Sunday 27 June 2021

Project 190: Turing Tumble and Programming

Programming is one of those subjects the kids love when we do it, we always claim we are going to do more of it, but it inevitably gets pushed to one side. So after coming across Turning Tumble, an introduction to programming with ball bearings and switches, it seemed a good opportunity to revisit the topic. 

The children enjoyed the Turing Tumble, while the early puzzles are quite simple, they quickly become challenging and require plenty of thought and team work. They particularly enjoyed the binary calculator (although the instruction book would have benefitted from a more extensive introduction to binary).

We also include some more traditional programming, with Solomon continuing with Python, Monica finishing off her Scratch books and starting Python, and Sam starting on Scratch Jnr.

Next project: Home economics. 

Project 189: Farms

 As the nice weather continued (and schoolkids had returned to school!) we decided on a project that would get us out and about more: Farms. 

We started by learning about the different sorts of farms, and the sorts of activities that go on at a farm, such as shearing sheep and milking cows. The highlights of the week, however, were the trips to two different farms. 

First they went to a local pick your own farm, Hill Farm, and brought home plenty of fresh strawberries after exhausting themselves in the onsite play area.

The second farm they went to was an agricultural heritage farm, Sacrewell Farm, where they got to see some farm animals and a water mill. The highlight for Solomon, however, was undoubtedly getting to fire an air rifle. 

Not all parts of the farm were open at the time, due to lingering covid restrictions, but we'll definitely be returning in the future. 

Next project: Turing Tumble and programming

Project 188: Cubism

As we hadn't had an art project for about four months (see Project 170: Vincent Van Gogh), it seemed a good time for another one. Cubism was chosen as there was so much that could be done with it, although the hot weather meant that much of the week was spent in the paddling pool. 

The week started with the usual reading around the subject.

This was followed by a number of cubist artworks (including one with the help of a Twinkl colouring sheet): 

The trickiest part of teaching cubism to children of this age (5, 7, & 8), is that they are very much realists when it comes to artwork; a train should look like a train, not a jumble of shapes. There's plenty more cubists for them to explore in the future, however, so we'll revisit the subject when they are a little bit older. 

Next project: Farms

Monday 21 June 2021

Project 187: Ice-cream

 It was Monica's pick for home education this week, and she picked ice-cream, helping us to demonstrate that virtually any subject is worthy of closer investigation. 

They started by learning about the history of ice-cream and how fridges work, before going on to make some ice-cream of their own. 

They made a cherry semi-freddo:

...some ice-cream in a bag, to demonstrate freezing point depression, and a kiwi sorbet:
They also tried a wide variety of ice-creams, some of which were more popular than others!

Next project: Cubism

Sunday 6 June 2021

Project 186: The Borrowers

It has been about three months since our last book project (Project 172: A Dog So Small), so it seemed about time for another (especially after the previous week's excursions!). We picked The Borrowers as it is a classic tale that is at a level suitable for all three of the children.

Alongside reading the book, and watching a couple of different adaptations, the children had to write their own diary entries from the perspective of one of the characters, and worked together to make their own Borrower home. 

Next project: Ice-cream.

Project 185: The Bronze Age

We decided to celebrate the relaxing of lockdown rules with our first big trip out in over a year; studying the Bronze Age and visiting the local Flag Fen Archaeological Park

Alongside visiting the park, which the children all enjoyed, they watched videos on life in the bronze age and the smelting of bronze, and learned about alloys. 

For this week's craft they created their own bronze age jewellery with air-dry clay, following some instructions on Twinkl

Next project: The Borrowers.