Category Archives: Learning

Not Back to School in January

Today is the first day back at school for those kids that go. For those that are home educated, things can be different. Today Rafe has:

Completed a periodic table jigsaw puzzle that he got for Christmas:


Although I wonder if I should ask for my money back in light of the news that four new elements have officially been added to the periodic table this week?!

He has thoroughly beaten his mama at a game of Countdown (another Christmas present). In this round, Rafe got a 9 letter word while I only managed “TOAST”!


And written out this postcard ready to send to Anja in Germany, thanks to our participation in Postcrossing:


Next stop: lunchtime.

Happy days!

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Liquorice and Midget Gems – or a Double Helix DNA Molecule?

Today, we made a DNA molecule from liquorice sticks, midget gems and tooth picks. As you do. I hated science at school. I am loving learning science alongside the boys as a home educator. Science can be fun – who knew?!


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Exploring the World with Postcrossing

At a recent home ed gathering, one of the girls was showing us her lovely album full of postcards from all over the world. She had received these by signing up to Postcrossing. Have you heard of it? The basic idea is that you send postcards to random people all over the world and, in return, you receive postcards from random people all over the world. Yes, real, actual postcards in the mail! Both Rafe and I signed up, created our profiles and sent off postcards – to Russia, Germany, the USA, Japan and Taiwan. Rafe has now received back his first postcard. His profile mentions that he likes both cute animal pictures and music so this one, from a Postcrosser in Helsinki, seemed very appropriate:


I think being involved in Postcrossing will be a great enhancement to our home education learning. First, it will encourage Rafe to do some more writing! Second, it will be a great opportunity to learn about different countries and cultures. And third, it will be fun – a much underrated component of learning 🙂

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Bouncing Back to (Not) School

It’s back to school for school kids and not back to school for home educated ones. What better way to bounce back into learning than with Sketch Tuesday? The first assignment of the new school year was to “sketch something that bounces“. Cue an education in 1970s TV programmes, and a drawing of Zebedee from the Magic Roundabout.

Here’s mine:

bounce - v

And here’s Rafe’s (if he is going to keep writing his real name on his drawings, it seems a bit pointless to carry on with the Waif pseudonym!!)

bounce - r

Don’t worry, we have also covered geography, with a game of City Country World 🙂 which, needless to say, Rafe won!


And this afternoon it’s down to the local swimming pool! Who needs school?

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Modigliani Style Portraits

Here’s another of our Kids Art Week assignments. Portraits in the style of Modigliani (instructions here)

I did a self portait:

modigliani mama<
Even my husband had a go at this assignment. Here's his portrait of an unknown person:

modigliani dada<

But surpassing both of our efforts, is Rafe's slightly terrifying but eerily spot on portrait of Eminem. Check out those eyes!!

modigliani eminem<

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Kids Art Week Lesson One: Picasso Dogs

A few weeks back, I mentioned that we had signed up for Carla Sonheim’s free Kids Art Week class. Yesterday, we did the first lesson: Picasso Dogs. We had such fun with this that Waif (10) and I made two “dogs” each 🙂

Here are Waif’s two creatures:

picasso dog #1 Rafe1

picasso dog #2 Rafe

And here are mine:

picasso dog #2 Viv

picasso dog #1 Viv

We can’t wait for the next lesson!

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Prompt60 #2 Teeny Tiny Doodle Mandala

I need something to reignite my creative flame!

What better place to find inspiration than with the lovely Tammy over at Daisy Yellow? Tammy is putting together 60 prompts that she says will “challenge you with sparks, ideas & quotes

The first prompt was to simply start a documentation notebook. I have started my notebook with this prompt #2 which was to create a teeny tiny doodle mandala (instructions here). It was great fun!

prompt60 #2

Better still, 10 year old Waif joined me and did one too:

prompt60 #2 doodle mandala

Obviously when you are a 10 year old boy, skulls and radiation symbols figure heavily in your doodles 🙂

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Listen to the Ear(th)?

The assignment: to draw something beginning with the letter “E”.

I like how the scale is from one extreme to another.

I also like how we could make the metaphor “listen to the earth”…

Here’s my drawing of an ear:

beginning with e - v

And Waif’s drawing of the Earth:

beginning with e - r

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Care to Join Us?

It’s been…[cough]…a while since I posted here. I’m not sure if I will have any readers left. But if you are here, perhaps you would care to join me for a nice cup of tea?

drink - v

Or maybe you’d prefer a hot chocolate? With marshmallows, no less.

drink - r

Yes, this week’s Sketch Tuesday assignment was to draw something you drink. How did you guess?

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This week’s Sketch Tuesday assignment was to draw something with batteries. Having been woken in the night by the smoke alarm battery-low warning beep, this seemed the obvious choice for me:

batteries - v

Waif likes drawing things with lots of buttons so he went with a remote control:

batteries - r

Observant readers might notice that there is no sketch from Gman this week. That’s because of this:


Yep, after six years of home education, Gman has chosen to return to school. Six years ago, I thought that taking Gman out of school was one of the most terrifying things I had ever done. Six years later, I feel as though sending him back to school is one of the most terrifying things I have ever done! It’s funny how things go. For the last week, I have had a David Bowie earworm: ch-ch-ch-changes. I think it’s only fair to inflict it on share it with you:

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