Monthly Archives: August 2015

RM easi maths

We were fortunate enough to be offered a free trial of this site, in order that I could feedback to a client and then write review on here.  If you are interested in using online maths games as a learning tool then read on!

RM is colourful and engaging.  Ideal for a young user (my son is 7 1/2 and working at roughly a high L3 in old NC language).  What immediately struck me was that he could get going almost immediately.  With other online sites  this has been an issue for me.  I have found so much time has been spent (wasted) answering assessment questions and trying to get set up that he, and I, have quickly lost interest.  The technology can easily get in the way of the learning, I find.  Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised that this was not the case here.  As soon as he was on, he was on!

The characters are appealing and the structure has so far been the same each time,  With the same characters encountering similar problems and needing the user’s help.  I’m interested to see if this starts to change as I do think he would get bored of the repetitive format week after week.  It is recommended to go on three times a week, for 15 minute sessions.

Four weeks in and he hasn’t lost interest.  The content is changing slightly, but the general presentation is consistent.  This is useful for revision or practise, but I wouldn’t use it for maths teaching as it jumps about between areas very quickly.  He may start with number work.  Two or three questions later it’s some geometry, then data handling and so on.  All in 15 minutes. It times out once 15 minutes is up.  My concern would be that parents could buy into this thinking it’s going to do the teaching for them when ideally you need to spend time working on a new concept,  not leaping about between different areas.  However, it’s been a great diagnostic tool for us.  By sitting with him as he works I have been able to identify teaching points or strategies to go over and we’ve used the session to inform a couple of maths ‘lessons’ to fully teach tricky concepts.

So, definitely worth a go, but don’t expect it to do the teaching for you!  It’s an engaging and fun site for practising.

Dairy Farm visit

Recently I read an article about dairy farming and animal welfare that made me re think some of our day to day consuming and shopping.  I’m not going to go into all the detail here but suffice to say I had some questions and wanted to make sure we were making informed and ethical shopping choices.

With a recent vegetarian in the family this seemed like a good opportunity to visit a farm and find out more.  A bit of research and a week later a small HE trip was organised.  26 of us met at Bore Place in Sevenoaks for an interesting look into organic milk production.

cheese making process
cheese making process

 

 

 

 

 

 

The children learned how cheese is made, followed by making delicious cheese scones.  While these were cooking we made fresh milkshakes with the fruits picked from the farm during the first earlier  tour of the farm garden.

 

beautiful walk through to the orchard
beautiful walk through to the orchard

 

ex battery hens are cared for at the farm
ex battery hens are cared for at the farm

 

Making the scones was interesting!  With 2 sons in 2 different groups I took my eye off the ball…can you tell?!

 

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cheese scones

But they were all delicious!

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Armed with our freshly baked scones and milkshakes we picnicked in the glade before being taken on a tour of the milking barn.  It was fascinating. Those cows produce a LOT of milk.

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Finally, we got to meet some cows.  I usually take care not to include faces in my blog.  I hope these two beauties don’t mind…DSC_0228

I didn’t realise how topical this post would be.  This visit took place before our holiday and of course since my return, dairy farmers have been a constant in the media.  The boys and I came away from the farm visit with a mind to source milk direct from a small local farm, where we can see exactly how the cows are treated.  Recent press coverage means that task may now be a whole lot easier!