Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Layers of rock

In 'Stone Girl, Bone Girl' there are some lovely illustrations showing the layers of rock showing in a cliff face, so today we mixed up some textured paint to make our own versions of the same. Here are Moo's pictures :)

And here are Lamb's. Although you can't really see it in the photographs, the paint is full of all sorts of goodies. The dark blue is mixed with soil, the green with chopped-up dried grass, and the yellow had chopped-up dried leaves in it.

The kidlets have also been doing some more dinosaur stencils to go in their Mary Anning project.
On the left is Moo's work (his pencil control is getting really good now and he traces letters well) and on the right Lamb's.

At the end of yesterday I was left with this odd satisfied feeling. It'd been a good day.
Could today be as good? I think so :)
We've also watched a few episodes of the Magic School Bus. Educational T.V for the whole family ;-)
The boys LOVE the Magic School Bus! I just wish it was still on T.V.
It was another great day for reading too. Lamb had to help his brother to be a 'word detective' today. Using the ABC cookies (wonderful xmas present!) I spelt out 'cow'. Lamb had to figure out what it said so that they could draw the correct picture. It worked a treat. Introducing Lamb to word segments is working well, and 3 letter words are being figured out well now. This I think is at the root of my end-of-day feeling of satisfaction at the moment! The first real steps to reading at last.
Not only that, but a wander around the charity shops in town bought some treasures our way.
("No, I'm not buying you any more teddies, but you can choose a few books each if you'd like.")
We found a lovely book of Scottish Fairy Tales, a book called 'Pounamu's Stones' that has some wonderful illustrations, and a let's-read-and-learn-science book on fossils which tells the story of how a fish turns into a fossil inside a cliff. Must have been fate ;-)

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Inside the Earth

 We started off the day making a cut and stick model of the layers inside the earth from ... which was a bit advanced but it was a good chance to practise some scissor skills.
It also led on quite nicely to watching some videos of volcanoes on

We got hands on for a literacy session today, and played around with the 'ow' sound. Good fun! I was super impressed to find that Lamb was able to start reading these simple words with relative ease.
Lamb isn't ready to put sounds together just yet, but he's getting very confident now with all the phonics sounds and the blends he's learnt so far.

And here is Moo colouring in some dinosaur stentils he's been working on. How funny to hear the word 'stegosaurus' and 'diplodocus' coming out of a 3 year old! 

Lamb requested that we make cookies for todays cooking session (they taste pretty good)
and he then spent ages carefully copying out the ingredient list.
I can't believe how much his handwriting has progressed in this last year. He's now able to mostly write on a ruled line, with letters all of the correct size. It's a world away from this time last year.
I have forgotten the date, but it must be very close to almost a year that we've been at this home-education lark now!

Monday, 27 February 2012

Stone Girl, Bone Girl - the story of Mary Anning

So, for our rocks and fossils topic the literature hook is 'Stone Girl, Bone Girl' by Laurance Anholt.
The pictures are lovely, but it is very wordy, so unless you have a patient youngster I'd say a good age for this book would be 7+.
Luckily for me Moo takes these things rather seriously!

It tells the story of Mary Anning and her discovery of the first Ichthyosaur fossil.
There is lots here for children to talk about aside from the discovery of an amazing fossil, such as bullying, grief, poverty and a little hint of spooky mystery.

We followed up the story with an examination of our little box of Nemnem fossils and some nice messy painting activity, making dinosaur footprints.

These foam letters were an oppurtunity purchase last week, put to good use here. Lamb had to find the capital letter equilvilents to the Mary Anning themed words, and later used them again to find the missing capital letters in an information sheet about Mary Anning.

And the boys started their new tapestry kits.
This is a first try at following a pattern and it went rather well. This one here is Moo's.
We got these from and they are perfect for little hands.
As you can see the pattern is printed on to flexible plastic, making it easy for little hands to hold, control and follow. The set comes in a nice little paper bag with all the bits and bobs needed. It would make a really nice gift actually.

And here is Lamb's!

Friday, 24 February 2012


The tail end of this week has been tying up the Hungry Caterpillar topic.
The lovely butterflies you can see above were make from thick card and lolly-pop sticks.
The intention of this craft was focusing on symmetry. I wasn't sure how well this would go, and while I doubt either of the boys would remember talking about symmetry now they did both understand the concept at the time.

Lots of pretty butterflies all up on the wall. Nice and cheery for spring!

You could say that we got a bit carried away with doing butterfly prints. Honestly butterflies are such a great way to introduce symmetry ;-)
We had so many butterflies in the end that I had to call time on the printing before we completely ran out of drying space.
To round off each boy made a nice little book about the life cycle of a butterfly (though in Moo's book  he opted for a funky blue leaved plant). Moo doesn't actually want to stop doing the Hungry Caterpillar topic but I'm all out of ideas to go any further!

Friday, 17 February 2012

A few photos of the day...

Moo's Hungry Caterpillar :)

Fossils at the museum...

Little hands at the museum...

Hard at work ;-)

Little Caterpillars

Continuing in the Hungry Caterpillar theme the boys practised with the scissors, cutting out the days of the week, with Lamb ordering them. He can do this easily now so I won't labour the point too much more in future.

Banana and sweet potato muffins this week... not as yummy as they sounded. Moo was left to spoon the mixture into the muffin cases this time, a responsibility he took very seriously!

No, he's not in bed! This is Lamb pretending to be a caterpillar in a cocoon! This was THE favourite game yesterday - the boys wrapped themselves up in quilts then emerged as beautiful butterflies.

Another picture of Moo hard at work. He's really, really enjoying learning his sounds.
He's just moved on to sound blends and is doing really well.
His pencil control is coming on a treat as well. Yesterday I found him trying to write his name free hand all by himself, and he'd managed the first 3 letters. Clever boy!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Toys and Games from the Past

Another trip to the museum to look at toys and games from the past.
This was without a shadow of a doubt Lamb's favourite!

...Unimpressed with the puppets.

Quoites I think?

Though Moo was cheating somewhat!

Is it just me or does Lamb look like he has a plaster on his nose??

A day with Nemnem

Here they are playing Rock band with J.Nem. Lamb is fond of a bit of Queen!

Moo is, as ever, very serious about the task in hand :)

Nemnem has a brilliant collection of rocks and fossils which Moo had a nice time looking through. Lamb cottoned on quite quickly that it looked a bit like work, and he hadn't come to do that!

Both boys enjoyed meeting Hermes the tortoise who wandered around the living room for a bit. They were less interested in the giant millipede, but Moo was quite interested in the giant snails. It was Mystic the dog that stole the show in the end though. They both had the best time playing hide-and-seek with Mystic. This is quite a massive thing because normally Lamb is terrified of dogs!

Nemnem, being all sorts of lovely, gave the boys a little box of the fossils and rocks to keep. We're about to start doing a new topic on rocks and fossils you see, so these are going to be brilliant! Thanks Nemnem!

Amazing memory!

We went to see Nanny and Grandad B. at the weekend and Lamb was insistant that we use the car tracks to build Monaco race circuit. Unfortunately we didn't have a picture of the race circuit with us so Lamb decided to draw us a picture. What we didn't realise was that he really does know Monaco race circuit inside out!
I checked when we got home and look at that! Every lump and bump is there! I would never have believed that his memory was so good :D

Snow Babies

Ok, so the snow has gone now, but it's taken me this long to put the photos onto the computer. It was another day that Lamb stayed in his fleecey PJ's!

We were expecting Lamb to run straight inside again. In past years he has not liked the snow at all (he's very sensitive to the weather) but this year he surprised us. Not only did he whip his gloves off but he touched the snow and stayed out there for a good 20 minutes!
As an aside, don't you just love the sight of little heads in bobble hats?

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

We just started a literacy unit on the Very Hungry Caterpillar. Moo is loving this story, and it is simple enough that he sits down with the book and reads it to himself. It's very cute to listen to! He got to this page and exclaimed: "OH mummy! I don't know what his house is called!"

We've been working on this great little maths booklet available from that uses the Hungry Caterpillar as its inspiration. The level was a little too hard for Moo because he can count fairly confidently to 10 but hasn't started linking that to written numbers yet, but he didn't want to be left out. It's perfect for kids that are working on 1 -10.
Interestingly Lamb confidently managed visual patterns where he has difficulties with the oral patterns that Moo excels at.
We'll be doing more Hungry Caterpillar stuff soon, so I'll add links as and when :)

Gorgeous Boy!

I wanted a nice picture of Moo as I have lots of old school photo's of Lamb up, but nothing really nice of Moo. It took a few shots but I'm really pleased with this - he came up with this pose himself, heehee!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Curriculum... eurgh...

We had unexpectedly found ourselves with some extra money. It doesn't happen often and Daddy suggested that we have a think and see if there were going to be any home-ed things that we might need. The first thing on the agenda might be a new laminater, but I wondered what a bought curriculum might look like.
So I took a look.
I spent 2 hours looking until I honestly thought my head might fall off. I looked at the Christopherus curriculum first. It looked quite nice... but would all of it really appeal to MY kids? I looked at Oak Meadows and thought straight away that it didn't look suitable for us. I looked at Enki, which looked lovely but nearly made me faint when I saw the price.
In the end we decided that, yeah it'd save me a lot of work to buy a curriculum, but it'd most likely not work. I mean, it's working at the moment because I listen to the kids. You want to do a project on Starlings? Erm... ok, we can do that. A project on Formula One? OK, we'll sort something out.
I'm not sure we could stick to any curriculum. And just because I think something looks lovely, doesn't mean the boys are going to enjoy it.
Still, it has made me reconsider some of the things I had intended to do this year...

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

I love watching little hands at work...

Today the boys have been making some valentines presents.

I saw this while reading blogs and having my wake-up cuppa. How simple and lovely!
(Though I can't remember now where I saw this - sorry for not giving credit where it is due).

Mummy stitched the heart shape, and little boys were asked to stitch a pretty pattern on the inside.


I also saw this little activity over on Mindfull Momma's blog.
Again such a simple activity.
We talked lots about the different people we love and talked at some length about the ways we can show people we love them.

The boys then told me lots of ways to oshow people we love them.
I particularly like Moo's suggestion:
We can show people we love them by washing-up for them!

And Moo also decided that he was going to make himself a hat.
Very nice :)