Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Biomes, Books, and the Battle of Bosworth

I wasn't planning on blogging today but we've had such a lovely day I decided I would after all.  I think... dare I say it... we may be getting back into some semblance of HE routine now (and yes, Mummy's plan is finished now, hoorah!).  The boys were all up and doing MathsWhizz by 9am today (or not long after).  Once Youngest and Middle and finished, Eldest was still working, so I came up with a (not on the plan) challenge activity to do while they waited for him to join us...

Some of you may remember that last year Eldest, Middle and I learned the Horrible Histories song naming the Kings and Queens of England in order from William the Conqueror to our current queen. Eldest can still remember most of it, but it has really become Middle's party piece, so this morning I gave him our pack of Usborne Kings and Queens cards and asked him if he and Youngest could work together to set them out on the floor in order. It took a while, not least because James V has gone missing, plus the boys didn't know all of the roman numerals on the cards, but they got there in the end, and had fun doing it!  Challenges aren't usually Middle's thing, but he really enjoyed this one - I think his confidence came from being the one who knows the song best, so he believed he could do it - lovely to see!

Once Eldest joined us it was time for our planned history "lesson" - ie reading them a story about the Wars of the Roses.  We haven't done any history stories together for a while, so it was nice to have the timeline laid out in cards so they could see where it fitted.  I did a quick overview of the background, very basically explaining who the common ancestor was, what colour each house's rose was, and then read the stories of Richard III and Henry VII from the Hutchinson book of Kings and Queens.  The Eldest remembered the Horrible Histories Bob Hale report on the Battle of Bosworth, so we found that and watched it too, before the boys drew pictures of their favourite bits of the story.  Their drawing of pictures is probably my biggest concession towards school-style learning, but I figure it's nice to have something to put in their folders in case the LA ever find out about us and come to visit.  Plus, I just like their pictures  Middle's in particular made me laugh today...

Henry Tudor (in armour) finding the King's crown (and Richard III dead in a pool of blood while his horse runs away) - by Youngest

Middle's account of the end of Richard III

The Wars of the Roses, by Eldest

At this point we had a Book People delivery.  Of course, once the box was open the boys delved into the contents and I lost them to some new books (Eldest's choice: Deep Sea Danger from the Geography Quest collection; Middle's choice: Journey into the Earth from the same collection as his big brother and Eyebenders; Youngest decided he was more interested in the box than the books it contained, and took it into the kitchen to turn into a diorama of a night-time forest biome before stopping for lunch (accompanied by a TV recording of The Hunt).

Youngest's Nightime Forest Biome Diorama

Eventually the older two boys finished their pictures and decided to make a diorama each too. Eldest chose to make one of a marine biome, and Middle an arctic tundra one.  I thought them all trying to do one each might be taking on a bit much, but Youngest stayed focused to the end and was thrilled with the result, and Eldest and Middle only ran out of steam once they realised that their little brother was gaming without them, so they have left theirs to finish tomorrow.  I'd rather that than try to force them to finish today, or they could be rushed, ruined and resented - and where's the fun in that?

Hoping to post pics of the finished article tomorrow... we'll see!

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