Our Unschooled Week #70

So everyone is back to school and we have the beach and the park largely to ourselves again!  We're slowly getting back into our rhythm with regular learning time squeezed in amongst everything else.  Poppy decided to help with Tatiana's maths this week, although I'm not sure how much she learnt!

Monday was the last after school club session of the summer holidays, so the girls headed out with Steve for a couple of hours while I worked.  Both Sophia and Tatiana were at a loss the rest of the week as Ariana, the friend they've played with all summer, started nursery.

Apart from missing friends, we've been going to the beach and the playground, playing outside and in, and dressing up.  Here's the fire fighting ballet dancer:

Today we were up early to drive over to Eastbourne to see Sooty.  We'd missed going up to Blackpool for the Birthday Party show in August, so I had booked this instead.  The show was a combination of the Magic one we saw in May and the birthday party one, so Lara was more than happy.

Tatiana went up on stage to help one of Richard's friends, Colonel Custard with a magic trick.  Good show, but we were very disappointed to see him use a live rabbit as part of the show.  I genuinely thought those days were gone!

The girls loved meeting Sooty after the show, although Lara wasn't keen on turning for the camera.  She was pleased that Richard said he remembered meeting her before though!

After the show we met friends Perdita and Xanthe and headed down to the beach for a picnic.  The sky looked very moody and dramatic, but luckily there was no rain.

The girls enjoyed searching for creatures in the pools and groynes along the beach and having a paddle.

Lara's new magical Sooty came too and put on a show.

The reluctant writer starting to spell:

All through town there were Steam Punks, and there was a bit of a festival running on the sea front.  We had a look at the stalls and a chat to the Greenpeace polar bear and friends.

After all that we went to the Towner Art Gallery which looked stunning in its stripes.

The first gallery space hosted a curated collection to celebrate the Towner's tenth anniversary in its new home.  Chosen by 10 of the Towner's staff and volunteers, the eclectic mix of work was interesting although a little jarring as a whole.

I really liked John Christopherson's small work Buildings and Chimneys.

And Perdita and I were both rather taken with the gorgeous tortoiseshell in Kathleen Walne's Girl with Cat.

The girls were all fascinated with this intriguing piece which shows the development of the Ponderosa from rocky outcrops through tree growth, felling, development etc.  At the end the map catches fire and starts all over again.

Next was a great interactive sensory room with lots to do, and massage chairs for the grown ups!  The girls got a bit manic though, so we moved on...

On the top floor, Phoebe Unwin's Iris exhibition was rather lovely.  Using oils and acrylics she uses a wide spectrum of colour with varying levels of translucence and colour palettes.  Definitely some good inspiration for art work this week!

The final room housed an immersive installation by South African artist Dineo Seshee Bopape: Sedibeng, it comes with the rain.

Playing with reflecting and refracting light, a floor strewn with feathers and metal abstractions, and  images of ripe fruits and flowers native to Africa, the work is said to explore notions of fertility, land, resistance, Afro-diasporic spiritual aesthetics and practices.

It was interesting that apart from standing in the space above, Tatiana felt called to crawl through the piece.  She has talked about it a lot since, I think it really spoke to her.

After saying our goodbyes we drove back across the Downs and along the coast.  After a quick cat nap in the car after all their Eastbourne excitement, the girls were then raring to go again by the time we got to the shark playground the other side of Brighton!

We stopped for a play and a picnic dinner as the sun began to set.

Quick time for a work out on the exercise equipment before heading home!