Our Unschooled Fortnight #16

Oh dear, I am so behind at the moment!  Piles of washing to do, a bursting inbox to deal with, posts to write, jobs to do, meals to plan, etc etc etc.  Yep, typical post holiday and weeks off stuff, and we have visitors next week and the week after, so I really need to get myself organised and get it all done.  A bit of blog post scheduling wouldn't go amiss either - huge gaps at the moment, sorry!!  Well if anyone spots a big bag of motivation and oomph on their travels, do send it my way.  In the meantime, here's a whistle stop tour of the past couple of weeks or so...

First, a couple of weeks ago, we decided to climb a massive hill.  Yep, I made the mistake of thinking and saying 'oh it looks fine' at the bottom too.  We've been talking for a while about walking the South Downs Way before we move, so this marked the start.  We often drive past Butser Hill on the edge of the Queen Elizabeth Country Park at the bottom of the A3, and as it is the highest point in the South Downs, it seemed a good place to start.  So, 270 metres, off we went.

A long fairly shallow climb at the bottom, it grew progressively steeper, and a bit tougher, but all managed the climb fairly easily.  The girls can manage 5-6 miles fairly easily now, except for the littlest legs who does around 3, but needs a bit of carrying for the rest on and off.

On the walk we discussed the chalk, the downs, geography, rock strata, and found flint dinosaur bones and chalk teeth.  The hill is home to more than 30 species of butterfly, although we spotted only six.  We think this is a Small Skipper male, but happy to be corrected!

We met lots of fellow walkers, dogs, and some cows.  Check out our 'we got to the top' shock photo below, all grimacing rather in the wind!

We carried on along the South Downs Way a little, then went back down the hill to a dog show the girls had spotted at the bottom.  There were lots of fun canine encounters, goodies to be won from the local Cat & Rabbit Rescue's tombola, and some very welcome cake to re-energise with.

After our break, we had a fairy quick sprint up the South Downs Way in the other direction too, planning our next leg up through woodland.  A bit odd to start in the middle maybe, but we have started all the same.  Just over 90 miles left to cover!

Back at the car park the girls used some of the pieces of loose chalk they had picked up from the nearby cliff face to draw and write with.

Lara was very pleased with her toy make-up win, although thankfully it has only gone on dollies so far, not on her self or her sisters.  I think we better get her a Girl's World (if they still make those) for Christmas!

On the Monday we were off on holiday again!  You can read all about that, and see another 503 photos here.  But suffice to say, there was swimming, playing, animals, Peppa Pig, rollercoasters, rides, beaches and more.

Lara spent ages creating a mini newspaper.  I was amazed by how she had absorbed newspaper format, how headlines are constructed etc.  When we had our car ordeal a few weeks ago she read a copy of Metro front to back, so I guess it largely came from there.  It also incorporated our car breaking down, some history, such as the Great Fire of London, and more.

We went on another epic walk whilst on holiday, walking through woodland into the village and back along the cliffs.  More trees and nature to explore and discoveries to make.

Lara is fascinated by rocks at the moment, the different types and how they break down into smaller pieces, flint tools etc.  She took this photo of a large stone and tiny one to illustrate how sand is made.

The girls swimming is coming on well, although I think we may need to get some professional lessons soon.  Lara loved pulling Tatiana along in her rubber ring in the baby pool and 'teaching' her how to swim.  Great use of the language of instruction.

At the farm we saw lots of growing babies, searched for eggs, found out how babies are either bron or hatched and why there is a difference, fed the goats (no, not straw, Tatia!), and learnt how to look after donkeys and ponies.

Back home, we had a busy few days catching up, or at least trying to, and did some on paper learning as well as watching a few National Geographic programmes on YouTube.

On Thursday we went to the lovely chamomile field at a local farm and learnt about how it grows and is harvested, how to make oil, toiletries, and tea.

The girls loved wandering through the field brushing their hands through the chamomile for the scent.

We stopped at the farmer's makeshift cafĂ© for chamomile tea, with home-made oat biscuits and honey cake, all delicious.  The girls loved the tea and were fascinated that it was the same flowers around them put into a little bag that made it.  Tatiana polished off most of the honey cake by herself, and then asked for more.  Guess we better make some of that!

Chamomile as far as you can see - and the most enormous clover I have ever seen in my life!

See you next time!

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