Yes, it seems school holidays are here again. I did promise the children they would have the same holidays as the school kids but I don't think I anticipated that we would have so many other breaks during school term! The change up in our routine didn't work very well and we all struggled with the lack of structure in our week. Next term we will go back to more daily structure and hopefully this will work out better for all of us. I just love how we have the flexibility in our schooling to change things whenever we want to! Let's catch up on what we have been doing for a month and a half...
I have been making sourdough bread that resembles Minecraft bread! I didn't know this but the children were very excited to tell me that is exactly what bread looks like in their favourite game. Cool, Mum. Very cool. We also had our roof covered in solar panels and we can now watch how much energy the sun is giving us via a really cool online app that came with the panels. This is going be a great source for future science lessons!
The children are doing more around the house to help out the family, including a little demolition of the front deck with Papa! The renovations have started to create a home for NannyO. We are turning two of the front rooms into a little apartment and it should be finished by about September. The great news is NannyO just got the all clear from the oncologist and she doesn't need any more treatment! We are all looking forward to her moving in with us, especially me!
I found this awesome website with a fantastic template for a paper roller coaster. It was so easy to download and print out on card, then the children helped me put it together. Of course I had way more fun than the children and worked on it for a week or so but then all of them wanted to watch the marbles roll from the top to the bottom!
Heath helped out with an experiment in the back yard making fire from a bottle of water. The kids thought that was awesome! Staying with the survival theme we then made some salty water and using the sun, we turned it back into plain water. We totally grossed them out when we said in a survival setting and if we had no choice, we could use our own pee to make fire and water. I bet they remember that! Eww!! We then spent some time on tangrams from the nrich website. I love that site for great maths and STEM ideas. The children have set up hurdles in the back yard and they can spend hours down there running and jumping before wearing themselves out. They have the most fun with games they make up on their own.
Our STEAM days have been the most fun. This experiment involved oil and water as well as some bi carb for the fizz. Of course it ended in playing with it all, mixing the colours and making a mess. It is always a great day when we can make a mess! During our language arts lessons we have been working on sight words and spelling. The girls made up a game where we put music on, dance around then when the music stops, they would pick up a word from the table. They would then write the word down in their spelling journals for later use.
I have been doing a lot of research on teaching different concepts in a hands on way. I found this freebie (always on the look out for free curriculum!) on paper sloyd, a great activity that requires the children to measure and cut paper into perfect squares, then fold into various shapes. Kind of like origami but more simple. I found a heap of magnetic words that Zoe had fun making into a short story, though she lost interest pretty quickly. We made a tornado in a bottle that sounded like a great idea until I tried it and it was a bit of a failure as all the water kept dripping out making everyone frustrated. Another day I was searching for something in the kitchen and found left over party things. Lily spend such a long time making her castle out of cups, spoons and tape! Then, after watching a MasterChef episode (we love that show so I record it at night to watch if the children need a reward:) Zoe wanted to make meringue. It was truly disgusting but the egg yolk scrambled eggs was quite nice!
Heath brought home another server that needed Henry's expertise. The Boy managed to unscrew every tiny screw in only a couple of hours. The rest he took apart with a hammer.
I just love MC Escher and I find great inspiration for my patterns in his work. One of my favourite blogs used his work for a tessellation activity so I had to try the kids out with it. Lily of course really enjoyed colouring and putting together the pieces in a final work. We will come back to this one as I printed out heaps! I also found the idea for straw planes on the same blog. Yes, I spend quite some time reading blogs and this one is seriously awesome!
Last week we took a trip to Ikea for one last play for Zoe in the kids' play centre. I am finally able to drive a little, even though it takes me half a day to recover, so the kids are getting out a bit more. We have had half a year mostly spent at home together and I am really surprised that the children don't seem to mind that much. At Ikea we bought some beads and geoboards to make some really cool patterns. I love how we can do maths and the children don't even know!
Finally this month, it was our first born's birthday. Zoe turned nine on Sunday (I know, I can't believe it either!) and was spoiled rotten. We started the before the sun was up and played with Zoe's new Lego for the morning. We had our Super Neighbours over for the rest of the day and ate junk food. I had to make something interesting out of just stuffing our faces so I challenged them to create a structure with toothpicks and marshmallows. Of course they all ate marshmallows until they couldn't eat any more. In fact, I would be surprised if any one them will eat marshmallows again any time soon!
Actually I don't think I will eat them again either!