Wednesday, 6 July 2016


Rainforest Centre

Today we went to the rain forest centre in Newbury. It was amazing and we had a great tour from a lady about all the edible things. From coffee and vanilla to insects, rodents, birds and even turtles!

The fish were incredible, so big!

My favourite part was the Sloth.

We learned about the symbiotic relationship between agouti and the brazil nut tree (google it, it's cool) and how over hunting is causing problems. 

We learned a little about climate and the four different layers of the rainforest, as well as animal adaptations that allow them to live there. 

It's a great centre, with a wide range of work sheets to keep little ones interested. Well worth a visit if you are in the area. 

The children's favourite bird was a curacao called 'Luigi'

Saturday, 6 February 2016


The Giving Project

We sold our house recently, and as well as using some of the money to purchase our next property, we wanted to give some away.

Not only that, but we wanted to train Cosmo and Lychee in giving too, by modelling, but also letting them have a go. They've been recieving pocket money on and off for a few years and Cosmo regularly gave a few coins to homeless people. After prayer, we decided to take the money, split it four ways, and give each member of the family a "giving fund" with the only rule being that you must give it away before the end of the year. 

I had images of smiling children who were going to think this was so much fun.

I was wrong. 

Both children felt completely overwhelmed and the conversation ended with them saying they wouldn't do it. 

Over the next few days it came out that they felt it was too much money, and that they were concerned about giving it away "to the wrong person". 

After much reassurance they have finally accepted that it isn't a test, and there is no right or wrong. We also encouraged them to split it into a monthly or even weekly target to give, rather than worrying about the whole amount. 

I have to admit I did flinch when Cosmo wanted to give £40 to a homeless man, but to his credit, my husband didn't. He went and withdrew the cash so he could do it. 

Everything in me wanted to say "that money would be better used by a charity that supports homeless people" but part of having assured him that there are no mistakes and he is completely in charge, I'm glad I restrained myself from coercing him into making a different decision. 

Training involves trust. 

And maybe education so that he can make informed decisions later; though he may still not make the same choices that I would. 

I'm glad we're doing the project and my children are learning to be generous young. 

We are also using YNAB to track our progress and at the end it will be great to look through and see where all the money went.  

Thursday, 26 November 2015


Autumn term

This season is always super busy, so I rarely have time to blog, but we have certainly done plenty! 

This term the children have been to the west end to see shows twice (most recently "Elf - the musical", which was brilliant, although Cosmo claims he still prefers Phantom of the Opera), spent a day learning to ski and snowboard, had a historical fun day pretending to be pirates with their friends, as well as all the usual activities like parkour, swimming and sports classes. 

Speaking of swimming, Lychee swam five metres with swimming aids last week, and if she can repeat it this week I think she'll be getting her badge. 

We've got up to the Egyptians in our mystery of history curriculum so we made a "daddy mummy" which was a lot of fun. 

We've also bought Cosmo a kindle, which has been brilliant for keeping up with enough books for him to read (we're budgeting about £20/month for him and it's still not nearly enough even at kindle prices!) and lychee is still enjoying weekly trips to the library to max out her card.

This week they had whiteboard pens out again, which she loves so much.

Although it's obviously very tiring!!

Today we're celebrating thanksgiving and tomorrow we will be decorating our house for Christmas (super exciting). 

The children have been playing "mayflower" on the blanket in the living room, pretending there's a crazy storm and throwing themselves off their "ship". 

That's all for now, there's loads more, but I have to go finish making a pumpkin pie before our guests arrive. 

Happy holidays! 

Thursday, 8 October 2015


In your image...

This week we've started our mystery of history curriculum again. Lychee is now old enough to join in and get something from it, which makes it a whole lot easier than it was last time around!

To be honest, we stopped because we moved house and taking our timeline off the wall meant we would have to reconstruct everything we'd done and I couldn't face doing it at the time. Starting again means rebuilding slowly, which is a lot more manageable. 

Today the children are using play doh to create men in their own image... Which quickly descended into creating their own "beasts of the field" and "birds of the air".  Cosmo is enjoying it so much more having a sibling to encourage creativity. First time around he wanted to make everything look perfect, exactly like a real person. 

Second time around, with a little encouragement from his sister, he's created a six legged, long necked, mammal that swims and has a number on its back which changes each year to tell you how old it is. 

I love how they inspire each other and learn from each other in ways that I couldn't teach. 

Family learning is the best! 

Thursday, 1 October 2015


Water sports day

Cosmo had great fun at Caldecotte lake yesterday, building a raft and then canoeing with his friends from our home ed co-op. Lychee wasn't old enough to go (for insurance purposes) so I had to stay home with her, but some friends kindly sent me pictures. 

Monday, 28 September 2015


Simple things

We've been super busy the last few weeks, with surf school, ice skating, swimming lessons, parties and more; sometimes it's really nice just to slow down. 

A friend brought us a box of wooden counters that a school she works at were throwing out. The children love them. We are spending a morning making pictures whilst we listen to an audiobook. 

Cosmo is making a suspension bridge. Lychee is making people. 
They are so happy and chilled out. 
This is the side of home ed that I love most. Just quiet playing together. It's always the simplest toys that bring out the most inventive games and inspire the most creativity. 

Monday, 14 September 2015


Not Back to School trip

This week is Rosh Hashanah, which is the Jewish new year, and generally when we would restart our homeschool after a loooooooong summer break hanging out with daddy. It's a fun day of starting out with fresh curriculum and books; and eating lots of sweet things (we have fruit, yoghurt and honey for lunch!) to remind ourselves of how sweet and good God is.

Our home-ed co-op. however, prefers to start a little earlier, and this year, we decided to join them on a trip to Prestatyn in Wales. It was so much fun to go with our cousins and the kids had a fantastic time.

We went to surf school at Surf Snowdonia, to great Orme copper mines and on a fossil hunt; we played on the beach, in an incredibly mild ocean; we went to Conwy castle and on an audio tour of an Edwardian house.

It was great fun to catch up with old friends, as one of Cosmo's favourite buddies who left our co-op last year made the effort to book in to the same resort and hang out with us all.

On the way home we stopped in at Stratford-upon-Avon and visited the MAD museum. It was incredible and the kids loved playing with all the exhibits, particularly a typewriter that was attached to fishing wires, which tapped glasses that had been tuned to different pitches.

You can see our video of what we did below: