Monday, 9 February 2009

Catch up on various things

Last weeks usual learning schedule was put on hold mainly due to heavy colds, general feeling of lethargy and then, of course, snow! Paul and I were actually the worst hit with winter bugs, in fact I spent most of Monday and Tuesday in bed! Nevertheless, autonomous learning kicked in and the children did accomplish some lovely things throughout the week.

Sadly, I can't recall most of these lovely things (why is my brain so mush?). I do remember that Ben made a lovely Victoria sponge cake all by himself, without any help at all with ingredients, mixing or cooking.

We all made bird seed fat balls which also included yummy cake crumbs, bread crumbs and raisins. We hung these, and monkey nut "kebabs", on our large apple tree next to the kitchen. It's cut off from the rest of the garden by chicken wire, so fairly safe from the cats, and is perfect for viewing any birds from the kitchen conservatory windows. All was quiet on the feathered front for a day or so, but now we're seeing blackbirds (very insistant on getting the fat balls, so insistant that they fell off the string in the end), blue tits, sparrows and starlings. All the fat balls have been eaten now so we'll need to make more. Not only is it fun to make them (although the smell of lard isn't to everyones taste), but it's great to see the birds so close up. It also means we can write up and complete one section towards our bronze RSPB Awards (see bottom of blog). In order to do this, we decided to make a plain paper booklet. Using a lovely book on making books from the library, we just folded a few plain A4 sheets in half, cut out a coloured paper spine and stitched the book together. Katie and Ben have written up what food they made, how it was prepared, and have drawn pictures of the birds we've seen, as well as taken some photos.

We have been catching up on some good educational TV - How it's Made, Scrapheap Challenge, Victorian Farm, The Farm (love this one) and all those. Ben told me the other day how a lightbulb works, using all the correct terminology, all learnt from a TV programme!

Katie has done plenty of drawing and has dabbled in some oil painting. They've both done Sketch Tuesday this week - drawing a road sign. Ben has used Adobe Photoshop to alter a photo of himself - the results are here on his blog (which he's very good at updating). Katie has also been playing around with the camera. I love this photo - very "Gone with the Wind" (Scarlett "I shall never be hungry again" scene!).

Katie has been making lots of model horse headcollars and rugs. I think she's set up a joint venture with another HEer on one of her model horse forums to sell them. I seem to be off to the post office quite frequently with packages to send these days!

We've also read more from the lovely Usborne "The Story of Painting" - we looked at the medieval period.

We've also played lots in the snow, of course, and made some pretty ice mobiles which are ready to hang on the washing line.

Today we got back on track but had major battles over maths first thing (I hate it when this happens). We were looking at simple ratio but both had an attitude problem which slowed things down and got me het up! They easily managed it in the end, but it was a huge hassle to get there! We also used this BBC website to read about Dickens's life (anniversary of his birth was on the 7th). They enjoyed the street game and got to know some of the interesting Dickens characters along the way. We'll carry on tomorrow as we had to rush off to our new HE group (group no 2) session, today's subject, flight. Had lots of fun making paper aeroplanes in various disguises (with lots of exciteable, competitive paper plane competitions by children and adults alike). Katie and I attempted to make a balloon powered hovercraft, although I think it will need a bit of tweeking to actually get it to hover across the floor - some managed it, but not us! Lovely to meet some new people. Katie found a young horse (and model horse) lover, Ben hooked up with a number of young lads and I had a good old natter, so an enjoyable couple of hours. After, we dropped off a poster Pets at Home had asked Katie to prepare when she bought the rats. She's spent a lot of time drawing pictures, adding photos and sourcing rat care information to present to them. The lady was really chuffed that Katie had bothered to do it and promised to display it in the shop to teach others how to care for rats.

It's raining now but bitterly cold. Off to cook tea and light a fire.

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Annkrozeika said...

Hi, it was lovely to meet the 3 of you - the problem with Amber and myself is that we are both much chattier online! Amber was very pleased to meet Katie but she was feeling too shy to speak to her much today, hopefully she will come out of her shell a bit more next time :o)

Elaine said...

Hi Zoe, it was lovely to meet you and Amber yesterday. Elaine

Claire said...

I love those ice mobiles. So simple and yet so effective. Having spent the last couple of weeks wishing winter would end I'm now hoping it stays cold enough to do these first!