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.


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






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




Made our rangoli patterns outside our front door. 




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. 


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.  


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


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


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

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!


Curry cooking away.


Table decoration made.


Food enjoyed, whilst listening to Indian music. 


Playing with Glowsticks before bed.




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


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.



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.


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)


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. 




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


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. 


At other points of the day we….

Discussed the weather



Played Diwali bingo 




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



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. 


Pulled faces 


Made Diva lamps 



Watched the Wizard of OZ 

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…..

Catching up again! (Mostly in pictures)

We’ve been to Center Parcs with grandma, grandad, cousin H, uncle G and auntie J and had an amazing time


Beanster went horse riding 


There was playing in the park



Moo did Mini trek & scored a squirrel




Beanster did science with cousin H





Beanster got more confident on her bike 


And Moo basically taught herself to swim by being totally kamikaze in the water!
The girls and I went to the zoo for my birthday then we went out for Wagamama with grandma & grandad. 

Moo and I had a day in the children’s ward as she had a viral chest infection. She’s now on the mend. Beanster did art to take her mind off worrying about her sister



Mummy & the girls had a day in the house to let Moo recover a bit. 

The girls and I went to Little World of Play with a few home friends. 

And Beanster finally did her birthday thank you letters whilst Moo said she was writing “m” and thank you. Beanster is sitting at her great great grandpa’s desk and Moo is wearing sparkly shoes and no trousers!


Helix fun

Today was mostly spent at the park at the Helix with home ed friends. We did some house jobs first thing; I did the laundry and made sauce for tea and Beanster emptied the dishwasher. 

At the park the girls did lots of climbing and running around. I have no idea what Beanster was up to most of the time but after many weeks of trying she has finally discovered she can actually fly!


Moo braved the rope bridge although she needed help up and down as she can’t manage the ladders yet. 

I annoyed a woman at the park who insisted on helping Beanster when she was climbing. Why do people do that?! She wasn’t in danger and as she doesn’t talk to people she doesn’t know won’t have asked for help unless the woman asked her if she was stuck. Anyway, when I saw her interfering, I went over and asked Beanster if she was ok, reminded her she was good at climbing and told her to ask if she needed help. The woman looked most put out that I didn’t thank her for interfering with what my child could work out by herself or would have shouted for help if she’d really needed it. What is with some folk?!

After some very complicated games that involved climbing up the big tube slide in bare feet & playing on the big swing;(Photos courtesy of my friend E)

the kids decided to play in the water fountains. It was a grey September day in Scotland but kids don’t care. They had a ball then got into dry clothes before we headed off to ballet. 


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….

…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.

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.

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


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…..


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

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.

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. 


A future knitter

On Wednesday night Beanster asked me to show her how to knit. She’d been watching me the night before and I said off teach her one day. That day was clearly the next day! I did a couple of rows then did another 2 hand over hand with her before she declared she’d had enough. Then tonight she asked to do some more and after med talking/ helping her with the first few stitches she went on to knit the rest of the row herself


I was so impressed by how still and focused she was whilst she was doing it. Anyone who knows Beanster will know that still and focused are not words normally used to describe our active wee girl so this was particularly impressive. She was also just tried again when things didn’t quite work which is another great thing as she tends to get upset or want to stop when she can’t do something straight away. I hope she continues to be interested as it seems like something that will really hold her attention and that she’ll enjoy. 

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.

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. 

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

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!


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. 

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