Journey into Unschooling

Jubilant June

July 2nd, 2016 by becki

June started with a lovely day out with Bex and Violet. What a great way to start our 30 days Wild challenge! Starting off at the farm, we walked around Forge Mill Lake and RSPB reserve, spotting a heron and all sorts of different wild birds and water fowl.

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Back home, we tended to our own poorly chicken, Buckbeak, who, despite an operation at the vets to stitch in her prolapse, and lots of antibiotics and TLC from nurse Amber, sdaly passed away a couple of days later.

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We had a lovely play date with Jacob and Jess.

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A lovely splash in the stream and picnic with friends at Streetly Gate in Sutton Park. We saw another heron, lots of wild Exmoor ponies (and not so wild cows!) and had fun both climbing trees and making clay faces on them.

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We had a fun day at the library, out for lunch and buying new sunglasses. Amber made a start on her Father’s Day card for Daddy.

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We spent a fantastic day at Sudbury Hall and Museum of Childhood. There were so many goslings! We built dens in the woods, explored the museum and Alfie and I completed a trail around the old hall.

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We had a lovely time at gymnastics class, then playing in the park with friends.

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We had great fun at Chase Group hand sewing bunting and playing with friends outside, followed by a visit to Nanny and Grandad.

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We went swimming with friends.

We went to an amazing farm day where the children got to groom rabbits, guinea pigs, goats and donkeys, feed the animals and pond dip.

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We had great fun paddling in the river with friends at Wolseley Wildlife Trust

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Alfie got to meet his adopted alpaca Tailwind at Charnwood Forest Alpacas.

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Amber had fun at Alison’s 21st birthday party.

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Alfie and Amber planted their cress seeds from the farm.

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More fun at gymnastics and at Jarvis’s 7th birthday party afterwards.

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We had a great meet up with HE friends at Jack’s Wood.

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Followed by a visit to Nanny and Grandad.

We went swimming with friends again, and spent time making cards and presents for Daddy for Father’s Day. We also looked after poorly Sonic the hen, who sadly joined Buckbeak at Rainbow Bridge.

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A lovely day of bouncing around with friends at Flip Out trampoline park.

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Fun with friends at Cannock Chase.

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Alfie, Amber and I went to the wildlife festival in Birmingham, then for lunch at Cherry Red’s.

The next day Poppy, Amber and I went to circus themed Pugfest.

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Yet more gymnastic and park fun.

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The big Chase HE picnic :-) Amber made some beautiful glass lanterns.

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Solstice fire

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Snow tubing with friends. It was great fun – I had a few goes too ;-)

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Charlecote Manor NT with Granny and Grandpa.

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Sutton Park stream fun with friends, including dam building.

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Library and visiting Nanny and Grandad.

Brownhills canal festival, followed by pub lunch and park. Alfie and Amber had fun rowing on the canal :-) Jam tart making later.

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Yet more gymnastics and park fun.

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Looking after Nanny, and a fun HE meet up in the Arboretum, including braving the chilly splash pad.

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A wet cycle ride at the Wheelie Workshop, and donating a bike and scooter. Making lemon curd and garlicky pasta with roasted tomatoes.

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A fun day with friends at Water World. Alfie and Poppy spent most of their time on the rapids and flumes with friends :-)

Flaming June it was not, but we had an amazing month anyway :-)

May Meanderings :-)

May 31st, 2016 by becki

 

May has been a lovely month, full of sunshine and adventure :-)

Here are a few highlights of the fun and learning that we have experienced this month.

We have had lots of fun at Monday HE gymnastics class. Poppy spends so much of her free time practicing her gymnastics on the trampoline or anywhere she can. She really loves this class, especially headstands!

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We usually head to the park with friends afterwards.

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All three children completed their term at their Active Gym class on a Tuesday evening. Alfie and Poppy gained their Level 2 British Gymnastics Award, and Amber her Level 5 :-)

We have been to the Chase HE group every fortnight, having lots of fun making musical instruments, painting terracotta pots, planting seeds, and playing with friends.

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We have spent lots of time with Nanny and Grandad, including looking after Nanny so that Grandad can attend appointments.  Precious times spent with Nanny and her constant companion, Sapphire. The ancient Lego from my childhood is always popular too ;-)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We have been swimming with friends, practicing our underwater swimming and having fun playing games.

We have met friends at Beacon park for fun in the sun.

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At Victoria Park for a splashy triple birthday celebration.

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We had great fun pond dipping at Wolseley Nature Reserve, identifying lots of amazing creatures in both the lake and stream. We saw a swan on her nest, turning the eggs, goslings with their proud parents, and the resident turtle climbing out of the lake.

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We got a clean bill of health from the dentist, then had a lovely time ten pin bowling with friends.

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We had a lovely day with friends at Wightwick Manor NT. We completed the spotting trail, and explored the grounds.

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We went to the wheelie workshop to ride bikes and learn how to maintain them.

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We went to see the Angry Birds movie at the cinema with friends.

We met lovely friends and their dog for cycling and fun at Elvaston Castle.

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We met up with Uncle Steve and cousin Toby at Canons Ashby NT, where Alfie had great fun flying his remote control bird, Amber furnished a fairy house, and everyone enjoyed playing hide and seek and completing their spotting trail.

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We had a lovely day with friends at Blists Hill Victorian town. We learned how candles were made, visited the Victorian sweet shop and watched the steam engine in action.

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We had a lovely visit to Peak Wildlife Park, where we sat in the bird hide spotting wild water birds, peeked at the new maneless zebras, and stroked the wallabies and goats.

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We have spent lots of time gardening, louse powdering the chickens, caring for Sonic the hen when she was poorly and having fun BBQing and playing outside :-)

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We had fun with lots of HE friends at the Bloxwich Library meet – and got lots of new books out to read too!

We have done lots of cleaning jobs, lots of crafts and loads of cooking and baking. We have built marble runs, played board games galore, set up pretend cafes, read copious amounts of books and fitted together more of Billie Bones’s skeleton and organs.

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A lovely lunch date with my biggest girl too :-)

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What an amazing month of learning and fun :-)

 

Awesome April

April 30th, 2016 by becki

 

April always starts with a very special day – Alfie’s birthday. This year he reached double figures. Ten!!! Ten years since 7lb 14oz Alfie arrived a week early after a long and hard back to back labour.

Alfie chose to celebrate with lunch at his favourite vegan restaurant, The Warehouse Cafe, and a browse in his favourite Waterstones bookshop, where he happily spent some birthday money and vouchers. He had been saving for months to buy Lego Dimensions for his Wii U, so was pleased to finally be able to buy it on his birthday, along with Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker. He spent a happy evening playing Lego Dimensions with Daddy on two player mode, whilst his sisters watched happily.

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We enjoyed a bank holiday walk at the nature reserve, finding all the items on our Woodland Trust spring scavenger hunt, and finding the pond full of frog spawn! We also did lots of gardening and seed planting.

 

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We had fun cycling and playing hide and seek with Caroline, Lauren, Tom and Martha at Cannon Hill Park.

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We made pomanders and learned lots about the Great Fire of London, and Tudor life at the Ancient High House where we did an amazing workshop with other home educator friends.

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We had a lovely day at Mimi’s birthday party, where we learnt circus skills from an ex-circus man :-)

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We spent a lovely day at the country park on our bikes with Uncle Steve, Aunty Andy and cousin Toby.

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We enjoyed gymnastics and the park with friends afterwards.

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We had a great time at Chase Group making marble runs and amazing inventions out of junk, followed by gymnastics class.

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The next day we enjoyed swimming with friends, then cake baking for Alfie’s birthday meet up.

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He had a great day with lots of friends at Wibbly Wobbly World of Play :-)

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After a busy week, we enjoyed a quiet day of cooking and crafts.

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We enjoyed a great day at Sarehole Mill, sampling the Vegan Grindhouse burgers at the folk festival and exploring the mill.

 

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Back to gymnastics and the park the next day :-)

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Followed by more gymnastics the next day, then a play date with Jacob and Jess.

A fantastic home ed meet at Flip Out trampoline park, and a sunny picnic at Aston Marina.

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Barefoot walk construction at Wolseley HE Explorers

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Fun at the library and art gallery, and lunch in Bella Italia.

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Yet more gymnastics!

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Making vegan Jaffa cakes

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Using clay to create at Chase Group

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A lovely day meeting the animals at Peak Wildlife Park.

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Exploding volcanoes

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Playing lots of board games

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An amazing day at Gentleshaw Wildlife Sanctuary

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Building Billie Bones

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Fun at Viva vegan fayre, and lots more, such as visiting Nanny and Grandad, crafting, reading, drawing, creating mandalas and generally having fun :-)

March 31st, 2016 by becki

 

March has been an amazing fun filled month, with two holidays!

We actually start on our bonus day of February 29th.

Gymnastic class fun, baking for our Dementia UK coffee afternoon and preparing the tombola :-)

 

 

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The next day was Chase HE group, with Mother’s Day crafts, then yet more baking. Plus moon dough fun.

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The next day was the Dementia UK coffee afternoon that we organised at MPV in Walsall. It was a great success, with £70 raised for charity and lots of fun with the wonderful HE friends that came to support us :-) The Flaky Tarts played a wonderful acoustic set too.

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The next day was Monster Mayhem fun for a friend’s birthday.

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A cold, blustery meet at Wolseley nature reserve on the Friday, with a welcome warm up with lovely friends in the cafe.

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Amber and I spent the Saturday looking after Mom, then the Sunday was spent packing and dropping our chickens off at their holiday home. A cooked breakfast in Morrisons to celebrate Mother’s Day wasa  welcome interlude!

Off to Bluestone National Park Resort for our holiday on the Monday. We had the most luxurious lodge, with 4 bedrooms, two flat screen TVs and DVD players, loads of space and 3 bathrooms. We also got given £100 in vouchers due to construction work going on nearby, which got us two lunches out in the Wild Wood cafe, 2 DVDs from the shop and a bottle of wine :-)

To break up the journey, we stopped off at Caerphilly Castle to admire the giant dragon and explore the amazing ruins.

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The next day we swam in the Blue Lagoon water park, and played crazy golf and climbed in the Adventure Centre.

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A trip to Folly Farm the next day. It was amazing, especially getting so close to the giraffes!

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The next day involved more Blue Lagoon swimming, plus walking around the lake and enjoying the sunshine.

On the way home, we stopped off at Tredegar NT.

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A brief return home, then off again to YHA Streatley, with a stop off at The Living Rainforest enroute. We even spotted the free range sloth this time!

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The youth hostel was a lovely old manor house, with a really friendly warden.

Then onto Legoland to meet our friends for a day at the theme park, and a night in the Legoland Hotel for Alfie’s birthday treat. We had great fun. The next day we went into the pool and splash play zone.

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Back home, it was time for the Big Bang science fair. So much to see and do!

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A day at the National Forest Adventure Farm with lovely friends next :-)

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The next day was Walsall Library and a visit to Nanny and Grandad.

Another busy week followed, starting with gymnastics and fun at Beacon Park with amazing friends.

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Workshops and fun at Think Tank science museum.

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A double bill of Horrible Histories plays (Incredible Invaders and Groovy Greeks) for Alfie and friends, whilst the girls and I went swimming, made Amber’s wind chimes, constructed a marble run down the stairs and painted some more of Amber’s earth.

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Fun times with amazing friends at Boing Zone trampoline Park the next day. Afterwards, Poppy and Oscar were hanging upside down from the beams in the cafe – as you do ;-)

A visit to Nanny and Grandad, and gardening on Good Friday, with more gardening and a roast dinner on Easter Saturday. Amber made apple crumble.

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On Easter Sunday, we went to the new Light Cinema to see Kung Fu Panda 3, followed by lunch at Pizza Express and another visit to Nanny and Grandad.

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Easter Monday was a quiet day of crafts, cleaning and playing.

Then it was back to Chase HE group for an amazing wool workshop, complete with laser mazes and pom poms. We then met lovely friends at Sutton Park for an egg hunt in the woods.

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Next, some time with Daddy whilst I visited an old friend,then a play date with the lovely Violet.

Today, a play date with Jacob and Jess :-)

So, a busy month full of trips away, unbelievable learning opportunities, fun with a wide variety of different friends, and even some sunshine! What more could we ask for?

 

February Frolics

February 28th, 2016 by becki

Another month nearly over, and spring is well on its way. February had its share of tough times. Alfie endured an hour of the dentist trying to extract one of his adult molars under nitrous oxide, but it just broke up and had to be abandoned. He was so brave. Instead, he had a general anaesthetic at Walsall Manor Hospital to have all four adult molars removed. These, along with his incisors, are the teeth affected by enamel hypoplasia. Hopefully, his other adult teeth will be unaffected.

Brave boy coping well with the 5 hour wait for his surgery slot. He even did his Spanish lesson with totally numb hands from the cream!

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Stroking Molly the therapy dog just after waking up.

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We had lots of fun times too.

Gymnastics and dance class every Monday.

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Always followed by a bit of willow swinging ;-)

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Gymnastics every Tuesday evening, where Alfie and Poppy gained their level 3 certificates, and Amber her level 7.

Fun times at Chase HE group, the first week painting our own canvases in the style of famous artists.

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Next session, trying out ceramic tile, mug and plate painting.

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We went swimming several times with lovely friends, both at our local Oak Park leisure centre, then for a fantastic day of flumes and waves at Water World.

We had fun at Wolseley HE Explorers making clay creations, climbing trees and swinging on ropes.

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We had a fantastic day out at Warwick Castle with lots of HE friends – walking the ramparts, visiting the state rooms and Kingmaker exhibition, building dens, playing hide and seek, and creating in the Lego Club.

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We had a vegan breakfast at the Shire Oak. Both girls went to the opticians and got a clean bill of health. We visited Nanny and Grandad lots of times, including a fun meet up with Uncle Matt and Aunty Mei Mei, over visiting from Singapore. Alfie demonstrated his Wii U to Grandad too ;-) We got a family pass at Think Tank, and went for a browse in the book shop afterwards, complete with vegan cake.

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We had a lovely big meet up with lots of HE friends at Come Into Play. It took Alfie’s mind off his op the next day, running round playing with his friends.

We had fun on the Hollybush miniature railway.

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We had a soggy meet up with lovely friends at Cannock Chase – mainly spent in the cafe eating chips, chatting and exploring the visitor centre :-)

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We went to the Boar’s Head for Grandpa’s birthday lunch.

We went to a fantastic HE group at Bloxwich Library.

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We had great fun holding and learning about guinea pigs, rabbits and hamsters at Pets at Home workshop.

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We went ice skating with lovely friends.

We had great fun at Bounce trampolining centre, then Wibbly Wobbly World of Play, with friends.

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We had fun with friends at Monster Mayhem.

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Fun times at home too. Lots of Hama beading.Lots of fun playing in the village they created – with Alfie’s vegan cafe, Poppy’s craft shop, and Amber’s pet shop.

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Making epic train tracks, pretty fruit salads and fruit bowl arrangements, and Amber framed her own canvas in the frame she decorated herself.

 

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Potato chitting

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Overall, a good end to winter, and all happy to have Alfie’s surgery behind us. Here is to spring!

January Journeys

January 31st, 2016 by becki

Welcome to 2016 :-) January is usually my least favourite month of the year. The bright lights and purpose of Christmas is over, the weather is awful, money is tight. It was made even worse for us by some unknown idiot smashing into the side of  the car in a car park and not leaving their details. However, life is what you make it, so we have tried our best to make January as much fun as possible. See whether you think that we succeeded :-)

There was lots of cosy, indoor crafting. Amber painted a horse and foal, Poppy painted lots of sunsets and water scenes.

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There was lots of play dough fun, drawing, writing, gift tag designing and colouring. We made papier mache models using balloons as a form to wrap the paper around. Poppy made a bowl for her brush and blow paint pens, Amber is painting hers to be a model of the earth, and Alfie is undecided as to what his will be :-) Poppy designed an amazing pug t-shirt and My Little Pony t-shirt with her fabric pens.

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There was monster designing, board game playing, Minecraft cooperation, marble runs, movie nights, cooking and baking, willow weaving, Meccano building and Lego play :-)

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We used cocktail sticks and jelly sweets to explore geometry.

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We started to put together our Billie Bones lifesize skeleton model.

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We played in the snow and built a snowman.

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We went to HE dance and gymnastics every Monday, and gymnastics class every Tuesday.

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We went swimming three times, with lovely friends. All three children are making great progress with their swimming and underwater confidence.

We had a lovely day at Enginuity science museum with lots of lovely home educator friends

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Poppy and I spent a lovely day together browsing the craft, sewing, material and wool stalls of Cannock market. She used her Christmas money to buy herself lots more crafting supplies.

There were visits to Nanny and Grandad too. Alfie took along his new Wii U to demonstrate for them.

We went ice skating twice with friends.

We met lots of lovely home educators for a day of play and fun at Come Into Play.

We met lots more lovely home educators for bouncy fun at Bounce trampoline centre, followed by more play with friends at Wibbly Wobbly World of Play.

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We went to two lovely sessions at the Chase HE group. One was junk modelling, the other was Lego themed. The creativity and imagination of the children was awe inspiring to watch.

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We went to Flip Out trampolining centre with lots of friends for yet more bouncy fun and exercise.

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We had two lovely trips with fantastic friends to the National Forest Adventure Farm.

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We went with friends to our local pub for breakfast, then had a fun play date.

We went shopping and for walks. We helped search for a local lost dog. We went out for lunch a couple of times. We enjoyed the novelty of a tiny Corsa as our courtesy car (and celebrated getting our big old bus back!) Overall, it has been a fantastic start to the new year :-)

Festive Fun

January 1st, 2016 by becki

Here is a snapshot of what we have been up to in December 2015 :-)

Stafford Ethical Fair – with yummy food from Mex It Up. Followed by the amazing Christmas tree festival, shopping and vegan hot chocolate.

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A fantastic performance of Gangsta Granny at the New Alexandra Theatre with Alfie, Amber and HE friends. A cheeky vegan breakfast at Cherry Reds,and a trip to see Santa Claus owl first too ;-) Poppy went to her HE dance and gymnastics with Daddy :-)

Ice skating fun with friends, then the last gymnastics lesson of the year for all 3 kids – complete with bouncy castle :-)

An awesome HE big Xmas meet up at Come Into Play soft play centre.

A day spent looking after Nanny – complete with Christmas magazine, Lego fun, and, later, Screwball Scramble and yoyo challenges with Great Uncle Martin.

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A fun play date with lovely friends. Lots of creativity!

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A yummy Christmas lunch buffet with Uncle Steve, Aunty Andy and cousin Toby at MK Village Buffet :-)

Play dough fun.

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Amber and Poppy went to their last HE dance and gymnastics lesson of the year, whilst I took Alfie to his dental appointment. Afterwards, we went for an explore of the botanical gardens, lunch at Veg Out, and a mooch around the fab Purely Vegan store :-)

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Christmas party and crafts at our Chase HE group

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A fantastic two day Santa Sleepover with friends at the Alton Towers Resort. Theme park fun,Sea Life Centre, Santa’s grotto, water park, magic show, dinner buffet and pantomime of Cinderella :-)

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Walsall HE group Christmas party. Great fun!

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Baking an amazing Yule log for our Solstice celebrations.

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Christmas shopping and library in Sutton Coldfield.

A Pizza Hut lunch with Caroline, Lauren, Tom, Martha, and Julie, Will and Evie.

Then… illness struck. All of us were ill all over the festive period :-( Plans were cancelled, lots of films were watched, books read and games played.

Poppy made some mince pies, and a smiley wrap :-)

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We managed to enjoy our Christmas Day at home, and a buffet tea with Nanny and Grandad, and Uncle Martin.

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A Boxing Day walk at the local nature reserve, whilst the girls had a cycle.

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A visit to Peak Wildlife Park to see the tiny Joey wallaby. Look at the heron who flew down in search of fish after the penguins were fed!

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We also managed a lunch at Taybarns with Granny and Grandpa, and a lovely bike ride in Sutton Park with Clare, Kate, Jess, and all their wonderful children :-) Plus a new year visit to Nanny and Grandad :-)

Alfie reached his savings target for his Wii U, and has really enjoyed the fruits of his labours. Amber also saved enough for a new tablet after her old one ceased to work a while back. We played board games, experimented with new Christmas presents, watched films and generally made the most of it all, despite being unwell.

Happy and healthy new year!!!!

Advent Adventures :-)

December 5th, 2015 by becki

 

 

 

 

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This next entry starts with a lovely day out with my just turned 8 year old daughter :-) It was Poppy’s birthday request to spend the day shopping and having lunch just the two of us. We had a lovely time. A walk around the shops of her choice, and a lovely grown up lunch together at Frankie and Benny’s. No squabbling, no interruptions. It was fantastic :-)

The next day we went to the Walsall Arboretum HE group where we were completing a science challenge – the egg drop challenge. We had done this before at home on one of our science days, but it was really interesting to do it in a group with other people, and see what ideas they came up with to protect their eggs. Amber got through several eggs before finding the right balance and method of protection, whilst the big two had success first time. Wea lso spent time talking to Cheila about jewellery making.

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The next day we went to the Chase HE group for a taster session of gymnastics and dance. All three children joined in and really enjoyed it.

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Later to our gymnastics class at Oak Park, where they were thrilled to get the badges and certificates that they had earned.

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A day of crafts, preparing for the Home Ed Winter Craft Fair followed. Painting egg boxes, designing and printing price labels, painting salt dough decorations. Alfie made vegan burgers for tea.

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The next day we went ice skating at Webbs of Wychbold Christmas rink with lovely HE friends. The children had great fun. Afterwards, there was a trip to Hobbycraft to spend more birthday money on craft supplies.

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There was a fun day at Fourways soft play with lots of friends the next day. great to chat, and for the kids to have a run around and play.

On Saturday we met some other members of the Chase HE group to plant trees at Chasewater Country Park. Alfie and Amber were very proud to have planted a horse chestnut tree and an oak :-) Afterwards Amber and I went for lunch together and to spend her birthday vouchers.

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The next day, Poppy and I went to visit Nanny and Grandad.

On Monday, Alfie and I met friends at Jodrell Bank for the Home Educators Day there. We conducted lots of experiments looking at measuring force, measuring the strength of the sun’s rays and the impact of different size “rocks” falling from different heights to create craters. We identified a meteorite from other types of rock using a flow chart and tests. We went into the inflatable planetarium to learn more about the night sky. There was also lots of time to explore the interactive exhibits, marvel at the Lovell telescope, and stroll in the gardens.

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Meanwhile, the girls went to HE gymnastics on the bus with Daddy, and had a fantastic time.

The next day we went ice skating with friends, then to gymnastics again.

The following day we had lovely friends round for a play date, then met Daddy in Birmingham for tea at ASK Italian. Afterwards we went to the evening performance of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe at Birmingham Rep. It was amazing! All the children really enjoyed it.

Amber made and painted her plaster of paris volcano in between all the gadding about ;-)

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A day at Dudley Zoo followed. It was the first time we had been without a pushchair, and the freedom to ascend the steps and navigate the big castle hill easily was blissful!

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A lovely day with friends at the National Forest Adventure Farm followed. The children had great fun :-)

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A day of crafts and spending time with Daddy followed, whilst I met an old friend. Poppy’s best friend came over for a play date, and they had great fun doing HAMA beading, playing board games and generally hanging out together.

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The following day, all three children joined me for lunch with Charlotte, where they proved invaluable at keeping the lovely Katie Rose entertained ;-)

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Amber’s birthday treat at Thomasland with her two best friends followed. We have been to Thomasland Magical Christmas every year since the big two were very small. Despite the rain, we had a lovely day :-)

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Poppy went to HE gymnastics with Daddy instead :-)

The next day was photo frame decorating at Chase HE group. All three children had amazing concentration as they picked out their jewels and decorated their frames. Afterwards, gymnastics.

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The following day we went to the Elements exhibition at Compton Verney Art Gallery with friends.  It was inspired by the elements of the periodic table, and had opportunities for the kids to explore the elements themselves. The family room was also popular. After making dolls and reading books, I was treated to some lovely puppet shows by the girls :-)

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The next day we finished off our preparations for the craft fair. Alfie made vegan rocky road, Poppy made vegan cinnamon cookies and Amber made vegan cakes :-)

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A lovely afternoon at Wolseley nature reserve with lots of amazing HE friends followed. We made fantastic festive wreaths, Poppy’s idea.

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Today, the long awaited HE Craft Fair. It went really well. There was an amazing atmosphere, lots of wonderful creations made by all the children and lots of lovely friends to see. The children were particularly happy with the profits they all made ;-)

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Birthdays Galore!

November 14th, 2015 by becki

IMG_20151026_115812-blog IMG_20151026_142627-blog IMG_20151026_143527-blog IMG_20151026_143533-blog IMG_20151026_143543-blog IMG_20151026_144411-blog IMG_20151026_145250-blog IMG_20151026_151410-blog IMG_20151026_152406-blog IMG_20151026_153143-blog IMG_20151027_140218-blog IMG_20151027_142655-blog IMG_20151027_145253-blog IMG_20151027_150419-blog e start our next update on a mixed note of happiness and sadness. Wednesday 21st October – Daddy’s birthday. The children had a lovely day making a chocolate fudge birthday cake, wrapping presents and making cards. Unfortunately, our beloved white hen Daisy, who had been with us for 2 years 4 months, became very unwell and had to be put to sleep. All hens are special, but Daisy had an extra special place in all of our hearts, and her passing was greatly mourned by us all. This picture of her was taken by Amber.

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We managed to have a lovely birthday evening with Daddy, despite the sad events. Indian takeaway then birthday cake :-)

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The next day we headed for a day of fun, waves, slides and splashing at Water World with the Kelly and Hewitt crews. great fun :-)

Freedom Friday Fun at Beacon Park followed the next day with the Hupfield and Jones-Thomas crews. Friends, bikes and fun :-)

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The Wolverhampton Vegan Festival followed. A great day! The children got to make their own smoothies using pedal power, and Alfie stocked up on his vegan chocolate :-)

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Unfortunately, we were hit by a flu-like virus, so cancelled our next few day’s plans for quiet times at home. We still managed to have lots of fun though! Alfie made a whole Pac Man game out of Hama beads- Pac Man, all the ghosts and all the food! We made salt dough Christmas decorations. Alfie made a snowy owl picture. We made chocolate apples and toffee apples. We played lots of baord games, did lots of cooking and lots of crafts.

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We had a play date with the Kelly crew.

We went and picked our own pumpkins after a tractor and trailer ride into the field at Essington Fruit Farm.

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The only downside of the day was locking the keys in the car boot and being stranded there for 4 hours! The AA failed to break in (at least the car is secure!!), so Rich had to wait for a lift to come over with his spare keys. The kids were superstars, despite being bored and hungry. We celebrated freedom with a Pizza Hut feast :-)

Amber and I spent a day looking after Nanny whilst Grandad went to the opticians. We had fun playing Lego, fetching chips for us and Nanny and Amber did lots of magic painting in Nanny’s room.

Halloween!!!! A fun day of pumpkin carving, baking pumpkin orange cake, making pumpkin soup and toasting pumpkin seeds :-) Alfie had a creeper pumpkin, Amber a cute little one and Poppy an angry one!

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The next day we went to Stafford to get some fresh air after feeling very cabin feverish due to the lingering illness thwarting so many plans. We had a yummy Pizza Express lunch, a wander round the shops and a walk in the park :-) Poppy bought a witches costume – reduced from £12 to £4.50!

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The next day we went with lots of HE friends to Boing Zone for trampolining fun. We literally bounced off the walls ;-)

Back to ice skating and then gymnastics the next day. Amber found her ice legs after months of using a penguin!

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The next day was swimming, where we met lovely HE friends, plus crafts and board games.

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Dentist the following day, then a dog walk with the Kentish crew, plus Sherlock and Watson, then a visit to Nanny and Grandad.

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Cinema with HE friends to watch The Princess and the Frog, as part of the Into Film festival, was our Friday plan.

Sadly, I had to spend most of the weekend at the eye infirmary, meaning Amber missed a party she had been invited to. To make up for it, we had a special shop and coffee shop date. Lots of crafting, making cards and gifts for a friend’s birthday also took place.

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A birthday celebration followed the next day, at Monster Mayhem soft play, with lots and lots of HE friends.

Ice skating again with friends the next day, and gymnastics of course. We had a Toby Carvery for tea afterwards – testing out the new vegan options!

Swimming with Honey, Kitty and Violet on Wednesday. Painting salt dough and making stew and cakes afterwards.

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Two very special birthdays on Thursday – Poppy turned 8 and Amber turned 5. They had fun opening their cards and presents, before an all-you-can-eat lunch at Cosmo, shoping with birthday money and a visit to Nanny and Grandad.

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Celebrations with friends on Friday, at Amerton Farm. The girls were very spoilt – lots more amazing cards and presents. Twenty two children running riot and having fun :-)

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Today, library with Poppy, shops, painting the downstairs toilet, crafting and play dough fun :-)

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An amazing month :-) The children are all happy, active and learning lots. The eldest two are both fluent readers now – totally unschooled. Unschooling truly rocks :-)

Autumn Antics

October 20th, 2015 by becki

It has been a glorious Autumn so far. Mild and sunny, with the most glorious colours in the leaves. We have been making the most of the great weather with lots of outdoor adventures and fun, before the winter hibernation draws us inwards.

We followed our wonderful holiday to Dorset up with a spot of youth hostelling, just two days later. It was originally booked to coincide with a Not Back to School picnic at Carding Mill Valley. Unfortunately, a rare day of bad weather meant that this got cancelled. Instead, we headed to the Coalport YHA in Ironbridge, as the kids were so looking forward to the trip away.

We spent a lovely day in Enginuity with the Kelly and Hupfield crew, making and testing bunnycopters, solving puzzles and exploring the interactive science museum :-)

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In the youth hostel, the games room proved a hit, especially giant Jenga ;-) The boys made it their mission to play every game there!

The following day we headed to the tar tunnel, then Coalport China Museum. The little ones did a spotting quiz, whilst the big three did a code cracking quiz, requiring them to find the answers to questions about chins production. The girls had fun painting plates, and everyone loved the children’s gallery.

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Afterwards, a drive home for gymnastics!

The following day we were all worn out, so just headed to Oak Park for swimming. We did some cooking, and lavished some attention on poor Enderdragon, who had been ill for a few weeks despite vet treatment and TLC.

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A meet up with lots of lovely friends at Come Into Play soft play followed.

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Finally, that busy, busy week, a crazy day of paddling, playing, sand castles, crazy golf and ice lollies followed at Bosworth Water with the Kelly and Hupfield gangs :-)

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The weekend was bitter sweet. We rescued two lovely white ladies, Primrose and Sophie, who would otherwise have been slaughtered. As we returned home with them, we sadly found Enderdragon had passed away.

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We had a lovely trip to the cinema to see Inside Out, which we all really enjoyed.

We spent a fun day in Shrewsbury with the lovely Hupfields the following day too. We got the park and ride bus into the city centre, and visited the Lego exhibition. We admired the Lego models of famous buildings, and enjoyed playing with the Lego in the gallery, and designing and testing our own cars. We also enjoyed the rest of the museum, where Amber, Alfie and Caleb completed the Lego minifigure quiz sheet, and we explored the dinosaur bones, medieval artefacts and other treasures. We also walked across town and explored the castle.

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We had lots of fun baking and crafting the next day, before gymnastics, including making Grandad a birthday card.

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The next day, in brilliant sunshine, we spent the day on a HE trip to West Midlands safari park. We had an amazing time with the animals, and on the rides and exploring the animatronic dinosaurs.

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We spent the next day with Nanny and Grandad, celebrating his birthday, complete with three birthday cakes (one made by each child!) and chip shop chips for lunch ;-)

The following day was Wolseley HE Explorers, with lots of wonderful friends, making an amazing barefoot walk (all designed and made by the kids) and fab leaf pictures. The imagination and creativity of these kids never ceases to amaze me!

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The next day we met Uncle Steve, Aunty Andy and cousin Toby for a fun play and cycle ride around the very large lake at Emberton Country Park.

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The next day, Sunday, was another cinema trip, this time to watch Hotel Transylvania 2.

We attended the Walsall HE group on the Monday, where we learnt about different types of gemstones, and made our own bracelets out of real quartz. The children were very proud! We had a coffee with Nanny and Grandad before too :-)

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The next day, we met the Jones-Thomas crew for ice skating, then spent time with play dough before gymnastics.

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The following day was a Halloween crafts day. Alfie made a crdboard Minecraft pumpkin, a paper plate pumpkin and Hama bead Minecraft pumpkin and Boo. Poppy made lots of ghost bats, and Hama bead spooky creations. Amber made a paper plate pumpkin, Hama bead pumpkin and painted some paper orange for another project.

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We also met the lovely Bex and Violet for swimming at Oak Park.

The next day, we had fun at Forge Mill farm with the Kelly clan :-)

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We had an amazing Unschooling meet the following day The kids had an amazing time with the Hupfield and Jones-Thomas crews running wild and collecting hundreds of conkers at Attingham Park National Trust.

 

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The next day, Amber and I went to the Big Hoot farewell at Millennium Point, where we got a last look at the large owls before they were auctioned off for Birmingham Children’s Hospital. We also had a yummy vegan lunch at the Warehouse Cafe. Poppy had fun playing at home with her best friend Cadi.

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The next day, we met Charlotte, Mark, Katie Rose and Bella the dog at Rosliston Forestry Centre for a day of walking, playing, tree climbing, herb smelling and adventures :-)

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We headed to Peak Wildlife park with the Kelly and Hupfield crews the next day, where we got to see the penguins being fed, stroke a wallaby, admire the baby goats and play on the bouncy castle.

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The next day was a trip to the library, lunch with Granny and Grandpa at Taybarns, then gymnastics.

The following day, a meet up with HE friends in Victoria Park, Stafford.

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Amber accompanied me to look after Nanny the next day, whilst Grandad popped to Matt’s flat in London. She enjoyed playing with my old Lego – and having chips for lunch! She also chatted to my friend Sally, who popped in for coffee, about Minecraft.

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The next day was a fun unschooling meet of cycling, play and sand at Beacon Park with lovely HE friends :-)

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Then, a trip to Dudley Museum to see the My Little Pony exhibition. The dinosaurs and fossils also went down well – as did the buffet lunch at the Venue ;-)

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We had a lovely dog walk at Chasewater with the Kentish clan, plus Sherlock and Watson. The kids had great fun :-) Back home, gardening and a Sunday roast (vegan of course!)

 

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A lovely visit to the donkey sanctuary with HE friends yesterday. The children enjoyed grooming Alvis the donkey, but Molly and Bobby the dogs were the real hit! Afterwards, cycling and playing in Sutton Park :-)

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Today, making pizza, ice skating with the Howells and Jones-Thomas crews (including making snowmen!), then gymnastics :-)

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Other activities have included, lots of drawing and knitting by Poppy, a Back to the Future obsession with Alfie, lots of craft, cooking, chicken care and reading. We love unschooling :-)

 

 

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