October 3, 2016
I know I keep saying it but we had another wonderful week in the Nibsy house last week.
This is turning in to an almost guaranteed “at home” day. Some weeks can get very busy for us but we always seem to start the week off with a day in the house. It’s handy for me as I can get some housework done and cook a more complicated evening meal than usual as I have the time. It also means we can do some slightly more academic activities.
This week we tried out two new – to us – websites. The first is Khan Academy. Khan Academy is a free site that covers a range of topics including maths, science and world history. It is compromised of informative videos and small tests and activities. Nibsy is currently working his way through the place value videos. I’ll blog more about them once he’s completed it, including his thoughts on the website.
The second website is Mystery Science. This is usually a paid for website but we signed up for a years free trial a few months back. I’ve noticed they have the offer on again at the moment as well. This was our first time using it and we decided to focus on a 4 video unit about Volcanoes. Each unit contains informative videos as well as a practical task. Today we looked at whether a volcano could erupt in our back garden (conclusion = extremely unlikely) and learned how to plot volcanoes on a map.
Nibsy and I have also started forming a new daily habit. I make each of us a cup of tea, Chai is the current favourite, set the alarm on my phone for 10 minutes and then we both settle down to read our books. He still remains a reluctant reader, I think because a part of him still believes he can’t read even though he is becoming increasing more adept and fluent. So my hope is that with just a small amount of time (increasing it slowly) and making it cosy with tea and sharing it with me that it might encourage him to read a little more. I know that some people never turn out to be lovers of books and reading but he has such a voracious appetite for knowledge that I think once he really gets going he’ll enjoy the information he can gain from books.
As soon as Nibsy was up and about for the day we headed over to our friend As house. They live on the “other side of the water” which means we have to go all the way in to Glasgow on the train and back out again to reach them so we head off as early as possible to maximise the time we can spend over there before making the 2+ hour journey home again.
We arrived at just gone 11 and Nibsy went straight off to play with his friend T while A and I worked on her educational provision for the children. We took a brief break for lunch (jacket potatoes – yummy!) and after that we headed to the local park or a quick play. The weather threatened rain but luckily it held off. We finished up our day by visiting A’s cousins new baby who was very sweet – although I’m still happy with just the one child!
We had plans to meet the Glasgow group but when Nibsy got up he said he wasn’t feeling very well and given that it was pouring down with rain we made the decision to stay at home. Nibsy sounded a little croaky but I think he was more averse to the rain that he was actually ill.
We’ve been taking rather an autonomous/unschooling approach to things of late but I think there’s something about the Autumn and Winter months that triggers a desire to do more “academic” things – perhaps it’s because we spend more days at home than we do through the summer? I’m not sure but the result was Nibsy spent some more time on Khan Academy. He worked on his maths (greater than/less than/not equal to symbols) and also watched an introductory video to Native Americans, it was a little above his ability but I sat and discussed what we’d watched afterwards and I think he took some useful things away from it.
We also had our 10 minutes of tea and reading. I have to laugh when we requests his tea, he’s obviously heard me and A discussing Chai Lattes and has decided that Chai is called Chaila Tea. He won’t be convinced otherwise.
Phew what a windy day this was! I was slightly concerned that the trains would be cancelled but luckily by the time we were due to leave and meet friends the gusts had dropped to a more manageable level. We met up our friends L and F at the Science Centre – got to make the most of our annual pass – which is always a big hit with both of the children.
The boys were able to try out an amazing circuit making kit called LittleBits, Nibsy is now begging me to buy him a set for home but at £80 for the starter set and £300 for the biggest deluxe set he’s going to have to add that to the Christmas list. Nibsy’s favourite part of the kit – like pretty much every other child on earth – was the buzzer. Would you care to guess what mummy’s least favourite part of the kit was?
Daddy had the day off – woohoo! We love having him at home, it doesn’t happen nearly enough for our liking. We spent the morning at home relaxing and then headed out to the local shopping centre in the afternoon. Autumn has truly arrived in the West of Scotland and we needed to kit ourselves out with waterproof gear. Nibsy and I now have waterproof jackets, trousers and walking boots so we can at least stay a little warm and dry during our adventures. After that was sorted we stopped off for dinner at an American Diner. We’d not been there before but had debated it a couple of times so decided to give it a shot – we were not disappointed!
In the evening we headed to the Science Centre (again!) This time we had tickets to a special event called Explorathon. It’s free to attend and as well as being able to visit all the usual exhibits we see during the day the centre is also filled with stalls and exhibits from local universities, colleges and scientific businesses.
Nibsy particularly liked this logic game using microscopic organisms. He seemed to have more idea of what was going on than I did. He also enjoyed talking to a woman who had a stall about local trees, lichens and air pollution. The only downside was that the centre was very very busy and loud. Nibsy had some trouble blocking out the peripheral sounds while he was talking to the exhibitors. It’s just something he’s going to have to work on doing and learn over time but it did mean it was a little stressful for him at points.
So that was our week! Did you get up to anything fun?
September 26, 2016
Hello there folks.
We had some wonderful adventures last week, here’s a quick recap.
Matt had a day off work so I took advantage of that and left my boys at home to enjoy each others company while I met my friend A at the cinema to see Bridget Jones’s Baby. I used to be an avid cinema go-er but in recent years I haven’t been as much because of cost and childcare so this was a rare treat for me. I had an awesome time, the film was great and it’s always lovely to spend some child free time with A.
Knowing that we had a few busy days ahead of us we stayed home and just enjoyed some down time. Down time is good – necessary.
We had plans to meet A and her children but unfortunately she was having some car trouble that she needed to get sorted. We made a last minute decision to go to the Glasgow group. They were on their wildcard week so instead of being in Glasgow they were actually at Loch Lomond – just 15 minutes down the road from us. Perfect.
We all met at the Balloch train station at 12:30 and from there we walked down the side of Loch Lomond for a wee while until we reach a little beachy area where we set up base for the afternoon. Nibsy and I hadn’t been to this section of the Loch before so it was nice to go somewhere a little bit different. Nibsy took his fishing net along in hopes of catching a salmon, I did try and point out that it was highly unlikely he would but he had fun anyway.
Look at that view, it’s just one of the reasons why I love Scotland so much. Sure, other England boasts some gorgeous places to (looking at you Lake District!) but Scotland, nothing beats Scotland’s landscape!
Nibsy can find large groups quite difficult, so many people and personalities can be hard for him to navigate but he had a good time, of course having a good time seemed to involve wading almost waist deep in to the Loch while wearing all his clothes. He was very very wet and he wasn’t the only child there who was. Luckily he didn’t need to walk home sopping wet because our friend C offered to give us a ride home in her car.
We met with or Learning Group. It’s actually a little bit sad because one of the group is moving on to pastures new soon and we’re going to miss him and his mum very much. They’re not going too far but circumstances etc mean that he won’t be attending Learning Group anymore.
Group this week took part at the Tramway in Glasgow. We’ve never been to the Tramway before and I’m wondering why because its lovely. There are several free art installations to explore and they also have the “hidden garden” which is a gorgeous outdoor area to explore. The boys were quite lively when we first got there so we decided the gardens would be the best place to start with. See if you can spot the Nibsy…
The first day of Autumn treated us to blue skies and sunshine so we spent a good chunk of time outside soaking up the vitamin D before heading inside to visit one of their exhibitions. This one to be exact. The artist has used film strips, a pitch black room and flashlights to create an interactive display. The boys all loved it – there were giant flashlights involved so that helped! I’m always so thankful when we attend exhibits like this that we have the freedom to home educate and that it allows me to introduce Nibsy to so many varied experiences. We really are very lucky!
I am still endeavouring to learn how to sew and my friend C is helping me out. C is also a home educator and has three children so we spent the day with them at their house. C and I worked on a tote bag I’m making and Nibsy got to play with her children who he adores. It’s great to just spend the day hanging out with friends.
The weekend was spent at home with Dad, doing some chores, playing video games, reading books and generally relaxing and enjoying each others company!
What did you get up to last week?