Diwali

One of the things I love about home ed is that you can learn alongside your child.  It is good for them to see that you don’t know everything and that sometimes you need to learn at the same time as they do and research together.  As I am not particularly religious I don’t tend to know much about different religions so this year I am setting out to change this. I am going to learn about some of the major festivals of different religions at the same time as the girls. This week we have learned about Diwali.

Diwali is a 5 day festival and on each day different activities take place. In photographic and caption summary here are the first 3 days, the days we have focussed on with the girls. What a lot of fun we have had.

DAY 1

We practised using stencils and rangoli powder to make rangoli patterns. It was too windy to do outside so we practised on paper instead. 

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DAY 2

We decorated diva lamps we had made a couple of days before. 

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Made our rangoli patterns outside our front door. 

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We found this to be a tricky business as it was still quite windy and our stencils kept bouncing about. 

We selected some flowers at the shops to use to make a table decoration on day 3. 

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We tried to make Burfi (an Indian sweet). Our first attempt didn’t work out well as it was too hard and tasted too much of cardamom, but never give in at a first attempt. View it as a chance to learn and improve and if it is still rubbish after a few attempts don’t become a chef! We will have another go soon.

Beanster made the cardamom powder.  

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Beanster made the mixture. Only half the sugar went on the cooker! 

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The finished mixture tasted lovely. Setting seemed to intensify the cardamom however. Maybe half the amount next time.

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Mama and i finished the evening sampling proper Indian sweets from these guys. Would recommend. 

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DAY 3 

This is the day that most Hindus and Sikhs  celebrate Diwali with family and they have lots of lovely food.

We dressed for the occasion, well Beanster did and Moo chose her own unique outfit!

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Curry cooking away.

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Table decoration made.

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Food enjoyed, whilst listening to Indian music. 

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Playing with Glowsticks before bed.

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Tonight we read more of Gobbolino,  Mr Uppity  (will the Mr Men obsession ever end for Moo) and Elmer.

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A trip to IKEA can be a place where you learn too

Really?  It is amazing how many people don’t realise that you can turn any place that you go to into a place of learning. Take IKEA for example. A lot of people say shopping in IKEA is their idea of hell. To Beanster and Moo it is a wondrous haven of fun and practical learning potential.  We have never once used the creche.  The girls have never asked to go there. They would in fact think they were being denied fun if not allowed to come with us. At times it does feel like herding sheep for us,  but each visit the girls get something new out of the experience.  So here is our visit in summary.

As we didnt arrive until lunchtime Mama went to buy our food and we watched a Diwali video on YouTube then looked at the IKEA catalogue. Beanster read out prices of different items and we talked about how some things cost more or less than her pocket money. Moo practised turning pages.

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We talked about the different countries our food came from. Swedish meatballs for Beanster and Italian for Moo. I had an Indian style curry and Mama a mixture of Italian and Swedish.

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I am sure the staff and customers wondered where the ‘musical’ noise was coming from when they started gently drumming on various objects. No objects were damaged in the making of said music. Time to break out the drum kit in the loft (permission please Lyall)

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Motor skills were practised with the kiddie trolleys. Very few ankles were biten by the trolleys although I did get a few strange looks from other shoppers when i turned it into a driving lesson and got them to park in imaginary Tesco car spaces! Oh and we did look out for various sites of tourist interest on our journey. We passed Blair Drummond Safari park (the cuddly elephants), Blackpool illuminations (the lighting department) etc. You get the idea. 

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Moo made her own video when Beanster went to the loo. 

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Other highlights included selecting various Swedish foods from the food shop to try; briefly playing with children’s toys (they find them a bit dull now); practising writing lists; discussing and selecting appropriate plants for a terrarium Beanster wants to make…..

Of course no trip to IKEA is complete without a wee snack  at the end. 

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At other points of the day we….

Discussed the weather

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Played Diwali bingo 

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Drew

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Did more Okido magazine. Robots today and Beanster was wire obsessed.

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Emptied the dishwasher and put everything away. Beanster compared cutlery size to correctly sort them into the adult’s holder and the kid’s holder. 

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Pulled faces 

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Made Diva lamps 

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Watched the Wizard of OZ 

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Bedtime books were more of the food non-fiction book, another chapter or two of Gobbolino the witch’s cat and Mr Tickle.

Wonder what we will learn tomorrow…..
 

Our Weekend

Our days are always full of fun and variety and this weekend has been no different. Here is a photographic summary of the highlights.

SATURDAY

Doing knitting with Mama. It required LOTS of concentration. 

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Facepainting (badly by me) and roleplay. 

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Making a jigsaw. 

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Making and eating a Mexican tea with our friends Stacey and Lyall. We are making and trying food from different parts of the world this week and tonight it was Mexico.

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Posing for Lyall’s camera

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SUNDAY

Learning to draw Rangoli patterns for Diwali next week. We will work on understanding the colour symmetry next with Beanster. Moo turned hers into an abstract art piece.

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Moo drew a picture of her family.

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Harvesting, weeding, flying an improvised carrier bag kite and making a bench at the allotment. Beanster was very proud of the seat she made.

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Having rides in the wheelbarrow.

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Observing a mouse which Moo found. 

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Looking at and discussing the results of our bread mould experiment from HE club. In this experiment you had to touch bread slices  with unwashed hands then washed hands and ziplock bag the pieces of bread. After a few days we were to look for mould growth :

Moo’s piece of bread touched AFTER she washed  her hands. 

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Moo’s piece of bread BEFORE she washed her hands.

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Beanster’s piece of bread BEFORE she washed her hands. She forgot to do a clean hand version.  She said, ‘Hmmmm I think my hands are maybe the germiest.’ Yeah I think she could be right.

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Helping prepare the dinner. Tonights food from around the world was an English roast dinner using allotment veg. 

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Doing some of our Okido Arts and Science magazine. 

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Talking about her work with Mama before bed.

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Tonight our bedtime stories were Mr Fussy, Gobbolino and an animal poetry book. Both girls were later spotted reading books in bed with their torches. 

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A wet and wild day

Today was quite dreich but that didn’t matter as we were going swimming with Grandpa today. Granny enjoyed observing from the cafe. Beanster practised her breathing techniques and trying to retrieve a weighted hoop from the bottom of the pool. She has been finding this difficult in her swimming lessons because she is so light and just floats back to the surface. Today she was determined to manage it and when she remembered to blow bubbles and use powerful arm strokes she managed to retrieve it from a 1metre depth. We now need to work up to managing this in slightly deeper water so she achieves her sticker in class. Moo wanted to practise leg kicks and jumping in and played with Grandpa at the chute and water pumps. 

After a hot dog lunch (and practise for Beanster at buying a snack from the cafe) we headed to the library with Granny to get some new books. The girls always enjoy using the machine to check their own books out and then stamp the return date on them. We have come home with a selection of fiction and non-fiction books which we started to read at bedtime. 

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After some play back at Granny and Grandpas we headed home and the girls designed their own experiments using ink, paper, wipes and water. 

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There was a bit of model making, labelling items around the house, invisible ink creations and superhero role play later on. Evil Tornado Man needed to be stopped from destroying the world. 

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Bedtime stories tonight included a Mr Men book, Gobbolino and a lift the flap information book about food. 

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But do your children learn anything?

As a home educating parent, I am often asked if our girls learn anything. ‘How can they possibly learn if they don’t go to school?’ Well, our girls learn through life. They learn by exploring the world around them, interacting with people in our community and beyond, problem solving when they encounter difficulties and basically have a lot of fun whilst doing so. They have a thirst for knowledge. They are allowed the freedom to follow their interests, which are vast in number and varied and they are on the go from the minute they wake until the moon is high in the sky and smiling down on us. Here is just a taster of the things our girls have been doing  in our ‘school’ week broken down CfE style 😉 lol

Mathematics

Counted; looked for and read numbers to 100; addition within 10 on Maths Seeds; compared sizes of objects; made patterns; worked out how different shapes fit together on top of others; used money to buy items for the foodbank; simple measuring in Science experiments

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Languages

Listened to daily stories and discussed some of them; gone to storytime at Far From the Madding Crowd; Reading Eggs work; read simple signs together; read instructions together; listened to and discussed Wow in the World podcasts; written our names; made fuzzy felt and drawn pictures and told stories using them; learned to ask questions using Google assistant; 

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Social Studies

Visited Callander House and learned about the Romans, the Antonine Wall, life in the Central belt at different periods of time; discussed coal mining and the structure of coal at different stages in it’s development; talked about the weather and extreme weather (and made a tornado); talked about volcanoes whilst playing on a model one

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Sciences

These photos summarise some of the fun we have had with Science this week.

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We also have a mould experiment set up in the kitchen and are in the middle of making bouncing eggs. 

Technologies 

Some wee models from this week.

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Health and wellbeing

Danced; climbed; ran; gymnastics; rolled down hills; swung; walked for MILES; thrown frisbees; jumped and tomorrow we are swimming. Oh and we baked and made soup.

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Religious and moral education

Bought food for the food bank; discussed homelessness and started to learn about Diwali. 

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Expressive Arts

We have drawn; painted; listened to different styles of music; listened to music from different eras; played the piano and role played (with each other and with friends).

YEAH i think it is safe to say OUR GIRLS ARE LEARNING.

Under the Trees

Today was the ‘Play Out’ session with p the Trees, but before heading there Mama took the girls to a second hand ballet clothing sale to get Beanster kitte3ld out for her ballet class. We had decided NOT KCAL Z W 2 not to get clothing for her until she was definitely sure that she wanted to keep going. She has been for a few weeks now and is enjoying it so clothing was now needed. It was a successful trip and almost new tap shoes, ballet shoes and a leotard were purchased for a fraction of the cost. Moo even scored herself a wee leotard to dress up in and play with.

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Next the girls headed to the woods for an afternoon of outdoor fun. It rained on and off throughout, but that didn’t stop them taking part in all the activities. I was working there today, at the messy art area, so the girls came by frequently to say hello and do some painting.

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The girls are a little choked today so after the woods they went home for a chill on the sofa, with some TV. When Beanster perked up a little she wanted to put on her ballet gear and do a bit of dancing.

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Both girls are now having an early night to try and clear all the snot and coughs that have built up over the day.

Friendships and knitting

We woke up later than usual this morning and had a leisurely breakfast whilst chatting about, amongst other things, the yellow bin lorry, why we need water and computer games. We then watched some Mr Men, played the ukelele, did some abstract art….

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…and Beanster did some money work. We practised naming coins and talked about how the coins were all worth different amounts. We then put coins in order of value.

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Moo is fascinated with her ‘pennies’ at the moment and she spent time emptying her piggy bank and not letting anyone near the piles of pennies she made in case we pinched them.

After reading some Mr Men stories together we finally got dressed, made our lunch and took it with us to home ed club. The Queensferry Crossing bridge had reopened after it’s official opening so as we travelled over we discussed our experience of walking over it.  Beanster was surprised to see the wind barriers still up. It turns out that she hadn’t realised they were part of the design and thought they had been put up just for the walking weekend to protect us! 

Once we arrived at club the heavens opened so Moo decided to have a good old splash about in the puddles.

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 Beanster meanwhile had already gone in and started building lego models and a wooden fortress with her friends. 

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Today’s theme was ‘Minecraft’ so there was plenty of minecraft related activities going on along with hama beads, construction and the usual outdoor imaginative games. Beanster and Moo stayed mainly indoors today (not like them) and had a fabulous few hours.

Moo built trains and towers with her friend F…..

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….and I showed her how to link some of the construction bits together.

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Beanster made a hama bead heart (I finished off a bit of the right hand side when her attention drifted) and she had a lovely chat with one of her mummy pals. Beanster focused really well to the hama beads, which were smaller than she is used to and she persevered with the activity for about 30 minutes before moving onto something else. Well done Beanster.

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After we got home Beanster asked to do some knitting and knitted a whole row independently! That is a whole row more than I have ever managed. She is making a scarf or blanket for her dolly Isobel. I think she could get into knitting. 

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