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!

Monday, 28 December 2015

The den building craze


It's been a long time since I last wrote here. Life has been quiet for us recently, with quite a lot of time spent at home as the weather has been rather wet. For the last three months, Finn has been fully involved in one of his new passions: building dens. He uses anything he can find in the house; sofa parts, cushions, dining chairs, his table, his Fun Pod, blankets, string lights... anything at all. It has been such a strong interest for him, that he would build new dens twice a day, every day. In the past three months there hasn't been a single day without a new den somewhere in the house.


He carries such a sense of purpose when building. Gathering materials, arranging them into the shape he imagines, creating multiple tunnel entrances, cosy corners, even toy storage inside the dens, which he calls his houses.


Experimenting with tunnels

Using chairs to prop up sofa cushions, a blanket for a roof. This particular blanket has an integrated pocket on one side; he spent a long time thinking up different ways to drape it over his structure so that the pocket would be on the inside to become toy storage.

Here he decided to build the house around the existing toy shelf for ease of access

He loved using a very large cardboard box to make a wall.



The den above has several areas: a snack and Lego table, a book nook, a doll's bedroom and a sleeping area.




Yes, he did sleep in it one night. And so did I!


Sunday, 30 August 2015

Coral, jellyfish and seahorses: Learning about the oceans


It looks like a new interest is emerging around here: Ocean life. It all started when Finn spotted the children's book "Old Shell, New Shell" (by Helen Ward) in a charity shop and wouldn't leave without it. I highly recommend it by the way. It tells the story if a hermit crab looking for a bigger shell. The illustrations are very realistic, picturing an incredible number of different sea creatures. The last few pages at the back of the book give the name of each and every animal pictured, as well as a few facts. 

Old Shell, New Shell by Helen Ward

This book naturally led to him making connections with another book we own and that I have mentioned previously on here, "Skeleton" by Steve Parker. He excitedly showed me the double page with pictures of crustaceans, asking me to read the words to him. We talked about animals with their skeleton inside their body (humans), outside their body (crabs) and animals with no skeleton (jellyfish).
 
He was interested in shells in particular, what they are, where they come from. We compared the shells in our collection and I explained how one shell (of a scallop for example) is actually just one half of the complete shell. We tried to pair our specimens with their matching halves. We then researched how molluscs eat and how they use their shell. We talked about the difference between crustaceans and molluscs.
 
 
He took a special interest in starfish and tried to figure out where their mouth is. I let him figure out how to find out that fact and he did find it in one of our books.
 
 
We also talked about coral reefs, the location and names of the world's oceans, how fish and shellfish consumption damages the eco-system, food chains, food webs, life cycles, different reproduction techniques used by sea creatures, why a seahorse is a fish, why it is dark at the bottom of the ocean, and so much more. This boy is so curious!


Fish by Sabine Krawczyk
Under the sea, by Kate Davies
 













His interest for this fish skeleton puzzle was renewed.


He also enjoys this brain teaser puzzle, which has a fish theme.


A few more things I'm planning on offering him on the topic of oceans:

- Watching  Big Blue UK about Seashores (available on BBC Iplayer until 26th sept if you are in the UK)
- Making a plastic bag jellyfish
- Learning about ocean zones 

And as usual, he'll lead the way as well!
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