Monday 30 December 2019

Project 115: Christmas and The Pilgrim's Progress

It was our third home education Christmas (see also Project 15: All about Christmas!, Project 65: Christmas and the New Year), in addition to a recent project on Christmas crafts (Project 110: Christmas Crafts), so this year we decided to couple our usual round of Christmas carolling, crafts, and cooking, with another classic Christian story The Pilgrim's Progress. 

Despite everyone managing to fall for various illnesses over the Christmas period, we nonetheless managed to go to a number of carol services, a Christingle, a live nativity, and of course Santa's grotto.
Carols, Christingle, more carols, and two donkeys.

Santa's Grotto
We followed a recipe for some Reindeer and snowman bark:

Reindeer and snowman bark
Created some Christmas cards:
Christmas cards
They designed their own Christmas jumper with a template from Twinkl and completed a colour by calculation Christmas jumper:
Twinkl Worksheets
The Pilgrim's Progress has stood the test of time, and Geraldine McCaughrean's version for children is highly recommended. While we were unimpressed with Blue Peter Book Awards 2019 winner (see Project 112: Refugees), the fact that McCaughrean won the prize for John Bunyan's A Pilgrim's Progress redeems the prize's reputation somewhat. We were less impressed with the quality of the recent animated version, as it is a story that we felt was worthy of something better.

Next week: Winter and Snowy Habitats

Monday 16 December 2019

Project 114: Art and Nature

This week's project was prompted by a home education workshop at Ferry Meadows on Natural Art. It's the first time we've had a project based on a Ferry Meadows workshop for while as something invariably goes wrong or the children get very very wet (see Project 89: The Romans).

This time, however, the workshop all went to plan, and the children explored colours in nature, ephemeral art, green man masks, and making a natural object.
Natural Art at Ferry Meadows
We also went out collecting berries, pine cones and greenery to make our own Christmas wreaths, adding some dried oranges for variety.
Christmas Wreaths
Finally we looked more closely at the work of Andy Goldsworthy, following a PowerPoint on Twinkl, and got the children to create their own artworks with coloured matches and shells.
Matches and shell art works
Next weeks' project: Christmas and the Pilgrim's Progress.

Monday 9 December 2019

Project 113: The Victorians

This week there was 'A Victorian Christmas Celebration' workshop and trail at Peterborough Museum, so we decided to make the Victorians more generally the topic of the project. 

We've previously visited a Victorian prison (Project 3: Medieval Castles), a Victorian  row of shops (Project 91: The Seaside), and Charles Dickens' museum (Project 75: Charles Dickens & World Book Day), so besides the trip to the museum our study this week mostly made use books and videos. We watched the Horrible Histories 'Tricky Queen Vicky' and 'Queen Vic's Home Vids' and read a selection of books from the library. 
A selection of Victorian resources
The great thing about the project is there are so many books and films written or set in the Victorian period suitable for children., although, with the grandparents visiting for a few days,  we barely had a chance to scratch the surface. We have been wanting to watch Zulu since Project 52: Battles!, but unfortunately didn't have the chance. We did, however, start watching the old BBC adaptation of 'Five Children and It', which they are all enjoying.

The trip to the museum included making a Christmas garland and Christmas card, going into a Victorian kitchen to learn about Victorian food, and learning about the Victorian influence on our Christmas traditions. 
A Victorian Christmas Celebration!
We also explored a Victorian Christmas PowerPoint on Twinkl. 

Next week's project: Art and Nature. 

Monday 2 December 2019

Project 112: Refugees

We picked 'Refugees' as this week's project as there was an exhibition and home education workshop at the local Peterborough Museum.
Refugee exhibit
The workshop introduced the children to the subject of refugees, and there was a mock tent set up to show the children the kind of space refugees have in a typical refugee camp. The children also had to think about the sorts of things they would pack if they had to leave their homes in a hurry, and they also created their own travel logbooks. 

Workshop crafts
We also looked at some books about refugees from the library, and did some Twinkl worksheets.

Finally we read The Boy at the Back of the Class, a fictional story about a refugee from Syria who loses his family, and his new friends attempts to help him. It won the Blue Peter Book Award 2019, although we are at a bit of a loss as to why it won. It struck us as badly written with some very odd messages: words are worse than violence, it's acceptable to attack people who are mean to you, and the national shaming of a 9 yr old who has the wrong opinions is to be celebrated. There are books that tackle difficult subjects well (The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas), and books that help you engage with the plight of a refugee (When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit is a family favourite), but The Boy at the Back of the Class is neither.

Next week's project: The Victorians