Our Unschooled Week #32

A friend commented the other day that we hardly seem to have been home for about a month, and so it seems.  Even the weeks where we are largely 'at home', i.e. we sleep in our own bed every night, we're manically busy and out and about everywhere.  Maybe January will be quieter!

This  week started with a quick nip up to my mum's in Buckinghamshire, and while we were there we made up some Puds in a Mug for a job.  The girls enjoyed making - and eating - them, but are chomping at the bit to do some proper baking too, it's been a while since we did.  All the mixing was good practice for the next day, too.

On Monday we stopped in at Uxbridge to see if Lara could get a toy she desperately wants, but unfortunately they did not so her pocket money stayed in her purse, and we had a major meltdown to cope with on the way back to the car.  Of the dozens people staring, tutting, even laughing, only one kind lady came over to see if we needed help.  Someone explain to me why a child in distress lying on the floor screaming, crying and banging their head could possibly be funny.  Thank goodness for decent souls like that one lady!

Once I had got Lara calmed down, we headed home, where she planned a big craft project she was doing.  After a stop at Hobbycraft for craft supplies and M&S for wrapping paper, we headed over to the New Forest for home ed science group.

We looked at the concept of changing states of matter, then used chemistry to make bath bombs. The girls enjoyed mixing the different components and marvelled at how the ingredients came together to form a solid, why it was cold, and how it began to harden once combined.

Marie had made up some play dough too, so the girls soon got stuck into making things with that and chatting to their new friends.  Lara constructed an elaborate dinosaur scene on the table.

Afterwards, we headed down to New Milton for a duck-feeding stop. Sophia was in charge of the camera and captured some seagull action shots before turning her attention to the plaques on the backs of the benches, something that she is fascinated by at the moment.  Why people choose the places they do, who the people were, how old they were, if there is any information about their lives, etc.

A quick stop in to the girls favourite holiday destination to admire the Christmas decorations and have some dinner, then we headed home.  They were all delighted to have tried out a new group and are keen to go back, especially to meet up with the new friends they made again.  It's so nice to find such a welcoming, friendly group for us all.

On Wednesday I went to my 'Costa office' to work in the morning, then Christmas shopping in the afternoon, leaving Steve in charge.  Poor chap has tennis elbow after all these decades of chef-ing, so is in quite a lot of pain but trying to find ways to manage at work and at home/in life.

After a trip to the beach and playing in the sand and sea, the younger two did water colour painting and Play-Doh, while Lara and Steve made the My Mini Mixie Q creation she had been planning.  Lots of maths in the measuring, calculating, angles etc.  It certainly looks impressive, and Lara is delighted with her on-going project.

Most days at the moment end with Christmas films and cartoons, but other current big TV hits include Paul O'Grady's Battersea programmes and the Jo Brand cat programmes on Channel Five.  So much of Thursday was taken up with an on-going game of animal rescue, with various creatures in peril and requiring rescuing by our crew.  Lara's Mini Mixie project continued too, and The Nutcracker continues to feature heavily most days.

In the evening, we listened to The Nutcracker Suite, read their Nutcracker books, and then they went to sleep with the sound of sleigh bells ringing in their ears.  Tatiana even spotted a boot poking down the chimney!  Friday duly dawned full of Advent gifts, glittery elf foot prints and fairy dust.  Magic.

After all the Advent excitement, we headed over to Portsmouth to see Paddington 2 at the cinema.  We all loved it, great fun.  We'd arrived before the shops opened so were able to enjoy the space, and the Christmas trees, to ourselves, which meant they needed to be hugged apparently.  After the film there was a small flurry of retail, with quick trips to Toys R Us, Homebase and Sainsbury's.  Much Christmas-ness to admire everywhere!

On Saturday, we celebrated Poppy & Jess's special day with a cooked breakfast in the morning and a party tea in the afternoon, and during the day went to a lovely little Christmas Fair at a local charity which employs adults with learning disabilities.  More Christmas films, and then preparations for another busy Christmas-filled week to begin.  Busy, busy!

And don't forget to enter our competitions