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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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

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.