Journey into Unschooling

Summer Holidays

August 1st, 2015 by becki

We have survived two weeks of the summer holidays!! I have to confess to a feeling of rising panic before the summer holidays. We just don’t do crowds, and summer holidays means all our favourite places are over run with crowds. Luckily, we have managed to find wonderful places to go and things to do, and so far we are having amazing fun :-)

We managed to fit in a last ice skating session with lovely friends, before the session that we attend was suspended for the summer holidays. At least it gives us an opportunity to get Alfie’s skates sharpened – well, for wonderful friends whose children regularly attend ice hockey lessons to get them sharpened for us anyway ;-) There was an end of term gymnastics session, which included a bonus bouncy castle, as well as the usual gymnastics equipment.  We fitted in a last swim with Bex and Violet, before the pools got over run.

We went to Sudbury Hall and Museum of Childhood with the Kentish and Kelly clans. All the kids loved the museum of childhood, where they got to see and play with toys from all ages, as well as learn more about the life of children in the past – complete with trip up a chimney ;-) The adventure playground and surrounding trees to climb were well received, and Alfie went on a trip around the old hall with friends.

IMG_20150716_122105-blog IMG_20150716_122226-blog IMG_20150716_122413-blog IMG_20150716_123251-blog IMG_20150716_123352-blog IMG_20150716_123846-blog IMG_20150716_123850-blog IMG_20150716_124428-blog IMG_20150716_124443-blog IMG_20150716_124502-blog IMG_20150716_124925-blog IMG_20150716_125814-blog IMG_20150716_130628-blog IMG_20150716_131033-blog IMG_20150716_131709-blog IMG_20150716_131855-blog IMG_20150716_132701-blog IMG_20150716_132707-blog IMG_20150716_143518-blog IMG_20150716_143549-blog IMG_20150716_143558-blog

We enjoyed a last, quiet cycle and play in Beacon Park with the Hupfield posse, before the schools broke up that afternoon.

IMG_20150717_110130-blog IMG_20150717_110116-blog IMG_20150717_121239-blog

We visited Nanny and Grandad.

We had a lovely lunch at Bella Italia, and a wander around the Coventry Road Transport Museum.

IMG_20150719_131750-blog IMG_20150719_131755-blog IMG_20150719_131759-blog IMG_20150719_140742-blog IMG_20150719_141047-blog IMG_20150719_142543-blog

We met the lovely Sally, Evie and Finn for fruit picking (and tree climbing!) fun at Essington fruit farm, coming away with boxes of delicious strawberries, raspberries and sugar snap peas :-)

IMG_20150720_103732-blog IMG_20150720_104526-blog IMG_20150720_105421-blog IMG_20150720_105707-blog IMG_20150720_110926-blog IMG_20150720_141124-blog IMG_20150720_141127-blog

We had a lovely time making peg dollies and hatching eggs at the Chase HE group, followed by a play at Redwood Park with lots of HE friends.

IMG_20150721_120912-blog IMG_20150721_115340-blog IMG_20150721_123228-blog IMG_20150721_123230-blog

Followed by toasting marshmallows of course ;-)

IMG_20150721_160239-blog

We used our Dyson Challenge cards to inspire our science day, which was amazing fun :-)

We found out that there is a lot to consider when building a bridge, including both the dead weight of the bridge, the load and external factors, such as weather. We had many attempts at our spaghetti bridge, and found it bore very heavy loads best when it had strong, Megablok pillars to support it.

IMG_20150722_104429-blog IMG_20150722_110039-blog IMG_20150722_112318-blog IMG_20150722_112432-blog IMG_20150722_112540-blog

We watched an egg being sucked into a heated bottle.

IMG_20150722_113901-blog IMG_20150722_114136-blog

Used lemon juice to write invisible ink messages.

IMG_20150722_123927-blog IMG_20150722_132017-blog IMG_20150722_132138-blog

Attempted to make cardboard chairs, using no fastening or sticking aids.

IMG_20150722_125558-blog IMG_20150722_130053-blog IMG_20150722_131131-blog IMG_20150722_131337-blogIMG_20150722_131516-blog

Tried lots of different packaging and cushioning ideas for our egg drops :-) The hcickens all stood outside the door waiting to eat the broken eggs :-D

IMG_20150722_134709-blog

Cleaned copper coins in cola.

IMG_20150722_140004-blog

Made cardboard shoes.

IMG_20150722_141457-blog

Then made jam tarts :-)

IMG_20150722_153832-blog IMG_20150722_153843-blog

The next day we had a mad, buzzing house full of children from four different families, having lots of fun. Holly’s best friend Cadi stayed for a sleepover.

A quiet day needed after all the fun – a trip to Dobbies Garden World, then chill out time, making cardboard marble runs.

IMG_20150724_121620-blog IMG_20150724_163339-blog

Holly accompanied me to the optician to choose new glasses, followed by the library for lots of new books, and the playground.

IMG_20150725_115814-blog

Amber made us all pancakes, before we headed out to spot some owls in Sutton for the Big Hoot, and then home to bake Nanny’s birthday cakes and do some gardening.

IMG_20150725_144841-blog IMG_20150726_084357-blog IMG_20150726_114540-blog IMG_20150726_131011-blog IMG_20150726_151754-blog

Nanny’s birthday! A lovely day of Alfie’s homemade rocky road, Amber’s homemade birthday cake, Holly reading books to Nanny, chip shop lunch and lots of cards and presents :-)

IMG_20150727_095435-blog IMG_20150727_095321-blog

A lovely day out at Dudmaston NT with the Williams and Kelly broods. It appeared no other visitors wanted to venture to the dingle and woodland playground, so we had it all to ourselves.

IMG_20150728_122810-blog IMG_20150728_124830-blog IMG_20150728_131514-blog IMG_20150728_131517-blog IMG_20150728_131649-blog IMG_20150728_134156-blog IMG_20150728_134300-blog IMG_20150728_134457-blog IMG_20150728_134620-blog IMG_20150728_144620-blog IMG_20150728_144647-blog IMG_20150728_144649-blog IMG_20150728_144706-blog

Alfie had a dental appointment, then we headed to Erdington Big Hoot owl spotting. Amber did lots of play dough, and Alfie made butternut squash jambalaya, and shared out the lychees that we bought.

IMG_20150729_141453-blog IMG_20150729_143103-blog IMG_20150729_153020-blog IMG_20150729_160301-blog IMG_20150729_160303-blog

A lovely trip with friends to watch Home at the cinema, then lunch in IKEA.

An amazing day out with lots of friends at Weston Park. Thirteen happy children running riot on the adventure playground, riding on the train, getting lost in the maze and exploring the parkland.

IMG_20150731_130835-blog IMG_20150731_135624-blog IMG_20150731_135730-blog IMG_20150731_135934-blog IMG_20150731_142141-blog IMG_20150731_142713-blog IMG_20150731_142717-blog IMG_20150731_143920-blog IMG_20150731_144150-blog IMG_20150731_150503-blog IMG_20150731_150527-blog IMG_20150731_151221-blog IMG_20150731_151840-blog IMG_20150731_151842-blog

More Big Hoot owl hunting, perfume making, house cleaning and magazine doing :-)

IMG_20150801_114823-blog IMG_20150801_103456-blog

What a lovely couple of weeks :-) Here is hoping that August will be as awesome :-)

Summer Fun

July 12th, 2015 by becki

Sunshine and showers, outdoor fun and indoor games :-) Making the most of our last bit of peace before the schools break up :-)

A walk down the canal to the Brownhills Canal Festival. The parrot rescue tent, and the birds of prey rescue arena were very popular. The kids were in fits of laughter over the parrot dancing to the music from the live band playing :-)

IMG_20150628_113220-blog

Making a chocolate fudge cake, which we took some of to the hospital for Grandad to share (Nanny doesn’t like chocolate fudge cake)

IMG_20150628_135121-blog IMG_20150628_135123-blog IMG_20150628_151356-blog

Fun and games at a friend’s birthday gathering at Come Into Play.

IMG_20150629_134943-blog IMG_20150629_134944-blog IMG_20150629_134945-blog IMG_20150629_142344-blog

Ice skating and gymnastics fun.

Swimming with the lovely Bex and Violet. Lots more practicing of underwater swimming :-)

Kenilworth Castle fun with lots of our HE friends.

IMG_20150702_112331-blog IMG_20150702_112329-blog IMG_20150702_113610-blog IMG_20150702_113611-blog IMG_20150702_115240-blog IMG_20150702_115249-blog IMG_20150702_132937-blog IMG_20150702_133311-blog IMG_20150702_133321-blog IMG_20150702_133327-blog IMG_20150702_135529-blog IMG_20150702_135530-blog IMG_20150702_141238-blog IMG_20150702_141236-blog IMG_20150702_145441-blog IMG_20150702_145442-blog IMG_20150702_151128-blog IMG_20150702_151130-blog IMG_20150702_152157-blog IMG_20150702_152101-blog IMG_20150702_152547-blog

Friday Club fun at the Arboretum – playing in water jets, climbing, swinging , shops selling sticks and flowers, and cooperative Terraria playing :-)

IMG_20150703_125458-blog IMG_20150703_125502-blog IMG_20150703_142355-blog IMG_20150703_142632-blog IMG_20150703_142634-blog IMG_20150703_143242-blog IMG_20150703_143248-blog

Oak Park fit n fun day.

IMG_20150704_115030-blog IMG_20150704_114649-blog

Harvesting potatoes

IMG_20150704_133655-blog

Cooking up a storm to take food parcels round to Nanny and Grandad, now that Nanny is home – lasagne, tomato soup, vegetable soup, jam sponge pudding, rocky road :-) They were gratefully received :-)

Immersive animal fun at Peak Wildlife Park. Holly took the pictures of the penguin :-)

IMG_20150706_110925-blog IMG_20150706_110928-blog IMG_20150706_111052-blog IMG_20150706_111148-blog IMG_20150706_111954-blog IMG_20150706_112400-blog IMG_20150706_112438-blog IMG_20150706_112521-blog IMG_20150706_112656-blog IMG_20150706_113644-blog IMG_20150706_113703-blog IMG_20150706_113751-blog IMG_20150706_113743-blog IMG_20150706_113755-blog IMG_20150706_113759-blog IMG_20150706_124728-blog IMG_20150706_124730-blog IMG_20150706_124733-blog IMG_20150706_125954-blog IMG_20150706_125951-blog

More ice skating with friends and gymnastics fun.

Fun and games with friends at Victoria Park HE meet.

IMG_20150708_121000-blog IMG_20150708_121009-blog IMG_20150708_143422-blog IMG_20150708_143411-blog IMG_20150708_134753-blog

Wolseley Home Ed Explorers – den building, role play and wild fun :-)

IMG_20150709_121808-blog IMG_20150709_121809-blog IMG_20150709_124427-blog IMG_20150709_124908-blog IMG_20150709_131354-blog

Fun in the sun at Tettenhall Pool

IMG_20150710_112556-blog IMG_20150710_120200-blog IMG_20150710_134017-blog IMG_20150710_144603-blog

Sutton Library for more books and audio CDs, buying books from Waterstones with pocket money, lunch in ASK Italian.

Making fairy cakes and jammie biscuits for Nanny and Grandad, then visiting to deliver them :-) Looking after poor ill Tilly (sour crop)

IMG_20150711_154031-blog IMG_20150711_154032-blog IMG_20150711_163927-blog IMG_20150711_172347-blog IMG_20150711_193928-blog

Painting, making up stories, cooperative Minecraft, watching Edwardian Farm, sewing bags, trampolining, practicing gymnastics, imaginative play and Lego creations :-)

IMG_20150701_152359-blog

 

Ups and Downs

June 27th, 2015 by becki

The past couple of weeks have been full of highs and lows. Nanny was admitted to hospital, and remains there nearly two weeks later, which was an obvious low point. The stress, worry and difficult decisions to be made, and the sheer exhaustion of daily hospital visits on top of the children’s busy lives. The children have been absolute stars though, coming with me on a rotational basis, one child each day. Alfie has been the delight of the ward, spending anything up to half an hour in a big embrace with Nanny, and taking the attentions of the other patients on the bay very well! Holly has made cushions for both Nanny and Grandad, with their initials sewn on. Even Amber has been a happy ray of sunshine on the elderly care ward :-)

IMG_20150618_183135-blog

We have tried to keep things as normal as possible for the children, amidst all the phone calls and visits. Lovely friends have been our saving grace, and we have managed to have lots of fun. We have kept up our usual weekly ice skating with friends, and gymnastics classes. We spent a lovely day at Avoncroft Museum of Buildings. The lady in the medieval house was amazed at the knowledge the children brought with them from previous visits to places like Moseley Old Hall and the Ancient High House, and they enjoyed learning more from her. They had a lot of fun re-enacting air raids (with more serious discussions on the realities of war too), and being shown how the windmill worked. The highlight was, of course, the working telephone boxes through the ages, where they could really call each other. The slooow dials amazed them (and me – how did we cope??)

IMG_20150617_114000-blog IMG_20150617_114800-blog IMG_20150617_115436-blog IMG_20150617_125833-blog IMG_20150617_135815-blog IMG_20150617_135828-blog

We had a lovely time with lots of friends at Tettenhall Pool.

IMG_20150618_115331-blog IMG_20150618_115332-blog IMG_20150618_115338-blog IMG_20150618_134146-blog IMG_20150618_134147-blog IMG_20150618_134151-blog

Fun with the Friday Club gang at the Arboretum splash pad and playground, followed by a visit to Grandad.

IMG_20150619_115532-blog IMG_20150619_115535-blog IMG_20150619_130843-blog IMG_20150619_145911-blog IMG_20150619_145914-blog

An all you can eat buffet breakfast, shopping and gardening. Making Father’s Day cards for Daddy.

A barbecue to celebrate the summer solstice. Painting a canvas of Jasmine using acrylic paints. Vegan chocolate brownies. Exploring nature’s pallette and entering a competition. Woodland spotting jigsaws. Father’s Day breakfast for Daddy :-)

IMG_20150615_150620-blog IMG_20150615_150621-blog IMG_20150615_150757-blog IMG_20150615_150806-blog IMG_20150615_114309-blog IMG_20150615_145542-blog

IMG_20150621_084313-blog IMG_20150621_084325-blog IMG_20150621_170624-blog IMG_20150621_170626-blog IMG_20150621_170631-blog IMG_20150619_182601-blog

Visiting the Herbert Art Gallery to explore the Children’s TV over the last 50 years exhibition. Making films, exploring rocks, minerals and shells. Trying on chain mail and helmets, sniffing medieval toilets, exploring the impact of WW2.  Sliding down bannisters in the gallery square. Being inspired by multi-storey car park spiral ramps to discuss castle spiral staircases and design Minecraft spiral staircase filled towers.

IMG_20150622_125610-blog IMG_20150622_125933-blog IMG_20150622_130028-blog IMG_20150622_130751-blog IMG_20150622_131157-blog IMG_20150622_131214-blog IMG_20150622_131548-blog IMG_20150622_132024-blog IMG_20150622_132847-blog IMG_20150622_135555-blog IMG_20150622_135654-blog IMG_20150622_135808-blog IMG_20150622_140015-blog IMG_20150622_140740-blog IMG_20150622_141830-blog

Swimming with friends, swimming further and further underwater.

A lovely, sunny day out with friends at Drayton Manor Theme Park and Zoo.

IMG_20150625_104440-blog IMG_20150625_105207-blog IMG_20150625_110443-blog IMG_20150625_110446-blog IMG_20150625_132804-blog IMG_20150625_154616-blog IMG_20150625_155931-blog IMG_20150625_160202-blog IMG_20150625_164329-blog

Fun with more friends at Monster Mayhem soft play.

FB_IMG_1435389738643-blog IMG_20150626_142307-blog IMG_20150626_114840-blog

Library for new books, yet another sunny barbecue :-)

We will stay positive through it all, because we have each other :-)

 

June Fun

June 14th, 2015 by becki

So far, June has been a lovely month, full of fun and adventure.

A trip to Ikea for breakfast and a visit to Nanny and Grandad.

Swimming with friends, followed by gymnastics class. Both girls have started gymnastics, as well as Alfie, so it is truly a family affair :-)

An amazing day in the sunshine at Gulliver’s Kingdom in Matlock Bath with friends. This has been my favourite theme park out of all the ones that we have visited. Fantastic rides, really friendly staff and great facilities. Plus, as it is aimed at children, no gangs of men and youths!

IMG_20150603_153341-blog IMG_20150603_153416-blog IMG_20150603_121754-blog IMG_20150603_121753-blog IMG_20150603_154132-blog IMG_20150603_110651-blog IMG_20150603_110643-blog IMG_20150603_105647-blog IMG_20150603_110647-blog

A fantastic trip to Wolseley Centre, completing a picture scavenger hunt challenge, climbing trees and paddling in the river :-)

IMG_20150604_112601-blog IMG_20150604_112600-blog IMG_20150604_113004-blog IMG_20150604_113006-blog IMG_20150604_120120-blog IMG_20150604_120615-blog IMG_20150604_120842-blog IMG_20150604_134020-blog IMG_20150604_123930-blog IMG_20150604_124349-blog IMG_20150604_125617-blog

Friday Club fun in the Arboretum water jets with lots of lovely friends.

Cooking cakes and soup.

IMG_20150602_143401-blog IMG_20150607_164002-blog

A visit from Nanny and Grandad, plus lots of gardening and playing in the sunshine.

A lovely home ed meet up at Lower Drayton Farm. Making lovely new friends, scavenger hunts, matchbox challenge, nature walk and trampolining fun :-)

IMG_20150608_115108-blog IMG_20150608_115110-blog IMG_20150608_115919-blog IMG_20150608_122903-blog IMG_20150608_122933-blog IMG_20150608_132657-blog IMG_20150608_132659-blog IMG_20150608_140621-blog

Ice skating with friends, Pizza Hut lunch, gymnastics and jigsaw fun ;-)

IMG_20150609_111302-blog

A night at the beautiful YHA Jordans, set in the woods. We now have YHA membership, ready for lots more fun and adventures :-)

IMG_20150609_210200-blog IMG_20150609_210213-blog

Two amazing days at Chessington World of Adventures, and a night in the themed Azteca Hotel,  with lovely friends. Ten children, rides galore, swimming and breakfast buffets :-)

IMG_20150610_103953-blog IMG_20150610_105455-blog IMG_20150610_110641-blog IMG_20150610_122431-blog IMG_20150610_122915-blog IMG_20150610_135153-blog IMG_20150610_185216-blog IMG_20150610_194403-blog IMG_20150611_104510-blog IMG_20150611_104702-blog IMG_20150611_135315-blog

Quiet times at home to recover from our adventures. Nature magazines, sticker books, solving code challenges, and lots more fun.

IMG_20150612_150635-blog

World buffet lunches and library for lots of new books and audio books.

What an amazing month June has been so far :-)

 

A Month of Contrasts

May 31st, 2015 by becki

The past couple of weeks have been in stark contrast to each other. A few weeks of manic busyness – every day filled with adventures, home just a place to sleep and grab a new picnic. Then, just as we were looking forward to slowing down a little for half term (avoiding the crowds!), a stomach bug strikes and we end up slowing down completely! As awful as illnesses are, in some ways it was a welcome break from the mad rushing about. A chance to craft, build with Lego, watch documentaries that had stacked up on Iplayer for the kids, just chill out and be together at home. Not to mention spring cleaning, and sorting out the playroom. Three big bags of toys given to a toddler friend, new bedroom furniture for the girls and lots of housework and gardening done. Now we are ready for the adventures of summer :-)

Here are some of the highlights of the end of spring.

A lovely play date with Caleb, Flynn and Niamh. Trampolines, Terraria, Peppa Pig and lots of fun :-)

IMG_20150518_131626-blog

Ice skating fun with the Jones-Thomas clan – and Daady’s first go at ice skating! He was an expert by the end!

IMG_20150519_122040-blog IMG_20150519_122041-blog

Alphabet dragons, back home in the warm. Gymnastics for Alfie, with level 5 badge and certificate to take home :-)

IMG_20150519_110719-blog

An amazing day at Moseley Old Hall with the Kentish, Kelly, Hewitt-Hardacre and Williams crews. The treehouse in the woods is amazing! Alfie enjoyed the guided tour around the house, tying in its history with our recently visited  Boscobel House, another stopping point for King Charles II fleeing his captors.

IMG_20150520_112622-blog IMG_20150520_112623-blog IMG_20150520_112634-blog IMG_20150520_112635-blog IMG_20150520_114301-blog IMG_20150520_114815-blog IMG_20150520_114817-blog IMG_20150520_115249-blog IMG_20150520_115251-blog IMG_20150520_115747-blog IMG_20150520_121831-blog IMG_20150520_121823-blog IMG_20150520_121833-blog IMG_20150520_141947-blog

Afterwards a trip to Ikea for tea in the restaurant, and choosing new furniture.

A lovely, sunny day at Rays Farm with Elaine, Jacob, Jess, Bex and Violet. Stroking the goats, marvelling at the owl with the owlet tucked under its wing, exploring the fairytale forest, and admiring the alpacas :-)

IMG_20150521_115931-blog IMG_20150521_120031-blog IMG_20150521_120033-blog IMG_20150521_120147-blog IMG_20150521_120226-blog IMG_20150521_120339-blog IMG_20150521_122252-blog IMG_20150521_141004-blog IMG_20150521_141520-blog IMG_20150521_141516-blog IMG_20150521_143931-blog IMG_20150521_144745-blog IMG_20150521_144836-blog IMG_20150521_145439-blog

Fun at home.

Hama bead creations

IMG_20150522_145919-blog

FB_IMG_1432910027362-blog

Making tomato soup and vegetable soup

IMG_20150522_161940-blog IMG_20150522_161943-blog

A rainbow scarf knitted by Holly for Alfie’s Fluffy.

IMG_20150523_095915-blog

Playing a game of Frustration with Grandad

IMG_20150517_152004-blog

Naptime!

IMG_20150517_175037-blog

Local library for more books and CDs, with a quick go on the playground at Holland Park.

IMG_20150523_121601-blog IMG_20150523_121606-blog IMG_20150523_122042-blog

Making salt dough

IMG_20150524_123506-blog

Modelling with and then painting salt dough

IMG_20150525_142305-blog IMG_20150525_142308-blog IMG_20150529_113813-blog  IMG_20150527_112151-blog

Potato and carrot “cheese” – amazing stuff!!!

IMG_20150525_163721-blog

A welcome breath of fresh air at Forge Mill Farm once everyone was on the mend.

IMG_20150528_140431-blog IMG_20150528_140436-blog IMG_20150528_145817-blog IMG_20150528_152223-blog

Cheeky Petal, who decided to launch a gang attack on poor Jasmine the cat ;-)

IMG_20150528_170546-blog IMG_20150528_170543-blog

Tilly, who suffered a prolapse this week and had to have a minor op at the vets.

IMG_20150528_170553-blog IMG_20150528_170550-blog IMG_20150528_170548-blog

Alfie made the third of his recycled robots – a Polybot, made from a polyhedrom with drinking straws to hold on its limbs and a brushbot motor. Boy is it fast!

IMG_20150529_153255-blog IMG_20150529_153300-blog IMG_20150529_153303-blog

Playdough fun

IMG_20150530_142741-blog

Vegan chocolate brownies

IMG_20150530_142429-blog IMG_20150530_141413-blog

Garden blooms

IMG_20150530_112100-blog IMG_20150530_112103-blog

A nature hunt in Shire Oak nature reserve

IMG_20150530_114340-blog

 

 

May Madness

May 16th, 2015 by becki

May has been a month of ups and downs. Sadly, just after the death of Buttercup, we also lost Rosie. She clung onto life for another week after her vet visit, but the antibiotics and TLC sadly were not enough and we lost her. She enjoyed a sun bathe on her last couple of days of life, after 19 months of freedom with us, enjoying her retirement.

IMG_20150504_101220-blog

We also had a scare with Pru, who we took to the vets with similar symptoms. It seems it may have just been a broken egg though, and she has perked up and rejoined her sisters after a week of TLC and Nutri-drops.

IMG_20150511_081234-blog

So far in May we have also had visits from Nanny and Grandad, two fun days ice skating with the lovely Jones-Thomas crew, two gymnastics classes and a couple of dentist trips.

IMG_20150512_123438-blog

 

We had a fun day at Space Hoppas soft play with the lovely Elaine, Jacob, Jess, Bex and Violet

IMG_20150506_124233-blog IMG_20150506_133620-blog

A fantastic day at Lower Drayton Farm with lots of other home educators. We got to tour the farm on a tractor ride, explore the rapeseed fields, feed the llamas, feed the lambs, stroke a rabbit, guinea pig and duckling, play with all our friends and generally have a fun day on the farm, despite the rain.

IMG_20150507_114709-blog IMG_20150507_114805-blog IMG_20150507_122914-blog IMG_20150507_122916-blog IMG_20150507_131802-blog IMG_20150507_131804-blog IMG_20150507_133020-blog IMG_20150507_133022-blog IMG_20150507_135308-blog IMG_20150507_135500-blog IMG_20150507_135501-blog IMG_20150507_145845-blog IMG_20150507_145912-blog IMG_20150507_150043-blog IMG_20150507_150045-blog IMG_20150507_150105-blog IMG_20150507_150112-blog IMG_20150507_151245-blog IMG_20150507_151253-blog IMG_20150507_153854-blog IMG_20150507_153857-blog

 

We had fun at Friday Club, including a drumming workshop.

IMG_20150508_140800-blog

 

Amber and I went to Izzi’s prebaby afternoon tea party.

IMG_20150509_144624-blog IMG_20150509_150443-blog IMG_20150509_150653-blog IMG_20150509_162824-blog

We spent a fun day at Boscobel House and the Royal Oak.

IMG_20150510_125230-blog IMG_20150510_125300-blog IMG_20150510_125719-blog IMG_20150510_130034-blog IMG_20150510_130048-blog IMG_20150510_130511-blog IMG_20150510_130521-blog IMG_20150510_130552-blog IMG_20150510_130558-blog

 

We had a trip to Mere Green library for lots of new books, before meeting Granny and Grandpa for lunch at Taybarns.

We had fun swimming, with Alfie and Holly further perfecting their underwater swimming skills.

We had a lovely day at the Wolseley Centre for Flynn, Calen and Niamh’s birthday celebration.

IMG_20150514_114903-blog IMG_20150514_114907-blog IMG_20150514_120255-blog IMG_20150514_121709-blog IMG_20150514_121712-blog IMG_20150514_123528-blog IMG_20150514_123530-blog IMG_20150514_123531-blog IMG_20150514_123705-blog IMG_20150514_123714-blog IMG_20150514_124438-blog IMG_20150514_124440-blog IMG_20150514_125321-blog IMG_20150514_125327-blog IMG_20150514_131403-blog IMG_20150514_133928-blog IMG_20150514_133930-blog

 

We had a breakfast buffet at Taybarns with lovely friends, then a day exploring Coombe Abbey country park.

IMG_20150515_142804-blog IMG_20150515_142757-blog IMG_20150515_141646-blog IMG_20150515_132554-blog IMG_20150515_122130-blog IMG_20150515_115840-blog IMG_20150515_113906-blog IMG_20150515_113932-blog IMG_20150515_113933-blog IMG_20150515_115407-blog IMG_20150515_115432-blog IMG_20150515_115607-blog IMG_20150515_115623-blog IMG_20150515_115705-blog IMG_20150515_115714-blog IMG_20150515_113706-blog IMG_20150515_113732-blog IMG_20150515_113701-blog

We met Charlotte and baby Katie Rose for lunch.

IMG_20150516_135124-blog

 

We built working recycled robots

IMG_20150513_103309-blog IMG_20150513_103311-blog

Made a moon dough zoo

IMG_20150513_150752-blog IMG_20150513_150753-blog

Read lots of books

IMG_20150513_170459-blog

 

Did lots of cooking

IMG_20150504_170941-blog

Hatched a dinosaur

IMG_20150505_205032-blog

 

Built the Sagrada Familia in Nanoblocks

 

IMG_20150509_101158-blog

 

And generally had lots and lots of fun :-)

 

 

End of April Fun :-)

May 3rd, 2015 by becki

A lovely day out at Conkers with friends – riding on the train, burying each other in wood chip, monkeying around on the playground, den building and enchanted forest exploring.

IMG_20150427_111527-blog IMG_20150427_125243-blog IMG_20150427_125800-blog IMG_20150427_125802-blog IMG_20150427_131530-blog IMG_20150427_133455-blogIMG_20150427_110513-blog

Ice skating with lovely friends

IMG_20150428_124548-blog IMG_20150428_124557-blog

A wonderful afternoon at the owl sanctuary with lots of HE friends, where we learnt so much about owls.

IMG_20150429_125520-blog IMG_20150429_125522-blog IMG_20150429_125530-blog IMG_20150429_125532-blog IMG_20150429_131438-blog IMG_20150429_131440-blog IMG_20150429_132407-blog IMG_20150429_135717-blog

A fun day at Drayton Manor theme park.

IMG_20150430_104429-blog IMG_20150430_105045-blog IMG_20150430_110645-blog IMG_20150430_111343-blog IMG_20150430_132008-blog IMG_20150430_132712-blog IMG_20150430_163511-blog

Friday Club guerrilla gardening fun

IMG_20150501_131648-blog IMG_20150501_131656-blog IMG_20150501_131938-blog

Followed by red mountain exploring

IMG_20150501_142757-blog IMG_20150501_145056-blog

Art gallery exploring

IMG_20150503_143931-blog IMG_20150503_143929-blog IMG_20150503_143921-blog

Game playing

IMG_20150502_162052-blog

Cushion sewing

IMG_20150502_104334-blog

Cooking – butter bean burgers, and making scones and rocky road for Nanny and Grandad’s visit :-)

IMG_20150502_164916-blog IMG_20150502_164912-blog IMG_20150426_111605-blog IMG_20150426_110316-blog IMG_20150426_110314-blog

Magazines

IMG_20150425_141910-blog

 

Sandy Glades

May 3rd, 2015 by becki

We had an amazing holiday at Sandy Glades holiday park in Berrow. The weather was gorgeous, our lodge – in a private gated park – was amazing, and we had lots of fun. Here are some highlights :-)

We stopped off enroute for a picnic and play at the beautiful lakeside park, on the seafront of Portishead.

IMG_20150420_122501-blog IMG_20150420_122503-blog IMG_20150420_123225-blog IMG_20150420_123508-blog

Our lodge was amazing. I especially liked having a totally separate utility room, so all the sand and dirt didn’t tread inside. We even fitted in a swim on the first afternoon, in the holiday park pool.

IMG_20150420_142617-blog IMG_20150420_142623-blog IMG_20150420_142633-blog

The next day, Alfie had a go at Water Walking in the holiday park pool. It was great fun, but very tricky :-)

IMG_20150421_100726-blog IMG_20150421_100731-blog IMG_20150421_100735-blog IMG_20150421_100757-blog

We also walked down to Berrow Beach, and explored the holiday park play areas. We even had a duck visitor to our lodge :-)

IMG_20150421_122036-blog IMG_20150421_122038-blog IMG_20150421_125438-blog IMG_20150421_125446-blog IMG_20150421_152731-blog IMG_20150421_153012-blog IMG_20150421_154803-blog

We had an amazing day at Puxton Park.

IMG_20150422_100552-blog IMG_20150422_100604-blog IMG_20150422_101255-blog IMG_20150422_102601-blog IMG_20150422_103429-blog IMG_20150422_104110-blog IMG_20150422_105655-blog IMG_20150422_110141-blog IMG_20150422_110342-blog IMG_20150422_124121-blog IMG_20150422_123744-blog IMG_20150422_124124-blog IMG_20150422_124145-blog IMG_20150422_124146-blog

A lovely day at Weston-Super_mare in the Seaquarium and on the beach. We even got to feed the fish – and had the whole Seaquarium to ourselves!

IMG_20150423_103130-blog IMG_20150423_103133-blog IMG_20150423_103930-blog IMG_20150423_105244-blog IMG_20150423_105246-blog IMG_20150423_131342-blog IMG_20150423_131503-blog

On the way home we stopped off at Tyntesfield NT. They had an amazing woodland playground trail for the kids. We also explored the orangery, kitchen gardens, and old saw mill.

IMG_20150424_121041-blog IMG_20150424_121043-blog IMG_20150424_123248-blog IMG_20150424_123252-blog IMG_20150424_123323-blog IMG_20150424_123848-blog IMG_20150424_131515-blog IMG_20150424_132945-blog IMG_20150424_131153-blog IMG_20150424_130734-blog IMG_20150424_124633-blog IMG_20150424_124050-blog

What a fantastic holiday :-)

Easter Antics

April 19th, 2015 by becki

April so far has been characterised by illness :-( We have all had a horrible bug that has given us swollen tonsils, sore ears, cold and flu symptoms and the worst lethargy ever. Alfie and Holly have also had bleeding noses, and Holly blistered, weeping ear lobe. Lovely! It also seems to take weeks to stop feeling tired and exhausted to the bone. All of us have been so flat, washed out and tired :-(   There have been events cancelled, early home time, having to sit and chill rather than having fun with friends, grumpiness and general lethargy. It is horrid to see your child desperate to play with their friends but too tired :-(

We also lost our beloved Columbian blacktail hen, Buttercup :-(

IMG_20150409_142649-blog

It has not all been doom and gloom though, so here are some pictures of what we have managed to salvage from April so far!

Aldridge Easter fun day, with carvery lunch in the Crown.

IMG_20150404_122632-blog IMG_20150404_122634-blog IMG_20150404_123818-blog IMG_20150404_123820-blog

IMG_20150404_125629-blog IMG_20150404_125631-blogIMG_20150404_140836-blog

Vegan Easter eggs on Easter Sunday

IMG_20150405_110719-blog IMG_20150405_110725-blog

Making vegan cupcakes for friends

IMG_20150406_141041-blog IMG_20150406_141044-blog

Kingsbury Water Park fun with Alice, Saule, Jacob, Jess, Caleb, Flynn and Niamh.

IMG_20150407_124415-blog IMG_20150407_124418-blog IMG_20150407_124423-blog IMG_20150407_125054-blog IMG_20150407_125646-blog IMG_20150407_135152-blog

Birthday lunch with Nanny and Grandad at Buffet Island.

Alfie trying out the Big Shot die cutting machine he bought with his birthday money.

IMG_20150409_121242-blog IMG_20150409_121247-blog

Painting cardboard dens in the garden.

IMG_20150409_135226-blog IMG_20150409_135228-blog

Marbling fun before an afternoon in Beacon Park with Dylan, Aaron, Phoebe, Caleb, Flynn and Niamh. Holly started to feel ill with sore tonsils, so Alfie stayed on with his friends and got a lift home with Sarah.

IMG_20150410_104617-blog IMG_20150410_104824-blog IMG_20150410_105537-blog IMG_20150410_105540-blog IMG_20150410_105545-blog IMG_20150410_181552-blog

Library and playground fun.

IMG_20150411_111031-blog IMG_20150411_111033-blog IMG_20150411_112024-blog

Making birthday cards for Aaron.

IMG_20150411_143536-blog IMG_20150411_143732-blog IMG_20150411_162907-blog IMG_20150411_163114-blog

Fun times at Aarom’s 7th birthday party.

IMG_20150412_144232-blog IMG_20150412_144927-blog IMG_20150412_145004-blog IMG_20150412_145623-blog IMG_20150412_145626-blog IMG_20150412_152823-blog IMG_20150412_152919-blog IMG_20150412_161640-blog IMG_20150412_163048-blog IMG_20150412_163402-blog

A lovely playdate with friends

IMG_20150413_164624-blog

Homemade moon sand fun

IMG_20150414_110131-blog IMG_20150414_110259-blog IMG_20150414_113032-blog

Chilling out after swimming

IMG_20150414_140130-blog

Making tarka dhal to eat after gymnastics, where Alfie had a great time trying out the new bars.

IMG_20150414_143232-blog

Trying out new ice skates at Telford ice rink HE ice skating session. Holly loved hers straight away, and Alfie soon got used to his and loved them too :-) We braved the park with friends afterwards but it was packed!

A fun day out with Cruz, Brooklyn, Aaron, Dylan, Phoebe, Jacob, Jess, Flynn, Caleb and Naimh at Amerton Farm.

IMG_20150416_125801-blog IMG_20150416_125823-blog IMG_20150416_131654-blog IMG_20150416_131657-blog IMG_20150416_131701-blog IMG_20150416_141344-blog IMG_20150416_141704-blog

Friday Club fun, making Hama bead creations, followed by play in the Arboretum.

IMG_20150417_115541-blog IMG_20150417_115557-blog IMG_20150417_115601-blog IMG_20150417_120840-blog IMG_20150417_131117-blog IMG_20150417_143605-blog IMG_20150417_151823-blog IMG_20150417_151826-blog IMG_20150417_151825-blog

Alfie is 9 and Spring has Sprung!

April 3rd, 2015 by becki

So, my little baby boy is now 9. NINE! How did that even happen??? Surely he was snuggled up to me in the sling only last week??? Unfortunately, his birthday plans with both family and friends have had to be deferred to next week after I succumbed to the first bout of tonsilitis since I was 17! Hideous :-/ Thankfully I am starting to recover now. Alfie, being the amazing child that he is, claimed that he still had the best birthday ever, and actually got a bonus, as he had a takeaway on his birthday yet still gets all his birthday plans next week. I have never met a more kind, thoughtful, grateful child than that boy.

So, what has been going on these past couple of weeks? here are some of the highlights :-)

Alfie wrote his own white board entry :-)

IMG_20150318_184125-blog

Home ed ice skating at Telford ice rink.  Afterwards, we went into the park to play with friends in the sun, and celebrate the birthday of a HE friend.

IMG_20150318_124127-blog IMG_20150318_124129-blog

A fun day at the Big Play Barn with lots of our HE friends. As ever, the jumping pillow was the most popular feature ;-)

1941351_10152708650901190_7551899294728658002_o 11009905_10152708650156190_855299530163391490_o

Eclipse watching. Alfie and Daddy walked up to the top of the hill in Shire Oak nature reserve for a birds eye view, whilst Amber and I watched from the garden. We were disappointed that it didn’t go very dark, and the chickens didn’t even seem to notice, but it was an amazing sight, viewed through our homemade pinhole cameras.

IMG_20150320_090617-blog IMG_20150320_090735-blog

Afterwards we all went for a family fry up at the Crown breakfast buffet, before friends came over for a lovely play date. Holly tested out her new roller boots, whilst unpacking the Approved Foods order, and making their initials out of almond milk and apple juice cartons ;-)

IMG_20150320_104537-blog IMG_20150320_104551-blog IMG_20150320_131132-blog IMG_20150320_131134-blog IMG_20150320_131316-blog

We had a lovely, if rather chilly, meet up with Uncle Steve, Aunty Andy and cousin Toby at Emberton Country Park.

IMG_20150321_132328-blog IMG_20150321_132442-blog IMG_20150321_132445-blog IMG_20150321_133956-blog IMG_20150321_134020-blog IMG_20150321_134936-blog IMG_20150321_140335-blog IMG_20150321_140338-blog

A day spent gardening in the sun.

Swimming at Oak Park, where lots of progress in swimming confidence was made. Now Alfie and Holly can both swim unaided.

Ice skating with friends at Cannock ice rink.

A lovely meet up in the spring sunshine with lots of Staffs home educators at Victoria Park. The children were having so much fun that it was difficult to drag them away when our parking time was up! Holly made a sand turtle and Gary the rock, the subject of much conflict, negotiation, support and friendship ;-)

IMG_20150325_132024-blog IMG_20150325_132100-blog IMG_20150325_132227-blog

IMG_20150325_141641-blog IMG_20150325_132239-blog IMG_20150325_141651-blogIMG_20150325_145925-blog

Cycling in Dartmouth Park with lovely friends.

IMG_20150326_120618-blog IMG_20150326_120620-blog IMG_20150326_120706-blog IMG_20150326_120703-blog

Friday Club fun making dens and candles at Clifton Road, before wild adventures at Red Mountain.

11102939_425357954300067_8056990062726094242_o-blog 10329317_974639629222356_6408902221299407888_n-blog

A last visit to Walsall Museum before it closed down. Also, to the library for new books and audio CDs, and for a Wetherspoon lunch.

IMG_20150328_141115-blog IMG_20150328_141342-blog IMG_20150328_141450-blog IMG_20150328_142033-blog IMG_20150328_142034-blog IMG_20150328_142235-blog IMG_20150328_142242-blog IMG_20150328_142452-blog IMG_20150328_142554-blog IMG_20150328_142553-blog IMG_20150328_142501-blog

A trip to Telford ice rink with Nanny and Grandad to buy Alfie’s birthday present of ice hockey skates. He is so pleased with them :-) We had lunch in the Wrekin Giant, then caused mayhem in the windy park ;-)

IMG_20150329_140451-blog IMG_20150329_142744-blog IMG_20150329_142746-blog IMG_20150329_144112-blog

A trip to Cannon Hill park with our bikes to meet Caroline, Lauren, Tom, and Martha. Lots of riding bikes through puddles, collecting pink daisies and climbing trees.

IMG_20150330_121542-blog IMG_20150330_121543-blog IMG_20150330_121553-blog

Pizza Hut lunch with Sally, Evie and Finn, followed by a spot of marbling.

IMG_20150331_145037-blog IMG_20150331_145041-blog IMG_20150331_145044-blog

Jigsaw fun

IMG_20150331_151735-blog IMG_20150331_161157-blog

Alfie turned 9. He loved his Lego City museum break in set and spent all day building all of the models. He chose Indian takeaway for his birthday tea. A wise choice! :-)

IMG_20150401_083541-blog IMG_20150401_083548-blog IMG_20150401_105421-blog IMG_20150401_105426-blog

Rich and Elaine took Alfie and Amber to their tour through time and coin minting at the 500 year old Ancient High House in Stafford. They had a fantastic day.

11071303_977725912247061_6573723484183453887_n 11082636_977725962247056_1198439530148615057_n 10403476_977726038913715_8853107037136124319_n 11009867_977727655580220_2708696287151129960_n 21160_977726065580379_1312199633062774545_n 11080968_977726092247043_7434512713002404281_n 11080971_977726112247041_1848701774911159111_n 10473574_977726148913704_2263247409951611974_n

Holly took the opportunity to make Alfie a delicious surprise vegan chocolate birthday cake :-)

IMG_20150402_113815-blog IMG_20150402_130112-blog IMG_20150402_131859-blog IMG_20150402_131907-blog

Today has been a day of games :-) Snakes and ladders, chess, 3D snakes and ladders, Guess Who, brainteasers, Herds of Words, alphabet dinosaurs, marble runs and Mario.

IMG_20150403_115758-blog IMG_20150403_134029-blog IMG_20150403_134035-blog IMG_20150403_142924-blog IMG_20150403_145435-blog IMG_20150403_145429-blog IMG_20150403_153553-blog IMG_20150403_155825-blog

Next week, postponed birthday fun. Lots more spring fun to come :-)

« Previous Entries