Sunday, 3 July 2016

Busy week (26)

We had a great week, when even though my energy levels are starting to plummet on some days, Finn makes up for it by being super energetic, boisterous, and full of ideas and projects.

The start of the week was marked by Finn and his daddy building "the highest tower" morning after morning before Chris heading to work. Can you see the tiny tower next to Finn? I thought that was so cute next to Chris's tall one. When I looked at it closer I realised that even though it looks small, it was actually quite well thought out. Finn used quarters and halves to make wholes and he made sure it was symmetrical all round.


The next day, he used the blocks to work on fractions again. I love those blocks!


I gave Finn a step-by-step drawing book to see if he found it appealing. In retrospect I think he is much too young for so much direction, and needs to explore a lot more by himself first. He enjoyed the book very moderately and was so silly I decided to take the book back and keep him away from it for another couple of years. Mummies also learnt through trial and error!


Free drawing is much more interesting when you're 4.


He started making books with blank paper and staples and decided to make an "infinity book"! He has been very intrigued by the idea of infinity recently and can't quite get his head around it (who can??) I'm letting him explore by becoming his assistant and writing all the numbers EVER under his direction.


Playing with a solar energy model we made from a kit.


A year and a half ago I would have been so nervous seeing him do something like this and I may have tried to stop him. Taking a step back and observing has proven so worthwhile though, and I have become much more relaxed knowing that I can trust him to know his limits. 


I'm glad I have learnt not to interfere as I would surely have spoilt all the fun!



Yes, children will fall! There weren't any glass shards on the floor and he wasn't swinging above a river full of alligators so I wasn't too worried :)




His interest in big numbers (stemming from his infinity book) led me to realise he would very likely be interested in a Montessori lesson I had been holding off for a while: The introduction to the decimal system. The idea is for the child to get experience on how quantities relate to one another through a hands-on approach, as well as some new vocabulary such as unit, ten, hundred and thousand.  


We played a simple bank game so that Finn would hear the new words many times, where we took turns asking each other for specific quantities (eg. Can I have three hundred? Seven units? What have I got here?) He spontaneously used the beads he gathered to make a picture on the mat, which I thought was a great idea.


That I copied when it was my turn. I'm sure the pictures kept him engaged for longer than he would have been otherwise.


Planting spinach seeds with daddy at the weekend.


More work on the infinity book (we're currently up to 190, number names included!)


Making a contraption with gears.


And we released our butterflies!



Have a good week!

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Busy week (25)

This week on Monday Finn wasn't keen on going to Forest School without me. He has been having some anxiety recently which I think could be due to the new baby coming soon. So we went to a soft play centre with a friend instead - lots of fun! (but no photos)

He has been entranced by the Beano comics lent by another friend. When I took the picture below he had been looking at the book for over an hour!


Wednesdays are childminder days, and this week they went to a Forest School session which Finn enjoyed (again, no photos as I wasn't there).

On his return I showed him how to make a cord using a star weaver.


I borrowed this big book of Andy Goldsworthy natural sculptures to look at and talk about together. Finn has been fascinated by most of them and tried hard to think of how to replicate them.


Amazed!


He made the Lego tower below a few days ago and loves it so much it's still standing. He told me it's a space rocket which has a space in the middle for an astronaut. Very much inspired by Tim Peake's return to Earth!


Thursday we tried out a new swimming pool that we both liked and will probably go to regularly.

On Friday, we met with our home educators group as usual, which was really nice.

On Saturday, we made scones to take to the obstacle course in the afternoon.


3 km of which he proudly finished in 40 minutes (I didn't follow around but I heard it was hard work!)


Following instructions to build a Lego model with one hand - he is holding his right arm to the side after bashing it quite badly against the bookcase during a pillow fight!


Sunday morning, we had an impromptu butterfly theme after we transferred the butterfly cocoons to the habitat. It looked like an appropriate time to get out the butterfly mobile I have been working on for the baby!


Later in the morning Finn went to Oxford on the bus with his daddy, had lunch at a vegan café before visiting the Ashmolean and Natural History museum. A great adventure!

That's it for this week!

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Busy week (24)

Here's another busy week for Finn! We started with Forest School like every Monday where he especially had great fun with his good friend Freya pretending a rope was a snake. The simple things!


That afternoon he decided to make a castle tower out of cardboard in the shape of a cylinder, with a cone top. He seemed satisfied with the pyramid he made instead of the cone but couldn't figure out how to make a cylinder out of corrugated cardboard. One of his ideas was to cut out lots and lots of cardboard circles and glue them all on top of one another until it was tall enough to make a tower. We talked it through, modelled it with a smaller tower, before he realised he would need a lot of cardboard for that idea. I wanted to show him how to make a paper cylinder for inspiration so we got the geometric solids out, made a paper model, and he decided he would rather do something else.


The next day, he made a salt dough penguin for Father's day.


He is still interested in rainbows.


On Thursday he suddenly started drawing houses! Lots of them!


Discovering kinetic sand.


Experimenting with a rope, pulley and bucket.


We had my aunt and cousin over and Finn loved having visitors.


Finn has been awaiting Saturday impatiently as it was Fun Fair day! He and his friend loved this ride with foam!


He really surprised me when he went on the Helter Skelter by himself.


He loves Mathseeds, an online maths "course" for children. When he's stuck on a question we use Montessori materials to help!


Every other day or so I leave out a blank design for him to paint if he wants to. Today was a mandala.


I bought Finn a new game: "Into the Forest" which is about food chains. I got the recommendation from How we Montessori, and I recommend it too! We have played it many times. I love that it includes death and decay, which led to Finn asking a few philosophical questions and uttering strange sentences such as "death and decay eat everything" at the most unexpected times!



 We have received our caterpillars from Insect Lore, and have also decided it will be the last time we buy live animals as it seems quite cruel for them to grow in a tiny box with only mush for food instead of fresh leaves. Another interesting discussion we had with Finn.


Our best purchase recently was a bubble machine! So much fun!


I keep reading how important it is for parents to work on their own projects in front of their children to model planning, patience, managing frustration, etc. I used to sew a lot but had lost all motivation recently. I finally started again to make a topponcino for the new baby, and Finn immediately wanted to join in next to me with his own project.


Have a good week everyone, I'll be back next Sunday with photos of our week.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Keeping busy


It hasn't been easy keeping up with this blog in the past few months, partly due to being pregnant (baby is due in August!) I'm feeling more motivated to start posting again now, especially with the aim of recording Finn's interests and discoveries. I have been terrible at taking photos as well so I'm hoping writing on here will remind me to take more.

From this week on I'm going to try and give a weekly update, mostly photos so it doesn't take ages to write (I'm much more likely to keep at it if it's quick and easy!)

This time I'm going to post pictures of the last two weeks.

Recently we have observed a blackbird nest in our garden. We were all excited to see the four chicks and keep track of their progress while staying out of the way. It ended up being a proper survival lesson for Finn as one of the chicks died the day after leaving the nest. We have good hope for the remaining three however.



Finn is enjoying colour mixing, rainbows and watercolour painting.



A spontaneous collage on his bedroom window.


I bought him the Landmarks Safari Toob which he has been using a lot. Here he's preparing price labels for his "famous buildings" shop.



He is still very much into audio books and Roald Dahl stories. Here he was listening to The Enormous Crocodile while looking at the illustrations in the book.



I prepared this woodwork invitation for him to make a catapult the other day. It turned out harder than it looked, so he's had to ask daddy for help!


We started the Introduction to Biomes curriculum and here is a picture of our second lesson; The Sun and Earth. We talked about day and night, temperatures on Earth, why the Earth is at a perfect distance from the Sun and also mentioned the seasons briefly. We also did our third lesson, which was about food chains, a topic close to Finn's heart already.


Making vegan pancakes - still a few parameters to adjust I think!


We were lucky to observe a snail laying eggs in a plant pot in our garden! This led us to research snail reproduction and we are looking forward to checking on them regularly to observe progress.



Given Finn's interest in famous buildings I bought us a book with more information to look up. Seeing a picture of the pyramids of Giza reminded him of our Cleopatra board game which is themed around Ancient Egypt.


Finn still builds most days with his Melissa and Doug unit blocks and is learning tons through them.


Here he was looking for fossils at a local pit during our home educators weekly meet up.


Working on a transfer castle attack picture after a visit to Warwick castle.


A watercolour cow...



Rainy days bring out the snails, which he likes to observe for a while in a tub brought inside.


That's it for the last two weeks. Tomorrow he's off to his weekly Forest school session for International Mud Day!

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