Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Cotswold Wildlife Park

We had a great day at the wildlife park recently. The weather held out for us and we were able to spend virtually the entire day there, without being rained on! Which is always a bonus.

All the kids loved it, especially the huge python they have there now, and the Bat house.
Added to the fact that it is off season so the place was quiet, it made for an excellent day.

The wolves, however were not playing ball, and although I managed to get a quick snap of one of them sleeping, they aren't the best pictures I was hoping for.

Still, it gave us ample material to work with once we came home. We have started making some spirit masks (textiles), have looked into endangered species and forest maintenance and environmental changes throughout the 20th century.

Also we are looking at sustainability and how our everyday habits; food shopping spending etc, affect this. And how illegal trade effects the whole of the planet.

All from a day at the zoo. Amazing isn't it. :)

Friday, 1 July 2011

Summer solstice at the Rollright Stone Circle.

This solstice we decided to visit a few neolithic sites, including some of the more local ancient burial grounds and such like, which also included the Rollright Stone Circle. Legend has it that a witch felt it necessary to turn the King and his knights into stone for reasons which by modern day standards seem a little over the top.

Anyway, I enjoyed taking Ethan there before the start of the true Solstice celebrations started.

Despite the quite obvious pagan overtones to this trip, there was also much learned about our history and the landscape in general. 


our visit to clearwell caves

I thought it best that i got around to actually posting these to mark the occasion.

A great day had by all.


Wednesday, 29 June 2011

A well needed catch up.

Well..it's been ages since I made an update, mostly because we have been so busy in one way or another I simply haven't had the time to sit in front of a computer for any great length of time.
Here is a quick run down of the things we have been doing, the places we have been and what we have planned (so far) for the summer. :)

We have been working on magnetism, and have been making homemade compasses and then testing them in the field - so to speak. Ethan then devised a map, using his cork compass, and plotted directions with the additional use of map co-ordinates.
We then gave this to several others to see if they could follow them...with the promise of a surprise for the winner. We ended up with 8 excited victims (volunteers) who donned their walking boots and backpacks (it would appear that Ethan is well known for his love of all things elaborate, so many came with the idea of being Ray Mears for the day) and waved them goodbye as they set off in a northerly direction. 

It was a complete success and although it took the group a couple of hours, they came back full of smiles!! A BBQ in the garden followed with much fizzy pop and chicken wings. 

We had a trip to several places to try and learn a little about the myth and lore of Britain. I believe it so rich that it is a shame not for it to be taught in schools. These days, kids are only interested in what makes a sound, or how expensive it is, or how fast it goes, or if they can smoke it..or if it is illegal and therefore worth a giggle.
Needless to say, I am not of that ilk and steer my kids towards more old fashioned pursuits.

My 3 year old simply loves churches and architecture in general (the bigger the better) so visiting broadwell tower was an instant hit, as too was Sudley Castle>>>>

I also thought it might be worth bringing to Ethan's attention the many barrows and burial grounds we have dotted around the Cotswold's, so we visited the Rollright Stones, Hetty Peglar's Tump,  

We also had a visit to puzzle wood, which Ethan simply loved because an episode of Doctor Who was filmed there. It also gave me the ideal opportunity to bring the legend of King Arthur into the mix, as the television program Merlin was also filmed there, so that tied in quite nicely.

This Saturday, Ethan is attending the K'nex Robotics national finals!!! Which he is absolutely thrilled at. He is so proud of himself, and although those who don't really understand the point of Home education will look on it as nothing more than a fun day playing with k'nex, I can assure you the level of mathematics and design which had to be used to actually make the robot, would leave most of them in the dark anyway.
Funny really..no one would dream to nay say those who go onto Robot Wars on the TV, because most of them have university degrees in engineering etc..but a 13 year old who is supposed to be sitting in a classroom 'what could he possibly be learning from that?'
We just laugh at that level of ignorance.

Anyway. Right now, I am taking up precious Maths Whizz time for Ethan, so I had better vacate the computer desk...he is doing so well at this now, when he started he had a maths age of 12.7 which is exactly where any school would have been happy for him to be, but he felt he was behind, so we opted for the intensive monthly plan, which for £19.99 a month really is exceptional value.

He recently had another evaluation, and now has a maths age of 14.6 !!! which he is chuffed to bits about, and proves that he is equal to if not slightly ahead of where he would be if sat behind that same desk, in a dusty old school.