Thursday, 27 May 2010

Visit to Dover Castle 25th May 2010

Two days ago, we and 4 other homeschooling families took a trip to Dover Castle.  In total we were 5 adults (4 mums and 1 grandma who valliantly stood in at the last moment after the poor mum fell ill overnight) and 15 children (aged 8 months to 14).  We booked the trip in advance through English Heritage and after making sure we all had suitable ID cards (TEACH/EO/HS) and submitted our educational plans we were granted free entry!  Well done English Heritage for recognising homeschoolers as educational groups!
Although it was a very windy day, especially on the top of that hill, there were lots of people there, including many school/educational groups.  I think that if I organise another trip I will do it in the Autumn or Spring terms when there are less school trips, so more space, even if the weather isn't so 'good'!

Remains of the pharos (lighthouse)

Model of the Keep

Friday, 21 May 2010

Bugs and Butterflies 21st May 2010

I try to do different things on Fridays; things that are more nature/art/music based rather than maths and English!  Inevitably with a pre-schooler and a Y1 pretty much everything involves maths and English, but it's not the focus on Fridays when we try to be a bit more creative.
Both last Friday and today we have had glorious weather here in Kent.  The garden is getting smaller as the trees and shrubs get bigger, but this just means more insects, so that is what we looked at last week when we went for a bug hunt.  We tried to identify things along the way and afterwards, counted legs, looked through pots with magnified glass (plastic!) lids at the amazing bodies of bugs and then drew what we had found:

and here is a type of cardinal beatle that we found:
Now, I know this is neither a bug nor a butterfly, but I thought it was too amazing to keep to myself:

Today we looked at butterflies, although we didn't actually try and catch any, especially after reading how delicate their wings are!  We used a very old copy of this book, kindly given to us by my sister-in-law.  We did some 'pencil and paper' work at different levels from Enchanted Learning which is an American subscription site I have recently joined, and then watched some BBC video clips by simply putting 'butterfly' into the keywords search.  We finished off with some butterfly and caterpillar paintings whilst listening to Madame Butterfly by Puccini.