Journey into Unschooling

Birthdays Galore!

November 14th, 2015 by becki

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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!



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.



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 :-)



As Summer Turns to Autumn – and Rockley Park Holiday

September 20th, 2015 by becki

As summer has turned to a rather chilly autumn, our adventures have continued. Holidays, days out with friends, home ed groups…. So much fun :-)

There was fun with friends at the Chase HE group – weaving, playing and seeing how many kids of different sizes it takes to balance a seesaw :-)

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Then baking biscuits, cakes, sweetcorn fritters and vegan burgers  when we returned home.

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A lovely day out at Ryton Pools with Sarah, Alice and Saule :-) Holding and learning about owls, picking blackberries, climbing trees and exploring the adventure playground :-)

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A song performance from the girls upon our return home – a song written by Poppy herself :-)

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Plum picking with the lovely Sally, Evie and Finn at Essington Fruit Farm (plus tree climbing again of course!)

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Feral fun at Calke Abbey with the Hupfield and Kelly clans :-) Exploring the Garden of Imagination, admiring the flowers and vegetables, deer spotting, hula hooping, friendly wrestling matches and running wild in the great outdoors :-)

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A visit to Nanny and Grandad, then more owl hunting at Soho House, Handsworth Park and Summerfield Park.

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A trip into Birmingham for yet more owl hunting, science garden fun, and lunch at the Boston Tea Party :-)

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Baking galore!






Birches Valley fun with lots and lots of HE friends – playgrounds, den building, playing with the dog, Gruffalo finding and fairy house exploring!

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Youth hostelling fun with friends. Poole’s Cavern – an amazing cave with stalactites galore! A youth hostel with goats and rabbits, and an amazing history.

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More feral fun with the Hupfields and Kellys – stream paddling, mountain climbing, stepping stones and mud – an amazing day at Dovedale and Thorpe Cloud.

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Owl hunting in Kings Heath, with a meet up with the lovely Bex and Violet in the park.

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Yet more owls, anniversary lunch at the Warehouse Veggie and Vegan Cafe, Sheldon Country Park :-)

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A visit to Nanny and Grandad, then more owls and playground at Woodgate Valley Country Park :-)



Ice skating with the Jones-Thomas crew, then back to gymnastics class for all 3 children :-)

Home ed Not Back to School Picnic at Victoria Park, with amazing HE friends.

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More Not Back to School fun at the Wolseley Centre with HE freinds :-)

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Amazing day of fun with HE friends at Twycross Zoo.

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Next came an amazing week away at Rockley Park Haven site in Poole, Dorset. So much fun! We managed to fit in 3 swims in the lovely pool with slide and flume – two with all five of us, and one just me and Poppy. Our caravan, in Arne View, was lovely, and we had some splendid walks on the beach and nature reserve :-)

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We had an amazing day out at Paultons Park :-) Alfie loved Critter Creek, especially the axolotls :-)

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Dinner at Hungry Horse afterwards :-)

Brownsea Island was amazing, especially the red squirrels, free range chickens with chicks (no foxes on the island), and amazing natural play area.

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An awesome day at Sea Life adventure park, then shell collecting on the beach at Weymouth as we walked to the Jurassic Skyline tower for an amazing view of the Jurassic coast in our rotating capsule, followed by Lodmoor Country Park.

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Corfe Castle, where the kids did a fun shield quest quiz, and had fun exploring the ruins.

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The Living Rainforest – an amazing place.

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Now, we have collected our chickens from their boarding house, and Completed both our Big Hoot and Little Hoot trails – owl number 211 found at Sarehole Mill. Nachos from the Vegan Grindhouse to celebrate :-) Amazing finding all 211 owls – such fabtastic designs.

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Next, more youth hostelling fun tomorrow :-) What an amazing summer it has been, and Autumn is looking good :-)



Awesome August

August 24th, 2015 by becki

August has so far been an amazing month. A month of reflection as I turned 40 and took stock of the last ten years of our unschooling journey. On my 30th birthday I was newly pregnant with Alfie and hiding my exciting secret at my birthday barbecue. So much has changed since then and I have grown together with these three wonderful children. There are some sorrows along our journey, as we lose Nanny to the evil of Alzheimers for example, but many, many joys. This last decade has been totally awesome.

So, what have we been up to this month?

We had a lovely day out at Rodbaston Animal Zone with Nathan, Bex and Violet. This is a wildlife park that is part of the local college, used for the students training in animal care. They also have the World Owl Trust lodging with them whilst their new centre is built in Dudley. Alfie loved holding the barn owl :-)



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We spent a fantastic couple of days staying in the Peak District with the Kelly crew. A lovely, sunny day at Chatsworth, paddling in the Cascade, climbing trees, admiring the amazing gardens and tasting the vegetables in the kitchen gardem.

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After tea and a night in the youth hostel, we headed to Eyam Hall. The children enjoyed doing the trails around the house – a code breaker involving looking for facts in all the rooms for the big three, and an I-Spy for the little ones. We walked over to the playground afterwards to let off some steam, before heading home for tea at the Crown Carvery.

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Back home, Amber and I spent the day with Nanny whilst Dad went to London to get Matt’s flat ready for his visit. We had a lot of drama when the carers got Mom stuck on the stairs and we had to phone for the paramedics to carry her back up, after trying everything for an hour to no avail. Mom was happy eating roe and chips on the landing ;-) Amber was a star, doing her magazine and keeping everyone entertained. When Great Uncle Martin turned up later, he was treated to a Minecraft tutorial :-) I was pleased to get out for my birthday curry with the lovely Elaine, Bex, Jenni, Kate and Clare, after all the drama!


The next day we met the lovely Charlotte, Mark, Katie Rose and Bella the dog at Branston Water Park for a play, walk and feeding the ducks :-)

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The next day we travelled to Canons Ashby NT for a fun day with Uncle Steve, Aunty Andy and cousin Toby. The kids had a great time playing hide and seek, exploring the gardens and playing garden games :-)

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The next day we went to Nanny and Grandad’s for lunch and to see Uncle Matt, Mei and Great Uncles Martin and John. It was lovely to see Matt and Mei Mei over from Singapore :-) We took a walk down to the local playground after lunch.

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The next day was a trip to Calke Abbey NT with Elaine, Jacob and Jess, where we explored the amazing new wild woodland playground.

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The following day was my 40th birthday! Four whole decades!! How quickly they have flown by! We headed into town to continue our Big Hoot owl hunt, with a lovely lunch at Cherry Reds and a coffee break later ;-)

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The next day we went to the cinema to see Two by Two, followed by and awesome afternoon at Cannock Chase with Rachel and her five fantastic small people :-) There was a bit of drama when Alfie got stuck in a tree, but luckily Cian managed to guide him down!

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A day of contrast next – a lovely spa day at the Fairlawns with six wonderful friends – Sally, Sally, Bex, Sarah, Rachel and Elaine. The kids enjoyed a day at home with Daddy after a busy few weeks.


Next day, a play date with the wonderful Miriam, Caleb, Flynn and Niamh. Lots of fun – and lots of protests at home time (notice Miriam’s encumbrances whilst trying to exit!)

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The next day – Sutton library for new books and audio CDs, lunch at Pizza Express and a walk in the park to find more Big Hoot owls :-)

The following day – gardening and crumble making with our garden picked fruit, followed by an afternoon of fun at Phoebe’s Fireman Sam themed 4th birthday party :-)

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The next day, fun at Brixworth Park with Granny and Grandpa. Alfie completed the summer quiz trail, the girls raced Granny on her scooter, and Poppy made new friends in the playground.

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A lovely day paddling in the stream, making clay tree spirits and getting stuck in mud with the Kentish crew at Northycote Farm came next.

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A visit to Cannock Food Bank with HE friends to see how it all works. Alfie got a chance to work in the warehouse labelling donations, sort and label goods and pack emergency boxes. He loved it and it was very humbling and rewarding. Afterwards we picked up the girls and some chips, and headed to see Nanny and Grandad, and Matt and Mei Mei before they flew back to Singapore.

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The kids had a well earned quiet day at home whilst I had lunch with old friends Sally and Jo the next day.

Back on our adventures at the Lickey Hills the next day though! More playground fun with friends, more owls, a chance to try archery, badminton and basketball and, of course, more mud!

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New chickens, Bluebell, Diamond and Lord Business collected the next day – a rescue of ex caged hens by Fresh Start for Hens.

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Lots more gardening and house chores, plus gate sanding and painting, whilst we supervised the new chickens integrating with the ten oldies. We harvested a big boxful of apples, which Amber turned into crumble :-)

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Today, Alfie went on an amazing adventure at Warwick Castle with HE friends, whilst the bgirls and I had a lovely lunch at Pizza Hut with Caroline, Lauren, Martha and Tom. Happy days! And who said HE kids don’t socialise???

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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.

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

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We visited Nanny and Grandad.

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

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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 :-)

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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.

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Followed by toasting marshmallows of course ;-)


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.

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We watched an egg being sucked into a heated bottle.

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Used lemon juice to write invisible ink messages.

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

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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


Cleaned copper coins in cola.


Made cardboard shoes.


Then made jam tarts :-)

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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.

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


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.

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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 :-)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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 :-)


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

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

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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.

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

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Oak Park fit n fun day.

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Harvesting potatoes


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 :-)

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More ice skating with friends and gymnastics fun.

Fun and games with friends at Victoria Park HE meet.

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

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Fun in the sun at Tettenhall Pool

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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)

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



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 :-)


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??)

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

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

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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 :-)

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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.

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Swimming with friends, swimming further and further underwater.

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

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Fun with more friends at Monster Mayhem soft play.

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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!

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

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

Cooking cakes and soup.

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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 :-)

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


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

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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 :-)

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


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 :-)


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

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


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.

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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 :-)

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Fun at home.

Hama bead creations



Making tomato soup and vegetable soup

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


Playing a game of Frustration with Grandad




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

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Making salt dough


Modelling with and then painting salt dough

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


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

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

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

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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!

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Playdough fun


Vegan chocolate brownies

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Garden blooms

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A nature hunt in Shire Oak nature reserve




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.


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.


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.



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

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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.

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



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

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

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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.

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

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We met Charlotte and baby Katie Rose for lunch.



We built working recycled robots

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Made a moon dough zoo

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Read lots of books



Did lots of cooking


Hatched a dinosaur



Built the Sagrada Familia in Nanoblocks




And generally had lots and lots of fun :-)



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