Thursday, 23 October 2014

Aren't you keeping them out of the real world?

Aren't you keeping them out of the real world? 

This is a question I was asked yesterday during a conversation on Home Education started by an acquaintance, my inner thoughts went...

THE REAL WORLD! I cannot believe how many times I have heard it and how many more times I am sure I will hear it. Why do people think that sending their children to school will teach them about the real world, about real life challenges?  


Being in school does not teach a child how to deal with trials in life...

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Headstands, Steamboats and things...

Well, we didn't have the most exciting weekend due to tummy bugs but Sunday evening, when we were feeling a bit brighter we did go for a walk and check out the new area where we will be living.

The sun was so beautiful and bright and I was reminded of all the good things to look forward to with this move, the area has so much to offer really, despite not being quite so close to town.

We've been as busy as ever.  I think I'm trying to squeeze as much fun time with mummy in before the big move.  We only have a few weeks now.

Here's a little peek into what's my girls have been up to...

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Science: How to make a Steamboat

This was a great little science project this week. All my girls asked the right sort of questions so it was easy to fill them in with the scientific facts: the hows and whys.

Another reason I love this project so much is it's another of those MAKE YOUR OWN TOY moments!

What we used for this project:

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

We have a new home!!!!

We have a new home!!!!

I was so worried as we had just over a month left to find somewhere to fit all my four girls but we did it and, although there is plenty more going on in my life at the moment, that is a HUMONGOUS weight off my shoulders! Phew!  Now for the massive packing and cleaning frenzy!

After that stress was out the way we had a lovely family day on Saturday.  Naomi and Honi had gone to their swimming class with their dad before I managed to get out of the house, I promised to go but I was on the drag so followed on a little later as I wanted to see how they were doing.  Honi was thrilled to see me when I turned up - it was quiz day in the pool she told me later.  

I am glad I was running late that day because on my way there I bumped into a man who pointed out that one of the churches in town were having an open day.  They had some lovely miniature church bells on pulleys for the kids to have a go safely and a tour inside the church.  I took the girls later on that afternoon...

Friday, 10 October 2014

Science: The Soil pH Test

The reason that we need to know the Soil pH is because the pH level of the soil affects the availability of nutrients that plants need.

Nutrients must stay soluble in order to be absorbed by plants, acidity causes reactions that can enhance or reduce nutrients' ability to move.  The more acidic the soil the easier it is for the plants to absorb, this is mostly a good think but too much acidity can lead to over consumption and toxicity too.  The pH of the soil can also make nutrients more difficult to absorb too - alkalinity in soil can lead to deficiency of nutrients in a plant as the plant will not be able to absorb all it requires.
Soil pH is a measure of the acidity or the alkalinity of the soil.

A pH below 7 is an acid

A pH above 7 is an alkali

A pH of 7 is neutral.
The best soil pH for plants ranges between 5.5 and 7.  However, plants have adapted to thrive in levels outside this range.

Nutrients needed in large amounts by soil are known as macro nutrients these include:
  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Sulphur
Nutrients that are known as trace nutrients or micro-nutrients are not major components but are still necessary for healthy plant growth, these include:
  • Iron
  • Manganese
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Cobalt
  • Molybdenum
  • Boron
Both Macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients availability are affected by the soil pH.  In some soils if the pH level is out of range the soil can become toxic, for example soils rich in manganese-containing minerals become more soluble as the pH lowers below 5.6 (becomes acidic) this leads to Manganese toxicity symptoms in plants like crinkling or cupping of leaves - this is because Manganese is an essential plant nutrient that the plant draws up from the soil to its leaves, however, like all things in life too much of anything is a bad thing and high acidity in soil brings it to a toxic level.  However, if the soil is alkaline this can cause Manganese deficiency in the plant, Manganese is used in chlorophyll production so the plant can't produce the energy and food it requires very efficiently and the plant with gradually die.
Alkalinity in soil can also cause deficiency of:
  • Zinc 
  • Copper
  • Iron - a deficiency in iron can make the leaves go yellow.

Equipment needed for this experiment:

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Upside-down days and other things...

Normally our mornings are spent at home, waking up slowly and doing more structured educational things, however yesterday it was not like that at all.  Sometimes change is a good thing...

I have no photos of my girls playing in the park simply because I was far too busy socialising with friends over coffee.  It was really nice though, for a change, to be at the park in the morning; it was lovely to socialise and be out and about first thing.  The girls spent most of the morning playing with my friend's dog which absolutely shattered them out!

Friday, 3 October 2014

Found YOU!

So, what a week we've had!  Here are the highlights...

Monday was quiet, we enjoyed working through our workbooks and pottering about the house doing things that needed to be done.  Honi made biscuits with me and then we prepared a science experiment we had done previously but wasn't successful, something I call the Rocket Blaster...  

We had friends over in the afternoon and so we waited for them before we had a go at the rocket blaster!  It worked although I still want to work at perfecting it - any excuse for another go.

Tuesday among other things, Harmonie wanted to do some crafts so we got out the paint and the Cbeebies magazine and learnt about squids and Octopi.  She loved it.

Wednesday was our 10th Wedding Anniversary.  The highlight of the day for the girls and I was this experiment...

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Science experiment: What is soil made of?

To go with our Ecology project at the moment we are looking at soil and what it is made of as well as what lives in it. This week we covered the first part.  What is in soil made of?

This is a really simple experiment that is hands on and requires little to no help from an adult but it does take a few days to complete.

For this experiment you will need:

Sunday, 28 September 2014

An encounter with Prince Charming...

Seriously, we met Prince Charming, Cinderella, the horses and the carriage too.  But more about that in a bit, First I will tell you how Friday went...

Thursday, 25 September 2014

House hunting and some special moments...

Today I just wanted to share with you one moment, a moment that made me smile so hard it hurt!  On Monday we had an appointment to view a house.  It was just over a mile stomp with four children! But when we got there...

Lisa White's photo.

The house had already been Let.  The Letting Agents tried frantically to let me know but I hadn't seen their calls and I ended up finding out by meeting the new Tenants -  yes, that was slightly awkward - I managed to sort things out without any real upset.
Also, thanks to a very reasonable Letting Agent I was able to ask all the questions I was hoping to ask about that wasn't so much to do with the house but more the nitty gritty stuff.  I suppose he had to be so obliging after the giant blip; they ended up being very helpful indeed because they were trying to make up for the unfortunate circumstances with the house viewing appointment.


It was a beautiful day for a walk though like a summer's day. It was so nice, in fact, that I bought the girls ice-cream.  That moment that made me smile so hard?  Well, that was the moment Harmonie willingly and happily held out her ice-cream for Honi. So sweet!

As for our home education...

Monday, 22 September 2014

A readers Question: Home Education - how do I keep everyone occupied and focus on individual educational needs?

This post I have written to answer one of my readers question.  It is a question I am frequently asked.  It comes in many variants, basically:  How do I keep all my four girls occupied while educating them and still be able to focus on and give the support needed for each individual child's needs.

It is a challenge at times having all the different ages and very different personalities.  All I can say is a matter of trial and improvement mostly.  Do remember if you are home educating and doing your best you are giving your children the best gift ever, your time.  Here are a few of my thoughts on the subjects and some tips I have learnt from my own personal journey, I will share them in the hope that it might be helpful for others too...

Friday, 19 September 2014

Marbling with crayons!

This is a really fun craft project to try with children.  We marbled eggs and paper but you could marble many things using this technique.

It doesn't involve chemicals with toxic fumes, but it does involve boiling water so care needs to be taken but I love the effect that it achieves. 

For this project, you will need...

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Time to move on...

Monday was lovely.  We had a surprise email in the morning, it was friends who fancied meeting up.  The girls have never finished their history and maths so quickly.  Ever. 
My friend has five children, I have four - we had a house FULL of very happy playful children.  It was lovely!
We went out shopping, walked about the town enjoying the sunshine.
In the evening, I got to do a bit of yoga with my 9 year old too. She loves learning new sports and had the frog pose conquered very quickly indeed!
Then, it was bedtime. The youngest two were asleep when we had some bad news... 

Monday, 15 September 2014

And how the years fly!

My beautiful little Honi turned 7 this year!  Where does the time go.  I remember it so well, born at 5:30pm in hospital with one of the loveliest midwives in the world.  I will never forget that special moment.   I only wish I could remember her name.  I even got to cut the cord myself, something I only managed to get to do with Honi.  Special memories...

Friday, 12 September 2014

SCIENCE: Step by step experiment - how wind is made!

For a while now I have been wanting to do a few science experiments to show my girls how weather works in a practical hands on way.  Finally I am getting round to it...

Last week we looked at different climates and their affect on the world.  This of course lead to how wind is created.  So, I have been pondering on ways of creating this effect at home, a way that makes it fun and keeps all my children.  This is what I came up with; in this experiment we did today we learnt how earth's winds are created with a simple experiment - no blowing required!