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I live on the gorgeous Dorset/Hampshire border in the UK. I'm married to Tim and we have 2 daughters who we homeschool, a cat (Floyd) and a rabbit (Jeff). I'm a nature-adoring, yoga-ing, baking, walking, music-loving, crafting bookworm and future crazy cat lady.
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Me, Tim, April, Rosie and Sparkie the horse :)
DO NOT link directly to pictures on my website! This is bandwidth theft and I CAN trace you and I WILL come after you with a red hot poker if you do. You have been warned!
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Continuing because it's nice!
Many regular readers will now know that I have my other site - The Simplest Life, link in the sidebar. I wasn't going to originally also keep this blog but have decided to as a general kind of family/homeschool thing!
The other site focuses on what I want to achieve and what we are achieving in our home and life and is, intentionally, a very minimalist, low key place. However, I still want to post fun pics from days out and seasonal holidays and homeschool and this is the place to do it!
So, keep an eye on both sites!
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Saturday, March 30, 2013
Easter, weather & social networking
Just a quicky!
Well, it's STILL cold (in case you hadn't noticed). The easter bun is going to get a chilly backside when she hides eggs tomorrow morning but at least she can hide indoors for the rest of the day and scoff some choccie mmmm!
Long time readers will know I have a Facebook account and they may also know that I used to have a Twitter account. Now, that particular Twitter account basically got ruined by someone and in the end I got rid. I've been on Facebook for a while and it's ok not brilliant. Twitter is not brilliant either but both things are pretty good for doing website updates and so on. On the whole, I've realised, Twitter is less time intensive - the character limit IS a pain but it also means that you just quickly scribble stuff down and then get on with whatever else you have to do.
Sooo, for a while I have been secretly resurrecting my Twitter account and building a few followers again and I'm ready to share it if anyone is interested - just search for me @sahsellers.
To be honest, how long either Facebook or Twitter will last is anyone's guess as I am trying to stop using the computer so much - apart from anything, I can't seem to go on any website without reading bad news and it's depressing.
Anyway, there you go - grab it while it lasts because it might not last long!
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Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Oh you know, this and that ....
What have I been doing? *smiles*
Firstly, I dug out all the old homeschool ebooks I wrote years ago. At the time I had a page on my site which sold these books and, I have to say, they did very well! I got some excellent feedback and reviews for them. Anyhow, for whatever reason, I eventually stopped selling them but it occured to me the other day that maybe it was time to get them out again and update them and put them back up for sale. So, that's what I've been doing.
- Re-writing, re-formating, tidying up and making sure links work.
- In some cases, expanding with new material.
- Putting into Kindle format rather than straight PDF (didn't have that when I first wrote them!)
It's a slow process because I don't generally have a vast amount of spare time but I'll get there eventually!
We're on a break from home ed now for Easter (chocolate! Mmmmm!) but Core Knowledge STILL going very well! I have some photos of stuff we've done to share with you but I'll post them when we get back to work (read that as I cannot be bothered right now to get them off the camera and photoshop them etc!!)
Other stuff .... the cold weather continues unabated. We're lucky, here it's just been icey but at least dry and at least no snow. The poor people up north have been absolutely hammered :( Basically, we've stayed tucked up at home and not ventured out unless we absolutely had to!
April did go out and have fun though :) She went to the last Brownie meeting of the term last night and they had a masked ball using masks they made a few weeks back. It was a proper party with games, Easter egg hunt and pizza!! They had ordered in a selection of Domino's Pizza which went down very well apparently :) Anyway, here she is in her cat mask just after she got home.
Right, now I have to get stuck into the cleaning big time because I want everything perfect and lovely - after today, Tim only has 4 days of work and then he's on holiday for a week! :)
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Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Life continues at a gentle pace here in our little corner of the world. It has been unspeakably cold the last couple of days - really, really bitterly cold. We had a little snow but it melted and just left freezing winds (the sort that threaten to take the skin off your face!)
Home ed is relaxed. The Core Knowledge Year 2 is still continuing to work extremely well for April - we have a 5 day rota - day 1: English and Science, day 2: maths and music, day 3: maths and history/geography, day 4: maths and art, day 5: English and science. Thing is, if we miss a day (like today!) it doesn't really matter, we simply move on to the next days work and catch up on the missed stuff the following week. We are loving that most of the work revolves around reading (lots!), painting, drawing, model making, listening to music and playing educational games. It's a fun, fun curriculum.
Rosie has basically a lot more free time to do what she wants for this last year and half of home ed. She already has everything she needs to enter KME (Kingston Maurward Equestrian) next September and there is very little point in getting her to study a load of guff that isn't needed! So, she's just learning for the love of it (rather than out of necessity) - she's just about to start a botany lapbook and she's still doing English and maths (to keep her skills up and as college prep) but other than that she's free to do what she wants. We've cleared it with Sheila (owner of the riding stables) for Rosie to spend more time there on a Sunday, in addition to her normal ride. This is so that she can get some stable management and horse care experience prior to next September.
So, all is good in that department :)
I have been a little lethargic lately - it's the time of year! I always find this time of year dreadful - I don't get depressed as such but I do get very sluggish and struggle to do things. It ends up with the essentials getting done mostly! I do love "keeping house" but these are the times when I find myself sighing through it and wishing the warmer weather would return! It's still the time of year when we're getting the living room curtains shut early and diving on the sofa with a good dvd or two - recently it was Sherlock series 1 and 2 and now we're on to Red Dwarf (we're up to series 4). Still, soon it will be light evenings and warm weather and all the doors open late ... soon!
Right, off now .... got lunch to do soon and an apple cake to make this afternoon. Shall leave you with a (rather crummy) picture of a green woodpecker I took this morning as he was hopping about our lawn. Haven't seen one for such a long time!
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Sunday, March 10, 2013
Lovely mother's day today :) Homemade cards and breakfast in bed this morning and, this afternoon, tea round Tim's sisters house. His mum was there and being remarkably chipper consider she was in hospital yesterday for an op! Slightly worrying at the time but she's done well so we're all very relieved!
All in all a lovely day :)
Happy mother's day to mummies everywhere x
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Friday, March 08, 2013
It's a lovely early spring day today. The weather is warmer, the rain is pattering down and little leaf buds are ...budding :) I've got a few minutes before I have to get on with my day including making a chicken in white wine casserole (with little julienned carrots and mushrooms) for dinner .... so, a few random "home" thoughts.
Maybe it's something to do with having a birthday slap bang in the middle of July and thus being a Cancerian, but I am very home orientated. Cancer-the-Crab carries his little home around with him and would be pretty lost without it and so, apparently, people born under this sign see their home as being the most important thing in the world. Now, to be honest, I'm not into astrology but my home is the most important place in the world.
At home I am totally myself. At home I can release my inner creativity to the max and not be worried about what anyone else thinks. At home I can cook lovely food and pretty things up and potter (I love that word ... potter). Tim works hellishly horrible hours sometimes and I like that I can make it nice for him when he does eventually get home - it may be an old fashioned idea but I think it's one of my most important jobs.
I try and keep my home as crap free as possible - by that I mean, avoiding toxic cleaning stuff .. that sort of thing. I always used to used Ecover but have recently switched to Method - it's a little more expensive but I like it better (lovely smells!) I also use bicarb by the bucketload :)
Another thing I use a lot of are essential oils. I've got so many bottles of different oils because I use them for so many different things. Grapefruit, lemongrass and lavender for cleaning stuff. Patchouli, rosewood and sandlewood for skincare. Thieves oil (a blend of cinnamon, clove, lemon, rosemary and eucalyptus) for keeping winter bugs away (and, yes, it does work)..... ahh so many! A good tip - always keep your oils in a dark cupboard! However tempting it is to put all those cute bottles on display - don't! They "go off" quicker that way.
Maybe I'll share some of my essential oil recipes with you soon :)
Oh well, off to sort out the bits for that casserole ...oh, also got a couple of little maths games to share with you that I did with April ....next time .....
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Monday, March 04, 2013
Monday Morning Musings
Well, the weather here in Dorset continues unrelentingly grey and horrible however, yesterday, we put together our spring nature table. It's a little bare at the moment but is, at least, a little splash of pink in the corner of the room :) It'll get more interesting as spring progresses.
We have been doing a lot of "household reorganising" lately ... just bits and bobs. We've sorted out finances - paid off the credit card bill (from Christmas amongst other things - eeeek!) and got that down to a zero balance, finally got round to arranging with the council for a garden waste bin (we have to pay £35 a year for the privilege) and are also going to get round to purchasing some stuff which, frankly, we should have done AGES ago. A set of step ladders for one - my god, how many times have I had to watch Tim hauling himself into the loft from a dining chair?!!
Tim also recently finished up some tutoring he did for a few weeks - grade 5 music theory. The young man in question had failed the exam 3 times with the current tutor so Tim had a go. He got his grades up pretty high in the end so (fingers crossed!) he'll do ok in the exam .... waiting to hear the results now! Course, Tim had to fit the tutoring in on his very limited time off but it's worth it because it pays so well!
Tim and I finished watching the Sherlock DVD I gave him for Christmas. We came to Sherlock late (when it was on telly) so it was nice to be able to watch both series and get a real feel for it. Of course, it ended with the famous (infamous?) Reichenbach Fall episode and poor Sherlock (the utterly wonderful Benedict Cumberbatch) jumping to his doom (or not doom as it turned out) from St Bart's Hospital.
Course, one quick Google will tell you that Sherlock fans have been going bonkers trying to work out how he would have survived such a fall. Apparently, there's a massive clue in the final episode which tells you but I, for one, just want to enjoy watching without trying to play Sherlock (ha ha!) and figure it out. For what it's worth though .... I didn't spot any particular clue ... I'm guessing:
He did jump (there has been talk that he lobbed the dead Moriarty off the roof instead but the person that jumped was very clearly waving their arms about and, as far as I know, dead bodies don't wave anything) but, obviously, something broke his fall (put there by the homeless network?) just before the pavement rushed up to meet him and he then rolled off that onto the ground. All the blood - fake or possibly his own gathered by Molly earlier. Watson checking his pulse - no pulse due to the rubber ball rammed in his armpit temporarily to stop the pulse (the rubber ball he'd been very conspicuously playing with in the lab earlier). Death records - Molly again.
Oh well, whatever. All we know is that Sherlock and his glorious flappy coat will be back ....sometime.....to flap around London again. Thank goodness for that!
There you go, a rather mixed lot of ramblings today :D
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Friday, March 01, 2013
Just a quicky today!
Basically, I'm putting out feelers :) I'm hoping to start taking April for regular swimming at our local sports centre in the near future (as soon as the flipping weather warms up!) and wondered if there was anyone else (home educators), living reasonably locally, who fancied meeting up and coming with us? The centre offers free swimming for children 8 and under.
If so, there might also be the chance for other, informal, play sessions too as there is a lovely playing field right next to the centre and a gorgeous playground next to that (that also has play equipment for disabled children). Ideally, it would be great to have the same group of parents/kids meet up at least once a fortnight.
As I said, just putting out feelers but if you are in, or reasonably close to, Ferndown then drop me a line on my contact form and we'll try and sort something out.
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Well, the spring which had been springing decided to unspring and it's gone all grey and yuck again. This has been a little sad-making but I decided to cheer things up a bit and re-paint the kitchen - nice bright yellow! Thing is, we are now living with a bit of a stink because I also re-painted the tiles and tile paint REEKS for daaaays after painting.
I hated the tiles in our kitchen, REALLY hated them. Re-tiling wasn't an option so painting them (lovely crisp, shiney white) was the next best thing and, despite my fears, they actually turned out ok.
See what I mean about the "old" tiles? *shudders*
...and here are the yellow walls (they were originally a sort of dull peach) - picture doesn't really show them off to best unfortunately!
Apart from that, we've been moving on with CK Year 2 and learning about ancient Egypt. As mentioned in the last post, we made the collage map of the Nile and immediate surrounding area.
Finally, I've decided to open up my website to be more "general" again (not so focused entirely on home ed) so expect more stuff about ... well, stuff really!
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Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Spring is springing!
Sorry, no blogging lately but how could I? The weather has been perfectly glorious here recently and, although a few more nasty days will surely still come, I suspect the worst of the winter is over. Hurrah!
So, with all this glorious sunshine and warmth, it's not surprising that we found ourselves outside lots. I've been starting to tidy up the garden and cut some stuff back that had got too big. Jeff (our rather old lionhead rabbit) has been outside in his run enjoying the sun (he normally lives indoors in Rosie's room) and April has been having fun with her sandpit :)
On top of that, the sun has brought lots of the garden suddenly into beautiful, colourful life!
When we HAVE come indoors, April and I have been continuing to love the Core Knowledge book. I mentioned in my last post that I had made the decision to go back and use the Year 2 book - here's why.
- Core Knowledge is NOTHING like the National Curriculum. If you decide to use it, don't make the mistake I did and assume that it is - more fool me! CK is far more challenging and indepth and covers far more material. Unles your child is massively advanced and done a lot of music study, composer study and art/artist study then I would use the book below the one you would assume you'd need!
- As mentioned there is a lot of artist/music/composer studies - April's never really done this so I decided to back track for that reason.
- The history is chronological and Year 2 covers the Ancient Egyptians which I had not done with April and wanted to. Book 1 goes over the stone age but I couldn't justify going back THAT far :)
Some of the maths is a little easy for her but there is some that we'd do well to review so I'm not going to let that bother me.
One of the things we've been doing recently is learning about animal habitats (which, by strange coincidence is what we would have been doing if we'd still been using New Child Montessori!) We've read about woodland habitats and April made a page in her science book.
We're going to start reading the history section tomorrow and the first thing we're going to do is make a collage map of Ancient Egypt. I did this exact same activitiy (obviously not with CK) YEARS ago with Rosie - seems so weird doing it again!
Oh, and finally, April made some paper birds with flappy cardboard wings :) A blue tit, a robin and a blackbird - clearly :)
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