Our Weekend 

Moo has been choked with the cold and on her inhalers this weekend so has been rather confined to quarters for the most part.  However, she did make it out for a wee bit today and found lots to occupy her when she was inside. 

Yesterday she played with her Bing toys

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and dressed up to play at doctors and vets.

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She and Beanster decorated some flower tubs and planted Spring bulbs in them.

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Beanster learned a new skill, French knitting

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and she practised counting different animals and objects to 10. She can do this easily now.

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There was also the usual daily drawing.

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Today the girls spent largely separated as Beanster had friends she wanted to see and i also needed some things at the Garden Centre. 

Moo had a lazy start and played with her Superbear and tea set. She then convinced Mama to take her to McDonalds before they did a quick food shop and headed back home to the warmth.

Beanster and I headed to the Garden Centre before meeting her best pal H at the allotment. 

The garden centre we go to is such a wonderful place for a young child and it is one of Beanster’s favourite places to go. It is not a place to buy plants and tools. It is…. 

a place where you may encounter fairies and magical wizards

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There are hidden dangers to deal with

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You can make a wish which may come true

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Where you can interact with the Woodland Muse 

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and make a feast for the fairies. 

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It is a place of wonder, where anything can happen when you enter through the hidden gates and portals. 

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And wildlife is abundant due to all of the surrounding woodland. 

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Today we spotted amongst others some  Grey Squirrels, Robins, Chaffinch, Tree Creepers, Sparrows and Blue Tits.

Up at the allotment we dug the soil

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and watched geese fly overhead.

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Beanster and H played for ages with some canes. They became witches’ broomsticks, a canoeist’s oars, giant spider legs and ski poles.

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Later this evening Mama and Beanster headed to a roller disco with friends M and A. They had a fabulous time and then headed for pizza after. 

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Whilst the other two were away Moo made her own spend, save and give jars.

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We then settled down to watch Frozen and a bath afterwards featured her Frozen themed toys. 

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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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Woodland wildlings

Our girls love being outdoors and woods are one of their favourite places to be. Where better to see nature up close and activate all of your senses at once. 

We have been to two woods this weekend: Devilla Forest in Fife and Callendar Woods in Falkirk. We took our friend Stacey and her wee dog with us to Devilla. We did the red squirrel trail and learned some squirrel facts as we walked. We didn’t see any red squirrels but that is no surprise given the heavens opened and the rain came pelting down upon us halfway round. No doubt the squirrels were all tucked up warm and dry in their dreys. We did however discover some puffball fungus and Beanster enjoyed learning about how they worked. 

Today we went to Callendar Woods for an event with Jess of Under the Trees. She was doing activities based around the story Room on the Broom. We made brooms, wands, potions, lanterns. Beanster had a go lightning her first fire and Moo toasted marshmallows. A fab time was had by all.

Devilla 

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Callendar woods 

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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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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.

Birds & veg 

Today we took advantage of a nice day and headed down to the woody park to to up the bird café that mummy and the girls set up. Mummy and Beanster had made some new fat cake and mummy rigged up some take away boxes to hang in the trees. 

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There was much climbing and swinging too.

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After the park we headed up to the much neglected allotment. This year has once again confirmed we are good at growing squash and pumpkin. The sweet corn is the biggest we’ve ever managed but an investigation of one corn cob confirmed it’s not ripe yet. 

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We dug up the rest of the potatoes and brought home rhubarb, a spaghetti squash,  a couple of marrows, a wee pumpkin, some beetroot and a few peas and broad beans. 

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There are also a couple of big pumpkins that are starting to ripen so we might have home grown Halloween pumpkins this year. 

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