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Ancient Greece

We have been covering the Ancient Greeks in SOTW1 and I suggested to Millie that she could do a mini project on them before we move on.

I’ve put a bunch of links on my Tumblr for her to have a gander at but figured I may as well share them here as they might be of use to others.

Happy New-ish Year!

Well I never did manage to post the photos of Isaac’s birthday celebration did I? The camera went doo-lally and I’m still not quite sure if we ever managed to get the photos off it. I didn’t manage any posts after that as I was ill for most of December, but well for both birthdays and Christmas and really have just been lazy since ;o)

Birthdays December '08

Birthdays December '08

Despite the laziness on the blog front I’ve been super busy round here. I am helping make costumes for Emily’s dance show next month so that is taking up any spare time I have. Speaking of Dancing, Emily got her Grade 1 exam results back and she got a distinction! She had set her heart on it since getting one in Primary and I kept trying to play the whole thing down just in case she was disappointed, thank goodness she wasn’t! I was so pleased for her, she worked really hard.

Isaac’s big news is that he has started one full day at Montessori. Each Wednesday he has lunch there and in the afternoon they do cultural activities (this term it is about magnets) and French(which he adores). He has also started bringing home pre-readers which he was very pleased about! He feels very much a “big boy” now!
First Reading BookFirst Reading Book

Halloween out the way…bring on Christmas!

I took the children round to friend’s last night for a Halloween party. They had a great time (despite Emily being on the brink of illness, she is in bed with a fever today). Here they are all dressed up and ready to go.

Spooooky!

Spooooky!

Isaac was a the witch’s cat by the way – he didn’t like having the hood up!) I realised all was not well with Emily when she burst into tears over marshallow toasting (!) but she refused to go home until the end, by which time she was feeling quite poorly, poor thing.

Our Pumpkin

We had lots of trick-or-treaters and I had to put a sign on the door in the end as we ran out of treats!

So yes, with both the children’s birthdays in the week before Christmas things are usually a tad busy round here. Not this year though, oh no. I will remain cool, calm and organised this year and not still be wrapping presents on Christmas Eve. I have my battle plan (tweaked from SimpleMom) and so far have stuck to it.  We have ordered our cards and have the address labels ready to print, bought (and wrapped) some presents and I have started making some gifts too so I am feeling pretty good. Need to start on the baking this week and stock up the freezer!

What a Difference a Day (or two) Makes

Friday was so lovely, sunny and warm that we decided to have our family drawing time out in the garden and sketch a few of the spring flowers. Can’t show you any pictures though as the scanner is playing up for some reason.


“Emily’s Tulip and Grape Hyacinth”

Much fun was also had when not one, but two snails were discovered and both Emily and Isaac spent a long time observing them and fetching cans full of water to keep the snails happy!

We also checked on the tadpoles and they seem to be doing great…

The first part of Saturday was also spent in the garden but the weather soon changed from sunny to rainy, not to mention bitingly cold! Still we did manage to get some seeds sown (to raise indoors) and tidy up the remaining parts of the garden that were crying out for attention.

This morning Isaac dragged me out of bed hideously early to take him to the toilet. When we got in the bathroom he squealed “it’s snowing!” and it was, not only that but it had settled.

0804060062

This was the first time in over a year that we had had snow to play out in, so of course we had to make the most of it.

Getting Back On Track

February was not the best for various reasons, so I’m pleased we are well into March and looking forward to Spring.

The garden is coming to life with all its spring bulbs and frog spawn in the pond and my thoughts are turning toward the vegetable garden and how behind i am already!

Education wise we seem to have found a comfortable rhythm to our days once again after the hiccup of February when things were all over the place. It made me realise that even though we don’t follow a strict timetable we do need a guideline to follow or things tend to fall apart. It is also important for me to make sure i have books and websites at my fingertips and things printed ready for the week ahead. I had gotten out of the habit of doing this and it was wasting a lot of time. So to aid me I’m in the process of creating a few google pages to keep our “curriculum” all in one place. So if any of you grandparents/uncles/aunts want to keep track of what we are up to, take a peek. Or anyone else for that matter, hopefully this may be of use to other HEers. I love seeing what other families are up to and have found lots of useful books that way. One of my favourites at the moment is La Paz Home Learning.

Isaac has really got into his Montessori activities now so i’ll leave you with a few pics.

Insets For Design

Helping his sister with a amphibian cards

Our version of Cylinder Blocks

Pick your Posture

Today started off with an impromptu yoga session brought about by these cards that i made last night….

Emily has been joining in with my yoga sessions over the past week and really enjoying them. I remembered these photos Meg posted about a while back and set to work!

1. emily_cobra, 2. lion pose, 3. triangle, 4. triangle_duet

I’ve been thinking for a while now that it was about time we tackled grammar with Emily so I’ve been busy putting together the Montessori farm kit. I had a free kit from here but ended up purchasing one from Montessori For Everyone too. I plan to start this next week with her.

Isaac has been a little monkey today, really mischievous, mainly i think because he’s tired. He had a busy day at nursery yesterday and no nap on the way home. I had thought that he would be a breeze to put to bed but i think by the time we got there he was over-tired and it was gone 8 when he finally succumbed!

We began Story of the World again today, after a month and a half break! Emily was pleased to find she was able to tie in the Kingfisher books she got from Auntie Sarah for her birthday. We’re back on to Egyptians again (Middle Kingdom)

Winter Festivals

We are having fun following Bella Dia‘s Christmas Book and Activity Advent. There are loads of people sharing great Christmas/Festival ideas around blogland at the moment. I’ve been keeping a note in my google reader “shared items” of some and eventually hope to fill a notebook so that come next year i will have everything at my fingertips and will be etreeeemly organised….yeah right.

We’ve also started the Christmas baking…

..by making mincemeat…

…and mince pies…but mysteriously there don’t seem to be any left photos of them.

Montessori

Isaac had his second taster session at Montessori today. I went with him last Monday and stayed the full 1.5hrs. He loved it so much that he cried when i took him home so i wasn’t too worried about this morning! Sure enough he had a great time :o)

It is really wonderful to go and observe the children in a Montessori school, to watch them so absorbed in their activities. One of my favourite parts is snack time. They reserve a place at the snack table then go and wash hands. They then carefully carry their cup, saucer and plate to their place and take their plate and fill with their chosen snacks. They pour their own drinks and when they have finished they do their own washing up. Sometimes the children are as young as 2.5 years but they do everything so very carefully. It was clearly one of Isaac’s highlights, as i knew it would be ;o)

So he starts in January for 3 morning sessions. He will almost be a year younger than Emily was when she started. I think Emily is almost as excited as he is!

Lists

One of my many passions is writing lists. Some might suggest that this is because it is proactive procrastination, but they would of course be wrong. Anyway, while checking out Whip Up this morning i was introduced to Listography. I thought it would come in very useful for storing Home Ed links by subject/theme…when i get around to it.

We are taking a break from school type work and enjoying some long awaited sunshine this week (if the weather holds), meeting up with friends and being out and about more.

Things having been going well of late though, I think we have finally found our groove! The key to it all seems to have been getting more organised with the whole lapbook thing and finally getting The Story of the World and accompanying activity book.

I’ve started buying in lapbook packages from Homeschool Estore (which saves me a whole heap of time) and Emily loves doing them. We skip any bits that aren’t relevant to us and add whatever else we’ve been doing on the subject.

We are both really enjoying SOTW and have started a Charlotte Mason type book of Centuries to go along with it. We are (roughly) getting through a chapter a fortnight, what with accompanying library books and associated activities, so good value!
We are still on Egypt so visited the Ashmolean the other week to have a look at their Egyptian collection.


Unfortuantely Emily started feeling ill soon after we arrived so we left after doing only a quick whip round. A good job too as she promptly threw up the moment we got home!