Friday, 30 April 2010

Museum visit

Today we went to the museum in Edinburgh, suposedly for the monthly new members meeting for EBHE, but as it turned out, just as a meet up with friends.

Our Home Educating friends from Spain, the ones I collected from the airport on Tuesday, came along, so we were six families, and it was really nice. The children are really at home in the museum and love exploring, so the younger children went one way and the teens went another. Then after a while the teens headed out into Edinburgh. Friday is a good day for that because all the schools finish at lunchtime meaning there is no worries about them being hassled as truants, something we shouldn't have to think about, but we do.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Georgian Living Experiment

As we are currently living in a georgian house we thought it would be a good learning oppertunity to go back in time and see what life would have been like when the house was first built.

We can't totally recreate georgian life, but we are turning off the power and water to the main house, and will be doing Georgian activities and eating Georgian food, all while wearing Georgian clothes.

As preparation we will be visiting Georgian Houses and Museums, making dresses and hunting out ingredients for recipes. Today we took the first step and phoned the Georgian House in Edinburgh, who were really interested in our project and said if we go visit them they will tell us all about the life we are planning to live. Just need to book a date and round up some friends to go with us now ...

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Felt balls: Part II

Today we went back to Sarah's to finish our felt balls (and eat a fantastic buffet lunch with cake)

The weather was really nice so the girls took advantage of it and spent the afternoon up the hill building dens, and then made felt balls in the evening when it was cold and dark. Another great benefit of home ed - you can do things when the weather is right :)

While they were working away I went to the airport to meet some Spanish friends who are coming to live in Edinburgh for the summer.

Sunday, 25 April 2010


Before planting Molie and Afra measured the vegetable plot to work out the best places for everything. Each type of vegetable needed a different amount of space and quite a lot of maths was needed to get the best layout

Both girls were surprised to see that the carrot seedling we minature carrots :)

They decided that rows would be the best layout as some of the bigger vegetables, like cauliflowers, needed a lot of space between them. This meant that natural paths were created that could be used for access to other parts of the plot.

Once the outdoor vegetables we in the big plot they added compost to the small bed in the greenhouse and planted the salad vegetables in there.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Garden Centre

Today we dropped Hannah off with her friend to go shopping and to the cinema, and we went to the garden centre to get some ideas for the garden. We are a bit late, what with busy Easter and then the 'not-holiday' so we were really pleased when we found vegetable seedlings that we could just plant out.

We cho0se peas, beans, cauliflowers, broccoli, parsnips, carrots, sweetcorn, beetroot and potatoes for the garden, and lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and peppers for the greenhouse.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Late night pancakes

Not having to get up for school tomorrow means that sleepovers can happen any night of the week, whenever they make sense. Mollie spent the day with Afra today, and is planning to go seed shopping with her tomorrow, so bringing her home for the night was no problem at all.

They decided they would like pancakes for supper, so they mixed up some batter and got out the frying pan. Chocolate spread seemed to be the topping of choice tonight :)


Today we went to friends to do wet felting. Using wool and warm soapy water the girls made balls, adding colours once they had formed the central core from natural wool.

Once they are dried they can be decorated, either with needlefelting or by sewing on decorations

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Mountain Biking

We were really lucky to get a space for Mollie on the mountain biking class in Loch Gelly. The centre supplied the bikes and helmets and then took the group round the forest, showing them how to handle the bikes ove the rough terrain. It was a great success all round, and another session is planned

After biking, they took advantage of the lovely weather and played on the lochside beach for a while.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Monthly Gathering

Being home meant that we could go to this months gathering at Dalkeith Country Park. It was a good chance for the girls to meet up with lots of their friends. They saw some people they hadn't seen for a while, and plans were made to meet up for other activities in the next couple of weeks.

They enjoyed the adventure playground and also spent some time walking round the estate looking to see what plants were growing.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Holiday and Volcano

We are suposed to be going on holiday - flying to Dubai and then cruising, via Egypt, to Barcelona.

But as we were preparing and packing the news was breaking at all flights had been grounded by the ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano, ours included.

So, our trip has been cancelled and we are at home. It will take us a few days to get back into the swing of things, everything had been cancelled so now we have to restart things and try book onto activities we thouight we would miss.

Luckily we had booked a package and so the company have transfered us to another cruise, leaving on 19 May, going to Russia and Scandinavia

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Spring Biology

As we have so many daffodils in the garden wwe decided to use some more of them in our education. When Grandma was here over Easter she told us about an experiment she had done as a child with doffodils and ink. While she was with us we looked everywhere for daffodils but none we out, so we couldn't re create it with her.

But now we have flowers, so we stood a daffodil in a glass containing ink and water. After only a few hours the colour from the ink began to appear along the petals. This illustrated brilliantly how flowers and other plants use water.

The photo shows a 'before' flower on the left, and the 'after' flower on the right

Monday, 12 April 2010

Spring Art

It was a lovely spring day so we decided to take the paints outside and do some biology. We picked some daffodils from the garden and looked at the different parts of them, and then drew what we had seen.

It was also a good lesson in art, we have been trying to draw what we see not what we know is there, so we turned our flowers upside down or back to front to get a different perspective.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Royal Photo Exhibition

Today we met up with friends to see the exhibition at the Queens Gallery in Holyrood Palace. It featured photographs from the royal collection which were taken on the polar expeditions of Scott and Shackleton in the early part of the 20th century.

Mollie got herslef a copy of the worksheet produced by the gallery and enjoyed working her way through it with her friend.

Hannah was more affected by the photo's, she chose to listen to the audio comentary and it really brought home to her just how difficult things had been for the explorers. Scott's story was very tragic, but Shackletons was inspiring.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Edinburgh Science Festival

Today we went to the Edinburgh Science Festival with the Home Ed group. The girls were booked into 3 workshops each, Mol did E.R., Dr Clot and Dig up a Dinosaur. Hannah joined her sister for the first 2 and then went off to build lego robots for the last seesion. They also did drop in session at the Blood Bar and the genetics lab, and watched a show about sound and musical instruments.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Day Off

The past two weeks have been really busy here so today we decided to have a day off.

We cancelled our regular activies and stayed home. The weather was awful, raining, windy and grey, so we lit the fire, brought down duvets and ordered movies from Sky Box Office. We had homemade soup for lunch and pigged out on Easter eggs.

This is just one more benefit of Home Ed. We can take our holidays and days off on days that suit us. Rather than working when we feel tired and low we can stop and re-charge. We are not limited to 'school holidays' and 'term time'. We can work on Sundays and chill out on Tuesdays, we can work when we feel productive and relax when we don't.

But you know what - we have actually learnt quite a lot today. We have chatted about adoption - because I had time to do some research, we talked about the war, and those from the UK who either supported Hitler or wanted to make deals with him - a discusion prompted by one of the films we watched, and Mouse worked on her OU letter - because she finally had the space to just think about it and suddenly it wasn't quite as hard as she thought.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Easter Pony Show

Today was the girls second pony show - this time Easter themed so we went overboard with flowers, chickens and yellow.

The preparation effort was helped by Auntie Lindsey who re-covered the saddle cloth and Auntie Beryl who helped sew little butterflies and flowers onto elastic bands.

It all paid off because Hannah won best in class for 'Best Turned out Pony' and Mollie was placed 4th in 'Best Ridden Pony', which was a big improvement on the show in Fenruary. Then, to end the day Mollie won 'Best Easter Bonnet.'

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Taking advantage of quite time

While Mollie has been entertaining her cousins Hannah has made the most of a few quite days at home to catch up with schoolwork. She is working on a story with poetry in so has been researching different poetry styles and continues to progress through her maths with the online programme, ConquerMaths, which, if she doesn't exactly enjoy, at least makes maths a bit more fun than a text book would.

Easter Crafts

Little cousins have come to stay for the Easter weekend and Mollie has enjoyed spending time with them.

One benefit of Home Education is that she is used to mixing with younger children so it is no challenge for her.

As well as making Easter cards they all decorated Mollie Easter bonnet for the pony show tomorrow. It was a real team effort.