Thursday, 21 September 2017

Autumn activities for home and outdoors!

Saw this on the Forestry Commission website and thought you guys would be interested!

'Sign up to bring forest learning to life with our FREE autumn activity pack! Full of seasonal things to engage your senses, you'll have hours of forest fun.

What's inside?
You'll find some great activities to bring sights, sounds and smells of the forests to life for your children:
  • Forage for forest fruits to taste and make into blackberry art
  • Explore the spectrum of autumn colours and create leaf fireworks
  • Hunt for seeds, conduct a helicopter race and make a bookmark
  • Reflect on how autumn makes you feel with Mind, the mental health charity 
  • ...and much more!
Sign up here:
https://www.forestry.gov.uk/autumn-activities




Amazing animal migrations

Certain animals travel for miles and miles every year. Why? Sometimes for food, sometimes to escape the cold, sometimes to breed. Learn why some animals set off on their migrations journeys each year.

Today we are using the Military Mutual website which has created an awesome interactive infographic showing some of the biggest and best animal journeys! 

http://www.themilitarymutual.com/strength-in-numbers/

Other useful websites:

http://wildlifewatch.org.uk/three-amazing-animal-migrations

https://ww2.rspb.org.uk/fun-and-learning/for-kids/games-and-activities/online-games-for-kids/migration-route-map

https://ww2.rspb.org.uk/fun-and-learning/for-kids/games-and-activities/online-games-for-kids/dangers-of-migration




This week's Home Education library meet

We look forward to our Home Ed meet each week. There's usually a story and craft activity for the younger ones and a quiz around the library for the older ones!

This week we made Litter posters to display in the library as so much litter has been gathering lately!

Here are the pics! Loved seeing all the kiddies get stuck into this activity!







Canal and River Explorers

We're using these amazing resources this week for our trip to the local canal. There are always plenty of fishermen down there willing to give the kiddies a quick explanation of how to fish and they allow them to have a go!

Search by subject or format for some great educational resources for your canal trip!

https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/explorers/resources

https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/canal-and-river-network


Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Dark Art

With the nights drawing in I picked up some black card for our Home Ed classroom this week. We usually get out the chalks to make firework pictures and cover the whole science topic of 'Colour and Light'.

Today I gave DD3 some Autumn coloured chalk, black card and the leaves she had collected. She carefully chalked around each leaf and rub the chalk to make a great outline. The end result looked fab and is now stuck on our fridge alongside her other works of Art ;)

Why not try out these other great Dark Art activities!

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/mediafile/100703475/dark-art.pdf?cb=000222511c0343fb8a92bca65de16833









10 things to do with conkers this Autumn

So we were having a lovely walk through the park the other day, leaves falling, children collecting conkers and everyone wrapped up in coats and my husband said to me 'why do children come out to collect bags and bags of conkers? it's pointless collecting so many'. Well......I obviously pointed out that other than the whole fun of being a kid and collecting conkers which is one of the many fun things to do in Autumn, there are actually lots of fun uses for them!

So I thought I would make a post of 10 things to do with conkers just to show him some of the many things kids get up to with them other than the usual conker fights! ;)

1) Conker Art!

Place a piece of paper on a tray and add dots of paint. We used red and yellow knowing it would make a lovely Autumn orange colour. Add two or three conkers to the tray and start moving the tray around so they roll in the paint creating a lovely work of art! You could teach mixing primary colours this way to the younger ones too! Here are our pics of this morning's Art work after DS11 and I took an early morning stroll through the park, time for a cuppa now! (see a quick video of this on our Instagram page! theworldistheirclassroom)




 
 
2) Make your own clay snails and pop a conker on its back as its shell!
 
3) Conker rolling! Have a conker rolling competition or even make it into a fun maths lesson and measure the distance of your roll!
 
4) Help with counting practice. Make strings with numbered tags, the younger ones can then thread the correct number of conkers onto that string.
 
5) Make conker necklaces! Threading conkers are great for those fine motor skills!!!
 
6) Paint small, simple pictures onto them such as a star, then use them as story stones to spark the kiddies' creative writing skills and get writing their Autumn stories or acrostic poems!
 
7) Use them for a weighing activity! Scoop them up and add them to the kiddies' weighing scales to make both sides balance. If you don't have a set of scales then make your own with a coat hanger and a yogurt pot tied to each side. This works quite well!!!
 
8) Make a nature table with other seeds and leaves, leave out nature books, identification cards and a magnifying glass too! We have the following tree id book and cards which show their seeds too!
 

 
 
9) Nature art! Collect leaves too and make a giant display on the ground. The kiddies could place all their conkers in a giant spiral other pattern.
 
10) Last idea is of course the good old conker fight by threading a conker on a string and battling it out with your opponent trying to break theirs in the process and finally winning their conkers! 


Now have fun colouring this conker sheet! https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/mediafile/100703472/conker-colouring-sheet.pdf?cb=ebddd6f96a1a42569fee5f9f5de04e65

Have fun collecting conkers and please add any activities you do with them in the comments section below!!!!

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Grain Chain

After reading 'The Little Red Hen' and learning about making bread we made some playdoh from flour and salt with a touch of oil to play around with. I made it for DD3 but DS5 seemed much more interested and used it to make allsorts of models yesterday! So today we're using the fantastic free resources from Grain Chain to learn all about growing wheat and flour milling!

'Grain Chain is a comprehensive educational resource providing a wide range of teaching materials exploring farming, food and healthy eating within the context of the wheat growing and flour milling industry. You can browse by age, subject area or topic.

https://www.grainchain.com/teachers/primary

There are lots of activities, information, presentations and videos as well as some bright, colourful free posters to order!

Search the resources by age, theme or type under all resources or check out the teacher section!

Check out their online games too! https://www.grainchain.com/teachers/games

Whilst we're waiting for our posters to arrive we looked at some online presentations and started baking cheese scones (he's a bit fussy about things with raisins in so it had to be cheese)!!! Here are the pics!









Create a Story

https://www.createastorybook.co.uk/

Andrew Massingham is the Author and Co-Publisher of Create a Story, a story writing activity book which helps children use their imagination to plan their own story. The book is in it's early stages so this week we have been lucky enough to try it out to see just how it works and if it will help a couple of my reluctant writers to put pen to paper!

"I had to think of an idea for an innovation class I was taking. I wanted to create a concept for children which would combine the use of their imagination with the act of learning how to write a short story. I was told It would only work as an app or e-book at my first pitch. I disagreed. The whole purpose of "Creator Story" is for children to take a break from technology, unlock their imaginations and write a story with a pen or pencil, without the interference of spell checker."  A. Massingham.

On first receiving the book we flicked through and thought wow! what a great idea, why aren't all children given a book like this in order to help them begin their own adventure. The illustrations are bright and colourful and the layout, which helps plan the story, is well thought through, showing lots of time and research has been put into creating this book.



The book contains two genres to choose from. One being a historical story involving Viking characters and the other an Adventure story set in the Arctic. I knew DS11 would opt for the Vikings so DS8 tried out the Arctic Adventure today.

I was interested to see how he would get on as he isn't really into writing stories and gives up so easily not knowing what to write about. After reading through the Young Explorers detailed introduction he chose and named the protagonist, described their personality and feelings, chose items they would be carrying as well as a pet. He then had to close his eyes and imagine being in the Arctic noting down what he sees and drawing a sketch, this all helped him set the scene for his story. For the middle part he planned the problem and conflict with the help of the book's activities as well as a twist which was something new for him to think about. He then continued the plan the ending before writing his story on the pages provided. There are fun facts too to help children add some factual text to their story.



'I think the book has really helped me to plan my story which was much easier with the help of the ideas and activities within the book, the pictures helped me to imagine the characters and the problems they could face on their journey. I liked it when I had to close my eyes and imagine being in the Arctic. It was really fun to use and I think I will always use these ideas before I start writing stories to help me achieve my best!' DS8



'I love the story ideas in this activity book and it helped my story writing skills immensely, I will use the skills I have learnt to help me write other stories too. I like History and it taught me a lot in order to write a Historical story. I think there should also be a part where you can draw your own character and a part to colour in. I liked the part where it advised me to underline words I didn't know, but some were already underlined and I wanted to do it myself. I think the book needs to be more colourful like the illustrations as it's very white. Overall I think it's awesome and would recommend other children to use it.'



 
 
Overall I think this book is a great resource for Home Educated children to use to help them with their creative writing skills. So keep an eye out for this book to be published by subscribing on the website for the latest updates:
https://www.createastorybook.co.uk/

Monday, 18 September 2017

Polli:Nation - fab learning resources and printables

Check out these great printables for your Home Ed lessons:

'We've created a great range of resources for you to play, learn and teach your way to becoming a Polli:Nation expert. You can sort by type of activities to find English or Welsh versions.'

Explore using the tick boxes on the right of the screen by age, activity or even season! So you'll be able to easily find all the Autumn activities for the next few months!

http://www.polli-nation.co.uk/activity/


Toddler paper plate activities!

So it's Monday morning and the older ones are starting 'writing to inform' about facilities in their local sports centre. DS8 is starting an adventure story in the Arctic and DS5 is memorising his 3 times tables. Time to start activities with DD3! We have a pile of paper plates left over from Eid celebrations a couple of weeks back so we have been using those for some Autumn crafts!!

 
Toadstool craft!


 
 
Autumn Sun Catcher!
 



 
Spider Webs! Even DS5 joined in to test his Times Tables!  I wrote the questions at one side of the plate and the answers at the other. He threaded the ribbon through the correct answer! Great activity for their motor skills.
 




 

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Clean Water for Wildlife - our practical science lesson


The kiddies enjoy their science lessons so much more when they have a hands on activity rather than reading through a text book or watching an experiment online. To make each lesson as practical as possible I research any related experiments most of which can be carried out in your own kitchen.

I heard about the Clean Water for Wildlife citizen survey and thought it would be a great way for the kiddies to get involved by identifying clean water for habitats whilst raising awareness about nutrient pollution. Anyone can take part, so we ordered three kits in order to test various water bodies within our local area. This activity could be used as part of the John Muir Award too!

The kits come with a set of clear instructions as well as sheets in which to record the results.

DD13 and DS11 began by identifying the body of water they wanted to test. We decided to go back to a stream we helped clear as part of our John Muir Award conservation as well as the lake nearby in our local park. The final kit will be used in a pond in the nearby woods.
 

They then took water samples from the stream and measured the amount of Nitrate and Phosphate, this was very simple to do as each tube is clearly labelled and contains the powder. They squeezed out the air and immersed in the water to take the sample. Remember to take a sample of water using a tub and then immerse the tube within the tub so you don't affect the wildlife there!!

 


After shaking the tube gently they took a note of the time and waited for the colour reaction.




The tubes were then compared with the colour chart and the results were noted. They were quite surprised with the results as they predicted the levels of Nitrate and Phosphate would be much higher!

We will now be finding a grid reference for our area using the website for help before submitting our results.

'Sadly, it only takes a little pollution to damage habitats like streams and ponds, and to harm the most sensitive plants and animals that call these places home. When ‘clean water’ is lost, we risk losing this variety and richness of life.
With your help, the Clean Water for Wildlife survey aims to find the hidden gems – places which are free from pollution and where wildlife still thrives. The survey also aims to discover for the first time, the true extent of nutrient pollution facing freshwater wildlife today.'



To get involved and order your kits see the Clean Water for Wildlife website:
https://freshwaterhabitats.org.uk/projects/clean-water/



Saturday, 16 September 2017

Our Ancient Egypt Project using the Mysteries in Time Box


With the boys taking an interest in History and starting their new workbooks this month, we're trying out this fantastic Mysteries in Time monthly subscription box which has been awarded Gold Award at Junior Design Awards for best kids' subscription box 2017!

http://www.mysteriesintime.co.uk/index

I have heard how great these boxes are and how they are a great resource for Home Educators as part of their History lessons at home and how they're designed for the kids to get stuck in themselves with little adult support giving us mums that much needed break! As soon as the box arrived they were excited to see all their names printed on the box and couldn't wait to open it! So here goes......




The box is packed full of exciting activities. It is aimed at ages 7-11 but there was something inside for all my kiddies. I was so impressed and amazed by the quality of the box and the resources it contains, I knew there were enough ideas and activities in the box to complete our project over a number of days, rather than it being something that would just keep them entertained for a few hours! I was so excited for the kiddies to start this project and I can see them asking where in the world their next adventure will take them, their adventure will begin in Ancient Egypt.


It contains:

*An instruction booklet about where to begin your journey
*A story book
*A historical facts booklet with colouring pages and quizzes
*Bookmarks
*Stickers
*Egyptian Hieroglyphs card
*Crayons
*Canopic jar
*Craft pack containing DAS clay, gem stickers, paints and paintbrush
*Map to follow your adventure around the world
 

They started by finding Egypt on the map, sticking their first sticker on the country and pinning it up on the wall.



 
DS11 then started reading the book of Max and Katie's Egyptian Adventure. They all enjoyed reading the book about how the two children receive a mysterious package through the post and how their summer will be so exciting! They felt like they too had received this peculiar package in the post and they are being taken back in time to Ancient Egypt learning Hieroglyphs and cracking codes!

 
The following day they read the historical fact booklet which kiddies have the option to read before the story book, alongside or after. There are colouring pages and some great quizzes to test their knowledge of what they have learnt so far on their journey.
 





The next day we looked into the way the Ancient Egyptians wrote and what each Hieroglyph meant. DS11 decided to use the clay to scribe his own name in Hieroglyphs whilst the little ones used some to make their own pyramids. Just waiting for them to dry now so we can paint them! Back to the booklet with puzzles to complete, keeping it fun!.


 
 
 
Today we are painting our clay models (DD3 helped out!) and writing Acrostic poems using the word 'Egyptian'. We will also be starting an Ancient Egypt factfile referring to the facts they have learnt in the booklet, writing newspaper articles, making posters and writing a diary entry for Max and Katie's first adventure!
 
 

 
Overall we think this box is absolutely fab! It immediately sparked their own curiosity and imaginations. They dived into this project and thoroughly loved being a part of Max and Katie's adventure. They have learnt so much without even realising it as the box has made our History lesson so much more fun rather than just reading through workbooks. We always try to incorporate practical activities in their lessons and this subscription box has made that task much more simpler for me. I haven't needed to go out researching and buying resources, all the things you need can easily land on your doorstep each month! Great subscription box, well worth the money, 10 out of 10 from us!!
 
 'The box is fabulous! I really enjoyed finding Egypt on the map and can't wait for the next adventure!' by DS8
 
'My favourite part of the book was the adventure story as it was really interesting!' by DS11

 
Start receiving your own boxes and add these fun resources to your History lessons!
 
 

Home Education Guide

Asalaamualaykum wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakathu I decided to Home Educate back in 2003 when I had my first child, and now teach all my ...