Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Busy in Unexpected Ways

We've had a fairly productive start to this week, so I thought I'd make a note here before the rest of the week gets really busy...

We started yesterday morning reading a chapter of the Bible together.  We don't do this every day, and even when we do it sometimes takes just a few moments, but yesterday the boys really got into it and were asking lots of questions and sharing opinions, and it took almost an hour of lovely interested chat. Things went a bit downhill from there though as we had mathswhizz next but Youngest and Middle were repeatedly distracted by minecraft on Youtube so in the end I had to ask them to come into the same room as me to do some maths workbooks instead, while Eldest finished Mathswhizz and worked on a KS3 Geography workbook which he found very easy.   It was quite late by the time the younger two had finished Maths, and they needed to do something that wasn't parent-led, so they all chose their own arty thing to do.  Eldest did a painting of a woodland by a lake, and Youngest had a go at something very similar, while Middle chose to draw four different facial expressions and colour them in according to mood....

Eldest's "Fishy Reflections"

Youngest's "Sunny Forest"

 
Middle's "Happy, Sad, Scared, Angry"

Over lunch we watched an episode of "Come Outside" found on Youtube, showing how clay is made and used (as Youngest had asked a few weeks ago to learn how china was made), followed by another episode called "The Windy Day" which reflected the weather outside!  Youtube is great for tracking down old episodes that aren't being broadcast any more - we love it.

Today the boys did their usual half-hour of Literacy Planet, followed by a quick session on BrainPop (Eldest learned about Taigas, Middle did Facts and Opinions, and Youngest did Rosa Parks).  Then it was time for Science.  Today's experiment came about from a conversation I was having with some HE friends about primary Art, recommending Deep Space Sparkle as a brilliant resource, and saying that I wished there was something similar but for Science - ie a blog with science projects laid out.  I searched online but didn't find what I was looking for, however part of my searching took me to a National Curriculum site that laid out the KS2 goals for Science.  The first topic mentioned was on plants, and I thought it would be really easy to do an experiment on the requirements of a seed to grow, so I quickly wrote up an experiment sheet there and then.  So I didn't find what I was looking for, but knowing the boys love to do a bit of experimentation, I did come up with something fun (free PDF download here) - and we did it this morning, planting six sunflower seeds in six different jumbo test-tubes and changing the conditions slightly for each seed (depriving one of light, one of water, etc etc).  Simple and easy... now we just have to wait for the results (and I need to keep looking for the general science web resource that I'm after).

our "seeds in tubes" experiment (test-tube no 2 is in a dark cupboard)

Finally this morning it was time for a bit more history.  The boys are all still really interested in the Tudors, so it makes for easy learning.  Today I read from a paperback book on Henry VIII, filling in other details that I knew as we went along.  It's funny how I did so badly in my history O'level, and yet it's the only subject where I still remember things I was taught as part of the course.  Go figure! Anyway, the boys were all engrossed, and drew some fun pictures afterwards, before watching a selection of Horrible Histories clips on the Tudors over lunch.

Youngest's picture of himself as a cake-eating spectator at Anne Boleyn's execution

Middle's comparison of himself to Henry VIII

Eldest's picture of Henry VIII's over-burdened horse

So that was our start to this week.  We had made other, busier plans that changed last minute, but we're not complaining as we are used to adapting, and so made the most of a couple of days at home before it all gets busy again - lovely!

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