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NOTICE ON PICS - All pics on this blog (unless otherwise stated) are my personal work. DO NOT take pics from this blog without seeking my permission first! Bless you.

Welcome to my blog. It is updated weekly with pictures and projects from our homeschool - maybe you can find something to inspire you :) I have a (no longer updated) materials page elsewhere on my website and will, occasionally, post my homemade materials in this blog.

I'm married to Tim (delivery driver and gorgeous musician), have 2 daughters, live on the south coast of the UK and have 1 aging cat (Hemmingway or Hemmy for short). I love reading, yoga, crafts, baking, daft old comedies, music and teaching.

On this page you can find my homeschool blog, if you want to read my general, day-to-day blog, click the link below :)

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Great Links:

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NOTE ON PICTURES: This shouldn't be necessary but I have, sadly, noticed growing cases. Please DO NOT link directly to pictures on this website - it steals my bandwidth and is BAD! I CAN trace you if you do and I will take action.

Category : Cultural


Monday, December 13, 2010

Victorian Christmas

If you want some last minute activities to do with your kids AND teach some history at the same time, the BBC has a fantastic collection of videos, templates and ideas for all sorts of Victorian Christmassy things.

Gorgeous and educational - well worth a look :)

Posted by Sarah at 7:47 PM [ permalink ]
Categories: Cultural


Saturday, October 30, 2010

A few pictures

... from the last week - not many, but the camera ran out of batteries! These are all April's but I'm going to try and get some pictures of Rosie's work soon as there is a vast difference between the work of a 5 year old and a 13 year old (obviously!) Difficult with Rosie though because she moans every time I point a camera in her direction *laughs*

Anyway, here goes:

America, puzzle map, online


Geometry work - yes, I wrote the word "equilateral triangle" and yes, she did insist on putting the names of the shapes in speech bubbles!



Food pyramid work - we used a food pyramid and sorting cards from Montessori for Everyone and then a worksheet where April had to draw foods in a blank pyramid




Posted by Sarah at 8:19 PM [ permalink ]
Categories: Cultural, Maths


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Quick catch up!

Next Montessori post coming soon, in the mean time here's a quick round up of what we did over the last week.

Firstly, a good science link since we couldn't use Sid the Science Kid anymore! I found a series of videos on Teachers TV called The Blue Dragon - aimed at 5-7 year olds. Here is a link to the videos and here are the programme notes from Channel 4. April REALLY loves this and said she wanted to make a lapbook - such a good idea! Actually, given the number of programmes, I think we're going to have to make several! Anyway, so far, we've covered a bit about food and done some life cycle and animal sorting activities.




In maths (we're still happily using Aha! Math from along with hands on work), she has been practicing addition/subtraction facts and working on geometry.

A Little Dicey!


Shapes that become other shapes


Shapes all around us - we dug out the Montessori shapes for this


April's also been doing the writing exercises from Ladybird keywords 1c:


Rosie's been doing well with her more independent work schedule - she's keeping up with it (although the last few days she's been ill with a cold) and is actually doing MORE work than when I had her on a stricter timetable!

Here's just one thing she's been working on - renewable/non-renewable/flow energy sources. After completing the relevant learning activity on Aha! Science, she used the sorting cards from Montessori Print shop and then created a page in her project book.

Here, she's working in her bedroom! :)



Posted by Sarah at 8:37 PM [ permalink ]
Categories: Cultural, Language Arts, Maths


Wednesday, October 06, 2010


Just can't blog properly at the moment - suffering from a bit of blog-writers-block. I have plenty to say but can't seem to put it into words! Ah well, until I get my groove back, here are some pics.









Posted by Sarah at 8:31 PM [ permalink ]
Categories: Crafts, Cultural, Language Arts, Maths


Thursday, September 02, 2010

First day back!

What a lovely, gentle start to the new school year we had :)

April first - she did her MEP maths and then we moved onto a lesson that I got from PBS about herbivores. She watched a short video about comparing dinosaur herbivores with modern day herbivores (she liked that very much!) and then she had to think about her favourite plants that she likes to eat. Then we made a poster showing the 3 categories - dinos, modern animals and plants she likes. She sorted the pictures I'd got from Word and glued them on her poster.


After that, we moved onto language arts - she's doing a study of Madeline and we're making a lapbook. She started today by first decorating the cover (a colouring page that she collaged with tissue paper) and then we looked up France on a map and she coloured it in on an outline map.




Now Rosie :) Again, she did her MEP maths (logic puzzles) and then a simple physics experiment to make an indoor rainbow (which I totally failed to get any pictures of!). Then she started on her lapbook - she's doing Operation English Grammar which we got from Hands of a Child. First she made the cover and did it to look like a sort of spy-gadget briefcase - very clever!


Then she did the first "mission" which was to find different types of nouns in a paragraph of one of her favourite books (she, naturally, chose a Harry Potter one!) She then filled in a chart which we put in the lapbook.



That was about it for this first day - the kids went off and did their own thing while I finished up making some crabapple and cinnamon jelly!

Posted by Sarah at 5:46 PM [ permalink ]
Categories: Cultural, Language Arts, Maths


Sunday, July 04, 2010

Fly away ladybird!

Our ladybird life cycle viewing is over :) The ladybird hatched from it's pupa in the early hours of this morning and we woke up to find it crawling about - it was a harlequin ladybird! We're getting more and more in this country even though it's not a native species.

So, we took a picture of our "baby" (sitting on a leave on our dining table!) and then set it free on the same plant we originally found the lavae. Bye, bye little ladybird :)


Posted by Sarah at 12:28 PM [ permalink ]
Categories: Cultural


Friday, June 11, 2010

Froggy things!

So, we've been doing some frog related work - here are some things so far ...

April's moving frog craft - complete with pond! Not sure about the shark being in the pond though .... *laughs*


Rosie did a frog report wheel about the Poison Dart Frog and then made a collage rainforest pocket to keep it in her project book


April working with the parts of a frog cards

.... and starting to make a "parts of" booklet

For her parts of a frog, Rosie labelled a picture

We've also looked a lifecycles and painted lifecycle pictures. April wanted her frogs, tadpoles etc to be cutouts so that she could Blu-tack them onto the page and move them around! So, here is her painting without figures

.... and with figures

Here is Rosie's gorgeous painting :)

That's it so far :)


Posted by Sarah at 5:57 PM [ permalink ]
Categories: Crafts, Cultural


Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Work update!

Very quick tonight because I'm off to watch Springwatch very soon! Here, I'm finally posting the pics from Rosie's number patterns work plus some of April's ladybird maths and also something April did today with the continents pictures :)

Number patterns first:

Using a 100 board to work out number sequences


I made some cardboard number tiles to build Pascal's Triangle






We cut out some graph paper and wrote the numbers on the squares to create a stick-in-book version of the triangle we'd made




Next, April's ladybird maths :) She did odd and even using a maths mat (from Math Wire I believe) and some black counters, then recorded her results for her book


She also did some adding up




Finally, today, April got out the continents map and pictures and sorted the pictures out under the correct puzzle piece


Then, she chose Europe to draw a couple of the animals and trace the puzzle piece in her book (she made me right Wild European Rabbit because "it's tooooo long!" *laughs*

Finally, she put some of the cards onto our big world map

Next, we're going to have a bit of a frog theme going on :) .... and that, as they say, is that! Sorry it's very short on words - off to watch telly now!

Posted by Sarah at 7:47 PM [ permalink ]
Categories: Cultural, Maths


Wednesday, April 28, 2010


This Sunday just gone we visited Liberty's Owl, Raptor and Reptile Centre in Ringwood - really lovely place if you're ever in the area! :) Anyway, we watched a great display and looked at all the lovely creatures and also found some Siberian Eagle Owl feathers down on the floor by their enclosure. So, we grabbed those to put in the girls nature notebooks :)

Today, they got notebook updating - April drew a picture of an owl and stuck her feather in her book (I just added the date and place found and the name of the owl). Rosie put her feather in with date/name information and then went a bit further and wrote some information about the eagle owls along with a drawing.




Posted by Sarah at 8:02 PM [ permalink ]
Categories: Cultural


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

March nature studies: Birds Part 1

Sorry! Long time no blog! We have been working really hard and enjoying the lovely weather so that's my excuse :)

Anyway, one thing we are doing is getting into our nature study in a BIG way. I have a beautiful set of old nature books (a wonderful, British, alternative to the Handbook of Nature Study), called The Teacher's Book of Nature Study. They were published by Evans Bros, London and you can pick them up on Ebay fairly regularly. I'm pretty sure they are out of copyright now but I'm going to check further before I start scanning any pages to put on my blog but if you can get them they are well worth it because they are full of lovely drawings, poems, facts and experiments.

In the front of one volume are all the topics covered in all three books divided up over the months of the year so that you can plan your work. We are taking one or two topics a month to study - this month we're doing germination and I shall cover that in another post.

In addition to our work from the book, we ALWAYS do lots of bird study and that is going to be the topic of this and the next post :) I'm going to share with you a couple of lovely, hands on projects you can do with your kids that we ourselves our working on at the moment.

The first is a bird nest map - perfect for this time of the year :)

Basically, you need to be able to observe a fixed area on a regular basis whether it's your garden, a relatives garden or a small area of local woodland or park. You need to be able to spend time really just watching and listening and noticing the different birds because what you are going to do is work out where they are nesting! We've been doing this in our back garden - it started with a pigeon that we noticed continually going backwards and fowards to one particular tree. Then we noticed that it was carrying bits of twig and leaves and then, finally, we spotted where he was going - into a bush next to the tree! There could be no doubt that he was nest building in there!

We've been doing this now with other birds and, so far, have three definate nest sites in our garden and one possible. We have nests of pigeons, blackbirds and blue tits :)

So, we decided it would be fun to draw a map of our back garden and plot the different birds nest sites over the course of the spring. Here are the ones the kids have done (I have too but it's not here!) - Rosie's first and then April's (you'll notice Rosie's is from a slight different angle):

Apart from building observation skills and the sheer pleasure of watching these busy, hard working birds there are 3 great things that will arise from this project:

  1. We can keep watch of specific nest sites to look out for fledging chicks - so cute!
  2. We can go back in the autumn and use the map to locate the now empty nests to investigate them.
  3. We can date the backs of the maps and continue to keep maps over the next few years and compare them to see if birds used the same nest sites.

Hope you enjoy it! The second bird activity will be tomorrow :)

Posted by Sarah at 12:01 PM [ permalink ]
Categories: Cultural


Thursday, February 25, 2010


Made a start on some spring cleaning today so the homeschool area got a good going over (more on that in a second!) Meanwhile, April and Rosie got on with work as usual including:

Flags of Europe

Rosie working on grammar. My grammar boxes are not exactly the same as the proper Montessori ones but it works for us :)

So, for the cleaning - I did loads! I pulled out all the shelves and cleaned behind them and then reorganised all our materials and put some away that weren't being used.

Here's our much loved nature table with winter slowly retreating and spring moving in :)

One of our thoroughly re-tidied shelf units - geography stuff at the top, followed by April's maths materials, then April's English materials and finally Rosie's English materials

Posted by Sarah at 7:39 PM [ permalink ]
Categories: Cultural, Language Arts


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A post of few words

.... and quite a few pictures! Just some things we (April mostly) have been doing - collage giraffe, addition tables with gnomes (no, we don't do Waldorf but she loves the gnomes so I sort of adapted it for Montessori), picture card writing, map work .... and so on!

April chose a picture card from the basket, dictated a sentence to me which described it, I wrote it on the story paper and then she copied it and drew a picture.



Rosie - working with my common/proper/abstract/collective noun cards


These are Alphablocks - April adores the Alphablocks which are on the Cbeebies website so I printed off the colouring pages they have REALLY small and she coloured them in. Then I laminated and cut them out to use as a kind of moveable alphabet. I think I printed 2 sets.


Always save your sweetie wrappers - come in very handy for collage! We've got HUNDREDS from Christmas!



I made these happy chappies - cute no? :) I put them in a basket with a bag of "jewels" (beads!) to work out sums with




Put the beads to the left and right of the addition gnome (in this case 1 + 5) and then collect them up and move them to the other side of the equals king to get the answer.



Posted by Sarah at 7:52 PM [ permalink ]
Categories: Crafts, Cultural, Language Arts, Maths


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