Friday 30 December 2022

Project 235: The Weather 2

This project ran from Monday 23rd of May until Sunday 29th of May. 

The project was prompted by a weather workshop at the local country park, and it was our second weather project for Solomon as we had explored the topic in his first year of home education (see Project 45: The Weather). At the workshop the children made a kite, an anemometer, and an octogrid for looking at cloud cover.

They also made another anemometer at home, using the instructions from the Weather Watcher book, although it didn't work very well.  

Using a number of books from the library, as well as online resources, we explored types of weather, where weather comes from, and the different layers of the atmosphere, as well as climate change and greenhouse gases. 

Next project: The Queen and the Royal Family

Thursday 29 December 2022

Project 234: Numeracy

This project ran from Monday 16th to Sunday 22nd May. 

We picked numeracy for this project as we were having some building work done in the house and we wanted something that wouldn't require a lot of space or equipment. Unfortunately, we didn't manage to keep focused on numeracy and it turned into a bit of a damp squib of a project which just included some general maths work. 

The lesson to be learned is: The greater the distractions, the more rigid the project need to be. 

Next Project: Weather

Project 233: The Sun


This project ran from Monday 9th May until Sunday 15th May. 

The Sun was picked as a project as it was a fairly sunny week, and it provided the opportunity to do a few projects outside. 

They created sundials:

They created sunprints:

And they attempted to toast a marshmallow (although this unfortunately was not successful):

And, of course, there were plenty of Twinkl worksheets. This included one on designing a solar light, which they completed after learning about solar panels through PowerPoints and videos. 

Next Project: Numeracy

Tuesday 27 December 2022

Project 232: Hedgehogs

 This project went from Monday 2nd May to Sunday 8th May 2022.

We chose the project on hedgehogs as there was supposed to be one nearby. 

The children learned about hedgehogs through some Twinkl worksheets and a PowerPoint.

We went on a hedgehog hunt, and set up a motion-sensor camera and some hedgehog food to capture the hedgehog. Unfortunately the hunt was unsuccessful and although the food was gone the camera didn't capture the hedgehog. 

A couple of days later there was a dead hedgehog in the road. 

Next Project: The Sun

Project 231: Soil and Worms

This project went from Monday 25th April until Sunday 1st May 2022, and was picked because there was a home education workshop on it at the local country park

The workshop involved taking soil samples from four different locations and identifying the type, finding and identifying worms, and making a wormery. 

They followed a mud and worms edible sensory recipe from Twinkl

They also used a Twinkl worksheet for making worm puppets:

And filled in some more academic worksheets:

Next Project: Hedgehogs

Wednesday 21 December 2022

Project 230: The Netherlands and Belgium

This project went from Monday 18th April until Sunday 24th. 

The project was inspired by the week's food theme at the local supermarket. 

We used some worksheets as a starting point for exploring Belgium and the Netherlands, making use of books and the internet to find the answers.

The children also learned about the picture The Night Watch by Rembrandt, making use of a video and some other resources, and doing some work on shading and tone.

Next Project: Soil and Worms

Tuesday 20 December 2022

Project 229: Easter V

This project ran from Monday 11th April to Sunday 17th April.

This was our fifth year of home educating at Easter, so unsurprisingly there was a repeat of many activities from previous years. 

We made a simnel cake: 

They made cards and chocolate nests:

And they did an Easter trail at Peterborough Cathedral:

The children also made a last supper diorama with an egg box after getting the idea from a Ministry to Children video:

Next Project: The Netherlands and Belgium 

Monday 19 December 2022

Project 228: First Aid

This project ran from Monday the 4th April to Sunday 10th.

We picked First Aid as a project this week as there was a workshop by Mini First Aid in Crowland. 

Amongst other things the children learnt about CPR, burns and bandages, and putting people in the recovery position. The children all enjoyed it, and as it was a small group it was easy for everyone to have a go and get feedback 

As well as attending the workshop the children explored the family first aid box, and we discussed what all the items were for. They watched relevant episodes of Operation Ouch!, and did worksheets from Twinkl and St John's Ambulance. This also included creating a first aid information sheet

Next Project: Easter

Wednesday 13 July 2022

Project 227: Holes (the book)

Our previous book project was Project 211: Swiss Family Robinson, so it seemed about time for another one, and the children's father had just found a copy of Holes in the back of the cupboard. 

The book is about a boy who is wrongly accused and sent to a juvenile detention camp in the middle of the desert where they have to dig holes. It has themes around family history, friendship, hope and revenge. The children all enjoyed the books, and the film version, and there were loads of resources available on Twinkl

On a similar theme, we also took the opportunity to visit the similarly named and landscaped Hills and Holes Nature Reserve in Barnack

Next Project: First Aid

Project 226: Signs and Evidence

This project was initiated by a home education workshop at the local country park on signs and evidence, and extended to include the role of archaeological evidence with a couple of museum trips, and the evidence underpinning Christianity using the book Cold Case Christianity for Kids

Ferry Meadows had a workshop on animal signs and evidence, where the children looked at specimens, took a plaster of paris imprint, and went hunting for signs of animal tracks. 

At Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens there was a section on archaeology and how it is used to discover evidence about the past.  

Similarly, there was more about the role of evidence in archaeological investigations at the Jarrow Hall Museum. 
We combined it all with another form of evidence, reading the book Cold Case Christianity for Kids, and looking at some of the evidence for Christianity from the perspective of a homicide detective, with worksheets for each chapter. 

Next Project: Holes (the book)

Sunday 3 July 2022

Project 225: Windmills and Bread

We had wanted to do a project on windmills after visiting Lincoln during Solomon's first year of home education (see Project 3: Medieval Castles) and again during Monica's first project (see Project 50: Bread), but Lincoln's windmill remained closed...up until a month after we visited another windmill!!! It was only when we were looking for a  local attraction to visit that we discovered Britain's tallest windmill was actually only 40 minutes down the road. 

The children learned an overview of windmills and bread with some Twinkl powerpoints, and made their own windmills

Moulton Windmill was very welcoming, with a nice tearoom and a little goody-bag for the children after visiting. 

After the visit the children each made some bread of their own: Sam made some muffins, Monica made some plaited bread, and Solomon made some breadsticks. 

Next Project: Signs and Evidence

Project 224: Local History

This project was picked because Monica wanted to do the local history badge for Brownies. 

For the first part of the project each of the children created their own maps of the local area with some key landmarks. 

They visited the local history library to learn about the area, and some famous people associated with the area, and visited some of the key landmarks. 

They each created a poster associated with a famous local person they chose (Edith Cavell, Henry Royce, and John Clare): 

And created a craft associated with an aspect of the local area (in this case a woollen sugar bowl because of the local sugar factory).  

Next Project: Windmills and Bread

Project 223: Sound and the Ear

 We selected 'Sound and the Ear' as the project as there was a big section on it in the Operation Ouch magazine, including making some edible ear wax!

Along with reading about the different parts of the ear, we made extensive use of Operation Ouch videos, did some experiments with a decibel app and feeling the vibrations through a balloon. 

We also made use of plenty of Twinkl worksheets, including differentiated reading, how sound travels, and labelling the ear

Next Project: Local History

Sunday 22 May 2022

Project 222: Myths and Legends

The local country park had a home education workshop on myths and legends, so we decided to make it the project for the week as it'd been three and a half years since we'd last visited the topic (see Project 53: Myths and Legends).

The workshop involved finding pictures of different parts of animals, and putting them together to create your own mythical creature. They then made their own Green Man head to go on a tree of their choice. 

We also made use of a lot of Twinkl myths and legends worksheets. They did some charcoal mark making:

A create-your-own mythical creature game and some worksheets on Pandora's box:

Next Project: Sound and the Ear

Project 221: Electricity

As we had had an electricity project way back in Solomon's first year (see Project 30: Electricity) we decided to revisit the topic for the other two children. 

Once again we made use of the Electricity Master lab, and rewatched the Zap, Crackle and Pop video from the Royal Institution. 

We also read a short book about electricity....

...and did a number of Twinkl worksheets about the scientific symbols and drawing of circuits

We also did a static electricity experiment from Usborne's 100 Science Experiments:

Next Project: Myths and Legends

Project 220: Birds

Serendipitously, our fourth participation in the Big Garden Birdwatch (see Project 20: Local Wildlife and BirdsProject 68: Birds of the World!, Project 120: Birds, birds, birds) coincided with a home education workshop to create a bird box and a bird of prey centre, so it was a very busy bird-centred week. 

Unfortunately we didn't spot any birds in the garden for this year's Big Garden Birdwatch, but the children all enjoyed partaking in the (attempted) bird spotting:  

The children all enjoyed making and painting the bird box at a Ferry Meadows workshop, although the workshop was primarily leaving you to it with a bunch of wood. 

The home education event at the Herring Green Activity Farm and Birds of Prey Centre was a big hit however, as the children learned how to tie a falconer's knot...

...and even got to hold a kestrel and a harris hawk. 

 Next Project: Electricity 

Project 219: Random Science

We had a lot of science projects left over from the 'Crazy Scientist' advent calendar (see Project 212: Christmas Crafts), so we had a science focused week to catch up on them all.

Along with the detailed commentary on the science behind each experiment in the accompanying booklet, we read up on each topic in our illustrated science dictionary. 

As the 'Random Science' title suggests, there was no real theme to the science, but it included everything from creating a vortex and the conservation of energy... looking at the pH scale, a facet lens, and static electricity. 

It was a really good advent calendar, but just a bit too intensive to do one experiment a day in addition to other project work in the run-up to Christmas!

Next Project: Birds