Wednesday 16 December 2020
Wednesday 9 December 2020
This week's project was all about preparing for Christmas, starting a day early with an advent wreath, some Christmas wreaths, and some salt-dough decorations for the tree:
The children made some Christmas crackers:
And made gingerbread Christmas trees and 'reindeer bark' for eating with the decorating.
Finally we watched a couple of Christmas films: It's a Wonderful Life (which they thought was a bit long), and The Star, a retelling of the Christmas story from the donkey's perspective:
Next week's project: The Trumpet of the Swan.
Sunday 6 December 2020
We decided it was time to look at another artist. We hadn't focused on a single artist since Project 136: Leonardo da Vinci, and while we did Project 88: Painting, the only time we've solely focused on a single artist was Project 79: Art and Mondrian.
We started by learning about Kandinsky and his work, looking at a PowerPoint on Twinkl, reading about him in the art books we have, and watching a YouTube video.
We looked at the colour wheel, got the children to mix their own colours, and created Kandinsky-style concentric circles.
Finally the children created their own abstract masterpieces by rolling a dice to pick geometric shapes and lines for inclusion.
Next Project: Preparing for Christmas.
Sunday 22 November 2020
After Solomon rediscovered his v-tech camera at the back of the cupboard, we decided it would be a good time to do a project on photography.
The week started with a presentation and videos on photography and the history of photography.
The children then helped making their own pinhole camera, following instructions from the National Geographic's Guide to Photography.
The children were also given three photographic assignments:
- Self-portraits with composition and framing (not for the blog!).
- Monochrome and shades (following this week's BBC Your Photos theme)
- Textures, curves and patterns.
All the children enjoyed getting out and taking photos, although special mention for Sam who won the household photography competition for his monochrome graffiti.
Next week's project: Wassily Kandinsky
We don't do as much cooking with the children as we would like to, in fact the only project specifically on cooking was over a year ago (see Project 87: Cooking), so we decided to have another project on cooking.
Each of the children were expected to help with a breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as make a dessert.
Solomon made a pizza, a golden syrup cake, added some scotch pancakes to the lunch, and pineapple with breakfast.
Monica made a korma curry, added some pancakes to the breakfast and cheese straws to the lunch, and made some homemade ice-cream.
Thursday 12 November 2020
We wanted a relaxed project for this week's project as it coincided with Solomon's birthday, so we settled on knights and fantasy, focusing primarily on the tales of King Arthur.
We made use of numerous online videos to explore what it means to be a knight, and some of their literary depictions.
We also read knightly tales in the form of Morpurgo's Arthur: High King of Britain and McCaughrean's George and the Dragon. Morpurgo just about manages to safely skirt some of the more salacious aspects of the King Arthur stories, although as a parent you do find yourself concerned throughout about what might be coming next!
There are obviously also a lot of King Arthur films and we watched two: the classic Sword in the Stone, and the modern interpretation with The Kid Who Would Be King.
Finally, as a craft activity the children designed their own heraldic shields (the elder two had previously designed shields back in Project 100: The Middle Ages).
Next Project: More cooking!
Sunday 1 November 2020
As it was half-term this week, and the school children were expected to be filling the local parks, we decided to get some exercise a bit further afield with a mushroom hunt.
We started the week with the usual raft of videos exploring the fungi kingdom, and by the time we went on our mushroom hunt the children had a far better idea of what fungi were and the important role they have in the local ecosystem.
We spotted a wide range of fungi in the local woods, and Sam was particularly enthusiastic about the hunting process.Twinkl we collected spores from a mushroom:
Monday 26 October 2020
After the children enjoyed Project 146: A Wrinkle in Time we thought it would be a good idea to look at some theories about light and space a bit more closely. Although we have done projects on light (see Project 107: Light) and space (see Project 8: Space and the Planets) previously, this was a project more about our understanding of space and light, and the change brought about by Einstein's theory of relativity.
It was a project that made use of a lot of videos and a lot of books, although we did finish with a some practical gravitational experiments at the end of the week.
There were a number of different strands to the week's work.
1) We looked at the lives of Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein with two accessible biographies aimed at children: Isaac Newton; The scientist who changed everything, and Albert Einstein. As well as an online BBC introduction to Einstein.
2) We explored the theory of relativity and some of its unexpected behaviours as you near the speed of light with The Time and Space of Uncle Albert, multiple online videos, and the classic 1980s film The Flight of the Navigator.
3) We explored alternative perspectives on higher dimensions with Edwin Abbott's classic Flatlands.4) And finally we read about, and did some simple experiments on, our more usual experience of gravity with Usborne's Junior Illustrated Science Dictionary and 100 Science Experiments.
theory of everything, but we do like to put certain ideas and concepts on their radar for future reference.
Next project: Mushrooms and Fungi.
Monday 19 October 2020
Like a lot of people we've ended up with far more board games than we generally have time to play, so we decided to have a week of playing board games. We last had a board game project back in Solomon's first year of home education (see Project 32: Board games), so it was a good opportunity to introduce some games to Sam, and hopefully clear the cupboards of some of the most childish games. In the end, however, the project stretched over two weeks, we still didn't have time to play all the games we wanted, and only managed to persuade the children to give one game to the local charity shop.
We set off at at good pace in the first week, and managed to play 41 different games, from simple snap card games suitable for everyone to more complicated strategy suitable only for the big two.
- Tummy Ache
- Mr Men Card Game
- Guess Who
- Snap (animals)
- Snap (numbers)
- Hare & Tortoise
- Pass the Word
- Frozen Memory Game
- Pass the Pigs
- Memoir '44
- Rockin' Robot
- Wall Game
- Junior Scrabble
- Destination Norwich
- Pop Up Pirate
- Connect 4 Flip
- Monkey Business
- Picture Tri-onimoes
- Don't Rock the Boat
- Where is Moldova?
- Frozen Labyrinth
- London Underground Game
- Top Trumps (Marvel)
- Monopoly (Despicable Me)
- Ants in the Pants
- Around the World in 80 Days
- Hungry Hippos
- Ticket to Ride First Journey
- Mario Match
- Shopping List
- Mario Monopoly
- Snakes & Ladders
- Picture Lotto
- Scotland Yard Jnr.
- Tell the Time
- Loopin' Chewie
- Fortnite Monopoly
- Ramses Pyramid
- Staying Alive
- Ticket to Ride
- 3 in a Row
- Flag Dominoes
- Boss Monster
- Bugs in the Kitchen
- The Peterborough Game
Pandemic was the only game we bought specifically for the project, and everyone enjoyed it. We think Monica was particularly attracted to the collaborative nature of the game, rather than having to face the competitive nature of her older brother, so we'll definitely look out for more collaborative games in the future.
- Frozen Labyrinth
- Monkey Business*
- Marvel Top Trumps
- Memoir '44
Tuesday 6 October 2020
Our first book project of the school year was picked because it was suitable for all the children, from the youngest to the eldest, and they'd all enjoyed the author's work previously (see also Charlotte's Web).
Most of the week was spent reading the book and watching the three films (Stuart Little 3 was on Amazon Prime).
As a small craft activity the children created their own little mice on sticks.
We also spent some time learning about mice and mouse-like creatures. Solomon particularly liked the sound of the grasshopper mouse, while Monica pointed out that jerboa appeared in Into the Jungle, so we read that section of that book too.
Next project: More Board Games
Thursday 1 October 2020
It didn't feel particularly autumnal at the start of the week, whatever the calendar said, but it nonetheless seemed a good time to bring together topics covered in previous projects for the younger members of the group.
The children started the week by putting on their autumnal shorts, t-shirts, and sun hats, and doing a nature walk:
Next project: Stuart Little
Monday 21 September 2020
Tuesday 15 September 2020
Pirates! was picked for this week's project by our youngest child, Sam, as it was his first week of home education. There were quite a few pirate worksheets on Twinkl, and to try and make the week as fun as possible (and without much possibility of a big trip out) we also included a number of films and finished with a pirate tea party.
We started the week by reading the abridged Usborne Treasure Island, and bought two new pirate books for the big occasion. The big two were also expected to read the full version of Treasure Island in their own time (a book they had struggled with in Project 56: Treasure Island).a TES worksheet). pirate science experiments:
Monday 7 September 2020
Our 3rd year of home education has been very different to the first two thanks to the coronavirus, with a few more book projects and a few less trips out (2 Years of Home Education and 100 Projects!; Reflections on 1 Year of Home Education). In comparison to the traditional school system however, our education journey can be said to have emerged relatively unscathed!
Monica and Solomon's Progress
We have broadly continued with the same project-based structure we introduced in the first year, and it seems to be working. Both the children continue to do well on reading, writing, and maths; especially maths, with Solomon starting key stage 3 and Monica working her way through key stage 2.
Their favourite projects of the last year have been Project 149: Don Quixote for Solomon, and Project 140: Presentations for Monica. Over the whole of the three years Solomon's favourite project has been Project 1: History of Computer Games and over the past two year's Monica's project has been Project 50: Bread! (mostly because it was her first project).
And then there were three!
Unsurprisingly, the coronavirus has not persuaded us to look into more traditional schooling, although as we will now be home educating all three of our children there will undoubtedly be new challenges for the year ahead. The most noticeable of which will be that we now have to come up with projects that are suitable for children from the ages of 4 to 7.
Another week of the coronavirus pandemic and another book project, this time the all time Spanish classic: Don Quixote.
We read the abridged Usborne version, and the children loved it with plenty of laughter all around.
They also created their own Don Quixote silhouettes:
And country fact sheets on Spain:
Next project: Pirates!
Sunday 30 August 2020
Sunday 23 August 2020
With trips out still restricted by the coronavirus, we decided to make use of the local sculpture trail and have a project on sculpture.
We started the week by looking at some of the work of Antony Gormley. The children have seen the Angel of the North, Untitled (for Francis) at the Tate, and Peterborough has it's own series of Gormley statues.
The children also made their own clay models, following an Antony Gormley Twinkl activity sheet.
We went to the local sculpture park and the children had to draw pictures of the sculptures and write what they did or didn't like about them
We also looked at a wider variety of sculpture and statues, from Michelangelo to the Fourth Plinth,and gave the task of designing their own statues if materials and money were not an issue. Solomon's was 'The Great Evil', while Monica's was 'Motherhood'.
Next week's project: Shooting a Video!
Monday 17 August 2020
Unsurprisingly during the coronavirus we have done a lot more book projects (see our big list of books), and this week we decided on a classic we knew nothing about: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle.
It is a science fiction story of children tessering across the universe to save their father from the evil IT. Combining science with the age-old battle of good v. evil.
The children read the graphic novel, and we read the original together.
We watched the recent Disney version (2018):
And also the 2003 version:
We explored the themes of the book, and the differences between the book and the film using discussion points provided in the graphic novel, a teacher's guide at www.madeleinelengle.com, and some activities on the BBC.
Everyone enjoyed the story, so we've started reading the sequel A Wind in the Door
Next project: Sculpture
Sunday 9 August 2020
- Monica wanted £120 for insurance, a lead and collar, poo bags, leaflet printing, and ingredients for dog biscuits.
- Solomon wanted £80 for a PS4 camera so he could record videos of himself playing video games.