Monthly Archives: January 2015

A week of science

Why I have only recently heard of geocaching?  I fell upon this a few weeks ago, reading someone else’s blog I think.  We registered and finally last week we set out to search for our first find.  If you’ve never tried this before, I highly recommend it. The weather was gorgeous last Friday and it gave us the perfect excuse to wrap up and set out on a long walk in the crisp winter sunshine.  The boys were most excited to discover the treasure; we swapped a small toy for a DVD, although I feel I should return the DVD once we’ve watched it, as it wasn’t a very fair swap!

Fresh from our walk, we embarked on the electricity challenge!  To make the transition from cars and gears I wrote a short cloze procedure for C.  A bit old fashioned maybe, but he loved the fact that he could fill in all the gaps without any prompts.  One paragraph linked directly to one of his information books and so consequently he had to scan for the necessary information to help him find the exact answer.  This  proved to be an informative way for me to assess how much he had retained from the previous learning. More of the same I think!  Some of the appeal for him with potentially ‘dryer’ work like this is that we now have a giant question mark on the wall, beneath this I stick a thought or question for him to start the day, or a ‘mission’ – basically a worksheet or challenge enclosed in an envelope.


Back to the electricity.  For christmas I had bought a circuit board that C has already begun exploring independently.  We formalised this a little this week to follow the instructions step by step.  He’s delighted that he has made a series of bulbs light, set off a fan and used a switch successfully. The circuits on here are a little restricting though and so we have borrowed some crocodile clips and bulbs to help simplify the process and build in a bit more freedom to explore.  This has enabled him to be more open ended which is how he prefers to learn.  From this exploration he’s built a torch, we’ve looked at a pressure pad and he’s managed to ‘invent’ a game – a wobble wire… If you touch the wire the bulb lights up.  He’s very pleased with himself about this one!

equipment needed to build a torch
equipment needed to build a torch
the finished torch!
the finished torch!

We have finally been on another ‘school trip’ this week, to the Science museum.  As promised I now have a guest blogger who has kindly contributed to this page…




On Tuesday we went to the science museum. it takes 50 minutes to get to Victoria station, from Victoria we took the under ground train to south Kensington which was only tow stops. We took the circle and district line, the direction was west.

When we got there we took photos of me and my cheeky little Brother. Then we went thru the doors of the museum and gave the ticits to the lady. When we had don all that we went into a ginormas hall and saw MASIV steam engine! that was about 10 feet tall! imagine that sized train!

Next we went to the rocket room! Mostly all there was ( as in that room !) was rockets. And then we went to the launch pad. In the launch pad there were games to explore  the games were rugged rovers and stuff like that. 

IMG_6997 IMG_6998

It ends slightly abruptly but he got bored!

From this I have introduced him to BBC dance mat touch typing which he is loving.  It’s been around for a long time but if you haven’t tried it, do!  Its a good fun way of improving typing skills, to music.  It should impact on his piano playing too as the program encourages you to look at the screen and not the keyboard, something he finds difficult when reading music.  He is determined to speed up his typing so that he can have his own blog! He’s also asked for High Frequency words to go up on the wall now.  I think the red wriggly lines were frustrating him.  That and the fact that he is determined to turn this house into school!

Enquiry based learning

Do your children ask endless questions about absolutely everything?  It is such a natural part of their development and yet it can be so easy to end up dismissing many of the questions with a brief ‘I don’t know’, or ‘because it just is’.  Hopefully not too many of us resemble those neglectful parents in ‘Not Now Bernard’ but some days can start to feel like that!  It’s been all about the questions here for the last ten days or so.  It’s been tempting to respond like poor Bernard’s mum but we’ve duly written down the questions generated with a view to continuing to investigate over time.

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No more post christmas blues…

Has it really been a month since I last posted?  Where did that time go!

The new term after christmas usually feels so rushed.  Christmas is so hectic, immediately followed by a birthday party to plan and host and of course NYE.  It always feels as though we just don’t have enough time to get back into a routine before school is upon us.  The start of this new year has felt very different.  I’ve had the same ‘start of term anxiety’ that I’ve had after each school holiday…. Is he feeling left out?  Is he missing out on those new term rituals; catching up with friends, sharing stories of the holidays etc.  From what I read I’m not alone in this.  I’m also not alone in that the feeling passes very as soon as we embark on our home learning and socialising.  We’re not missing out, just having a different set of experiences.

Continue reading No more post christmas blues…