Tuesday 25 July 2017

Learning about Stonehenge

We have been learning about the Stone Age using our history curriculum, Story of the World. We have made crafts and built our own Stone Age den.  Now it was time to learn about Stonehenge, one of the ancient wonders of the world. It is 5000 years old and why and how it was built still remains somewhat of a mystery. 

There are some interesting theories trying to explain it, perhaps the most well-known being that it was a place for ritual ceremonies on Midsummer and Midwinter's day. Today it is still a place for festivities on these two days every year.

There are many legends and folk tales about Stonehenge. I was surprised to learn that one of these legends is that Merlin, the wizard, put the stones there and if you lick one of the stones you will get Merlin's powers! Apparently, people do try to do this but they are immediately arrested as the stones are closely watched and protected. 

Sunday 23 July 2017

Waldorf Inspired Multiplication Crafts

Learning multiplication is one the the staple requirements of maths education. I remember, as a child, reciting times tables in class at school. I remember the challenge of learning a new times table by heart. I remember how it opened up the capacity for higher mathematical skills. Yes, there is no doubt, learning multiplication is important. However, it can be dull to simply sit down and learn it by rote. Therefore, I am always looking for interesting ways to learn it.

When I came across the Waldorf approach to multiplication, I was entranced. This wasn't just mathematics; it was art. I knew I had to show this to the children and allow them to try it out for themselves.

Friday 21 July 2017

Pros and Cons of Weekend Language Schools

School classroom clipart

As you may know, we are a multilingual family. My husband speaks Turkish and two Kurdish languages (Zazaki and Kurmanji) and my parents speak Polish. As a Muslim family, learning Arabic is also important. I would like my children to understand the language of the Quran, not just recite it as many people do. Also, as one of the top ten most spoken languages in the world, Arabic is also important from a political and social point of view. 

With so many languages we simply cannot learn them all. We have decided to concentrate on teaching the children Arabic and Turkish as minority languages; our majority language, the language of the society in which we live, being English. 

It can be hard to teach your child a minority language so parents in this position, like us, are often looking for ways to assist their child's language learning skills. Weekend language schools can seem a good solution to this common issue. But are they really? Read on to find out.


Interview With Author Charlotte Olson

Charlotte Olson is the author of a fantastic new range of children's books which promote the awareness of autism through fun and interesting stories.

I recently got sent a copy of a new children's book called 'Suzie goes to the hairdressers'. It is the story of an autistic girl called Suzie and her experience of going to the hairdressers. I got the chance to interview the author to find out all about her new range of children's books.


Thursday 20 July 2017

Book Review - Suzie Goes to the Hairdressers

When I found out about some new children's books which have an autistic child as the protagonist, I had to get my hand on one. I have never read a book like this before which promotes awareness of autism through the story of a little girl going to the hairdressers. I was thrilled when the author, Charlotte Olson, sent me a copy to review.

The book is about a little girl called Suzie who has autism. She is worried about going to the hairdressers to get her hair cut.

Tuesday 18 July 2017

Trip to Marshfield Farm

We often go to special workshops and tours organised for home educated children. Last week we got the opportunity to go to Marshfield Farm where the famous Marshfield Farm ice cream is made. I had never been to this farm before, or heard much about it, but as soon as I knew they made ice cream I was in! 

The drive down to the farm did not take us too long and it made me feel lucky to have this amazing farm on our doorstep. The farm sits in around 1000 acres of land and is home to a few hundred cows.

Sunday 16 July 2017

Tips on How to Homeschool With a Toddler Around

When I tell people that I homeschool my children, I am often asked how I manage it. One of the biggest things people want to know is how can I possibly homeschool with younger children around. Do they cause too many distractions? How can I keep them occupied? How can we get anything done?

Well, it is not as hard as you may think. I see homeschooling as a family affair. We do as much as we can together and I always try to include my youngest as much as possible. In fact, he often wants to be involved. Here are some tips on how to home school with a toddler around. With some simple strategies, you can do it too.


Friday 14 July 2017

Learning About the Brain

We have been learning about the human body at our weekly project group and this week we learnt about the brain. We started off by watching a few YouTube clips about the brain. This one was our favourite.

Tuesday 11 July 2017

Learning Arabic on the Beach

We have just returned home after spending a long weekend at my parents caravan in Devon. The weather was glorious for the first few days and the children had lots of fun building sandcastles, rock pooling and playing in the sea. 

Wednesday 5 July 2017

Bilingual Language Activity - My Family

When learning a foreign language, one of the first things you will want to learn is vocabulary to talk about yourself and your family. You will often need this vocabulary to use in conversations with new people you meet. It allows you to tell people about yourself and it also allows you to get to know others and form relationships with them. 

There are many ways to learn new vocabulary, but when teaching young children, it is best to use practical and/or visual techniques. These techniques will keep them interested in the task, provide them with appropriate context and aid memorisation. As my children love crafting, I often use craft activities for our language learning. 

Sunday 2 July 2017

Strawberry Picking and Scrumptious Recipes

Fruit picking is one of my favourite summertime activities. Berries are some of my favourite fruits but they seem quite expensive and often tasteless when you buy them out of season from the supermarket; it is always best to eat them fresh from the field. So far we have picked strawberries and I cannot wait until the raspberries are ready to harvest. Still have to wait a few more weeks for those.
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