Sunday, 12 September 2010

A little catch up ...

The summer hols seems to whizz by, as every day, week and month does these days!  We started off well, continuing with our daily maths and some other bits and bobs, but that petered off towards the middle of August!

Katie had a week with my Mum and Dad and had a great time shopping most days!  A teenager's dream I'd say.  While she was away, we set too dismantling her high-rise sleeper, pulled apart the bunk beds in Ben's room and rearranged both hers, and Ben's rooms completely.  Both look great now, and both are happy with their new beds.  During this mega tidy up and furniture shifting (which resulted in several bags of rubbish - yippee), Ben rediscovered his love of maps and puzzles and put the two together, with me reading information from the atlas as he beavered away.
maps and puzzles
Also, during Katie's week away, Ben and I tootled down to Hunstanton to have a go on some of the fun fairground rides and also visit the Sea Life Centre there.  We were so lucky with the weather, picking probably the driest and warmest day of the week for our visit.  Had a super time and really enjoyed seeing the fish and other underwater creatures as well as the otters at feeding time and Ben's all time favourites, the penguins.  We both endeavoured to take photographs (no flashes allowed), but naturally it was quite difficult capturing anything that moves rather swiftly!  I've salvaged a few for you to see.
We have now bought a second-hand horse trailer to ferry Katie and AJ off to a few shows.  It was going to become hard to get hire trailer insurance for the one we used to borrow, so it made sense to look for our own.  We travelled a fair few miles sourcing the "perfect" trailer, and, with the additional cost of several evening meals out (because it was always late by the time we hit near home), it probably would have been cheaper to just buy a brand new one!  Anyway, Paul and I could easily answer questions for Mastermind on the ins-and-outs of the Ifor Williams Horse Trailer from 1990 - present day and quite sadly we have been pointing out various ones (and other makes too) and naming their make and model number during our said trips - how sad is that!!

Katie competed at Sheepgate Equestrian yesterday doing dressage.  There were quite a few in her class and although she didn't place (1st - 6th), she got quite a good score and rode very well.  We're waiting to get her membership approved for Pony Club - she's very eager to take part in their fun activities and competitions.
Dressage at Sheepgate

I've been fitting in some sewing in the evenings, and am planning a few new items to sell for Christmas.  Katie's done some sewing too.  We found a lovely tutorial on Angel Eden's lovely blog to make this pretty flower.  Here's the finished item - I love the material she's chosen.  She's decided to sew it to a hairband, rather than make it into a brooch.
We're back to work now, with maths top of the list and history following close behind.  Art always seems to feature too, and I'm hoping to throw in a sizeable amount of English as well.  Katie and her friend are aiming to take their foundation GCSE maths next summer.  Although they'll only be 14, I'm going to see if, by Christmas, I feel if Katie's ready for it.  Having finished the KS3 maths syllabus with Katie and Ben within a year, the foundation maths doesn't seem that much harder, so I'm sure she'll be OK.


Sam said...

Busy, busy summer - but it all sounds good. :-)

Sam x

Anonymous said...

WE looking at GCSES too. do you mind if I ask how you are going to do it?

dawny said...

I didn't realise you had a pony Elaine , fantastic :)

Lana's heading back to school for her gcse's this term, starting year 11.

Elaine, Ellie's Treasures said...

Hello "a". Firstly I recommend you sign up to the Yahoo Home Ed exams group - there's lots of useful leads on there. Here's the link:

My dd is 13 at the mo and because they are changing the maths syllabus next year we thought we'd try and get her ready to sit the GCSE Foundation maths next summer (purely because we have the correct workbooks) and also because we felt it would be easier for her and for the purse to spread the exam taking over a number of years!

When thinking about GCSEs etc., you need to find a centre that'll let outsiders (ie HE children) sit the exam. Different centres will sit different boards of exams. We're currently thinking of using AQA A board for the maths, again because of the workbooks and because the centre our local HE children seem to use sit this board of exams. Another popular board is Edxcel. Websites for AQA A and Edxcel should have a list of local centres that'll accept outsiders. You could ring around local secondary schools too to see if they'd accept your child/children. This may be cheaper (sitting fees vary greatly I've found out!) but could also be busier and therefore a little more daunting for the child/children.

Let me know how you get on, it's a big minefield and quite scary too. At least it should all be a lot easier for my ds when it's his turn to sit them!!


Elaine, Ellie's Treasures said...

Dawny - great to hear from you. Hope you're OK. Good news about Lana; which exams is she hoping to take?

Sadly, not our pony, although I really wish he was. Katie's been riding AJ for about 18 months now, free, to keep the weight off him! As time has gone by, Katie's been allowed to do more an more on him so she takes him to shows and has just joined the Pony Club. All pretty expensive, but at least we don't have to pay for his upkeep!

Elaine x