Saturday, 14 February 2015

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Making Chocolates


 We had a great time making raw chocolates this morning and can't wait to taste them a little later on when they've set. We even made our own instructional video to share for Lychee to earn a DIY skill for her 'Chef' badge.  You can watch the video below:




Friday, 6 February 2015

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Valentines Activity

 Looking for a fun activity for valentines day? How about learning to make genuinely healthy, organic and fairly traded chocolate? That's what we are going to be doing. I'm told it's easy enough for the kids to join in with too.

You could also do a study on fair trade, it's a little early (fair trade fortnight starts on the 23rd of February) but personally I think they've missed a trick because everyone will be marketed nasty commercial not fairly traded chocolate for valentines day without giving it a second though just nine days earlier.

The fair trade website has tonnes of free resources aimed at all age groups which look great and I will definitely be looking at these both with the teenagers I work with and my own two.

And if you are looking for links to buy the ingredients you need, you can find them at the bottom of yesterday's post on my other blog. :-)


Thursday, 22 January 2015

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You Are There - Lamplighter Theatre

We love audio books, not only in the car, but Cosmo is really enjoying listening to them at bed time. Audible credits are a cheap way to get regular audio books and we've really enjoyed the Inspired by the Bible Experience audio with Samuel L Jackson, Denzel Washington and some other really big names. We also love the Adventures in Odyssey series for fun and light hearted entertaining stories.

By far and away though, my children's favourite audio we've ever bought has been the Lamplighter Theatre plays. The stories are incredibly engaging, with fantastic truths hidden in them and really inspirational heroes. They are exceptionally well produced and every child (and adult) I know who has listened has loved them. So I was super excited when Lamplighter brought out the 'You Are There' Series.


It's a dramatisation of Bible stories for young children. The bible experience is word for word scripture read and acted, which is fantastic; but this is something different, so I don't mind investing in both. Thanks to YNAB we had some money in our 'homeschool: Curriculum' budget, so when I saw that Lamplighter had a half price deal on I jumped at it. We got the MP3 downloads (shipping to the uk is pricey!) and I can't wait to start listening to them with the kids.

Here's the promo video:

And some longer interviews about the series:


If you order them quick, they are down to $99 for the entire set (that's about £62 in English money).
Enjoy!

Friday, 21 November 2014

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Parkour

Cosmo has recently discovered his new favourite sport - Free running.

There's a club near us in Milton Keynes and a friend has set up a day time class for home educated kids and it is so much fun.

Two hours every Tuesday of this:






video


video

During which time Lychee and I get to go shopping together, which is nice. It's always fun to get some time 'just the girls' too.


Thursday, 20 November 2014

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Making Candy

We made our own 'pulled taffy' the other week using pure honey and just adding a few essential oils for flavour and it was so fun! I'll be honest, my kids did not particularly like how it felt on their hands, but I had a lot of fun and they were so proud of their finished products.

If you want to have a go it is super easy. Just boil some honey with a candy thermometer until it reaches 140c for at least five minutes. Then tip it out on a non-stick sheet and use spatulas to move it around until it's cool enough to touch.

At this stage you need to grease your hands with butter and then you just pull and fold, incorporating as much air as you can. When it's only barely warm add a few drops of your favourite essential oils (we used, peppermint in one batch, lemon in another, orange in a third and left one plain). Essential oils are volatile, so it's best to add them as cool as you can get away with if you want the flavour to last.

When you've twisted and pulled as much as you can and the candy is pretty hard, you can cut it into shapes, wrap it in waxed paper and store in the fridge.

Even though they didn't like getting messy (there were tears over butter on hands) the kids enjoyed watching the process and learning how candy was made.




The second time we made some honeycomb. I adapted this recipe I found, but boiling the honey again, but I added a mix of 50:50 bicarbonate of soda and ascorbic acid (vitamin C powder). The acid in the vitamin C ensured we got a good reaction from the baking soda and we had a slightly chewier than I'd have liked honeycomb. I think next time I need to boil the honey a little longer.



Still, the kids really liked this one. 

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

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Art Class

My children are so into art right now. Cosmo has been teaching Lychee about the art and crafts he does at boys brigade throughout the week. Last week it was blow painting fireworks (she liked that a lot).


This week we missed brigades :-( 

In lieu of her 'art class' from Cosmo, I decided to get out our sketch books (darn it, I lost mine) and follow some really cute lessons that I had found on pinterest (you can follow my homeschool art board here).

Today we started with exploring different types of lines.

I drew this:


Cosmo drew this:


And Lychee drew this:


Tomorrow's lesson: Shapes


Monday, 22 September 2014

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Music Appreciation

I found a link on pinterest for How to Teach Music Appreciation The Charlotte Mason Way and I've decided to add it into our schedules this year.

The author suggests picking one composer each term, listening to a piece of their music daily and changing it each week (easily done whilst we are on copywork or something else). We then also need to discuss and learn about the composers life and learn about them.

I think part of the reason I'm so excited about it is that we have really been enjoying a fantastic audiobook which includes the story of Johann Sebastian Bach and I had no idea what an amazingly faithful overcomer he was.

We're going to start with Debussy this term, because I like his music, then do Bach in January (for contrast and because I already have a biography of him) and the Chopin in the summer (because I like his music too.

If you are interested in doing this with us, I've made youtube playlist with some of their music so you can play it easily on your phone, tablet, laptop etc... whilst your littles are working to help familiarise them with the music.

Bach
Brahms
Chopin
Debussy
Mozart

And I'll add more as we get through them, so just keep an eye on the playlists in my channel, or let me know if you make your own and I'll add a link to them.

Thanks.