn scene, but i think we'll give summer a bit of a chance first :-)

A Walk around Portchester Castle and Church

Yesterday we went on a walk around Portchester Castle and Church with four other families from our Home Ed group.
We started the walk in castle Street and walked along a footpath from Cow Lane which was lined with wild flowers and early fruits (yellow plums and sloes). We followed the path all along the shore line and down to Porchester Castle.

After a look around the outside of the castle we carried on to the church, which is inside the castle walls and very pretty.

Inside the church the children explored all the displays and read the information about the church.

Hannah and her friend Caterina

After a refreshing cup of tea and cake in the church coffee shop we headed back up Castle street to the village to finish our walk (and for Hannah and me it was on to Grandma's for tea as she lives in the village).

Art And Craft On The Beach

On Thursday, in very blustery conditions, I held an 'art and craft on the beach' afternoon for our Home Ed group.

After a picnic lunch we made Sandy Hands or Feet, which were fun, and fairly sucessful. To make them you simply make a deepish hand print in some damp sand, pour in Plaster of Paris and decorate with little shells and pebbles. It sets in about half an hour and then you can dig out your 'sandy hand'!! For the very little ones we made sandy feet as their tiny fingers didn't make a deep enough sand shape to pour the plaster into and they worked just as well. The important things to remember are to 1) Guard your print while it's drying to prevent any one from stepping on it, and 2) Work fast because Plaster of Paris dries super fast on a windy beach!!

Here is Hannah with her finished Hand. Once the Plaster was all used up we collected some interesting shaped pebbles and used acrylic paints (thank you Sally and Debbie for bringing those) to decorate them. One of the older girls used a Sharpie pen to turn the pebbles into the most amazing animal shapes, and the younger ones all had fun splashing paints around and making beautiful multi coloured pebbles. Hannah painted a bumble bee, and I helped her turn a stone with a hole in it into a rabbit burrow on a grassy hill!! They now have pride of place on our season table.

The painting aftermath!!

Hannah's sandy hand and painted pebbles drying in the sun.

Of course there was also lots of running, playing, shell collecting, paddling, and laughing and we all had a really good afternoon.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

The last few days....

Have been lovely, and we haven't really even done anything!

On Sunday Hannah went riding and had her first ever canter!! She said it was scary, especially as she almost came off (but managed to cling on) when the saddle slipped, and was very proud of herself when she tried it again and got it right.

Grooming Cracker, who isn't really headless,
Just very hungry!!
Having a canter and getting it right!!

Pony Love :-)

On monday we pottered around at home and Hannah made herself a camp with a few rugs, a couple of lead ropes and a sheet - then she spent all day out in it!

Before finally coming in to help with dinner when she got hungry. She loves peeling and chopping veg, how great is that?? I'm very pleased to let her lol ;-)

And today we went to Baffins pond to meet some other homeschoolers for a play date. I intended to take some pictures, but Hannah disappeared off into the chaos that is a playground during the summer holidays and that was the end of the pictures! She had lots of fun though, and then went back to her friend Esme's house and played some more before falling asleep in the bike trailer on the way home.