Friday, September 29, 2006

Week ending 29th September, 2006

At the beginning of the week we recapped on the Autumn Equinox and managed to get around to doing some lovely Autumn paintings based on the style of Vincent van Gogh, a rather unfortunate chap we thought! K managed to get the swirly patterns in her art work using oil paints, similar to van Gogh's style in his Starry Night painting.

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B and K's van Gogh style Autumn paintings

We also chatted about Ramadhan, which started on Sunday, to see how much the children remembered from last year. They did pretty well remembering the Five Pillars of Islam - quite impressed. As we discussed it all, K and B drew round their hands on paper and used black pen to add beautiful henna (Mehndi) designs using the Indian traditional patterns which include hearts, delicate paisleys and lace and birds, to name just a few. Ramadhan information can be found here and also the Islamic Homeschool Diary blog captures it all very well!

The children finished off their Tudor projects this week by completing their Voyage of Discovery stories and learning a little more about the last Tudor, Elizabeth I. B found doing his discovery story quite hard, but his finished work (with a little tweaking in places - punctuation and stringing sentences together rather than using short sentences) was lovely. They both used lots of description in the work which I always encourage! During my clearout last week I found a poster of Elizabeth I in all her finery with discussion points on the back (very helpful), so we had a look at this and discussed why she named the "Faery Queen", why she was holding a rainbow, had a serpent on her sleeve and lots of eyes and ears on her dress! After taking some mug shots of B and K, they drew their own Elizabethan outfits around their photos with their own (and some pinched from Queen Liz) ideas of unusual design features that portrayed a meaning to the nation.

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The rosehip craft we started a week or so ago was also completed this week. The rosehips needed drying out in the airing cupboard once they'd been painstakingly threaded onto wire and I've now assembled the pieces and bent them into hearts. The idea for this was from "Twigs" website, kindly provided by the Learning Naturally blog. The hearts look absolutely lovely so we've decided to make some for Christmas gifts.

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One of the main things we've been playing around with this week is our little Junior Electrics set which we'd picked up for 50p from a summer car boot fair! It had never been opened so B helped me put it all together and then we all working through some of the experiments together. We learnt how to light single and double bulbs, make a buzzer sound, use crocodile clips to complete a circuit and understand parallel lighting circuits. K made a little cardboard house with tissue paper windows to demonstrate her understanding of this as she lit up both windows or just one at a time! Lots more fun to be had with this I'm sure.

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using crocodile clips + K's little light up house

I finally got around to ordering the Usborne 100 Science Experiments book from Amazon as our borrowed version had to make it's final trip back to the library. It is so well used I knew it would not be money down the drain. B seized the new book with enthusiasm and proceeded to do an air pressure experiment using a large bottle filled with water and a little plastic man attached to a pen lid. Once the man and lid are in the water and are floating, B was able to make them sink buy gently squeezing the bottle. All very clever, even P couldn't understand how this worked, but it's very simple (usually is isn't it!?). The pen lid is full of air which naturally makes the little diver float, but when you squeeze the bottle, water is forced into the lid, pushing out the air which then makes the diver sink. When you release the bottle, air returns to the lid to make him return to the surface.

We've started watching the Michael Palin videos, that have been lurking in my cupboard since they came out (in the 80's ?), of "Around the World in Eighty Days" based on the famous French book of the same title featuring Philias Fogg. We thought we'd make a project out of this as the children are showing an interest in some of the countries Palin scoots through. Unfortunately we haven't yet had time to delve further into finding more about these countries, apart from follow the start of this journey on maps in the atlas, but we intend to do more next week (she says!). So far they want to know about Venice, Greece (especially the rather strange traditions of the Evzone Guards!) and the Pyramids. This website is dedicated to all the Palin travels and I think it'll come in very handy for our topic.

So many other little things have been happening this week but they are just too numerous to list (don't won't you all falling asleep!), but finally, today, we had a group session all about insects. Lots of bugs were brought along for us to view and hold which fascinated most of us! Must admit I'm not really into these little (or not so little) creatures in a big way but they were interesting to watch and learn about. One young chap was brave enough to gently touch the tarantula, which made it jump, and made me jump too! Of all the creepy crawlies there today, the hissing cockroach was definitely the one I really didn't like the look of - they just looked kind of yuk (sorry to any enthusiasts out there), but I found the hissing noice (similar to the sound of the mechanism for a wind up toy) was captivating. We also got to see some beautiful silk moths, one of which unfortunately escaped, but these were truly lovely.

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At 12:46 am, Blogger Caroline said...

Thanks for popping over to my blog :) I thought you might be interested to see our other lapbooks too, so I'll tell you the links. You can see 'egypt' and 'grammar' over here; & 'Scotland', 'Ireland' and 'Wheels on the Bus' here;
ENJOY looking :) They are fun to do and we really enjoy them. The Grammar one has been a fantastic ongoing resource to return to over and over and will be again now for my next child even though she hasn't made it. We have also done 'plants' - but I haven't taken the photos of that yet - must do it! That was so big it ended up in a big scrapbook! We have 'space' , 'Narnia', 'farm animals' and 'spiders' in the pipe line - not sure when we're going to them yet though. The kids seem to want a break from them atm - which is fine by me.

At 10:45 pm, Blogger Elaine, Ellies Treasures said...

Thanks Caroline, we've decided to do our "Around the World in 80 Days" as our first lapbook. Will post up piccies in due course! Elle

At 6:50 am, Blogger sam said...

sounds like a fun week, I love the rosehip crafts and the paintings. lapbooking is lots of fun, you guys will enjoy it. is a good place to get ideas.

At 8:25 am, Blogger lucy said...

What a busy time - love all the arts and crafts!

At 8:00 pm, Blogger Elaine, Ellies Treasures said...

Thanks Tammy, we'll have a browse at that website.


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