Enterprise amongst the Romans

This morning started in the usual Thursday morning way. A bit of breakfast, a bit of TV and a lot of chat and play. Today it was playdoh bakeries and hairdressers. 

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After enjoying Sushi for lunch we headed to home ed club where today we were learning about the Romans.

Moo made a Gladiator from paper and card.

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Beanster started to make an oil lamp, but it soon became a pot for Roman ladies to keep their sewing needles in! Like a clay pin cushion perhaps?

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Both girls made mosaic tiles. Beanster’s had a butterfly in the middle and Moo’s was a bit more abstract. 

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The second stage of the tile making process involved grouting. This Moo did very well. In fact she did most of the grouting between the two girls as Beanster had abandoned the Romans in favour of opening a shop with her friends and selling cards, books, gift cards and other lovely things which they had made. She was very pleased that she made some profit as they managed to sell a lot of their wares to us mummies and daddies! Her little bit of money was spent on the way home but it was a fabulous introduction to the business world for her.

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Of course we were then treated to more this evening. Price tickets were created, a float made, pennies counted. Beanster and Moo’s toyshops were open for business for about 2 hours and we were encouraged to spend! Two budding Alan Sugars we have!

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Life is busy

We have been so busy we have not had a chance to blog. Finally got some time to create a wee taster of some of things we have been up to and places we have visited over the last couple of weeks.

Almondvalley Heritage Centre (Mill Farm)

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A great place to learn about life in West Lothian in the past and to have lots of fun. It has a great mix of historical and outdoor learning opportunites, animals and park equipment to play and climb on.  We stayed until closing and the girls had the best time.

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Frankie and Benny’s 

The girls love to eat out and Beanster chose F & B’s for a treat. 

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Edinburgh- Diwali celebrations and National Gallery of Scotland 

To end our work on Diwali we visited the celebrations in Edinburgh. As we arrived early we went to the gallery first to look at some of our favourite paintings.  Beanster loved the ballet scenes and Moo the paintings with animals. After we headed to the Diwali celebrations. Beanster made up her own dance at one point, a sort of break dance meets robotic Bollywood.

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Halloween

Halloween is a big deal in this household as it is one of Beanster’s favourite times of the year.  We decorate the garden and living room window, play games and are open to guisers whom get a treat for ‘doing a turn’. This year we invited cousin H over too and we all went out guisin. The girls sang songs and told ‘jokes’ and came back with a bag load of sweets. We also celebrated Halloween at Townhill too.

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Making a terrarium

Beanster asked to recreate the water cycle via a terrarium so we constructed one. It is working well. New plants have even started to grow inside it. 

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Bird Cafe and garden feeders

We finally got round to hanging our feeders outside and we refilled our bird cafe feeders too. 

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Art appreciation 

Both Moo and Beanster are into art in a BIG way just now. Here are some activities we have done and we also watched a graffiti artist create one of his works. 

Fireworks picture for pal M

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Lascaux cave paintings 

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Tape resist monet 

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Frida Kahlo 

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Paul Klee

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Michelangelo 

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Random 

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Graffiti artist 

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Music

We have started to buy better musical instruments and this week a glockenspiel and xylophone arrived. The girls have been enjoying experimenting with them.

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Fireworks night 

We went to a fireworks display with the girls’ friend M and her parents and had a brilliant time.  

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Five Sister’s Zoo

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Grandpa came on a trip to the zoo with us and we especially enjoyed watching the leaf cutter ants, the rescued circus lions (looking healthy and happy) and the wolves.  

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The Scottish Deer Centre 

The girls are all about animals just now and Beanster asked to go and to the deer centre to feed them and learn more about them. Granny came this time. One of the great things about home ed is the girls get to see their grandparents often instead of just little bits of time around school and homework.  

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Writing

Beanster has taken to writing this last week or so and is wanting to copy letters and words. 

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Stepping back in time to the 17th and 18th century 

On Monday i headed out with the girls and granny to Culross in Fife. This picturesque village with its cobbled streets is the most complete example of a burgh of the 17th and 18th centuries.

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We were planning a visit to Culross Palace, but first we had a rather wet play in the park. 

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We headed on into the palace using our National Trust membership cards and the girls were given a free quiz sheet to do as we went round. Beanster enjoyed listening to the clues so she could work out the locations of hidden chickens and then writing the letter found beside them. The letters eventually spelled out a word connected to the palace. Moo gave it a good go too. 

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We meandered through the rooms looking at all the furniture and objects and talking about how life then compared to now. The girls found the commodes pretty fascinating and lots of toilet discussion soon took place. The part of the palace they spent most time in was the garden. It seemed to go on forever,  going higher and higher and there were lots of hidden nooks and crannies. As you are not allowed to take photographs inside the palace rooms in case the flash damages the artifacts then most of our photographing took place outside. 

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Beanster and i enjoyed discussing all the things we saw around as. She was especially interested in the twisted plant stems we saw in the flower tunnel.  

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We almost missed the orchard which would have been a real shame as we wouldn’t have seen the Scots Dumpy hens. 

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Back inside the palace we came across the dressing up room.  We had a lot of fun dressing up in period clothing and dancing to music of the time which i played via youtube on my phone. At one point we were even watched by tourists. 

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We finished our visit around the palace by making some tissue flowers and having a look in the bakehouse and kitchen. 

Granny wanted a cup of tea so she kindly treated us all to cake and a drink before we headed back to her house to play.

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Later on the girls made models of Culross Palace: 

Beanster’s 

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Moo’s 

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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.

Once in a lifetime experience

Over the last few years a new bridge (the Queensferry Crossing) has been getting built alongside the Forth Road Bridge and the Rail Bridge. This is due to the volume of traffic putting too much pressure on the road bridge. It will now become a bus, cycle and pedestrian bridge only and all other traffic will cross via the Queensferry Crossing. For this weekend only a lucky 50,000 people were selected via a ballot to walk across it as the new bridge does not have a pedestrian walkway on it. We were not originally selected but were on a redraw for the places that had not been confirmed after the initial ballot. The Queensferry Crossing is stunning architecturally so we were looking forward to our walk. 

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We were collected by bus and driven to the bridge walk starting point,wearing our official ID.

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Right from the start the girls were excited.

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They ran, chased each other, bounced, jumped and sang the entire way across.

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We stopped along the way to look at interesting bits and to take a peek between the wind barriers at the boats and the other bridges.

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We took obligatory selfies….

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…and Moo had a sit down protest!

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At the end Moo needed a shoulder ride but she had just walked 1.7 miles or rather 5 by the time you factor in the running round in circles!

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All in all it was great being part of this historic moment and one i hope the girls will cherish.

In case you are someone not lucky enough to get a walk across I took a very short video to give you an idea of what the experience was like.

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Trip to Falkland Palace…..twice.

We decided on Wed to take Granny a wee trip to Falkland Palace in Fife. It is such a beautiful palace set in the most wonderful grounds. We spent a happy 4 hours or so there investigating and learning. We didn’t realise at the time we would end up there twice in one week. During our first visit we lost Beanster’s favourite hoodie and despite kindly searching for it the staff couldn’t find it. We headed back the next day to look for it ourselves since we knew roughly the journey we had taken around the grounds and thankfully we found it. Beanster was relieved. Here are some photos of our 2 days. Unfortunately you can’t take photos inside the palace but the grounds are beautiful so there are plenty of outdoor photo opportunities.

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Day 1

Sisterly love. After looking inside the palace and seeing how people used to live when it was once occupied by kings and Queens we ventured out into the grounds to explore. 

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Getting exercise running. Our girls love running and today they did it hand in hand.

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Inside the glasshouse. Granny taught the girls the names of some plants. We also looked at the mechanism for opening the glasshouse roof.

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Watching the waterfall. Moo was fascinated with it.

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We played some games from the past and some newer games in the Orchard. Beanster used her technology skills to build an aeroplane model with the construction bits. We also discovered a small dog graveyard which Beanster and I talked about.

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We read some animal track information signs and then discovered a wasp nest.

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We found a wee bothy (where the hoodie was later recovered from) and the girls made a pretend meal for Granny and I. They included pretend spinach, kale, noodles and  rice in their offerings. We also found evidence that rodents had eaten in the bothy.

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We had a look for animals and plants we could identify in the wee ponds. Moo and I also had a chat about Pondskaters which there were in abundance.

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We had a look at the real tennis court, the only one in use in Scotland….

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…and we watched a mother swallow/swift feed her young. We couldn’t see the tail properly to identify the bird. You need to wait to the end of the video to see the mum come in.

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Day 2

After finding the hoodie and having another quick play with the outdoor toys we found a traditional ice cream cart….

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….and had some ice cream

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I then spoke to the girls about the types of houses found in Falkland, why the doors are smaller than nowadays and why there are letters and numbers over the door.

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We had a quick walk around Falkland before heading home. Granny and Beanster had a look in one of the antique shops.

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It is a lovely wee town and we will definitely be back again. Next time we will explore the town more and look at all the different houses and their features. Watch this space. 

Summer Reading Challenge

Moo started a Lightning McQueen jigsaw this morning but she started to get into difficulties so Beanster came along to give a helping hand. They were very pleased with themselves when it was completed.

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We all headed out to the Library after breakfast so Beanster could get new books to complete her Summer Reading Challenge. She chose to go wearing odd shoes.

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She has now read 5 of the 6 books needed. She can’t read independently yet, but listening to lengthy stories or short novels and discussing them counts towards the challenge when you can’t yet read. Today she earned some stickers and a wristband for getting to book number 5 when she handed her record over for checking.

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Moo took a seat out for herself and looked at some books.

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Afterwards Beanster and Mama listened to some music being played by the Reed Band whilst Moo and I went to the local bakers to buy us all some lunch.

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On the way back Moo admired some hanging decorations and had a go on the swings.

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A bit of food perked the girls up enough to do some urban gymnastics.

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Listening to the Reed Band and also to  Mama playing the piano inspired Beanster to play her own music in the afternoon.

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In the evening the girls were full of nonsense, running around everywhere and playing all of the games. Beanster took herself back to the 80’s and wanted filmed jogging to help people to get fit.

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Tomorrow we are heading out camping so the rest of the evening was spent tetris packing. It was pitch black by the time we have finished.

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Wonder what wonders await us on the campsite?