Sunday 12 February 2023

Project 254: Fungi 2

This project ran from Monday 10th October to Sunday 16th October, 2023.

This was our second fungi project (see Project 156: Mushrooms and Fungi), but as everyone had enjoyed the previous project and there was a home education workshop on fungi at the local country park, we decided to visit the topic again. 

At the workshop we went on a mushroom hunt, did an experiment with yeast and syrup to see the gases that were given off, and learnt how a toadstool gets its spots with the help of a balloon and tissue paper:

We also did a second mushroom hunt later in the week:

We also we made a spore print at home:

And did an experiment to see how quickly preserved and unpreserved foods decay:

For the second week in a row we'd also found a highly appropriate game to accompany the project, although the only problem with Fungi is it's a two player game:

Next project: The U.S.A.

Wednesday 8 February 2023

Project 253: Newton

This project ran from Monday October 3rd to October 9th 2022.

We first introduced the children to Isaac Newton during the project on light and space (see Project 155: Light and Space), and had always planned to return to the topic as his childhood home is nearby. 

The trip to Woolsthorpe Manor was the main activity of the week, exploring the house, the grounds and the infamous apple tree. 

As well as having a guided tour of the manor, there was also a science discovery centre with sections on light and colour, time and motion. 

We also bought and played the board game Newton, based on the age of the scientific revolution: doing work, traveling around Europe, and making scientific discoveries. It feels complex to start with, but you soon get the hang of it. 

We also did lots of reading, and a differentiated reading activity

Next project: Fungi. 

Monday 6 February 2023

Project 252 Autumn and Harvest

This project ran from Monday 26th September to Sunday 2nd October.

As autumn approached it seemed a good time to do an autumn project, especially as it was a harvest family service at the church (see also Project 12: Autumn and Harvest). 

We picked and shucked sweetcorn:

We made some autumn bunting:

And did a host of Twinkl worksheets:

There was also the annual conker picking, but for some reason we failed to take any photos of that this year. 

Next project: Isaac Newton.

Sunday 5 February 2023

Project 251: Ancient Egypt 2

This project ran from Monday 19th to Sunday 25th September, and was prompted by a home educating friend's Egyptian themed birthday party. We had last looked at Ancient Egypt way back in Solomon's first year of home education (see Project 23: Ancient Egypt).

While we were lucky enough to find a pharaoh costume and pith helmet round the local charity shop, we bought Monica's Cleopatra's costume online, and then spent an inordinate amount of time making an appropriate (or possibly inappropriate!) wig out of wool and a shower cap. 

Unsurprisingly, Ancient Egypt is one of the topics that are well represented on Twinkl, so we used that as the main resource for the rest of the week. Among other activities they made canopic jars out of toilet rolls and air-dry clay:

They also designed their own death masks:

Next project: Autumn and Harvest

Wednesday 1 February 2023

Project 250: Feathers

 This project ran from Monday 12th to Sunday 18th September.

The project was picked because we had a home education workshop on owls at Herrings Green Activity Farm, and as we had had a project on owls previously (see Project 194: Owls) we thought we would do something slightly different. 

At the farm they learnt about owls, saw some baby owls being fed, and got to handle some owls.

To keep more feather focused we also went on a feather hunt and made our own quills. 

We had just gotten the board game Wingspan, so it was also a good excuse to play a few games of that. 

Next project: Ancient Egypt

Tuesday 31 January 2023

Project 249: Decorating

This project ran from Monday 5th September to Sunday 11th September.

This week was more of a hands-on project as Monica had been wanting for ages to have her room decorated, and there just never seemed to be the opportunity. 

Next project: Feathers

Monday 30 January 2023

Project 248: The Phoenix and the Carpet

This project ran from Monday 29th August to Sunday 4th September. We chose a book project as we had visitors staying, and when it's a busy week it's always best to have a clearly defined piece of work to get through. 

The Phoenix and the Carpet is a sequel to E. Nesbit's Five Children and It which the children had read and enjoyed a couple of years earlier (see Project 117: Five Children and It). 

The children go on many adventures on a magic carpet with a wish granting phoenix, in which the wishes invariably go wrong. So the children had to write their own wish-that-goes-wrong stories. Sam wished he was at the beach, where he was attacked by a flock of angry birds. Monica wishes for them to be living on the border of Belgium and the Netherlands, but they get into difficulties for not knowing the language. Solomon included a couple of wishes, including going to a boardgame cafe which was robbed and the beach where someone tried to wander off with the magic carpet. 

Finally they had to produce their own pictures of the phoenix (from top to bottom: Sam's, Sol's, and Monica's).

Next Project: Decorating.

Tuesday 24 January 2023

Project 247: Spirited Away

 This project ran from Monday 22nd August to Sunday 28th August. As the children had enjoyed the previous week's anime, and Spirited Away was from the same studio and a range of resources were available from Into Film we decided to make the film this week's project.

The film is about a girl who moves to a new home, and the children did a writing exercise about what they would and wouldn't miss if they had to move home. 

In the film the girl meets spirit creatures trapped at an abandoned park, so the children each had to create their own spirit creature. 

Next project: The Phoenix and the Carpet.

Thursday 19 January 2023

Project 246: Manga and Anime

This project ran from Monday 15th August to Sunday 21st August, and was prompted by there being a couple of anime films we thought the children might enjoy. 

They watched Ponyo and My Neighbour Totoro,  which were quite surreal in comparison to most western animations, but the children enjoyed them.

They read a variety of Manga books:

And, most importantly, did lots of drawing as they learned how to draw their own manga figures.

Next Project: Spirited Away. 

Wednesday 18 January 2023

Project 245: The History of the Church

This project ran from Monday 8th August to Sunday 14th of August, and was picked to accompany our trip to Virtual Sunday School Holiday Camp which took up half the week.

The children got a brief overview of everything from Pentecost... Henry VIII and the plethora of denominations today:

And explored the reasons for the eventual break with Rome:

That was all promptly forgotten about, however, as they ran around, played games, and ate copious quantities of plums, at Virtual Sunday School Holiday Camp:

Next project: Manga and Anime. 

Tuesday 17 January 2023

Project 244: Archaeology

This project ran from Monday 1st August until Sunday 7th August, and was prompted by Monica wanting to attain the archaeology badge for Brownies. 

To earn the badge it was necessary to explore the impact of the natural environment on an object by burying a letter in the earth, which they then had to try to relocate. 

They also had to pick three objects from around the house, and write a fictional backstory of what their history might have been.

The project also involved a couple of trips out. The first trip was an  archaeological trail around the local country park

The second trip was to Castle Rising, a nearby twelfth century castle:

Next project: The History of the Church

Monday 16 January 2023

Project 243: Extinction

 This project ran from Monday 25th July to Sunday 31st July, and was prompted by exhibitions at both Peterborough Museum and Peterborough Cathedral.

The Cathedral was hosting a touring animatronic dinosaur exhibition, which the children all enjoyed.

The museum had a smaller exhibition looking more explicitly at the issue of extinction and some of its causes:

The children used a variety of Twinkl resources to learn about endangered animals, environmental threats, and extinction, and had to create their own posters about an endangered animal.

They also made use of a dinosaur origami book from the library. 

Next project: Archaeology. 

Sunday 15 January 2023

Project 242: Deserts

This project ran from Monday 18th July to Sunday 24th July, and was prompted by the record-breaking temperatures we were expecting in the UK. 

As the beginning of the week was mostly spent trying to keep cool, and there were a few meet-ups during the second half of the week, the project mostly made use of Twinkl worksheets along with documentaries (the links of which we've lost!).

Next project: Extinction

Monday 9 January 2023

Project 241: 7 Wonders

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

This project was prompted by Solomon getting a new board game, 7 Wonders, which made us think it would be a good idea for the children to learn about both the original and New 7 Wonders

7 Wonders is a fairly quick (about 30 minutes) card development game with some simple building and trading. We played it intensely when we first got it, but it has since taken a bit of a backseat to games that are either more complex or quicker. 

We made use of a wide range of Twinkl resources to learn about each of the seven wonders, and the children had to write an essay about one of the seven wonders. Monica wrote about the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Sam wrote about the Lighthouse at Alexandria, and Solomon wrote about the Colossus of Rhodes.

Next Project: Deserts

Project 240: "We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea"

This was a two week project, running from Monday June 27th to Sunday 10th of July, and was designed to coincide with a holiday by the sea. 

It's the second Arthur Ransome project the children have had (see Project 140: Arthur Ransome and the Big Six), and they are well-written, realistic wholesome adventures, that don't include outlandish scenarios or fantastical/magical elements. The only warning would be that they are quite big books!

There was also plenty of other educational activities on the trip, 

When the children got home they did a piece of writing from the perspective of them being accidentally at sea. 

Next Project: Seven Wonders

Friday 6 January 2023

Project 239: Caves and Fossils

 This project ran from Monday 20th June to Sunday 26th June 2022.

We had a trip to visit the City of Caves in Nottingham planned, and so decided on caves and fossils for the week's project. 

As usual, there was a wide range of background reading:

And the children followed the instructions from 'Rock & Fossil Hunter' to create their own stalactites with Epsom salts:
Finally we had a trip to King's Dyke Nature Reserve to look for fossils:

Next project: "We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea"

Thursday 5 January 2023

Project 238: Fire

This project ran from Monday 13th June to Sunday 19th June, and was initiated by there being a home education trip to the local fire station. Although it was our first project on 'Fire', previous related projects include: Project 84: The Emergency Services, and Project 108: The Great Fire of London

The trip to the fire station included a talk about fire safety around the home, learning about the fire engine equipment, and having a go on the hose. After the trip the children did a fire safety check around the home.

We also revisited some of the books we had on the Great Fire of London, and read an additional one on the importance of fire to the development of civilization. 

Next project: Caves and Fossils

Tuesday 3 January 2023

Project 237: Crystals and gemstones

This project ran from Monday 6th June to Sunday 12th June.

Monica had just received a crystal growing kit, so we decided to use it as the basis of a project. 

As well as growing a crystal they read about the formation of different kinds of crystals and gems in some books (as well as the usual Twinkl resources), and created a related art work. 

They also put some table salt and sugar under the microscope to have a closer look at some natural crystals. 

Next Project: Fire