Tag Archives: Ice Skating

A Colourful Afternoon and a Geodesic Dome

Over the weekend I finished the bug house and made a little allotment for me and the girls.  We’ll started planting our veg and flowers in a few weeks.


On Sunday, J took the girls to Guildford Spectrum for the day – they went ice skating and swimming for 6 HOURS!!!  They were all shattered but happy on their return.

After such a busy Sunday neither girl wanted to get dressed or go out today so I shelved plans to go to Wimbledon and we had an activity filled day at home instead.

No day is complete without some sort of space work: D glittered her galaxy mini-book and did some lovely writing about planets too.  She knows so much about space now it is quite easy for her come up with facts to fill her lapbook up.  We then watched a recording of Channel 4’s ‘Live From Space’.  Even M watched it, although she is ‘definitely not interested in space’.

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While the girls were having lunch something popped up on my Facebook Newsfeed from Tinkerlab so I quickly put it together to entertain them while they ate:


It was supposed to show light refraction but it didn’t work very well!  But the girls loved looking at how the colours mixed and it gave me an idea for another activity I had spotted on Tinkerlab earlier in the week: Snap Circuits spin art!

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It kept the girls entertained for most of the afternoon and we also had a go at a little chromatography experiment I saw on An Ordinary Life.  I find it best not to go into the science with M until she is thoroughly comfortable with doing the practical side first so I gave her the freedom to just get on with it without any ‘lesson’.


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The girls also managed to fit in a few films today: Matilda, Disney’s Robin Hood and, of course, Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  But just before bed we squeezed in one last activity – building M’s geodesic dome!  She is soooo happy with it and has lots of plans to paint it, put blankets on it and all the activities she can do inside it!


HE in the Spring

How different HE seems when the sun comes out!

We have barely used our official HE room in the last few days (except for M who is still sneaking about making my Mothers’ Day card).  Instead we’ve been in the garden: playing, building, chasing, weeding and potion making.

Our builder friend, P was back again on Thursday and M helped him to rearrange the climbing frame to her design.  We’ve now got a much roomier frame and a steeper slide!


M also made a ‘potion’ using sand and various herbs around the garden.  She adores strong smells and spicy tastes and spent a long time feeling and smelling the plants.  In fact, at dinner yesterday she actually ate a whole black peppercorn to found out what it tasted like!

M continued to de-stone our garden to prepare it for planting in a few weeks.  We also have some lovely large decorative pebbles which she washed clean too.

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Meanwhile, D asked me to build her a den which she sat inside and did some painting on our water mat and chalking on a little chalk board I found at the back of the toy cupboard.  She drew a lovely picture of Oberon and Titania – Uranus’ moons!  Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of it.  D continues to spend hours of her day deep in her imagination.  At the moment, the slide is upturned and has become her pirate ship: she can variously be found in the crow’s nest or swabbing the decks…


J also took the day off on Thursday and he took them to the park, out to Wimbledon and chased them endlessly around the garden!

I decided on the spur of the moment to have one of our apple trees felled: we’ll be putting a garage up in the coming months and it would have been a bit too close to it.  Sounds a bit callous but the tree had seen better days.  So within an hour some tree surgeons had sawn it down.  We all had a little cry for our tree, particularly M who took it very hard.  However, it will mean that our other little apple tree will now have more chance to flourish.

I asked the tree surgeons to leave us some logs behind so that we can make a log pile house for bugs, bees and butterflies, and perhaps some space at the bottom for a hedgehog.

On Friday, M got started on making newspaper ‘poles’ for her geodesic dome.  I offered to do them but she insisted she wants to make it all herself (and then double checked with me that SHE would be the boss of the finished den, not D).  We came a bit unstuck with the design of it so we asked our friend Lisa over at An Ordinary Life for some help, and she kindly posted her instructions online yesterday!


So that’s what M will be doing over the next few days.  She really loves construction, tinkering, fixing and building: she told me she wants to make a ferris wheel out of cocktail sticks and marshmallows next…

M has wanted to go ice skating for a long time now so we went back to Guildford Spectrum on Friday afternoon.  It is an utterly miserable time for poor D and I have to say it seemed a real shame to be going somewhere cold and dark on such a lovely day but M really loves it so I don’t mind going now and then.  I read Wonderwise books to keep D happy while M went round the rink – she skated for an hour before getting too tired to carry on!  Just to see the look on M’s face made it all worthwhile – she was beaming so widely it brought a tear to my eye!

We’ve only had one minor anger incident over the last 2 days and it didn’t last too long: I set the girls ‘life skills’ to accomplish, which are skills which they choose or skills that I feel they really NEED to learn.  D is making progress with hers, which is learning how to fasten her own seatbelt.  I haven’t set a task for M for a while so she asked if she could learn about the months of the year.  It was going well until there was a bit of melt-down.  I think it was a case of trying to take in too much at once.  So I just stopped immediately and packed her off for a bath – seemed to do the trick as she was chirpily chatting to D a few minutes later!  Phew!

I got an unschooling confidence boost yesterday as it seems D is teaching herself maths.  She voluntarily got her Arithmasticks out and wrote out some addition sums for herself to work out!  She was also beaming with pride when I wrote some subtractions out for her which she then got right.


After the girls had got out of the bath I strangely started to get a stomach ache which became so bad I had to go to bed!  Very odd.  Anyway, the girls were gorgeous and were really excited at the prospect of doing all my jobs for me.  Adorable.

Ice Skating and Grumps

Yesterday, J had the morning off work so he took the girls to the park before our Thursday group.  The girls also fitted in quite a bit of Lego, M is constructing a school (!) and D is allowed to help quite a bit.  It’s taken quite a few hours so far and looks very good!


At our Thursday group the girls made more pomanders and M ran around like a wild child for 2 hours.  D has a bit of a run around but tends to stick close to me at the group.  She is very chatty with everyone, particularly the adults, I just assume she will gain in confidence in time.

When we got back, I dropped them off at their Aunty Sh to have fun with their teenage distant cousins who are over from Australia.  When they returned home they both had their hair plaited and pinned, and make-up and nail varnish on.

This morning I ran around tidying the house, does it look any different?  No.  Don’t know why I bothered.  I like to think that home educating excuses me from having a tidy house anyway: messiness looks more creative.

Today, we left at 11am to drive over to Guildford Spectrum for a home-ed ice skating session.  We’ve been meaning to go for ages but haven’t got around to it for various reasons.  D didn’t want to do it but M was very keen because her friend M would be there.  We arrived at around 12 and M was out on the ice straight away.  She made it all the way around the rink (gripping the sides) on her own.  I didn’t skate, partly because I am hopeless at it, and partly because I had to look after D, but I really felt for M out there – she was so valiant: trying something completely new all on her own and with such perseverance.  Our friends turned up a little later and so she then had company on the rink and went from strength to strength.  I was very impressed with how much she progressed during the 2.5 hours we were there!

D stayed with me, utterly bored and we were both freezing!  She has no desire to try new activities – I’m hoping the fear of it will pass as she grows older.  We read Ant and Bee together (D reads the red words and I read the black).  She was really keen (probably because she realised it was the only entertainment she was going to get!) and read a few black words as well as the red.

M really enjoyed skating and is very keen to go again.  I’m less keen because of the drive to Guildford but I’m sure we can manage it every few weeks or so.

I’ve had a fair amount of grumpiness from M, starting after her bedtime story last night when she asked me to explain a word to her.  There is a general routine to M’s anger where she asks me a question, I answer it, she says she doesn’t understand (in a rising panicky voice) so I try to explain again, then she interrupts my explanation with some angry retort to tell me to stop explaining.  Last night I was too tired to respond like an adult: I just said she was rude and went downstairs without another word.  We’ve had similar routines today.  She’s very bright and most things come easily to her so I know she finds it very hard when she actually doesn’t understand something but its very frustrating for me!