Harry Potter and STEM club

One of the great things about Home Ed is the freedom to sit in your pyjamas, eating your breakfast, as you have your favourite books read to you and on Monday that is just what we did. Moo chose a book about Amelia Earhart written for children and Beanster wanted more of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets read. She is currently loving acting out her favourite bits of the book which usually feature herself as Hermione Granger. We love looking at the pictures in the illustrated hardbacks. Beanster has been particularly excited about getting to the one below and learning all about the diary of Tom Riddle.

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After some more of the novel Beanster did some of her own reading practise using the Teach your Monster to Read app whilst Moo had her Amelia Earhart book. Later there were some mysterious Hogwarts riddles and potion recipes made…

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before we headed out to STEM club (dressed up in witch costume in Beanster’s case!). Today we were learning about acids and alkalis, testing the ph of different types of water and how to record our results.

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After club the girls like to go into the garden with their friends to play and to explore. They let their imaginations go wild as they invent intricate games, learn to share, to take turns and resolve arguments. Moo set up her own little house whilst Beanster played witches and wizards with the boys.

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Before swimming lesson we looked for signs of Spring at Granny and Grandpa’s.

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Afterwards Beanster was very excited to get home and show Mama her latest findings in Minecraft. I am clueless on all things Minecraft so it all goes over my head!

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Our week in summary

We have had a lot of fun over the last week with lots of learning opportunities. Here are the highlights.

Ceramic painting in South Queensferry. The girls painted a plate, coaster, caterpillar and fairy. The plate and coaster were a gift for Mama.

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Chalk and charcoal drawing. We have drawn with chalk before but this was our first time trying charcoal. Think it is fair to say it was not a hit with either girl.

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Some construction activities. Duplo is always a hit and this week the girls made a fairground. We have ordered a STEM playground challenge kit so we are looking forward to that arriving and having fun with it. We played with more Duplo at friend H’s house. Beanster made a bathroom and Moo a train and livingroom with a dungeon!

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Science is always a big hit. At HE club the girls showed their friends how to do paper chromatography and we did experiments to try and float grapes. We discovered we could float grapes if we saturated the water with salt. Of course other things were later added to make a potion!

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We also looked at surface tension this week. We worked out how to float a standing bug made from card then how to make it float for longer. Adding goose fat under the feet made them waterproof so our bug stayed afloat for longer. We also did an experiment using milk, washing up liquid and food colouring. The food colouring made a thin surface covering on top of the water which we then broke the surface tension of by using washing up liquid on a cotton bud.

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Beanster had her latest HE artbook arrive which she needed to put an entry in before sending it off to the next child. This week’s theme was Space so we got busy with paint, glitter, pencils and stickers. We think next week Beanster will get her own artbook back full of pictures made by the other children in her group. Exciting. Moo got involved too and made her own wee space picture. Later we went outside and carried on the fun outdoors.

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Minecraft, minecraft, minecraft. Beanster LOVES minecraft. She now knows more about it than me, but to be fair, that wouldn’t be hard!

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This morning Moo set our calendar. The weather dial seems to be forever set at either cloudy or snow. Oh how we want it to go to sunny…..

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Snow!

We had a lot of snow that led to no work for us grownups for a week so lots of fun was had!

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There was science:

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Snow volcanoes

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There was art:

Salt art

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Snow painting

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Moo drew her family

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There was baking:

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Stories:

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And of course lots of fun in the snow:

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Snow monster

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Helping

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Trip to the park

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And mummy and the girls created an amazing snow, ice & light art installation in the front garden which attracted lots of attention from passers by

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A festive summary

So….we have been absent for a long time. We have been so busy throughout December and the beginning of January that we kind of forgot about our blog. Here is a summary of the last month or so, mainly in photo form. We aim to get back in the swing of things now the festive season is over.

Beanster, Granny and I went to the theatre

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We made a family of snowmen

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We visited the Chinese lanterns at Edinburgh Zoo then made our own silk paintings

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We did some fun Science

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Decorated our house. Beanster designed our window display.

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Played with our small world winter things.

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Had afternoon tea, story and dancing with Santa

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Built and painted…

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…read stories and did puzzles.

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Went on the Big Wheel when we went to the winter wonderland.

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We built and decorated an edible house

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There were parties with friends and fun family gatherings and presents galore to unwrap. December was exciting and busy but so far in January we have …

…played board games

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Observed butterflies and handled snakes and tarantulas

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Been to the museum

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Learned some more about technology playing Animal Crossing and with our new spider (thanks Vic and Jacinta)

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Built a snowman and sledged down a hill (on our one day of snow)

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Made a collage together…

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And started to learn how to sew (Beanster’s top, Moo below)

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We have even eaten space food and declared it to be ‘yum.’

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We have played, written thank you letters, bounced on trampolines, been swimming and fed the ducks (peas and bird food), amongst other things .

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Yeah, I suspect January is going to be just as busy as December. 😁

Advent fayre, torchlight procession and Frozen all round

Every year our town holds an advent fayre and torchlight procession on the last Saturday in November and the Christmas lights are officially switched on. This year was a pretty cold affair so we needed to wrap up warm before we headed out. Here are the highlights: 

Beanster and Moo wanted to visit Mrs Claus so Beanster wrote a thank you note to give to her because Mrs Claus always gives a present. 

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We looked at the window displays before looking at the stalls.  

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The girls had a go on the rides.  Moo has not previously been a fan but she enjoyed herself today. 

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We had a break for lunch and Beanster looked at clothing patterns in one of our shops.

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Later we headed out to the torchlight procession. The procession goes up and down the High Street then stops at the Cross for speeches, carol singing and the Christmas tree lights are switched on. 

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On Sunday we headed out to the cinema to see the new Frozen film with cousin H and uncle G. The girls dressed for the occasion.

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We enjoyed the film and also building the Olaf Lego set we were given as a free gift. Beanster did well following the instructions, mostly managing it herself.

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Other activities this weekend included an ice cube melting experiment  (to be finished tomorrow), painting and sticking.

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Giving, brains & busy 

Beanster gets £2 pocket money every week which she gets in 20p pieces. She has 3 jars; a give, a spend and a save. The only condition is that she has to put something in each jar but how much is up to her. She’s been good at saving up for things she wants and has managed two £10 saves. She dips into the spend every so often but she’s not been sure what to do with her give money. She’d saved up £10 so we talked about the different things she could do. She decided that she’d like to buy a present for a kid who might not get a Christmas present so i contacted the local Women’s Aid group to see if they had any kids who would like a present. They got back saying that would be lovely so on Tuesday Beanster went to choose the gift based on the info we had about the child and what they liked. We’re going to arrange to deliver it soon. We’re so proud of her saving her money and thinking about who she could help

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Tuesday also involved a trip in to Edinburgh University for Beanster to help out with another Wee Science study at the psychology dept. This one involved getting hooked up to an eeg machine so they could look at her brain patterns whilst she played a game designed to look at decision making. Beanster was a little unsure to begin with largely because the researcher was a man as the previous ones have been women. She sat well to get the wires attached and then concentrated and sat for the longest i think she’s ever managed!

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The instructions for the game were pretty complicated so i wasn’t sure she’d be able to do it but she persevered even when she had to repeat the practice round. She got a pack of Frozen Top Trumps cards as a prize. The whole thing took about an hour and a half and Moo was amazing whilst we waited for Beanster. Both of them got a bar of chocolate for doing so well. 
Wednesday began with lots of playing including pretend swimming for Moo which apparently requires this outfit. Note too small swim nappy over the trousers. She’s totally crazy this one!

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It was also the first week of Beanster’s new knitting class with some other home ed kids. Her friend M was there too so she was happy to stay by herself whilst Moo and I went for cake with M’s mum. Beanster had a great time and made felt balls for the end of her knitting needles. She’s excited to go back next week. Ater that it was ballet for Beanster (in her jammas for fun week), and soft play for Moo. 
Moo has been protesting bed this week so we decided to let her stay up until she asked to go to bed or fell asleep. We said we had things to do though so couldn’t keep playing with her. She was very good and pretty much entertained herself whilst we ate, worked and knitted. 

This was her at 10pm before embarking on a collage 

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She finally sparked out at 23.21 

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It’s been a busy couple of days

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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