Thursday, 14 November 2013

A Cake of Scotland...

The most obvious thing to do this morning was make a cake in the shape of Scotland!  I found this idea somewhere on the net and loved it.  We had spent a while this week discussing the Highlanders in the Jacobite rebellion and this seemed the perfect way to demonstrate the Highlands and the Lowlands of Scotland.

We used a Victoria sponge recipe... make two flat cakes.

Making the Isle of Skye, The Outer Hebrides, The Isle of Mull etc

We used green icing for the Lowlands and white icing with chocolate for the Highlands

Our finished masterpiece.  Ha!  Needless to say we had a late lunch after this :)

While the two smallest were making the cake, the two eldest had the task of creating their own era in history., having looked at the transition to Baroque architecture, Baroque music and Baroque interiors during the reign of The Stuarts.

They had some cool ideas!

Monkey Girl went for an Eco era.

Back to our Stuart theme and Bonnie Prince Charlie, Panda Girl and The Boy made Scottish flags...

...Loch Ness Monsters out of clay...

 ...and card...

We looked at important landmarks in Scotland

And we also had a bit of fun with chalk pastels.

Lunch was a Teddy Bear's picnic.  The Boy's asthma has flared up this week, including a trip to the hospital yesterday, so he missed nursery today and chilled out with us instead.

After lunch is always for subject work (Today included Grammar, Nature Study and Faith Work).

The Boy is learning about the letter 'k'.  He made a hat and badge for his koala.

"Mummy take a photo of me with my thumbs up". :)

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

A Day Off

At 3am this morning my Boy had an asthma attack.  Returning from hospital mid-morning we were all pretty shattered and so cancelled school for the day.  The girls were great and spent the day drawing, dancing and playing outside.  Papa later took them to their afternoon activities of tap, modern and gym while Mummy and The Boy caught up on lost sleep.

Tomorrow is another day!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Understanding What Happened to James II, James The Great Pretender and Bonnie Prince Charlie

We talked at length this morning, with lots of whiteboard drawings, about James II fleeing to France, the rule of Mary and William of Orange, the succession of Anne, George I and George II and in the meantime what was happening to the Catholic heir to the throne, exiled in France and then Italy.

The focus was then on the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the lead up to The Battle of Culloden.

The kiddies had fun designing their own tartan on the computer.

And they all made cute kilts for their teddies

The three eldest watched this insightful DVD into the real Charles Edward Stuart.

And The Boy made a cute Scotsman

Tartans for teddies

At break time the children borrowed my phone and took photos of each other.

After lunch the children caught up with workbooks.

My youngest spelt his name without copying for the first time today.  He was THRILLED.  Here he is telling Nanny (on speaker-phone) about his achievement.

This little lady worked hard on her maths.

This has been a hit with The Boy for a couple of days: tweezers and marbles.

Drawing horses before heading to the unit.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Remembrance Day

This morning we learnt about Armistice.  We looked at Flanders on the map, discussed the poppy fields: so destroyed in battle that only poppies could grow, and the idea of Remembrance for all the wars and conflicts since the Great War.

We held a two minute silence at 11am for all our fallen soldiers.

The two smallest painted poppies on stones which we are going to varnish and take to Great-Nanny and Great-Grandad's grave this coming weekend.  They are our war heroes and we love them.

We read three war poems and the children wrote their own Remember acrostic poem.

Here is Ballet Girl's acrostic poem:

                                                         Righteousness is betrayed,
                                                        End of War, people laid.
                                                       Mud, guts, blood and sweat,
                                                      Every body lay that let
                                                     Mighty leaders sign a paper,
                                                    But more of it was like a caper,
                                                   Endless wars are still occurring,
                                                "Righteousness" the dead are murmuring.

And this book got us talking and thinking.

Then I managed to to something horrendous to my elbow.  I'm still not quite sure whether or not it is broken but in a very unheroic way I did a great deal of yelling and pacing in trembly pain for a couple of hours, then spent a while recovering and drinking herbal tea with my lovely friend.  Papa took charge with the kiddies' Spanish and Nature Study and took them to their trampolining lessons, made dinner, washed up and basically did all things brilliant.

Bestest Uncle Anthony came over for a visit and played screamy, shouty, cushion fighting crazy games with the children while I moped about.

I am still moping.

(Update 3 days later:  A lovely bruise and a very tender elbow but my arm is in full working order.  Hooray for that.  I have also quit moping.)

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Remembrance Sunday

When you go home
Tell them of us and say,
For your tomorrow,
We gave our today.

This post is especially dedicated to my late, heroic Grandfather who was an RAF Desert Rat in WWII, my wonderfully gentle and kind Grandmother who was an ambulance driver in the WAAF in WWII, my husband's maternal Grandfather who faced and escaped a firing squad when caught as a member of the French Resistance in WWII, my Great-Grandfather who fought in WWI and was a night-watchman in WWII, and my Great-Grandmother whose house was bombed twice during the Blitz in London but continued to use her skills as a seamstress to make parachutes throughout WWII.  And to my parents, who grew up on rations in the post-war years. Thank you. 

Today my two Sea Cadet daughters and my Royal Marine Cadet Instructor husband paid their respects to the fallen.

Two parades, two services and one roast dinner with their unit later, they came home to snuggle in jim-jams and rest their feet.  

How blessed we are to live in a free country.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet - to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With All who died.

We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valour led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.

And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honour of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We'll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.