Saturday, 27 April 2013

Fire and Frogspawn

Squidge is still fascinated with fire, and Sprout had come across oil lanterns on Amnesia, so we headed to their grandparents' house to have a play with the one there, lighting it, moving the wick up and down and snuffing it out again.


While we were there we had a look at the frogspawn (later than usual due to the long winter!), chatte about the frog life cycle, and about when the dragonfly larvae would be about again as they love watching them hatch into adults.


Sprout's spent some time on The Sandbox Game, creating buildings and miners and hunters and rabbits and all sorts of other things to create worlds, while altering the climate and the like. He also downloaded Curiosity and has been having fun making patterns, watching other players making blocks disappear, trying to work out how many layers it might have, and speculating as to what is in the centre.


I've been enjoying watching the three of them playing together...


Sprout was proud to turn up at Hackspace this week and the sign he helped design was on display!


Both the boys are back into scootering again, so we've been up to the skate park. Squidge is really excited that he's learnt to jump on his scooter too.


Moppet is really eager to walk now, and is taking advantage of the better weather...


...while the boys have been using all these sunny-ish days to play at the park.


Moppet was fascinated by the bits of the rubber park floor that were different colours...


...loved all the things to hold onto and try and climb...


...and was happily waving to other wee children too :)


As always so much of what we've done is in the conversations we've had and the friends we've played with. Sprout's had some great ideas for fictional plants and the evolutionary traits they'd have, and we talked lots about seed dispersal, the purpose of fruit, tomatoes near sewer entrances, and how organisms try to carry on their lines. 

Our plans for the week ahead are a surgeon simulator game, bowling, a few more trips to the park and meet ups with friends, a trip to the pottery museum we haven't been to since last year at some point, and another B&Q Kids Can Do It class, among other things - never seems to be a quiet week ever!

Monday, 22 April 2013

Marble Tracks and Space Hacks

So... I think it might actually be Spring! Really this time!

We've been chalking on the drive...



...playing in the park...





...hunting for fossils (still with no success but we'll keep trying!)...


...digging up pretend fossils...


...picking daisies...


...riding bikes...



...spinning til dizzy...


...and eating ice creams...



We've occasionally ventured indoors for some more Doctor Dreadful potions...



...some cooking (Squidge makes awesome rocky road!)...


...some beautiful moments...


...some K'nex at home ed group...


...and some group chilling out :)
(No matter what I do, I can't get this photo to go the right way up. Apologies!)


I've had a Squidge and Mummy morning at the cinema watching Wreck it Ralph again...


Moppet's been mostly exploring her own toes...


...and watching the dog out of the window...


And Sprout has started going to Kids Can Do It classes - he made a toy boat, sanded, drilled and screwed... 



...and subsequently painted, all by him. He wants to make a lemonade stand next, so I just need to work out where he can do one.


Squidge and Moppet have been playing with balloons lots, and Squidge was excited to get this balloon to stick to the ceiling with static.


He's been doing lots of art on the ipad too, his favourite thing being putting collage faces together and sending them in an email to his Grandpa.



I'd been meaning to pick up some pool noodles when they came in stock in Poundland this summer, but when I was at B&Q I noticed that pipe insulation was pretty much the same thing and cheaper, so we now have marble race tracks...


As well as having lots of friends over for their monthly Lego day (which was less Lego and more dressing up and playing), Sprout and Squidge have started playing Minecraft together again, plus Sprout has made a start on Far Cry 3 and Star Wars Legend of the Sith. He's got plans to do some level editing on Far Cry 3 this week too.
Hackspace is a continuing enthusiasm, and they got the EL wire sign working that he'd helped design; it's prompted him talking about maybe starting to learn to program, so we're looking at Raspberry Pis as well. Although this week might be a quieter one on that front, as when asked if he'd like a circuit board kit to make there tomorrow night, he told me he just wanted to go along and have a drink and a chat :)



Monday, 15 April 2013

Experiences and change

I wanted to save for posterity something Sprout (7) just said to me out of the blue in the car on the way back from a home ed group.

"The more things I do and the more games I play, the more I change. I have memories of the experiences I've had, and the new experiences share with them, and that's how I change. Exploration is the key to survival."

I love how deep his thoughts are and his level of self awareness even at seven, and I'm so glad we're able to give him the support to explore things in his own way!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

In which we whizz through a fortnight

It's sooo busy here at the moment... the children's interests, outings and activities, keeping up with Moppet and her quickly burgeoning climbing abilities (read: actual ladders), renovating various bits of the house, and working on a couple of projects that are hopefully going to give us the financial basis to keep on home educating... so all in all there hasn't even been a minute to blog. And even now it's going to have to be a summary at top speed. So, deep breath, and...

Sprout's Easter Minecraft constructions...


...Squidge and my experimentations with drawing letters and pictures with hand sanitiser and setting light to them...


...Moppet being into *absolutely everything* and now able to climb ladders and the like...


...indoor Easter Egg hunt due to unseasonal snow...


...making chocolate crispy cake nests and pulling faces...


...making chocolate coins...


...raiding the junk box and gluing and painting...


...decorating a new corkboard to display artwork on...


...making art representing a cross between Amnesia and Slender (when you looked at it normally you could see one, when you held it up to the light you could see the other)...


...painting themselves...


...gardening when the snow *finally* melted...


...blowing bubbles in the park...


...launching stomp rockets...


...and generally playing with toys in the fresh air...


...making jelly sweets with a Doctor Dreadful kit...



...Moppet enjoying throwing things out of boxes and then going round and collecting them all back up and putting them back in the box...


...Sprout with his mockup of the new Hackspace sign (where he went along and did some circuit soldering to build a light-sensing robot from a Maplin kit)...


...all three children playing cars together...


...being The Croods...



...going climbing at the park...


...fossil hunting at the old pit mound...


...bike riding...


...playing with big brothers...


...looking at the bird box cam at the birds building their new nest...


...Squidge taking apart a wind up torch and a laptop with a screwdriver...


...trying to catch a glimpse of the vole living in the compost heap...


...making pickaxes out of paper and paperclips...



...rocking...


and lots and lots of bouncing!


Squidge's favourite thing of the week was making turtle bean burgers and onion rings, from scratch, with Gruff. It took all evening but they were awesome and he was so proud!

Can't go without mentioning my two favourite Sprout conversations of the week... the first when he was asking me what grades were, and after I explained it he said they really shouldn't go in that order, but rather each letter should represent a word and then the grades would go in the order of how good the words were, then he went down the alphabet telling me, A would be for Amazing, B for Brilliant, C for Cool, etc I love seeing how his relationship with words is growing!
The second conversation made me smile even more in view of the fact that the person that said to me, "Well there are things that a child just has to know that they're not going to just come across,
and it's your job as a home educator to make that learning fun." here, he was talking about fractions. Now, my view is that if there's something a child needs to know to live in the world, they're going to come across it in the world, and if they're never going to ever come across it, then they don't need to know it unless they want to. So hurray for Sprout working out fractions without them ever having been introduced as this completely discrete entity away from any sort of use! Because while snuggling own to sleep the other night he said to me, "You know when you give something a rating, is the number on the right hand side of the line the highest the one on the left hand side can go?" Indeed it is. Denominators and numerators, tick! "So if you have ten out of twenty, then that's the same as half?" Indeed it is. Division, tick! Simplifying a fraction, tick! And all because it was a useful thing to do something he wanted to do. Who'd have thought it, maths is actually a real world tool!