Saturday, 25 October 2014

A New Baby!

Our Autumn Display Board

My kiddies have spent six weeks passing a lingering bug between them and in that time at least one has been unable to leave the house or do very much.  Those wonderful autumnal walks we have every year did therefore not materialise as a result, which meant our autumn unit was somewhat not as I had envisioned it to be.

Our week and autumn unit ended on an unexpected note with my sister calling me in the early hours of the morning to take her kiddies while she calmly had a baby.  As you do.

Her Spanish nanny joined us and we spent the morning hanging out...

...and painting...

...until Mummy called to let us know baby had arrived and all was well.  

In the afternoon we had a meeting with a local homeschool organisation regarding GCSE options for Ballet Girl and tutoring for exams.

Ballet Girl and Monkey Girl had Ballet and then sleepovers with their friends, while Panda Girl and The Boy finished their week with Frozen.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Autumn Across Cultures

One of my favourite things about thematic units is the fact that we can make them so cross-curricular.  Today we talked about China's Mid-Autumn Festival which is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese Han Calendar.  It is also know as the Moon Festival or Harvest Moon Festival because it is celebrated on a full moon.

Extended families typically gather together and eat dumplings, then moon gaze and eat moon cakes, giving thanks for the harvest and praying for prosperity and longevity.

Ballet Girl and Monkey Girl made Chinese dumplings using mince meat, spring onions, sugar, soy-sauce, ginger and spinach for the filling.  

I thought they were superb.  They followed the recipe and instructions themselves with very little intervention from me.  We will be making more of these.

Panda Girl is now the last family member to catch this dreadful virus everyone has been kindly sharing.  She spent the day on the sofa being smiley, as always.

So it was just the boy who made moon cakes today.  He did a smashing job too.

While we refrigerated the dough, he made a moon so we could moon gaze. 

Filling the moon cakes with strawberry jam.

Glazing with egg yolk.

They were biscuity and crumbly and absolutely delicious. Why didn't we make more?!?!

After lunch (dumplings!), outside play and Lego play, I spent some time confidence building with Ballet Girl and then Monkey Girl with their maths.  I predominantly spend my afternoons with the two youngest while the eldest two work independently, but it's good to spend some time with the eldest, catch up with their latest work and help where I can.

The Boy had a play-date with his best friend. 

And this evening Monkey Girl went to Football Practice with the Sea Cadets and Ballet Girl went Rock Climbing.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Apple Tasting and Ballet Exams

Spotting birds on his bird feeder.

Panda Girl had a Ballet exam this morning so Ballet Girl and Monkey Girl took their Nature Study, Spanish, Faith Work and Script Work to Aunty G's house while Mummy and The Boy waited at the dance studio.

This afternoon we managed to squeeze in some apple tasting where we discussed the differences in taste between Gala apples, Cox apples, Golden Delicious apples and Pink Lady apples.  We talked about adjectives and thumbed through the Thesaurus to help us find the words we needed.

The Boy did a mini survey on everyone's favourite apple...

...before the two eldest headed off to Tap and Modern classes and these two went to Gymnastics.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Pumpkin Seeds and Mucho Spanish

 This morning the munchkins scooped out pumpkins.

We used the pumpkin flesh in a casserole for lunch.

And part boiled/part roasted the seeds for a snack.

This afternoon I spent a lot of time with Monkey Girl and Ballet Girl helping them with their Spanish.  This Boy worked with various sisters on English and Science. Love.

Panda Girl had an extra Ballet lesson today in preparation for her exam tomorrow and The Boy spent an hour running his socks off at Football.

We ended the day with the two eldest at Intermediate Foundation Ballet, Mummy sorting a whole load of washing, and a lot of reading.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Make Your Own Bird Feeder

The Boy woke up and made a spider - because that is always a good way to start the day.

Monkey Girl had a good look at a far away tree.

And then everyone designed their own bird feeders.

The boy made a peanut butter and seed tube.

And used a drill to make a wooden feeder.  Happy Boy ;)

Panda Girl used a seed and honey mix which she is freezing overnight ready to hang out tomorrow.

She also made a bottle feeder, using tape to cover sharp edges for the birds.  Because she's lovely.

Monkey Girl made a feeder with a perch.

And this is why we call her Monkey Girl.

Ballet Girl used a pre-cut piece of wood and kept the seeds in with peanut butter smeared inside.

And she also made two brilliant hanging tables: one with seeds and one with porridge.

I think they are all fantastic!  They are outside our classroom window so we can see if they are a success!

Ballet Girl and Monkey Girl spent a while doing some tree and fungus identification around the garden.

And they each tied a bag around a branch to catch water vapour from the leaves: a breathing tree!

Apple bobbing.  Catch your own snack.

After lunch we did poetry... always determined but today under-the-weather daughter was adamant she wanted to persevere with her maths...

...activity books...

...trampolining class and then Lego before bedtime.

Phew! 'So pleased God invented sleeping.  G'night :)