Monday, 26 November 2007

And so,

that brings us just about up to the present day. I wanted to show a pictorial view of our first year of Home Ed rather than just gabble on about what we'd done. I hope that it shows a little of our can see what we are about and our interests and probably our education preferences too!!

We hope to follow a truly autonomous path, but sometimes the little nagging voice in my head gets the better of me and we sit down to do numeracy or literacy workbooks. Thankfully these moments get fewer and further between as they get on with whatever it is they want to be doing.

This month we had to say goodbye to Sonny, my old and faithful canine companion of more than12 years. A rescue mongrel from Wales who, at 10 months old, was hit by a car and broke his pelvis in several places. He made a fantastic recovery and led a very full and active life. He has been noticeably getting older this last year, although still very fit ; he did a 10 mile bike ride in the Forest of Dean in June. He seemed to be going a little deaf and just not always himself. We used to say jokingly that he was losing the plot a bit. Then one day, he just suddenly took a turn for the worse and seemed dizzy and unable to stand properly. Almost drunk looking. We decided to say goodbye on a high note as we all wanted to remember him as the dog he was, not as this doddering old man he suddenly was. I was also a little worried about him being senile around the children. An old, grouchy dog does not go very well with a boisterous 2 year old, and 13 years for a dog is about 91 in human years I believe. So, I held him when he closed his eyes for the last time so that he went peacefully and happy. We have his ashes in a box and hope to return to one of our favourite places in Wales to say goodbye to him properly next year.
A recent trip down to Cornwall to visit granny.

Who would have thought this was possible in October?!
1, 2, 3..........
Geronimo!!! Watching the sea coming in to see if it will flow down the channel to fill the moat.

Outdoor pursuits

Playtime at the Cotswold Wildlife Park..... there was a school trip there when we went, which we tried to avoid but it was difficult as the children were all over the place and rushing around from one thing to the next looking for the answers to a sheet they had to fill in. It was lovely for the boys to spend time looking at things that they wanted to, and missing out bits we felt we didn't want to see. Great day out.
Sculpture Trail in the Forest of Dean....irresistable to the monkey in us.
Rope swing, tandem style!!!
Another one of the Sculpture trail in the Forest of Dean....not sure they were intended for this purpose, but, hey!
A den the boys built in our nearby woods.....Wow!I had forgotten how big it was!

Pallet craft!!!

Here are a couple of things made out of wood salvaged from pallets....Re-use, or is it Re-cycle? Hmm.
2 Seat boxes for fishing. Tom's on the left and Jonathan's on the right.
A selection of boxes....bird boxes, animal traps, boxes with different openings, just boxes for the sake of boxes really!!!! Jonathan has learnt a lot about wood by just trying to make things. Some have worked and some have been cast aside, but he is now requesting specific items for use in his woodworking.

Chick's progress report.

Meanwhile, the chick's were growing fast!!

From this!!!!!
Yes, that is a chicken laying on it's back in Jonathan's arms!!!! Jonathan Dolittle!!! In fact it is Buffy the Worm Slayer.
And this? This is Cocky Locky, or Corporal, depending on our mood. Or his! In the corner you can see Brownie, one of our 'originals'....she is currently our only egg layer, as the garden isn't big enough to home all this poultry!!!! Our original black and white hens are now laying eggs for a friend!!

And on....

Then we decide to hatch out some Guinea Fowl eggs too! The local Farm Shop gave us 9 eggs, one of which was unfertile, so we hatched out 8 babies!!!

We've done a lot of the 3 R's this year too...... Re-duce, Re-use and Re-cycle. We started having an organic vege-box delivered,tried to use our Farm shop as much as possible, registered with Free-cycle ( through which we have acquired a worm composter), bought another compost bin for the garden waste, tried to cut down on packaging and carrier bags and bought a log maker to re -use all the newspapers. We tried to do this initially by our own method but they were very big and difficult to dry out...see photos. Everyone had a go!!! Something very appealing about sludgy wet newspaper....yuk!

And so it goes on.....

This little fellow was rescued by the boys when out on a walk in May. He was laying on a doorstep and they just picked him up and brought him home. We're not sure what happened to him....hit a window and was stunned , most likely.

For those of you that don't know, he is a Swift. We were so lucky to get so close to a bird like this because they spend most of their time on the wing.....he seemed grateful for his rest and flew away the following day. A beautiful bird.

Fishing features a great deal in our lives....this has been the subject most studied by the eldest 2 this last year! Tom is mainly in to Carp fishing and has spent a lot of time researching tackle, techniques and bait on the internet. Jonathan just likes fishing and although enjoys catching the big ones at the local resevoir, he equally enjoys a spot of 'tiddler' fishing down the canal.

They have spent a lot of time making their own hair rigs and different set ups on their rods, and have also experimented with their own boilies (a little round ball of bait, for the uninitiated!!!) and have the beginnings of their own bait making company, complete with name and logo!

Phew...this is hard work!!!

The blogging, not the Home Edding....well, maybe sometimes!
One of the first purchases for our new house....3 little bantam crosses to lay us free range eggs every day!!!
The first seeds planted in vegetable patch dug yet, but that was a minor detail!!!

So many photos that I want to post...I didn't realise that it was so difficult. All the other blogs make it look easy!! Maybe I'm not doing it right!!!

Anyway, back to the job in hand......

Then we decided that it would be cool to hatch our own chickens

6 eggs : 4 hatched, 1 died before it hatched properly and one was infertile....(the dark brown one which was difficult to candle and be sure!!)
I did try to identify the sex of them by using the feathering method....I made it 2 boys and 2 girls.
Amazing to watch them hatch, get up on their feet and eat chick crumbs all in the space of 24 hours!!!

Friday, 2 November 2007

Nearly a year in to it already...where did the time go?

I intended to use this blog over the last year to keep a track of our learning journey, but we have been so busy that I just haven't had the time!!

It has been almost a whole year since the boys left school, and although sometimes it feels like we have achieved very little, a look through our photos on the computer soon puts that right!!!

So here, I think, I will add some pictures of things we have done with brief descriptions.

A hammer, made by Jonathan with wood from our favourite woodland. His own idea and design. No glue or nails or screws.

Jonathan using a makeshift harness from dog leads to retrieve a length of rope from a tree!This was actually one of those hysterical laughing moments, when the strength is drained from you, leaving you unable to do anything!! Needless to say, although it was a valiant effort, the mission was unsuccessful!

A trip to the local park by Go Kart and an exploration of the stream.

A very sunny day in April, in our new garden, cooking Hot Cross buns and crumpets on a Hexamaine (Tommy) stove.