Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Polygons and pentagrams

James has been exploring Microsoft Excel and using it to record data and produce graphs. Thea has been giving some thought to job application forms and has produced one of her own. This interest probably stems from seeing her Dad fill in so many just of late!!
Last night we dipped into the first few chapters of The Adventures of Penrose the mathematical cat and today this led us into a math and art activity - making patterns out of pentagons and pentagrams.
This evening I found a nice little presentation about Fibonacci on the Brain Pop web site. Thea and I enjoyed watching it together and having a go at the quiz.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Fibonacci

Spent some time looking at snail shells and seeing if their shape follows the Fibonacci sequence. We then did some reading about Leonardo Fibonacci of Pisa and his famous series of numbers - 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89..... Fibonacci numbers crop up frequently in nature, for example in pine cones, pineapple skin, broccoli florets, and cauliflowers. They also appear in leaves, branches and stalks.
This afternoon we collected our latest library request - The Adventures of Penrose the mathematical cat. I am hoping it will show Thea that there is more to math than just addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. James found an interesting book - The Science of Air, one of the Tabletop Scientist publications. Judging by his enthusiasm I think he wants to have a go at every experiment in the book!

Monday, January 29, 2007

All creatures great and small

Thea has been further developing her snail sanctuary. It has moved from a wooden box to a more luxurious carboy. When she first embarked on the project she asked how she could mark the snails to help identify them. I suggested marking them with a dot of liquid paper, as you will see from the picture I think she got somewhat carried away. Not sure what the neighbours will make of these snails when they are released back into the environment, that is if they even notice. Not many seem to take a great interest in their gardens beyond mowing the lawn.

With this great interest in snails we have been taking the opportunity to learn more about their anatomy and physiology. I had a vague recollection that snails were hermaphrodite so looked up snails on the web and found this interesting bit of information on the BBC Science and Nature web pages:

"Common snails, like all land snails, are hermaphrodites. This means that they possess both male and female reproductive organs. Despite this they still need to find another snail to mate with. When two snails meet during the breeding season (late spring or early summer), mating is initiated by one snail piercing the skin of the other snail with a calcified 'love dart'. The exact purpose of the 'love dart' is not fully understood but it seems to stimulate the other snail into exchanging small packets of sperm. After mating is complete the snails will produce eggs internally, which are fertilised by the sperm that has been exchanged."

Thea has been expressing interest in getting some African land snails as pets. I have read they can grow up to 39cm. Not quite sure I think this is a good idea, they could make some monster snail trails if they escape and climb up the walls, plus they could inflict some serious damage on our houseplants. I have also been told their aroma is a touch unpleasant!! I think we will take some time to reflect on this idea!

Both children are enjoying reading the Greek Myths and Legends. James is following the stories in The Orchard Book of First Greek Myths and Thea is reading the Usborne Illustrated Guide to Greek Myths and Legends.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Big Garden Birdwatch

I am suspicious that someone has tipped off the birds that it is the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend. The birds are noticeable by their absence or perhaps a weekend is not the best time to pick for the survey. I think there is too much disturbance - too many people around, including hubby who is painting the garage fascia board!
After an hour of watching the birds these are our results:
Starling x 2
Sparrow x 3
Blackbird x 2
Blue Tit x 1
Great Tit x 1
Chaffinch x 1
Wood Pigeon x 1
Greenfinch x 8
Robin x 2
Jackdaw x 1
Coal Tit x 1
James has been revisiting Study Dog. He is now on Level 3 and definitely making good progress. I have spent much of the weekend having a declutter. The dinning room is filling up with bags of stuff for the charity shops. Thea has made a snail sanctuary and a shoe rack.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Parties - fun and politics

Spent and enjoyable few hours at a birthday party for one of our home educating friends. It was lovely seeing children of different ages all playing so nicely together.
Today was my meeting with our local MP - what did I have to say? Actually quite a lot in ten minutes. I raised the issue of the Government's consultation into home education. Our MP promised to ask when the consultation was to commence but being a member of the opposition he acknowledged he probably wouldn't be given a very definitive answer. Something along the lines of "shortly" but he would ask anyway. He said if we had any specific questions that we wanted raising with Ministers he could do that for us and asked us to copy him in to our response to the DfES consultation.
I then took a few minutes to highlight some specific concerns I have about the way home educators are treated and how we are prejudiced against. In the current education system if you are dissatisfied with the State system and unlike Ruth Kelly you do not have the means to opt for the private system, home education is your only real choice. Once you opt to home educate you are immediately prejudiced against. For example, you cannot access many of the resources available to state schools, finding exam centres that take external candidates is extremely difficult, and if you want to access courses at an FE college and your child is under sixteen then you have to pay for them. All in all a very inequitable system. Our MP acknowledged that whilst he had never previously considered the problems faced by home educators he agreed the education system was inequitable.
One slightly worrying comment he did make was that if his party were in power he thinks they would have some reservations if there was a huge increase in the number of people home educating as it would be almost impossible to monitor - hmmmm. Well even given this last comment I think it was a fairly positive meeting and it is good to know that our MP is at last doing some work for us after all we do pay his wages.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Our Feathered Friends

Spent a quite day in the house yesterday. The weather was still very cold, James seemed to be sickening for a cold and Thea's toe was too painful to walk on. We baked bread and oat cakes, which worked out very well and spent some time doing literacy and math.
Hurray! Today we have been able to venture out again. Thea and James scootered down to the library to collect some books, I followed on foot behind. Whilst in the village we picked up ingredients to make bird cakes, we are taking part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch at the weekend. A few months ago Thea sent for a booklet from the RSPB - Family fun with birds, it has some good ideas including - a speedy bird cake recipe, how to make pine cone lardy seed feeders and edible pictures. It was a messy job making the bird cake just hope the birds appreciate our efforts, which are now hanging up outside on our gazebo.


Have just subscribed to Enchanted Learning for a year, I have been thinking about it for a while. Seems good value at $20 (£10.42).

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A White World

Woke up to a white world this morning, very pretty. James was desperate to get outside and play in the snow so was up and dressed in no time - a pleasant change. Poor Thea couldn't enjoy the snow as her toe was too painful to walk on. I think our walks in the countryside are going to be curtailed for a few days.

The pantomime we saw last week has inspired Thea to write a play of her own - Ping and the Appalling Pong. The play is about a giant with a windy problem. A group of villagers set off to kill the giant because they think he is stealing their electricity but find he isn't responsible. All ends happily when the villagers harness the methane gas and use it to produce green energy. Very funny especially the "Eh bye gum, I smell the pump from a giant's bum!"
Thea and James have also been very busy making costumes for the play.
This evening we have been finding out some facts about Ethiopia - Fluffy's next stop over. Ethiopia is the most mountainous country in Africa: almost three quarters of the country is higher than Ben Nevis, the UK's highest mountain. Unique among African countries, Ethiopia maintained its freedom from colonial rule, the one exception being the Italian occupation of 1936-41.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Travels around the world

Just had to delete a spam comment from my blog and change the comments settings, I hate spammers they are the lowest of the low.

Nigel gave Thea a National Geographic magazine and she was quite taken by an article titled - Meet The Dikika Baby, A Three Year Old From The Dawn of Humanity. Her Discovery Holds Clues To The Origin of Childhood. The 3.3 million years old fossil skeleton was discovered in the Afar Badlands in Ethiopia. After reading the article we spent sometime locating the area in an atlas and marking it on our large laminated map of the world, a useful resource acquired from our local freecycle group. Looking at the map must have created a spark in Thea's imagination for she announced she was starting a project that would involve her soft toy fluffy taking a trip around the globe, or more accurately the large laminated map. She then promptly made a miniature version of fluffy to stick on the map. Fluffy's starting point for his travels is the little known Island Jan Mayen.

Fluffy - Little and Large

Jan Mayen Island

Jan Mayen is a volcanic, desolate, mountainous island named after a Dutch whaling captain who discovered it in 1614. The island, which is under Norwegian control, lies 950km west of Norway and 600km north of island.

AREA - 377 sq km

CLIMATE - arctic maritime with frequent storms and persistent fog

TERRAIN - volcanic island partly covered with glaciers

NATURAL HAZARDS - the most recent volcanic eruption was in 1985

VEGETATION - some moss, grass and fungi

POPULATION - no indigenous inhabitants. A crew of 18 man the Long Range Navigation Base and the Weather and Coastal Services Radio Station

ANIMALS - only birds

TEMPERATURE - winter average 5 degrees Celsius, winter average -5 degrees Celsius.

James has been enjoying exploring the https://jam.bbc.co.uk/ BBC Jam Web Site, in particular the science section. This morning I received in the post the Interactive Weather Presenting Kit from the Met Office (Key Stages 2 -4). I think I will have to spend some to getting to grips with how it works!

Activities and Accidents

A hectic weekend. James went quad biking on Saturday and had a good time. Saturday evening Thea attempted to hurdle a piece of furniture and failed, bashing her toes badly in the process. The result of this collision was a trip to A & E on Sunday morning and a diagnosis of a broken toe. Thea is currently unable to put any weight on her foot owing to the pain, swelling and bruising. Her broken toe has been strapped to the adjoining toe to give it some support.
Sunday evening Nigel and I worked late on his bullying complaint in preparation for a meeting on Monday. I hope he is soon able to secure another job elsewhere as I am not confident his current employer will deal with the complaint very effectively. Whether it is school or in the workplace the victim always seems to get a raw deal.
Decoration of the house continues a pace as I am convinced a move is in the offing. If a job offer does come we are not sure whether to sell or rent our existing house, its a difficult decision.
I have just applied for membership to The Living Math Forum and have been browsing the Living Math web site, looks interesting. It has tempted me to make a couple of book purchases - Read Any Good Math Lately?, Anno's Magic Seeds, and Anno's Mysterious Multiplying Jar.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Sugar and Spice

Thea expressed an interest in making some mustard after seeing a programme on the television. We found a recipe for old fashioned mustard on the web and had a go at making it -very tasty.

Old Fashioned Mustard Recipe
1/2 cup of white vinegar
1/2 cup of dry mustard
1/4 cup of water
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs beaten

In a saucepan mix vinegar and mustard. Stir in remaining ingredients and bring to slow boil over low heat, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until thickened, about ten minutes. Store in fridge. Makes approx. 370 gms.

Also found a web site giving lots of recipes using Coleman's mustard. I think we might try the vegetable curry. The site has an interesting section telling the history of Coleman's Mustard in words and old photographs - well worth a look.
Some interesting facts about mustard courtesy of Mustard James
  1. A one acre field of mustard produces 1 tonne of seed, which produces 880kg of mustard flour which produces 4760kg of wet mustard, which produces 47600 jars of mustard.
  2. The word 'mustard' comes from the Latin 'must' (much) and 'ardens' (burning).
  3. It is believed that mustard was first cultivated in India around 3000BC and came to Britain with the Romans.
  4. Mustard was first used for medicinal purposes.
  5. Over 3,800,000kg of mustard is sold each year.

James (that's my James not Mustard James) has just read Hi! Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold, he really enjoyed it. I have just reserved him the sequel Super Fly Guy. It is lovely to see him so chuffed when he reads a book with relative ease.
Watched a very interesting programme on BBC 2 tonight - Timewatch - Killer Cloud: In 1783 thousands of Britons died in a terrible environmental disaster. Victims of a huge volcanic eruption in Iceland, they choked on the poisonous gases that enveloped Europe. The ensuing winter was one of the worst on record and took countless more lives. The tragedy wrought by the Laki eruption is well documented in Iceland but its impact on Britain has remained a mystery for the past 200 years. Timewatch goes in search of the evidence of Britain's forgotten disaster. One slightly annoying thing was I feel asleep in the middle so only saw the beginning and the end.

Worrying

I have just read these two news articles Boy's Detention After Apple Snack and Girl has Report from Wrong School. Found them linked from Aspies Home Education blog. What is happening to our education system - perhaps better not answer that or my blog entry would be in danger of becoming an essay. I was annoyed at the end of the last school year when I received a report for James, in one section the teacher called him by a completely different name. Just confirmed my beliefs that the teacher didn't know my son at all.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

More Epic Journeys

Was today the best day to visit the National Railway Museum? - ironically probably not if you were traveling by train. Just when I thought our epic travel journeys were over they came back to haunt us with a vengeance. Getting to the NRM was fairly straightforward unfortunately the same could not be said about the return journey. Upon reaching York station for our homeward bound journey we found it grid locked with nothing moving north or south. When I enquired about the next train to Northallerton I was told I had better think about booking into a hotel for the night or find a taxi. Would the train company cover the cost of the taxi I asked - reading between the lines I felt the answer was probably no. Well our determination and patience paid off and we were eventually able to get a train home an hour later than originally planned not too bad when all things considered.
The River Ouse swollen by rain
Purchasing a platform ticket to see the Royal Trains
James and I were much amused by the bath in the Royal train. We pondered over how the water could be contained within the bath whilst the train was in transit. Our question was answered by the audio guide which explained that when the bath was in use a strict speed limit was enforced.
Constructing trains

Railway Karaoke!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Living on Rations

Spent the morning looking at wartime rations and cookery books. We wondered how vegetarians would have faired and whether they were offered anything else in place of the meat rations. An article on the Vegetarian Society web site referred to vegetarians having to get a special ration book, this entitled them to an extra egg a week and an additional 3oz of cheese. We worked out what our weekly rations would have been:

Weekly Rations for a Family of Four
8 eggs
6oz (150 gms)tea
6oz (150 gms) preserves
1lb 8oz (600 gms) sugar
9 pints (4.95 litres) milk
12oz (300 gms) cooking fat
1lb (400 gms) cheese
6oz (150 gms) butter
9oz (225 gms) sweets
6lbs (2.4kg) pulses
Seems quite generous I don't think would we have starved as long as we had access to plenty of vegetables.
Went to see the Snow White pantomime put on by the village amateur dramatic society. It was worth every penny an absolute scream.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

No News

How nice to see the sun again and have a let up in the windy weather. The days are growing noticeably longer now, which makes you feel spring is not so far away.

This morning we finished cataloguing all Thea's books and the library had its official opening with the cutting of a ribbon. Before lunch we visited the village library to check out the numbering system of the fiction and non-fiction books. We were surprised to find that the fiction books had no call numbers but were merely arranged in alphabetical order. We asked the librarian if he could recommend a web site that might provide a more detailed list of the Dewey Decimal Classification numbers. He suggested we look at the cilip (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) web site. I've had a quick look but haven't been able to find anything.

Whilst we were in the library we bought some tickets for Snow White, which is being staged in the church hall by the local amateur dramatics group. We are all looking forward to seeing it tomorrow evening as their productions are usually extremely good.

On our journey home from the library we decided to walk back through the fields and along the river bank, it was lovely. Nell enjoyed a dip in the river, too cold for us.

We spent the afternoon baking and looking at the box of books from The Book People that Nanna had bought us. I am particularly impressed with the set of How To Guides that tell you everything you need to know about the hottest topics in the world today. The Usborne Big Book of Things to Draw looks pretty good too.

The fruit scones and marble buns turn out well, there are very few left! No news on the job front so I guess that's a non starter and its time to move onto the next opportunity.

I have received a letter in a House of Commons envelope, confirmation of my 10 minute meeting with our local MP. I am going to speak to him about the DfES consultation on home education. Hmmm given the generous time allocation I had better ensure I am well prepared.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Waiting Game

No news as yet so I am beginning to think there will be no job offer. Well I guess its a case of let's put it down to interview experience and move on to the next job opportunity.

Thea wanted to set up a library using her many books so we spent most of today looking at book classification systems and creating an Access database of all her books. Found a really good site that explains all about the Dewey Decimal System. The Dewey Decimal System was created by Melvil Dewey, a librarian born in Adams Center, New York, in 1851. He died in 1931 but his Dewey System legacy continues to live on in libraries all around the world.

Aberdeen Adventure

We have returned and if Nigel gets the job in Aberdeen I have to say it will be against all the odds. For anyone who is interested in our exploits over the past four days here is a summary. After debating whether we should leave on Thursday with the caravan we eventually decided to give it a go although I have to admit we were all rather concerned about the weather forecast. We eventually departed around noon but this proved to be a false start, 12 miles into our journey we realised Nigel had forgotten his paperwork - very frustrating.

At about 1.00pm we got onto the A1 near Sedgefield and were hit by severe cross winds reducing our traveling speed to around 45 miles per hour. The gusts were very unnerving particularly when we crossed the Tyne. AA route finder calculates that a journey from Middlesbrough to Aberdeen should take around 5 hours 16 minutes this obviously does not take in to account extreme weather and towing speeds!! With the Forth Road Bridge and Tay Bridge closed to any vehicles except cars without roof boxes we had to cross the Forth via the Kincardine Bridge and the Tay near Perth. The congestion on the Kincardine was horrendous due to roadworks and all the redirected traffic from the Forth Road Bridge. Needless to say with all these problems it took us slightly longer the 5 hours 16 mins.
Eleven hours later we arrived at our destination, a small campsite near Aberdeen. If we thought our troubles were over we were sadly mistaken. First we had to try and locate the late arrivals area not an easy task in the dark and with poor signage. Unfortunately for us we got it wrong and were met the following morning by the somewhat upset wife of the campsite owner who I don't think ever really forgave us. Fortunately for us her husband seemed not to be of the same disposition and he very kindly helped us unhitch the caravan. This was a big relief as the hitch had jammed on and I had had visions of driving Nigel to his interview with the caravan in tow. I'm not sure what impression this would have given to his potential employer.
After setting up Thea and I took Nell for a walk in the woods. It was good to stretch our legs after all the traveling, that was until I stooped down to duck under a fallen tree. Yes you guessed it my back went. What else could go wrong I can hear you ask, plenty believe me. The directions for the interview were not clear and we ended up at the wrong place. I think we just managed to get Nigel to the required location with a few seconds to spare not the best way to reduce your stress levels. Whilst Nigel was being interrogated the kids and me spent a couple of hours looking round Aberdeen. We visited the library and the art gallery and looked in a couple of shops. I have to say I was quite taken by the city with it clean granite buildings and impressive architecture.
With the weather forecast deteriorating we decided to make for an early departure and left on Saturday rather than Sunday. On our return journey we called in at Dunnottar Castle, a very dramatic place and well worth a visit if you are passing. The conglomerate rock upon which it is built is impressive too.
Luckily at this time of year visitor numbers are not great so we were easily able to park both car and caravan in the car park. Spent Saturday night near Jedburgh. Sunday we visited some friends at Corbridge both who are teachers and both who are completely demoralised with teaching. A real shame as they are really dedicated and given the freedom very inspirational.
Well that was our four day adventure, we now await the outcome.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Close Encounter

I mean't to post this before Christmas but forgot so thought I would share this little tale with you now.
If a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush how much is one on the head worth? Sitting in our living room I heard a sickening thud. I knew immediately the cause of the sound - a bird flying into the french doors. I went to investigate the sad outcome and found a Great Tit lying on the patio. The small bird was still alive so I took it inside to see if it was about to expire or was merely stunned. After holding the tiny creature for a few minutes it started to perk up so I decided to take it back outside. Once in the garden the bird perched on my hand and looked about, it then hopped onto my shoulder. Not satisfied with this vantage point it hopped onto my head, much to the amusement of the children. It seemed quite happy on my head perhaps it had something to do with my hair resembling a birds nest. In fact it was so comfortable it started to sing. I walked around to encourage the bird to move to another perch, by this time I was getting cold as I had stepped outside in my stocking feet. The bird was not for moving and kept on singing. Our dog by this stage was getting quite agitated at the site of the bird on my head - not something it sees every day. Eventually the bird decided it had had enough and flew off to find another perch. I have had some close encounters with nature over the years but this has to be one of the most remarkable. I never cease to be amazed at the beauty of our natural world, no man made article can ever compare. Well for me that was my Christmas gift even if it did come early.
Oh and by the way it didn't leave its calling card on my head, just in case you were wondering.

Planets and packing

Lost my blog entry last night when the computer decided to shut down. It has started doing this of late I think there is a conflict between the Microsoft software and the new wireless router software, very annoying and it always seems to do it when I'm writing up my blog. Perhaps it is trying to tell me something about my writing!!

Yesterday the LEA Home Education Advisor returned my phone call. She seems very friendly and was able to update me on progress regarding accessing library books marked schools project and the setting up of exam centres for private candidates. All sounds very positive, fingers crossed these things become a reality very soon - the wheels of local authority or not renowned for turning quickly.

Called in at the library yesterday afternoon and picked up a children's abridged copy of Jane Eyre for 30p in the book sale. Thea was really please as she has been wanting to read the book after watching the BBC series last year. I also got a book - Picasso's War: the extraordinary story of an artist and a painting that shook the world. The painting in question is of course Guernica, I was always fascinated by this and his other pictures as a child. I am looking forward to reading the book, I think I will take it with me to Aberdeen to read in the evenings.

Last night we experimented with making salt scrub and produced something that was quite acceptable. Followed this Lavender Salt Scrub recipe minus the sweet almond oil and vitamin E because we didn't have any.

I was really touched this morning when I found a blog comment from toe-by-toe-man, I have been checking out the web site and found lots of really helpful tips, thank you Keith and keep up the good work.

I have managed to find a caravan site at Inverurie so if the weather doesn't deteriorate too much we should be able to accompany Nigel up to Aberdeen for his interview. Must get the van packed now if we are to leave by 10.00 am tomorrow, I reckon it will take us a good six hours to get there. That's if we are not blown away on route - the weather forecast is looking slightly worrying.

This afternoon we met up with other home educators at the Planetarium at Wynyard Woodland Park. The one hour show about space was excellent and I think we will be making a return visit. Afterwards we had a lovely walk along the old railway line and through Thorpe Wood, it was very tranquil. Well I'm off to finish the packing and then I will have to clean the guinea pigs out before they go on vacation to a friends.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Uplifting experience

Decided to make our bread making session into a science lesson today. We talked about yeast and its properties and why it is important in bread making. The Accidental Scientist: Science of Cooking and Zoom Sci provided some good ideas for experiments. We made yeast-air balloons or to be more precise yeast-carbon dioxide balloons. If you want to try this at home you will need the following:

Materials
1. 6 bottles (these need to be all the same if it is to be a fair test. We ended up using Grolsch -bottles as I couldn't find any others that were all the same. Its a good job Christmas has just been otherwise I think we would have struggled to find enough bottles).
2. Dried yeast - enough for half a teaspoon per bottle
3. Warm water
4. 6 balloons
5. Measuring jug
6. Various sugary liquids (we used apple juice, orange juice, treacle, mashed banana, lemonade).

Instructions
1. Fill each bottle a quarter full with warm water
2. Add half a teaspoon of yeast to each bottle
3. Fill the first bottle half way full with one of the sugary liquids
4. Fill the second, third, fourth and fifth bottles with different sugary liquids. Make sure you add the same amount of liquid to each bottle.
5. Fill the sixth bottle half way full with water. This is the control.
6. Put a balloon over the opening of each bottle. The ballon that inflates the most will show which liquid produces the most carbon dioxide.

We decided to check our balloons at 30 minute intervals. Initially the banana mixture produced the most carbon dioxide, followed by the treacle, apple, lemonade, orange and water respectively. After several hours the treacle solution had produced the most carbon dioxide followed by the orange, mashed banana, apple, lemonade and water.

Next bread making day I think we will look at why gluten is important.

On a trip into the village to buy balloons for our experiment Thea spotted Issue 1 of The Art of Knitting, special offer 99p. If you want to learn how to knit its a good buy, with Issue 1 you get a set of 4.5mm needles, two balls of yarn, and a DVD showing you how to knit. The DVD is very straightforward and easy to follow. Even if you don't buy any other issues this one is worth getting. Thea has taught herself to cast on from the DVD.

This afternoon I spent time with James going through his Toe By Toe work book and Letts Maths Basics. His reading is definately improving but his fluency is still not what it should be. However, the main thing is he is happy and he now sees that he can read.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

DIY disaster

Much of this weekend has been spent decorating the hall, landing and staircase. I have virtually finished applying lining paper to all the walls and we will soon be able to paint. We are desperately trying to get the house in good order in case we have to sell or rent it in the coming months. Although we have lived in the house for over eleven years there is still much to do. I can see the next month being very hectic. It's ironic to think that after living in a constant state of DIY for the past eleven years we are now about to end up with a lovely home which in all likelihood we will not be able to enjoy. I have vowed that next time we buy a property we either buy a building plot and erect a kit house or buy a property that needs nothing doing to it. I can't face another ten years of DIY!!
Received an email today about a new home education action group - AHEd. Just debating whether to sign up as a member/supporter. Anyone interested in becoming a member and/or supporter of AHEd should email enquires@ahed.org.uk.
Tonight we all sat down in front of the TV and watched the Ray Mears' Wild Food, we found it fascinating. I am looking forward to The Truth About Food, which starts on Thursday BBC2 9.00pm - 10.00pm.

Friday, January 05, 2007

New Year's Resolution

After falling behind with my blog writing last year I had made a new year's resolution to try and keep my blog more up to date in 2007. There already appears to be some slippage. Christmas proved to be a bit challenging for us - Nigel, Thea and I were all ill on Christmas Eve and Day with the cold/flu bug that has been doing the rounds. As new year approached we were on the mend and were able to spend an enjoyable New Years Eve with friends.
2007 looks like it is going to be a year of uncertainty. I have now given up work as balancing home education and work has proved impossible. Work for Nigel continues to be a nightmare with the bullying as bad as ever, we now feel his only option is to find another job. Next week we are accompanying him to Aberdeen where he has secured an interview. We have very mixed feelings, if he is offered the job it will mean a huge change for us. Whilst the opportunity of a fresh start in a beautiful part of the country is appealing leaving family and friends will be difficult and I know we will miss them very much.
Received a letter just after Christmas from the LEA telling us the Home Education Advisor would be visiting us on the 20th March - nice Christmas present.
I have just read a very good about home education and sustainability: How is Home Education Sustainable.