I’ve not posted in my blog for a few months. We’ve had a difficult start to the year and it’s been difficult to find words for anything. Then along came corona virus and lockdown. Schools are shut and we’re all forced into home educating our children. I don’t know about your house but mine is chaos. Kids aren’t doing nearly as much work as I’d like them to but I’m not in the best place to chow at them to make them do it right now.
As a result we’re still learning but just not always the stuff on the curriculum. It’s fun and impulsive and right now it’s exactly what we need.
We had a garden full of dandelions which led to some discussion with Toby (4) about the flowers and bees. He asked if people could eat them and that’s how we came to try dandelion honey!
Dandelions are really nutritious and versatile. They contain lots of vitamins and minerals. It is thought that they can help reduce inflammation and aid blood sugar control. It is also suggested that it could reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. There are lots of studies that have shown many positives of dandelion consumption but I’m not here to tell you they will or won’t help fight one disease or another.
Back to the honey, it’s delicious. It has a slight floral flavour but it’s not overpowering. It tastes surprisingly like regular honey.
The littlies love picking the flowers, it’s even better because we know where they’ve grown and that we’ve never exposed them to any chemicals so they’re completely chemical free. Toby is currently in foundation so we use activities like these to practise counting and to discuss the importance of flowers, nectar, bees etc.
Toby had great fun stirring the mixture and weighing out the many different items in the kitchen that he could find.
After we had made it (it took around 14 hours as you start it in the evening and then leave it to infuse overnight. But there’s nothing overly tricky. Toby had some honey on bread for his lunch and enjoyed every bite.
I’ve added a recipe card that can be saved if you are interested in trying this recipe too.
We’re self isolating at the moment and also home educating all 3 school age children due to the schools closing down. I work in school and I’m now not rota’d in until June which gives me 12 weeks at home to stay away as far away from the rest of the world as I can.
We’re trying to keep it inexpensive, I’m fully aware that so many people are being completely financially destroyed by this virus and it’s made me appreciate even more what we have at the moment.
I like these bookmarks because they’re quick and easy, and hopefully will encourage the kids to read so they can use them.
Here’s how we made them!
There are so many different things you could possibly make with yours. We spent about half an hour on this craft and made these.
It’s nearly Christmas (18 days), our favourite time of the year! We love getting crafty and messy. We’re in the middle of decorating the living room at the moment so the telly is off the wall, and everything is piled in the middle of the room meaning no Christmas movies together and no chilling on the sofa with a hot chocolate under a duvet.
Earlier this year we made some chameleons (I’ll do a post about those later) and I had the idea of using the same idea for a Christmas tree with colour changing lights.
I wanted to try it at the school I work in first but couldn’t get hold of paper plates believe it or not so we made them at home!
Here’s how we made them:
Draw a simple Christmas tree design
Poke holes in for lights
Colour the lights
We did lots of different colours all over a second paper plate. Toby’s colouring his is in every single colour we have. He also has a moustache and part glasses after the elves drew on him through the night!
Attach the lights to the back of the tree with a split pin
And spin!! Watch your Christmas tree lights change colour!
These took us around 20-30 minutes which was perfect for Toby, he’s 4 and hasn’t the greatest attention span so any longer and he’d have soon got bored. You could do much more intricate trees using the same idea which would take longer and be ideal for older kids.
We used double tipped pens – they’re brushes on one end and normal pen tips at the other. I use them for bullet journaling. Paint would probably be good, if not better, but we’re all out for the first time in years! Time to top up.
On that note I’m away shopping now, Merry Christmas 🎄
Last week we didn’t get much done. I had so many ideas swimming around in my head that I overwhelmed myself with them and I decided that if our home education journey was to be a success then we needed a plan going forward. So I decided to return to bullet journaling. It’s a hobby I previously had and enjoyed and I hope that I will use it going forward now I have a real purpose for it. Bullet journaling is basically a DIY journal with no limits whatsoever. You can have anything in it that helps you, just unleash your creative side! Some popular pages in a bullet journal are weekly/monthly spreads, to do lists, mood trackers, exercise trackers and so much more.
I bought the Leuchtturm 1917 Slim which is an A4 journal and perfect for what I need it for. I previously had the same but in A5 instead.
My journal is obviously a work in progress but will be used to show our home education plan to officials, it will be used to organise ourselves and every aspect of our busy lives. It is a source of self-motivation.
I chose a double page monthly layout for my main plans, as you can see we don’t have a particularly busy November planned so far although it’s not complete. This style offers me plenty of room to add in plans for our family of 6. The little dragon in the bottom was added at the insistence of my daughter who was desperate for me to try draw one! I feel he ruins the page in one respect but then when I see him I think of her so he actually makes me smile :).
This is my plan for this week, in no particular order. The beauty of home education is there is no set timetable, if he wants to look at energy today that’s fine, if he doesn’t that’s also ok, as long as he does it this week. Monday we did some work on algebra, and the history of Christmas with History.com. His life revolves around coding so it’s a bit of a given that he’ll do that daily.
I found a great Christmas stocking pattern and tutorial at Bags of Love which we have printed off. The material is on order and we’ll make a start soon. The objectives for this will be to see that he can read and follow the pattern, use a number of different stitches (perhaps not on the sticking but certainly some practise pieces first), safely use a sewing machine, complete the stocking, and finally write up about the project.
We have lots of sources and resources for the other subjects, books, websites and materials. Home education doesn’t have to cost much, in fact many of ours were free or very cheap second hand!