A Little Luxury

Before I took the children out of school I had 6 hours 10 minutes each day, Monday to Friday (in term time), when I could have time to myself.  Now they are here every minute of every day and although it can be very rewarding it can also be very hard especially when you want a little ‘me’ time.

I’ve given up an awful lot to home educate and have to juggle so much each day. Collecting birthday & Christmas presents needs military planning to make sure the child doesn’t see the present. The shopping used to be done while they were out, now we have to drag unwilling children around the supermarkets.  I used to love to sit and read when it was quiet, it never seems to be quiet enough now to concentrate.

But, the little luxury that I can’t do without is my bath once a week. Now before all the yuck’s start, the once a week is my ‘take as long as I want in the bath’ night.  Other nights are a shower or a 15 minute bath. I used to do it regularly, but during the day, when they were in school, now, forget it.

The warnings start 2 hours before, I’m going for a bath at 6pm. I’m going for my bath in an hour. Does anybody need the bathroom before I have my bath in 30 minutes. In 10 minutes I am going to lock the bathroom door, if you don’t go in now you can’t for a minimum of an hour. They all know that unless someone is dying that I am not moving until I’m ready.

Now, the main bit of luxury is filling the bath up so high that the water immediately starts to go down the overflow the minute I get in. No problem, I just keep filling in up. Lots of hot water and bubbles are the order of the day.

So, you can keep your flowers, chocolates & bottles of wine, OK maybe not the wine. The only treat I need is my deep, hot, bubbly bath and an hour with no interruptions and I’m happy.

 

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Tour of Britain 2017

We’ve just got back from watching the Tour of Britain 2017 which came through our village.

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The Tour of Britain is a multi-stage cycling race which is conducted on British roads, the competitors race across Great Britain to complete the race in the fastest time. The total distance is around 1300 km. The section we viewed part of was 165km.

This is the first time we have actually gone to anything like this but I think the children enjoyed seeing all the bikes, both motorised and pedal powered.

I don’t think we have a budding cyclist in the family, far too energetic. As a friend Jodie just said  “I can just about get out of bed in a morning, never mind that!!” I second that.

I feel we may have a couple of blog posts being done before the end of the day. I knew there was a reason I took them to watch it.

Clip Clop Chronicles – A Review

Jess received this book as part of her birthday presents. The book is set in central Florida, it follows the journey of Roz who is a twelve-year-old, horse mad girl. She is determined to make it to the top of the equestrian world but her family think riding horses is a sport that Black people just don’t do.

This is a story about determination to succeed and this is the story of her fight to prove she can be whatever she wants.

This is Jess’s review of the book:

Clip – Clop Chronicles is about a black girl called Roz age 12 whose dream is to be a horse rider. She tries to earn money to go to horse riding lessons by mowing other people’s lawns but in a storm things turn against her and a tree comes down on her lawn mower and the engine took most of the damage but luck had it that her mum and dad were nice and paid half of what she needed and she had enough now to take riding lessons.

She goes thru 1 teacher before she finely finds the right teacher to teach her. Her teachers name is Ms Mae, and she is a nice teacher and kind to all of her student’s but I think she liked Roz best.

It is a good book and there are no pictures so it gets you to use your imagination I have learnt that bad things happens but so do good things like Roz’s lawn mower broke but she when horse riding I think children from age 8 up would like it

I would give the book:

 

5 StarsClip Clop Chronicles - A Review

Travelling Backwards – A Review

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Travelling Backwards By Toby Forward

I managed to pick this book up for 50p in a sale at The Works, and what a bargain it was. Jess has read the book 3 or 4 times and thinks it is brilliant.

It’s an easy story to read which introduces children to the concepts of death and endings. It deals with death in a child friendly and non scary way.  Below is Jess’s review of the book, she first read it just after her 9th birthday.

“Travelling Backwards is about a little girl called Lizzie. Lizzie’s grandpa is dying  Lizzie goes over to her freind miss may’s house to take her mind of her dying grandpa but miss may knows some thing is upsetting  Lizzie and asks what is wrong.

Lizzie tells miss may and miss may gives  Lizzie a potion to stop  Lizzie’s grandpa dying she warns Lizzie not to give grandpa to much and to bring the bottle back when grandpa is better .  Lizzie goes back home and gives grandpa some and the effect is extraordinary my favourite part is when Lizzie goes to the beach with her better grandpa who drank a bit to much

I give it 4.5 out of 5, I think most children who can read on their own would like it”

4.5 Stars

 

 

Nessy – Help For Children With Dyslexia – Review

Nessy was recommended to me by a friend who had used it with her daughter. We think Jess is dyslexic, although she has only had very basic tests which show a problem but nothing was confirmed. We had so many problems with numbers & letters back to front, letters completely missing from words even when she had written it 10 minutes before, she has always had difficulty telling time and so much more.

The Nessy reading & spelling  program was developed by a team of specialist teachers & psychologists at the Bristol Dyslexia Centre, with dyslexic children in mind. It is aimed at 5-12 years but I think Jess would have struggled with it before she was 7. There are 10,000 schools worldwide that use the program so your child may have already have knowledge of it.

We have Nessy Reading & Writing & also Nessy Numbers. Both are used equally on an almost daily basis.

I have noticed that some of the reading games can be done too easily, just by looking at the initial letter of the word rather than actually reading it, this is a minor issue though.

Jess loves the games and earning nuggets that she can spend in ‘Monkey Town’. I personally feel that the games could get boring if they are doing them too often. But, it’s not me that uses it so I asked Jess to tell me what she thinks.

Please ignore the spelling & (lack of) punctuation as she is working 18 months behind her age. She’s slowly catching up and is doing a lot more work than she did at school.  This is partially down to Nessy 😀

Jess – 9

I am home Ed and I use Nessy. Nessy is a fun way for kids to lean I find it very useful at times like the  first time I went on Nessy I did not know how to tell  the time properly but now I know that for pm all you need to do is take away  twelve and that is just on Nessy clock island. On Nessy tables of doom I learnt my 3, 4, 6 and 7 times tables

On Nessy reading and spelling I am learning to spell properly also on Nessy there is something called monkey town. In monkey town there are rewords like if you complete an island you get an egg and you can see the egg via the big tree in monkey town and there are loads more rewords to collect

Ed Place Review

Ed Place is one of the programs we use as part of our home education. It has 1000s of interactive worksheets covering English, maths and science which are created by qualified teachers.  There are video’s for some topics but according to the children it can be a bit hit or miss as to whether they are useful or not. The worksheets cover from KS1 through to KS4.

Both me & the children can check their progress and see overall and individual topic scores on the dashboard. It also tells us which are their best, and worse, performing topics, very handy when choosing what to do more work on.

I have found that Abbie (12) doesn’t care about the badges she earns but it really motivates Jess (9) to do more. The normal cost is £99 for all 3 subjects for 1 year but we actually get it at a reduced cost as part of a home education group subscription (please send me a message if you would like more details). They also have a 14 day trial for £1 so you can check if the children like it or not.

I would personally give it a 4.5 out of 5 as I think it’s a brilliant program. The normal price brings the score down sightly for me.

Here is a short video of Jess doing a science worksheet:

Below are the children’s own thoughts about it.

Abbie – 12

Ed Place is a learning platform that I unwillingly use from time to time, I like the scoring system though. Me (12) and my sister (9) use it as we are home educated, and it’s admittedly one of the better learning sites.

It has Science, English and Maths and depending on what year the child is set on, there will be different topics, eg: I’m on year gsce level (year 10-11) and my maths basically all algebra…

But on quite a few topics I don’t think it explains things very well leading to low scores and frustration. Over all I’d only give it a 3/5.

Jess – 9

I think it’s fun and I like getting rewards like badges. Its good that you can check your scores and timeline, I can check what i have done on other days with this.

I would give it 4 out of 5

Our overall score for Ed Place is:

4 Stars

Lapbooks

If you have children and haven’t tried using lapbooks you are missing out on a fantastic resource.  I use them as a home educator but they are just as useful for a schooled child to reinforce a topic.

Families with children of different ages can find lapbooks very useful as the same subject can be used for several children who are  at varying levels and have different learning styles.

All you need to make a lapbook is a document wallet, but you can also use construction paper or card.  All a lapbook is really is a large outer cover which contains a collection of mini-books, flaps, pockets, folded display material and anything else you like. The content is totally up to you, we like to add artwork to the front to show the topic.

If you’ve been covering a subject the lapbook can collate all the main information into one place.  We were covering The Vikings when I first found out about lapbooks so this was our first book. They are a hands on way of learning and the information seems to stay with the child as they are so involved with the construction of the book. My youngest regularly goes back to her lapbooks and re-reads them.

There are plenty of templates online as well which we do use, it is possible to make the complete book just using these.  Just search lapbook resources and see what comes up. Pintrest is also full of usual boards for most subjects.

We are still quite new to lapbooks but below are photo’s of our first lapbook and the one we are working on now which is on volcano’s.

 

 

Cooking

It’s times like this that I love home ed.  Abbie is sat at the table doing a blog post on the Sticky Toffee Pudding that she made yesterday while keeping an eye on the spaghetti bolognese that she is in the middle of making.  She’s been wanting to make a ‘proper’ meal for us for ages.

I will update with links to the recipes tomorrow.

Updated a bit earlier than planned. Here is the Sticky Toffee Pudding recipe

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe 

Spaghetti Bolognese

 

Storm Doris – Video

Storm Doris was due to hit most of the UK today but luckily we got off very lightly in Nottinghamshire. I went out early afternoon and it was a bit windy and a couple of gusts stopped me dead but not as bad as it could have been.

Abbie and Jess spent a lot of the day just watching the trees in the woods behind our house and it sparked discussions about storms and the power of mother nature. The rest of the day was spent doing word searches and drawing.

Home Ed Bargains Of The Week

I do like my bargains, they are even better when they are educational as well.

We went to the car boot sale yesterday and got a couple of really good things. Firstly for Jess I bought a ‘make your own wind chime’ kit, the ‘jewels’ you stick on the side were missing but not a problem as I’ve got loads, everything else was there, that was 10p.  On another stall we found a new copy of a DK Find Out magazine with a free min kite attached, she was sat reading the magazine yesterday for around an hour and is waiting for a windy day so she can try the kite. There was also a new sealed small purple (I love purple) notebook which I have claimed. We were charged 20p for both.

The next stall we went to was selling everything at 10p.  Jess got a doll that’s half of the height of her. We found a Ravensburger 540 piece puzzleball. Not sure yet if all the pieces are there but the box is immaculate  so hoping so, if they aren’t we haven’t lost much.  There was also a part completed latch hook rug kit.  None of us have done a rug before, although Abbie wants to do a rag rug at some time, so this might be fun. As it’s a dog design there may be a few arguments as too who gets this in their room.

Just as we were leaving I noticed 3 ring binders on a stall. Abbie asked how much and the lady said 10p, so she picked a purple one with stars on. She was then told she could take all 3 for the 10p so another bargain buy.

So for a total of 70p we got loads of things to keep the children occupied and (what Abbie hasn’t thought about) lots more storage for worksheets!