I had kept meaning to publish a week by week account of what we’ve been up to, but despite plenty of good intentions it just didn’t quite happen. May has been rather a busy month. I’ve broken down some of the things Nin/we’ve done into rough subject areas, although we won’t have explored them having planned to cover these subject areas (rather this is a retrospective note of things done).
Nin went to a Bluebell festival with friends and had a go at various activities, including climbing and working an outside forge.
Nin has started attending an art class for home educated older children/teenagers organised by Doncaster Community Arts (darts). She attended her first session this month (having missed two due to me having not long having had a caesarian and being physically unable to get her to them). The theme of the art class she attended was ‘charcoals’. She really enjoyed the class and is looking forward to going back after half-term.
Biology, Botany, Chemistry, Environmental Studies, Natural Sciences, Ornithology, Physiology, PSHE, Science and Zoology
Nin has been learning about birds that might commonly visit our garden using a booklet sent to us as part of the Big Garden Birdwatch (organised by the RSPB) earlier in the year. She has also used the RSPB’s website to listen to common garden bird’s songs so that she might more easily identify them when she hears them.
She wanted to find out why some people are left-handed (various people in our family are) and so she watched: Why Are Some People Left-handed
We have been discussing the importance of microbes and how our bodies are populated with various bacteria and that some are useful and beneficial to us. As part of this, Nin has made a ginger beer bug (an example of the recipe adapted from the book “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon Morell – which we have – can be found at Wellness Mama: How to Make a Ginger Beer Bug) and explored some basic fermentation techniques in cooking. She also watched: You Are Your Microbes
Nin has been increasingly interested in making perfume, so she has been exploring the perfume industry; what goes into perfume; basic properties of essential oils and their uses; and has made a bottle of eau de cologne for her own use (having learnt about the differences between perfume, eau de toilette, eau de cologne, etc).
Occasionally during the afternoon, Nin likes to explore TED-Ed and watch videos that might spark her interest and get her to explore a subject further. As part of this she has watched the following documentaries:
- How to unboil an egg
- How in-vitro fertilisation works
- Why do joints ‘pop’
- Sunlight is way older than you think
- Could comets be the source of life on Earth
There’s been quite a bit of gardening going on and both Nin and Stinkers have been involved in sowing various seeds and also potting on seedlings/young plants and general maintenance activities (such as tying plants to canes, etc). I generally cover gardening in my Slow Living posts (or under the gardening tag) and it would be unusual for the girls not to be involved in some way in anything that happens out there. I have been planning a post on learning through gardening, but having the time to get it done is another thing!
English and History
Whilst having an afternoon exploration of TED-Ed, Nin watched: Why Shakespeare Love Iambic Pentameter and learnt about this particular poetic method. This led to watching Ages of English again. This is a fantastic (and comical) animated and interactive exploration of how the English Language has changed over the years – but be warned, there is some mild swearing involved.
Following Nin’s interest in the Georgians (and the Hanoverians), we have been learning about the abolition of slavery in England. A variety of resources were used spanning books and then further reading on the internet, including watching this video on TED-Ed The Atlantic Slave Trade: What Too Few Textbooks Told You. Nin has visited William Wilberforce’s house (now a museum) in the past and we are planning to revisit based on what she has learned over this month.
On an afternoon TED-Ed exploration, Nin watched The Great Conspiracy Against Julius Caesar.
We also watched the animated Story of Britain that covered the Mesolithic period to the Domesday Book in Britain.
Nin continues to practise both French and German using Duo Lingo and, in addition to this, has also been practising French through emails to her grandfather (who divides his time between France and England) and writing a letter to her penfriend in Brittany.
Nin has been exploring problem solving techniques using Conquer Maths. Where usually she will understand the lessons quickly and be able to implement them well, elements of the following lessons have been very challenging for her and I have had to spend some time sitting and explaining/demonstrating approaches to her.
- Guess and check method
- Using a diagram
- Making a list
- Looking for patterns
- Solving a simpler problem first
- Working backwards
- Acting it out
- Eliminating possibilities
As part of the above she also watched a rather comprehensive explanation of quadrilaterals on Khan Academy.
Nin has continued to attend guitar, recorder and singing groups (and practising at home). In addition, we’re excited to note that Ten Pieces is coming back, in the new academic year, for secondary age children (Nin would be Year 7 in September): Ten Pieces: Secondary with a great line-up of pieces.
As ever there’s likely things I’ve forgotten to note – sometimes I’ll make a mental note to write something down, but then get distracted and go off and do something else. Nin continues with Sea Cadets and has had various visits out with friends: Yorkshire Wildlife Park, rollerskating in Rotherham, the aforementioned Bluebell Festival (etc).