Monday, 24 January 2011


The day started like this:

After months of swimming in brown sludge, the fish nearly die of shock as they realise they can finally see out of the tank. And yes, that fish really is floating upside down. See, even the fish in our house are weird.

Then this...Dd cleans the killer mould off her window with someone's (not mine!) toothbrush:

Then this...mother buys intellectual books at library to put on shelf so visitors think we do stuff other than watch repeats of The Simpsons all day:

Then this...Ds1 demonstrates his unnerving interest in weaponry:

And war:

Then this...Ds2 sees how long it takes before mother regrets buying him a lethal form of transport for Christmas:

Then this...Dd torments budgies at local park:

And then this...van breaks down and I'm left with these:

And this reading material (which is no help whatsoever):

And this: A very short introduction to Literary theory. Trust me. It's not short enough, even when read by torchlight in a broken down van.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Friday: Home Things

People often ask what we do for home education; what our weeks are like. 'But how do you make them sit down and do work?' They ask.

Well. Most of the time they don't do 'work'. And they certainly don't spend much time at the table, unless it is to eat, to draw, make models or do some other child-directed activity.

So if you look at my past few blogs you will see a few of the things we did last week. Not every week is like this, but I guess it's fairly representative of how we do home education.

And so to Friday...

Friday is a 'home day'. Usually we tidy up, clean rooms, potter in the garden, bake, go to the library, and generally pursue our own interests. Of course you can label these activities however you like. For us everything we do has value, simply because we have chosen to do it.

Last week, this was our Friday.

Dd playing on her ds (literacy, IT, problem solving skills)

Ds1 writing a storyboard for his latest film (art, literacy, drama, media studies)

Metal detecting in the garden... (archaeology, physical education, history)

Lego modelling (design and technology)

Ds2 with his nose in a book (literacy, pure pleasure)

The tidying, undone (hey, what the hell):

A day of treasures:

(Check out my previous posts for Tuesday-Thursday)

Thursday: Printing adventures, bugs, rocks and kerb crawling.

We all of us head for the University Press printing museum:

Ds1 tries to beat the speed of the camera shutter - Ha! Caught you!

The original printy thingy plate from the mouse's tale/tail in Alice in Wonderland

And then, the boys head for a printing workshop:

And with a little frustration, produce some fabulous hand-printed sheets of paper.

Meanwhile, dd and I discover a whole new meaning to the term 'kerb crawling'
There's a lot of kerb in our city. And it takes a long long long long time to crawl along it all.

Occasionally there are glimpses that she has inherited her mother's madness:

What big feet you have...(if you're a dinosaur)

Bugs, bugs, glorious bugs

That's me and the three kids. I'm the big flat one with bingo wings.

Then on to the rocks (oh joy!).

Dd takes 20 blurry photos of rocks while I go walkabout, take photos of unsuspecting tourists and wonder if I had a pocket of spit-dried-paper balls whether I could actually hit them. Ahem. And then I grow up again.

We rediscover the museum microscope

Elementary my dear Watson: dirty thumbnail, sign of a filthy child and a mother who doesn't give a toss.

Ouch! Attack of the killer stuffed animals. So that's why they say 'Please Touch': it's so gallery assistants can have a laugh watching small children being eaten by taxidermied wildlife.

Just time for a quick visit to the scary next-door museum with the pointy jangly people who stare when you put a quid in the box. Not forgetting the shrunken heads and the ghoulish masks.

And the best bit of all: a chance to see what people have dropped down the grill holes in the floor of the museum...

'Ooh! A pencil! A hairclip!'
'Yeah yeah. Can we go home now?'

Saturday, 22 January 2011

It was Bertholt Brecht in the Bathroom with the Golf Balls on Wednesday

But first...let us start at the beginning.

A trip to the woods, via the water. Quite literally.

Nearly a 'You've Been Framed' qualifier:

Sawing wood for the fire



Popcorn (in 2 sieves, wired together):
Home-made onion bhajis:

Baked potatoes (wrapped in thick foil trays):

Improvised fishing:
'I don't think you'll be much in the water in January.'
'I know. It doesn't matter. I just like to fish.' all their variations:

The discovery of spores and their release (using pointy stick)
'Aren't some fungal spores toxic?'
'Hmm...shall we move on?'
A new path
Leading to a fab climbing tree:

And the golf balls? Well. It's amazing what you can find on a nature reserve:

Just one or two...bags full.
Later I share a gritty bath with some freshly-washed-with-nail-brush golf balls while I get to grips with Bertholt Brecht. Bless him.