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…..
 

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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.

Swimming and toys for grandma & grandad

Beanster’s ballet class is held at the local leisure centre where there is a pool and a soft play. Moo only noticed the soft play for the first time about half way through this week’s class and got very upset when I said we didn’t have time to go in this week. She was distracted by going tp look at the pool and declared “I want to bring mummy here. With you and Beanster” so today we did that. 

Moo is a very enthusiastic swimmer and likes going backwards and forwards between the 2 of us and jumping in. Beanster managed to show mummy her fabulous swimming on her back after a few false starts. It was nice to all go together as we haven’t managed to do that for ages. I think we’re going to have a fabulous time at Center Parcs in a couple of weeks.

After swimming we had some obligatory chips then went to the shops to pick up some things in preparation for Beanster’s party next weekend and Moo had a much needed nap in the car. 

Grandma & Grandad have been looking for some new toys for the girls and cousin H to play with at their house as they’ve outgrown a lot of things. We spotted some things on the local 2nd hand group so went to pick those up on the way home. 

Once we were home the girls road tested the new toys which I think Moo thinks are for grandma & grandad! After tea Beanster did a bit more Mathseeds so Moo wanted to play on the tablet but lost interest fairly quickly. 

It’s felt very autumnal today. I think we’ll need to dig out the long sleeved t-shirts and work out who needs bigger/more warmer clothes soon. 

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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A learning day

Well everyday is a learning day but new skills have been acquired today. 

This morning we had another slow start with breakfast, playmobil for the girls, farmyard lotto for all 3 of us & Mathseeds for Beanster. 

We headed into the gyle for lunch with Grandma, Grandad & cousin H. Beanster needed new pants so we went to choose. She wanted “normal pants” and some “shorts ones”.  She currently has a mix of “boy” and “girl” pants because she chooses by design. Thankfully in M&S the underwear is all in the same area even if it’s segregated by gender. They don’t do shorts in small sizes in the girl side of the aisle so she chose some ones with lightning bolts from the boys side. She didn’t like any of the patterns on the other boy pants (although she neatly went for gruffalo ones) so chose some Disney princess ones and some with days of the week on. As we looked at jammas I was once again left wondering why it seems to be beyond retailers to just group clothes by category (jammas, t-shirts, dresses, trousers etc) but given the furore over john Lewis changing a label it seems a sizeable section of the public is still living under a rock. 

After lunch we got Moo some new slippers (lightening McQueen at her request) then had an obligatory look in the Disney shop before heading back to Grandma & Grandad’s to play with cousin H.

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Beanster had ballet again and seems to be enjoying it so we need to get her kitted out. Luckily the dance school is having a 2nd hand sale at the weekend so we’ll see what we can source there before ordering. 

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Mummy brought chocolate eclairs home as a treat. Moo just ate the chocolate off the top!

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This evening we’ve been learning new things. Mummy brought a ukelele home from work so we’ve all been having a go. Beanster, as you might expect, likes to do it her own way so looks like she’s playing steel guitar. Moo got right in there and after a rendition of baa baa black sheep moved onto songs by Nick Cope!

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Beanster watched me knit last night when she was up late and asked to learn this evening so I cast on and did a couple of rows then helped her to do 2. She seems to get the idea so I think it’s something she could get on with if it continues to hold her interest. 

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She also drew a fabulous picture of a person with chicken pox!

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Woods with friends

Thursday is our main home ed group and this week was a trip to Vane Farm RSPB reserve. The girls have been before but like many things it was even more fun with friends. 

There was bug identification

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Lots of places to look for wildlife

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A big tug of war

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Enormous dragonflies 

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but most importantly for Moo; lunch!

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We’ve been trying out some new food tubes from Nude Food Company (we got ours in Tesco), in an attempt to reduce our packaging waste and we’re really enjoying them so far. 

After some food there was bug hotel building

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And pond poking!

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Before heading out Beanster had been playing Mathseeds again. 

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She really enjoys it and has completed another one of the end of section assessments. She can’t do the bits that require reading the number words but we figure it’s not about reading so we tell her what words say if she asks. She definitely loves numbers more than letters just now. 

Day 2 St Andrews

Beanster had me up at 6.50 this morning and before anyone else awoke she did some colouring…

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…and we played a game of farmer lotto….

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….and she played with her story cubes.

When Moo awoke she helped to make her own breakfast.

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Beanster let Lyall do her hair then she settled down for her breakfast.

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Before we headed out for the day we used some charcoal that last night’s fire had made to do some drawings.

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We were off to St Andrews for a walk along the beach and a trip to the butterfly house in the Botanic Garden. 

We did the obligatory selfie before our stroll.

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Then we paddled in the water.
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We drew in the sand, looked at dead crabs and investigated the flowering plants that were growing in the sand.

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We even found some interesting caterpillars.

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Beanster managed to convince Lyall to give her a lift back to the car so we could head off to our next destination.

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The Botanic gardens at St Andrews is free the first Friday of the month which by happy coincidence was today. You pay a small fee to go into the special summer exhibition, the butterfly house but it was worth it to see the huge variety of butterflies flying around. 

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We didn’t spend too long in the rest of the garden as  the heavens opened and the rain was torrential, but it will definitely be a place to come back to soon. We decided to hang out in the education house and glasshouses until the rain slowed down and we could head back to the tent.

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Before leaving St Andrews though we just had to have some ice cream in the rain (typical Scottish summer delight). 

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Back at the tent, Mama did a good job of entertaining the girls whilst I braved the rain and  cooked our tea outside. We then needed to eat our tea inside the tent. A slightly damp and soggy affair.

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After tea Moo played with the travel connect 4, building a castle with the bits and Mama taught Beanster how to play Uno.

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I then played shops with the girls. They used everything inside the tent which they sold at their pillow counters and imaginary till.

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Beanster then built a model of our home town before we headed to bed.

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Today the rain taught the girls how to be resilient, adaptable and creative. I think they did well. Don’t you?