Friday, 21 July 2017

Shapes & shadows in Nature

This week we made many trips to the park to look for shapes and symmetry in nature. There are so many learning opportunities when out and about exploring. The children are learning so much and don't necessarily have to be 'taught'. Allowing them to explore their surroundings and discover new things is an amazing learning experience in itself. We regularly visit the local park with botanical gardens, water features and different rocks to explore and the woods with wildflowers to spot and berries to pick. We sometimes take along scavenger hunt, leaf ID and other spotter sheets.
'I collected lots of leaves and flowers for my Maths lesson in symmetry. I made these nature pictures. I had fun running around and looking at the different colourful flowers.' DS5

'I found a whole bagful of pine cones which my little sister used to paint with, then I chose some shells and rocks, took them out in the sun and drew their shadows.' DS11


'I enjoyed collecting leaves today using my Leaf Identification sheet. I cut them in half with my scissors and drew the other half of the leaf on paper.' DS5


Thursday, 20 July 2017

Arkive Education

Free educational resources for 5-18year olds. Bring the Wild to your classroom with these great resources to print out. I came across them today as we were taking part in the Super Star Crest Awards. Some of these resources can be used towards the Crest Award. (see previous post for the link)

Our Home Ed Week

We started off this Week's Home ed with our 'Home Ed sports day'. The boys were so pleased when they saw the sun shining on Monday morning. It was supposed to be last week but we had to rearrange due to the weather. It turned out to be a lovely day and we all had a great time. The boys loved the parachutes, cricket and tug o war best!
Here in Bradford there are many opportunities to get the kiddies into sport with groups just for Home educated children and other after school groups. My children enjoy focussing on the sport they are interested in which is taekwondo and cricket at the moment.

 DD13 has been learning interview techniques this week after submitting her application to be a Young Ambassador this Summer in the local library. After her interview she was given a tour of the library and where to put her belongings, where to sign in, the duties she will carry out such as filing, data input, registering people with the library, signing children up to the reading challenge and issuing the rewards, organising activites, storytelling etc as well as going through Health & Safety and confidentiality. It was great seeing her in her element and getting straight into her role.

DD2 has been busy as usual learning her numbers & letters. She also made a Goldilocks and the Three bears theatre with her pop out book this week.

Our Home Ed library meet went well again and the story and craft was again on the theme of 'Animals' which ties in nicely with this year's Summer Reading Challenge.

DS8 had a cricket match against Saltaire this week. It only started raining towards the end of the match so it wasn't too bad!!
English & History: We used a pop out book to assemble characters and a castle, from this the boys wrote historical stories.
Maths: Started Frequency Charts following on from Bar Charts as well as mental maths tests. Times table practice for DS5
Arabic: Continuing Bayna Yadaik from the book and You Tube videos. As well as some new apps I'm using as revision.
French/Spanish: you tube videos and workbooks.
Geography: Workbook
Science: Started the Superstar Crest Awards

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Story Craft

Need help with story writing this summer? Check out Story Craft on the World Book Day website. Their web-based story telling tool allows children to think up their own adventure with step by step help and guidance from over 50 authors!

Hoping to try this out tomorrow with the boys, who soon lose interest when sat with paper and pencil and have to write a story!

I always vary their writing opportunities from writing stories inspired by paintings in the Art Gallery, writing magazine articles and newspapers to making their own menus, writing book reviews and poems. As this involves using the laptop and typing the words I think they're going to enjoy it!!

They also use the Usborne creative writing books which are great!!

Kids Art Week

If your kiddies love Art they'll love these free Art lessons! Sign up for 5 lessons over 5 days and you'll receive an email with what you need. You'll probably have the resources at home already!!

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Hallux's Hearing Helpdesk

DS11 has hayfever today, and when they're feeling unwell they love to laze about with pillows and duvet on the sofa and do lots of reading!

Today I gave him the Tab to listen to the New Hallux series: Hallux's Hearing Helpdesk.

Professor Hallux is back to learn more about the human body with a new series all about Hearing with these great kids podcasts. From learning about hearing loss and ear problems to testing medicines and meeting Audiologists.

Nice easy science lesson when they're not feeling well :(

What do you do when they're not too well?

Monday, 17 July 2017

National Trust Home Education Membership

'Education Group Membership is specially designed to allow education groups free entry to most places owned by the National Trust. This type of membership is for not-for-profit groups or home educators whose members, pupils or students are in full-time education.

Education group members receive free entry to National Trust places during published opening times. Where special education activities are offered by a place, additional charges may apply.'

If you would like to apply for membership, as a Home Educating family, please see the link below:

Home Education Resources

Looking for Home Education Resources?

You can gain access to 1000s of interactive tutorials in English, Maths and Science created by qualified teachers. 100% national curriculum aligned from Year 1 to GCSE.

Ed Place uses smart technology to adapt to your child's needs, automatically assigns topics for your child based on their year and progression, follows the National Curriculum covering the core subjects English, Maths & Science. As parents, you can easily track your child's progress and measure results using the parent's dashboard.

For more info or to start your £1 trial check out Ed Place by clicking the link on the right (or below if you're reading this on a mobile)!



Sunday, 16 July 2017

Children's Book Reviews

DD2 chose this toddler board book all about London, by Jane Fosters. It is a lovely, sturdy book she can look at herself with its colourful pictures and no flaps she can rip out! 

DD13 read this book The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters, by Kara LaReau. It's not a book she would've chosen but was one of many I had picked up from the library as part of their Summer Reading Challenge. She ended up reading it anyway! 
'This book is about twin sisters who have been orphaned and who do not care about excitement, they stick to their everyday routines and like it this way. Then one day they are tricked and captured by pirates, and are whisked off on an adventure to find the treasure that their parents owned. Will they ever learn that life doesn't stay the same? What is he treasure their parents have left behind? This book also deals with bullying when the sisters help someone stand up to the bullies. I would recommend this book for children 8+.' DD13

DS11 read Good Dog Bad Dog by Dave Shelton which is a comic book. He gets into these types of books really easily. 
'This book is about dog detectives who are looking for a criminals. But the criminals are either dressing up as lobsters or faking their own death to avoid being caught. This book is full of exciting moments and I would recommend it to all boys if they love a good, funny comic read.' DS11

'Dave's Rock' by Frann Preston-Gannon is funny and I was looking forward to reading it as I enjoyed the last book, 'Dave's Cave'. My favourite part was when Dave and Jon made new rocks and played a game together.' DS5

'Barking for Bagels' by Michael Rosen was brill, I always enjoy his books as they are always funny and easy to read. It is about a dog who runs away and starts eating bagels that his new owner makes. But he misses his old owners and runs away again to find them. Will he ever find them? Can he trust the foxes who show him the way? I give this book 9/10.' DS8

'We're going on a Bear Hunt' has always been a favourite story to read and we have seen different variations over the years, but this 'My Adventure Field Guide' is fab! It has lots of outdoor activities to get involved in from making your own wormery and cloud spotting to a recipe on baking your own apples with foraged blackberries. It's a great book for those who love exploring the outdoors, so head to your local library to borrow a copy or check it out in your bookstore.  

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Be Internet Awesome!

Afternoons & Weekends the children get to follow their own interests and have more time in the subjects they enjoy whether it be Computing, History, Languages etc.

We have spoken about being safe whilst using the internet many times, especially with the older ones, making sure they understand not to type in personal details and we always have the webcam covered just in case.

I heard about this online game by Google about teaching children Internet Safety so I thought we'd give it a try today.

'Interland is an adventure-packed online game that makes learning about digital safety and citizenship interactive and fun—just like the Internet itself. Here, kids will help their fellow Internauts combat badly behaved hackers, phishers, oversharers, and bullies by practicing the skills they need to be good digital citizens.'

Friday, 14 July 2017

Yorkshire Water Trip

Yorkshire water offers a great tour for KS2 children which my kiddies really enjoyed.

'We're delighted to offer visits to our clean water treatment works at Headingley (Leeds) and Ewden (Stocksbridge, North Sheffield), where children can learn about the water cycle, the environment and how we ensure Yorkshire has a constant supply of fresh drinking water.

Our education centre is run by experienced staff. We offer a programme of free sessions for primary schools and additional sessions for secondary schools, universities and community groups.'

To book or enquiregister click this link:

Penpals in Switzerland

The children were very excited to receive a letter and gifts from their Penpals in Switzerland today. They loved reading the letter, learning Swiss words and trying out the snacks.
Keeping good old fashioned letter writing going, in a time when they could send and receive an email in seconds, is great for their writing skills and being patient waiting for a reply, all adds to the excitement!


Schofield & Sims

The Schofield & Sims workbooks are great! My children enjoy working through them the way I used to when I was young.
They can easily work through the books themselves to practice what they have learnt and there's usually things to colour along the way. They also each have a reading record book
which they use to keep track of the books they have read, how many pages they read and who they read to. These books also have phonics checklists in the back to test the letters/sounds they know and keep a record.
Not only do they have English, Maths & Science workbooks, which are very reasonably priced, with a discount for tutors/home educators, but they also have workbooks focussing on the different topics within Maths such as the new series on Fractions.

'Fractions, decimals and percentages are frequent areas of difficulty for children. A major reason they struggle with them is the variety of contexts and representations in which they appear – for example, as areas, as sets, on a number line and in relation to measurements. Cue Schofield & Sims Fractions, Decimals and Percentages, a structured whole-school programme designed to explore these topics in all their different guises, so that pupils develop a deep, secure and adaptable understanding of them.

Featuring six pupil books and six accompanying teacher's guides - one for each primary school year - Fractions, Decimals and Percentages provides you with everything you need to teach the National Curriculum requirements for this challenging area of maths. What's more, it embraces all the principles of mastery, allowing you to use it as part of a whole-school mastery approach to teaching mathematics. To find out more about this exciting new resource head over to our blog or read an in-depth review of the series by Teach Primary's John Dabell.'

or these fab new books on Telling the Time:

They also have some fantastic posters, reading records, picture dictionaries, reading books, homework diaries, practice papers, teacher guides and much more! Order their free catalogue for 2017 from their website!

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Our Home Ed Week

We're now back in routine after the month of Ramadan and the kiddies have been covering their core subjects (English, Maths & Science) as well as their Arabic in the mornings Monday - Thursday.
Sadly we had to rearrange our Home Ed sports day due to the weather but hopefully will be next week.
DD13 has been great at self studying and getting on with her revision and past papers as well as her KS3 Sciences.
The boys started their new topic of graphs - Bar charts, Bar Line Graphs and drawing Equations on graphs. DS5 joined in by making his own Lego Bar Chart about what everyone's favourite sweets were. He also helped make some Flower Number Games to give him extra practice with addition and subtraction.
In English the boys worked on story writing with their Usborne Creative writing books and made Animal Quiz books, taking information from the Usborne Animal Cards. DS5 worked on his phonics through a topic on 'Bees' which he's been spotting throughout the week with words written on hexagonal shapes. We also joined the Summer Reading Challenge at the local library which we get involved in every year.
We attended the Library Home Ed meet where the children made Animal Masks week!
DS11 received his black stripe at Taekwondo class, he's worked so hard for this and has started helping to teach the white belts once a week.
DD2 has been happily playing floating/sinking activities in the garden, arts/crafts, flashcards, baking etc.
Hope your Home Ed week has gone well and you've all had fun!


Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Wild cam projects

If you love looking at pictures of amazing African animals, or perhaps spotting the weird and wonderful creatures of Central America, then your help is needed on the WildCam projects! This is a great opportunity for children to get involved, helping scientists by identifying animals and logging the information. 

There are loads of new images on WildCam DariĆ©n, and the researchers really need your help to go through them and identify all the exotic species found in the jungles of Panama. Join the project right now at

The images on WildCam Gorongosa are almost 90% done, and we need your help on the final push to finish them all! Get involved right now at

Shapes & shadows in Nature

  This week we made many trips to the park to look for shapes and symmetry in nature. There are so many learning opportunities when out a...