Thursday, May 30, 2013

Our iMovie

We attended an iMovie workshop last week too. Worthy of a post in its own right. It was a good lesson for us both. I can now facilitate Caden's movie making. He is setting up aliens and skylanders for their scenes in his latest blockbuster as we speak. I am going to try and link the film for you (apologies if it doesn't work, I am learning about the latest apple technology fast but it is a steep learning curve).

Hopefully more to follow.


I think Caden is perfecting his camera face with all this snapping! Haha!


This was me and Miles at the concrete cows in the centre while Caden was learning at the beginning



And finally Daddy enjoying his sushi made by Caden...



Friday, May 17, 2013

2 weeks worth of stuff

Hello again!


The photos I have taken over the last two weeks were jumbled up in the transfer to Flickr to in no particular order, the things we have done this week include (lots and lots of photos to share here)


This was us at our first North Bucks HE Friday playtime. A solution I have discovered to our weekly trips over to the home ed groups in MK is to try to establish a community of our own local to us. We are considering moving to be near more active communities and friends we have made (and also share tutoring costs later down the line) but if get on our feet here then we may not move. Anything can happen in the future but if it works for us in the here and now that is good enough. There was a good turn out. Six families, three I hadn't met before which I was very happy about and with children the same ages. These photos are on Miles with his mates Alicia (swings) and Meg (rolling down the hill) and Caden practising balancing and looking a little nervous.

It was a great playground until the school was let out and suddenly loads of kids swamped the playground and they couldn't get on anything so we left. A huge benefit of learning at home is daytime access to facilities and resources.

This is a Milesy masterpiece! He loves art as Caden does.

Caden did a particularly good likeness of Paul here, paying close attention to his ears. ;)

A nice but of writing from Caden and the boys having a quiet game of magnetic fishing together.


This is Caden's tower which got us talking about foundations, bridge supports and supporting structures.

Miles making something amazing with his workbench. Concentrating hard!

This is Miles helping me to make almond milk. First we blend the almonds with water, then we strain the mixture through a nut milk bag and separate the milk from the solid. Then we decant the milk into a bottle and voila!


The finished product! Miles loves drinking it!

Caden learned how to carefully turn on and off the outside tap and to fill up his own water Gun! Great for me as now theoretically I won't be interrupted every minute to refill a water gun! Miles takes a lot longer to empty his water gun! Lots of playing outside every time the sun shone, it hasn't been too often so we've made the most of it.


We visited friends, Caden was the red knight! A Kangaroo was involved somehow, then we fed the ducks and played at their local park. Lots more rolling down hills was done plus we learned how to make daisy chains!




I love how Caden is giving Milly a flower in a very chivalrous way in the last photo.

Other things we have done include trampolining which Caden loves and Miles enjoys watching, Miles and I went for a walk in Bletchley this time while Caden had his lesson. It was a rare treat for Miles and I to have time just to ourselves and we loved it. Miles chased the pigeons (they didn't love it!) and we talked about the things we saw together. Then back at the leisure centre Miles had a good play running under the tennis net! It's a great feeling to see Caden really enjoying his classes now. There are so many classes he didn't take to but trampolining and yoga really stand out as ones he enjoys. We have talked about setting up a taekwondo class in Aylesbury and I am hopeful of that being one he enjoys too. I would like him to do a martial art. The jury is still out on cricket.. He doesn't seem to like team sports so much but we have a few lessons to go so will give it a fair try. Paul really wants them to do football but neither have shown any interest. This may change. Probably will ;)


We did a bit of crafting ...


The boys often sleep together.

Here is Daddy and Caden about to walk round the field with Noodle.

Miles discovers the dandelion clock.

This week (it is Friday) we did loads of other stuff. Here are photos of Caden's sushi making workshop. (The sushi was delicious but the lads didn't like it). Comedy surgeon glove shots!

Here is the sushi making in action and also proof that we don't always have a totally amazing time. Caden's meltdown that we couldn't go into dinosaur crazy golf (it was raining and the sushi workshop had overrun by 45 minutes plus miles was crying - sigh!) He got over it! Miles was strapped on my back so you don't get to see his simultaneous meltdown!


Here are Miles and Megan making Indian headdresses (and eating the glue - eek!)

They had so much fun with a pile of boxes and turned them into boats (quite spontaneously and all at once). As it was USA day I think they were on a voyage to America to discover new lands (from a UK centric perspective of course). Caden loves his friend Martin so much! He will be sad when Martin starts school this year.
Miles playing with sticklebricks while Caden has his yoga class. The teacher is going to start a class for under 5s with any luck.

Caden doing a bit of yoga


Finally here is a photo of Miles playing kid k'nex with Meg at home....

And the kids all dressing up when Freddie, Betsey and Meg came to visits nd the

And the boys drinking their orange juices on the bench at the woods.


Oh and Caden read his first full online book including the chapter titles and contents this week. Maths is going ok, we are working on subtraction at the moment - it can be tough to be honest but the times tables are coming along brilliantly. He knows 2,3 some of 4, some of 5 and 10 x tables.


Thanks for reading. Off to Friday playtime now. I hope it doesn't rain....

Monday, May 6, 2013

New ventures

This week has seen the beginning of a couple of new classes for Caden. A little bit of what we usually do and some new stuff too so it's been pretty eventful.


We started off with an attempt to try out a Karate class but that was closing so we visited Kirsten and the boys and Megan filled the sink with water and had fun jumping on the trampoline. Then we went to Leighton Buzzard playground in the afternoon and the lads had so much fun playing with the bigger boys and girls. Here are some photos of the fun they had.


I was so happy to find this playtime in Leighton as its only 15 mins from our house so it solved a problem of driving to Mk every Monday which we hate (although we love it when we get there usually). We just loved doing stuff close to home so much! It got me thinking about simplifying our lives by reducing the Mk (Milton Keynes) travelling..

You might remember from a previous post that Caden had found a maths problem overwhelming so we gave it up for a week or two. Well, we went back to it to see if he was ready to tackle it this week. The problem was to add 9 to a number (using the formula add 10, take 1 away). Well we struggled through the first couple of the ten problems, then by number 5 he was getting it, then it happened. The solution became clear to him, I almost saw the moment it clicked. The test straight after the learning was 5 questions long and he flew through it. What a joy it was for us both. This is the moment he got his result which he was justifiably proud of :)


The rest of the day he was so happy about his achievement and we went out for a sunny walk on the canal with my lovely friend Jo who has Freddie, Betsy and Meg. We walked to a playground and spent a long time having a really good play. They did a really funny game where they were washing in the washing machine and we threw in smelly clothes and washing powder while it tumbled and spun. You can see how much fun that was. We also saw lots of bird, collected flowers and talked about how the locks worked. It was a great opportunity to teach the kids about canal safety.


Caden and I had a brilliant conversation this week where he asked me if the sky was matter. He was asking I presume because we had previously discussed what a black hole can attract and I said anything that is matter. So his question about the sky led us into a discussion about the atmosphere, density (demonstrated with hard plastic, a carrot (medium density) and a sponge. Then we got talking about how the Solar system spins around in the Milky Way and how we are a spiral galaxy. This led to us talking about centrifugal forces (he knows about these from our chats around the roundabout) and gravity which meant he had an introduction to orbits and why we aren't just being 'sucked' into the super massive black hole (phew)! It is impossible to learn nothing! I loved this question and answer session particularly so it's here for the record!

On Wednesday we had a mammoth session in the woods with my other fab friend Ang and her son Brandon. Climbing trees, 'fishing', Brandon falling in the lake, playing hide and seek but counting in German and looking at algae from the nature reserve pond were all features of this morning. We had a fantastic time. So much so we have decided to take them all to the woods and nature reserve every two weeks over the Summer. Open to all... :) here are some snaps of us in the woods!


Looking handsome in his tree.




Important fishing work to be done. This is just before poor little Brandon fell in. It's only about a foot deep though so there was no real risk. They love chucking in the sticks and getting more.

Caden lay here for a long time just looking at the tree tops and the sky. I thought how wonderful it was that he could just relax and enjoy being a part of it all like that. He seemed so chilled out and happy!





So other things we did this week included Caden starting a new yoga class. He. LOVED. It. And I am so happy to have found a class he loves this much. After the drama class fiasco. (I wanted him to do it, he didn't really want to. I learned a good lesson about Caden being his own person with a right to say no to a class whether I like the content or not). With the exception of English and maths which I consider a must, he can choose. I wonder if they do a GCSE in yoga? just kidding ;) here is Caden doing his downward facing dog.


We did some more playing for the rest of the day at the park and made some new friends. Paul and I were very proud of Caden and his first cricket lesson this week too. He had his long curly locks chopped slightly and with his sporty kit on he looked quite grown up all of a sudden. He was so excited about cricket all week and by Friday was awaking if we were going every hour. Finally the big moment came...


He was pretty nervous actually so I sat with him until the coaches took the groups off. He threw the balls well although he didn't get the idea of sticking to one team yet. He had an accident half way through and came off but decided to bravely go back on and finished his lesson. Afterwards he was very happy to get fish and chips with Dad on the way home. We thought cricket Fridays would be a good evening to have our weekly treat.







It's the May bank holiday weekend so we went to Waddesdon manor with the amazing Sarah Ward and family. Sarah was looking incredible after losing some weight on her slimming world programme and has motivated me to do more exercise. It's mostly yoga around here but maybe a bit of a Davina workout is in order. Ill have a look in my DVD cupboard tomorrow :) This is a pic of the kids looking at the birds in the aviary.


I also realised I forgot to add on last weeks blog about Caden seeing the herons. Here are a couple of clips of us at the Woodcraft Folk Heron evening. It was wonderful. We saw the chicks craning out for food from mummy Heron. We saw them in their nests and learned about how they build their nests and what they eat. Plus Caden and Miles got to try out proper binoculars and an amazing telescope. (I want one but they cost ££££££s). Here they are ...



I wanted to say I was so happy to get my Big Book of Unschooling from Leticia who had borrowed it from me. Phew too as I totally thought it was lost! It's been a great week!

Thanks for reading my blog and have a great week yourself!


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