Friday, 27 January 2017

Mystery of History

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I'm not sure how many other people are using the Mystery of History curriculum, but I really love it. It's a great way to piece together world history (so much of what I covered at school focused solely on the UK!) and covers a wide range of other topics in a chronological way.

The only problem I have had with it is that it's sooooo expensive. I mean, it's fine if you live in the US, but shipping to the UK nearly doubles the price of the curriculum, especially if you get charged import tax by customs (yes, even though it was marked educational resources, they decided to charge me anyway).

So I was super excited when I found out you can get volumes I and II on kindle!! Not only that, but there appears to be some kind of promotion on, because despite each quarter of volume II being listed as £6.34, when I bought it I was only charged £1.06! Not only that, but I had promotional credit from my prime account, so I all of volume two on my kindle for FREE.

Pretty sweet deal.

Sadly it doesn't have volumes three and four, but hopefully they'll be released before we get to them, and with all the money I've saved I'm going to go and download the MP3's so we can listen to volume one for revision in the car. 

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Rainforest Centre

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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

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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

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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...

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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

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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

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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.