Saturday, 30 October 2010


......started out quietly, Hannah did her lessons and then spent some time playing dominos,

and building a great hall and palace garden!
After lunch her friend Tess came over and the girls had a lovely time playing, dancing and chatting (sorry no pictures, i was busy chatting to Tess's mum!!)

And then it was time to go out to the Hospice where daddy works. They have a music and performance night there each year and this year one of the star performers was


Here he is playing Ukulele with his (very new) band - they were pretty good too!!
Hannah was very proud of him!!
and had a wonderful evening joining in with the percussion and dancing around to the music!
Needless to say, she was exhausted when we got home - it's 9am now and she is still fast asleep, but it was worth it - she was so excited to be there and thinks her daddy is amazing - which of course, he is!!

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Our first tv free day

Today our TV service was cancelled, we are now tv free!! Hannah was a little worried this morning about what she would do, and told me she was sure she wouldn't be able to think of anything. I had no doubt that she would find plenty to do and it turned out that i was right lol!!
First of all the Season Table got a nice fresh overhaul - you'll have to trust me that it looks lovely, my camera flash is broken and all my pictures are coming out dull and grainy, sorry!

Then Hannah did some painting. She had read about finger painting in one of her art books and was keen to try it, she painted a pig,

some finger people,
and a fluffy lamb!
Then she used her felt pens to draw a tree from seed to fully grown.
This afternoon we did some clay modelling, and Hannah made this lovely little fairy,
and helped me to make an acorn and a toadstool. They are drying now and will hopefully look really pretty once they are painted.

So, Hannah did find lots to do after all, and not having a huge tv taking up half of our (very small) lounge room is wonderful (and after all, there's always i-player if we get desperate!)

Monday, 25 October 2010

Home Ed Group Percussion Workshop

As this week is half term holidays at the local schools we couldn't use the adventure playground for our group meeting, so, the very kind brother of one of our members offered to hold a percussion workshop for the children instead!! It was fantastic! There was lots of drumming, whistle blowing and general (tuneful) noise and everyone had a great time, followed by a play outside in the beautiful autumn sunshine. What a great day!!

Thank you very much to James for teaching the children, and Debbie and Laura too, for inviting us all to your house !

Thursday, 21 October 2010

The Final Forest School

Today was the last session of Forest school and the children learnt all about painting with natural ingredients. They experimented with berries, charcoal, dry earth, leaves, beetroot and chalk and then painted a canvas to take home.

While the paintings dried they went on a woodland walk to collect leaves, twigs, acorns and anything else they could find, and brought them back to make some clay creatures.

Hannah made a rabbit, and hedgehog and an ant!!

After the session we all went down to a lovely new adventure playground to burn off some energy and Hannah had a wonderful time on the zip wire, swings and climbing equipment in the gorgeous (but chilly) sunshine.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

100 Years Of Guiding In The UK

Hannah, waiting with her Rainbows Unit to parade to the GuildhallThis year Guiding in the UK celebrated it's 100th anniversary and over the past year the Rainbows, Brownies and Guides countrywide have celebrated with picnics, parties and sleepovers, amongst other activities. Hannah recently went with units from our area to an indoor play centre for a party and celebration and they have all had a lovely year. The finale for the centenary celebrations was tonight, 20.10.2010 at 20:10! The units from all over Portsmouth gathered at the Guildhall to sing songs and renew their promises in front of The Lord Mayor and other guests of honor. There was a big screen showing pictures of the year long celebrations from the local area, a speech by the Lord Mayor and music and drumming - Hannah really enjoyed it. She said she felt really lucky to be a Rainbow and loved being part of it all.

The Portsmouth Rainbows, Brownies and Girl Guides Assembled on the Guildhall Steps - Hannah is front row centre.
The Guildhall Surrounded By Girls with Blue Glow Sticks!
Becoming a Rainbow has really meant a lot to Hannah and i'm so pleased that she was able to take part in such a special event - i have lovely memories of being a Brownie and a Guide and feel so proud that i can now see my little girl making Guiding memories of her own.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

A crafty sort of day

This morning Hannah found an old egg box lid and was inspired to make a little person's golf course!! She used a piece of sponge to make the funny little man and some beads for the golf balls. I love it when she makes something spontaneously like this with no input from me at all, they are always so cute! Then this afternoon we went to our home education group where the children were making Halloween decorations for their up coming party.

Hannah doesn't really do Halloween so instead she made a pumpkin fairy, and then a spider in a web as according to Hannah that is much more nature than halloween!! She also gave him two pumpkin lanterns so he wasn't scared in the dark!

Finally the children iced halloween cakes and cookies................Hannah stuck with her happy theme and iced her cake in pink and white :-)

Needless to say we won't be going to the party, but i'm sure the others will have lots of spooky fun!!

Friday, 15 October 2010

Week 5 at Forest School

This week the children learned how to make charcoal sticks for drawing with and each drew a picture which was then sealed to bring home.
They made fircone bird feeders by heating lard over an open fire and stirring in bird seed, then covering a fircone with the mixture and leaving to set

And they went on a herb hunt as part of a storytelling session, and then added the herbs to a pot of water over the fire - the water was used to put out the fire at the end and it smelled wonderful.

I'm sure she did lots more than this, but this week she didn't need me around so much as her confidence has really grown in the group. Instead i sat myself a little apart from the happenings to allow her some space and missed some of the action - it was worth it though, she did really well :-)

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Just Us

If you're anything like me you'll understand where i'm coming from when I say that sometimes I just need to try something new in order to figure out that what I was already doing was pretty good for us!!

Take homeschooling for instance - i have read so much about so many different styles, and they all sound so exciting and so much better, so we make some changes, try to incorporate the new latest idea into what we're doing and what happens??? We end up returning to the exact same style we started with!!

So anyway, this week we have actually 'homeschooled', and have spent time working on the lessons we used to do (I think I need to face it, we're just not a radically unschooling, classically educating or even a montessori following family, we're just us - doing regular lessons, lots of exploring, lots of play and finding our way together (i know, i know any of you could have told me that months ago, but i got there in the end!)).

Since today was our first whole day at home for ages it was wonderful to just catch up with ourselves and re establish some kind of at home routine. We did Hannah's lessons around the table again and she read her next reading book and did a few pages from her manuscript writing book,

She finished a maths work book that we'd started ages ago - yaay!!

And did some more of the Blueberries for Sal lapbook that we also started ages ago!! Hannah was really excited to be working on her lapbook again and said she really enjoyed herself today, and i did too! It's been a good day, and now i'm off to supervise bathtime as Dean has arrived home with 10 boxes of Tinti
for Hannah that he found on offer, and she can't wait to have a bright red crackling, popping bath lol - i do hope the bathroom survives!!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Fairy Looms, Music and Movement

Today at our home ed group the children made fairy looms! All you need to make a fairy loom is a forked branch, some wool and some bits to decorate with! First weave the wool across the fork to make a framework, and then decorate with anything you like - Hannah chose some fabric flowers, leaves and twinkly beads, but some of the others chose fallen leaves, acorns, fircones and feathers. They all looked beautiful!
Next there was free play in the adventure playground, followed by a children's meeting. We wanted the children to come up with a list of fun activities they would like to do together, and what a list we had!!
Finally, we finished with music and movement led by a volunteer mum. Hannah had a brilliant time being a frog, a mermaid and learning a new dance routine.

Next week we are preparing for Halloween :-)

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Making Dream Catchers At Forest School

It was Hannah's fourth Forest School today and the session began wih some parachute games. Hannah loves the parachute so she was very happy with that! Then the children were shown how to use willow to make dream catchers and were told the story behind the dream catcher.
After that Hannah asked her auntie (my sister, who drove us again this week) if she would help her to make her dream catcher.

And here it is, the finished dream catcher!

Finally the children were given the opportunity to make some bug homes using the this time Hannah and her friends had run off into the woods to play, so Auntie Anita and i made one instead - we did a pretty good job too lol!!
Hannah and i did bring a bundle of willow home with us though, so i'm sure Hannah will make her own bug home really soon!