Sunday, 23 October 2016


... our new little love, Noah Z├ęphyr!

Born peacefully at home at the start of September, we could not live without him now!

Both children are doing very well and Finn is an amazing big brother.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Busy week (33)

I had an impression that we hadn't done much this week but looking through the photos on the camera for this blog post I realise we have actually done quite a lot!

The photo below was taken on Monday morning before breakfast. Finn sorted all the cards to match the geometric solids.

He was in a great mood for work that day, as he asked afterwards to do some maths. I can't remember how he came to it now but he asked if we could try and find out the result for 110 + 110 + 110 + 110 + 110... etc. I believe it is quite common for children to want to find out the sum of the same number added to itself many times. I asked him to just tell me how many 110s he wanted to add together, and he said 20. I showed him how we could write it down as 110 x 20 rather than the very long addition and talked a bit about multiplication. I suggested he laid out his operation using the beads, which is what he has done in the photo below. We then counted all the tens, swapping for 2 "hundreds" when we got to 10, then did the same for the hundreds.

The result of an operation always leads to more questions for Finn, so naturally 2200 was one of the factors for the multiplication below, which he made up: 2200 x 4. I suggested he uses teddies to make it more playful, which he loved. He shared out the beads between the toys before adding them all up.  

Proud boy!

The infinity book is still a work in progress (obviously!)

To allow him to be a bit more independent with the golden beads after noticing that he found it difficult to get the correct number of beads he needs I decided to push him a bit with teens as I wasn't sure he could remember all of their names. It turns out he really enjoyed playing a simple bingo game I printed off the internet.

I also wanted to reinforce how teen numbers are made as he got confused the other day trying to get the matching amount of beads thinking as 12 as 1+2 rather than 10+2. His work below, which wasn't fluent as I had anticipated.

We have a new music CD called "Here comes science" by We Might Be Giants. The music is great and it came with a DVD that has music videos. Finn has been really inspired by the songs to learn more about science.

He has been asking me to do more science experiments. The one below is a simple density experiment with golden syrup, water and oil. We followed up with a separate container in which we put just oil and water before adding washing up liquid to see if we could mix the oil and water together.

He asked to do the classic baking soda and vinegar experiment.

This is another activity from an Usborne activity book (we made a pirate treasure bag last week). Making an Egyptian mummy - aka making a dripping mess! It turned out quite good in the end and we also made a sarcophagus for it.

The highlight of the week was Lena's visit on Friday! Lena was au pair from Austria while I was doing my Montessori training. She looked after Finn between the ages of 18 months and 2 years old.

Have a great week!

Monday, 15 August 2016

Busy week (32)

Only a few photos this week.

Playing trains is one of Finn's favourite things to play. He can really plan ahead and figure things out now.

Europe map. He was so confident he declined the use of the control map; he hadn't worked on this for a good while though so quite a few country names escaped him. We had a good refresher!

I took him to see a funny puppet show in our town. Giggles galore!

He asked to do the "fire needs oxygen" experiment again. He wondered if the flame would go out if he put the candle at the bottom of the glass and placed the plate on top. I asked for his hypothesis before testing it out and it turned out he had quite understood what would happen.

He was over the moon when we found this game in a charity shop as he had been wanting it for ages! "Mouse trap".

Weekly home ed meet up: running down hill again and again and again is so much fun!

He asked to make pirate treasure from an Usborne activity book we borrowed from the library.

Here is our team effort.

He hid the treasure and made a trail of all our shoes to help me find it! I loved that idea. We then played "shoe trail" for quite some time.

I love listening in when he paints. He tells all kinds of stories. The painting below shows a 3-eyed-monster with a funny sort of rainbow over him. The rainbow is that shape because of Earth tremors, which are the orange line at the bottom. Then it was the monster's birthday and he got covered in pink balloons and green sparkles.

Another lovely week!

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Busy week (31)

Monday was the last Forest School session for this term. We certainly will miss it but will be back in September with the new baby in tow!

On Tuesday this week Finn wasn't feeling too well so we stayed home and played quietly which was very nice. Below is the board game Race to the Treasure, which is a fantastic cooperative game by Peaceable Kingdom.

Finn has become quite interested in music recently and uses his chime bars daily. He has learnt to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and is now working on Frere Jacques. He likes to arrange the felt notes and then play the tune, and sometimes he does it the other way around but it's much harder for him.

He has been working on making a solids mobile for his room. They took him quite a few painting sessions as the watercolours were quite runny and he had to wait for each side to dry before turning the solids over. He amazed me with his persistence, he finished it all himself over this week. You'll probably see the mobile next week when I've had a chance to put it together.

Finn is really into addition and every time he asks us "what is ... + ...?" our standard response is "how can you find out?" This time the question was 4+4 and he chose to use books to figure it out himself.

Seeing as he was enjoying painting the solids I suggested he painted the letters for his name to make a name sign for his bedroom door. He loved the paint splattering!

Finn's daddy is going to spend a bit more time with us during the week for the next few weeks while we wait for baby to arrive. Finn is delighted!

Here he found my expanding body a useful cover to escape photographs!

He spent more than an hour completely engrossed in sorting and threading beads the other day. He hadn't used beads at all for months and for the first time the colours and shapes seemed to matter to him.

Shelling broad beans was a new activity for him which led to plenty of questions about how beans grow.

An experiment on evaporation quickly turned into intentional flooding.

We received the birth pool for our home birth!

Great excitement all around when time came to test it!

Playtime with a friend for my sociable boy.

Making potions in the early morning sunshine.

Sunday was adventure day with daddy after a low-key week with mummy. They went to London on the train! Their destination was Kew Gardens for a science event about plants.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Busy week (30)

As usual, here are a few photos from this week.

On Monday we were at Forest School and then met with some friends at a lovely park for a picnic. Finn had a great time (I didn't take any photos).

I can't remember what we did on Tuesday which means we probably didn't get up to much! I do remember that Finn was very job-oriented in the morning and loved helping me around the house.

I sorted our homemade colour tablets; he wasn't interested in the sorting but made some thoughtful observations when it was all done.

Looking at a history timeline is always fascinating. The focus this time was on the shift of the continents at different points in the history of Earth.

On Wednesday we went to the last session of Mini Professors before September, which was all about weight and density. Finn was interested in the experiments but I feel he would have got more out of it if fewer children were present. With large groups I always feel that the focus shifts from the point of interest to whose turn it is next, waiting in a line, making sure you get your turn... which is a shame because the science experiments and discussion are interesting and all the children end up missing out. Anyway, Finn is keen to keep attending the sessions so that's what we'll do! He also gets a nice playtime afterwards with his little scientist friends at the park nearby.

On Thursday we met at the arboretum with our home ed friends, Finn loved observing the peacocks, playing chase with friends and climbing the low trees. 

Duplo are definitely his favourite toy at the moment. He can spend hours building structure after structure, completely engrossed in his task.

He has been feeling a bit emotionally wobbly recently and I think he is realising that big change is coming soon with the new baby being due at the end of the month. We get all the expected baby voice, talk and behaviour; he often needs to be near me so I put his table in the kitchen while cleaning up so he could play with Gloop as he used to do as a toddler. I think he even looks more babyish in the photo below! 

He also has moments when he is super confident, like on Friday afternoon. We went to the soft play centre and he played with a little girl for close to two hours without paying any attention to me at all!

Saturday morning was cinema day! Finn has been very excited about seeing the new Ice Age film and had a good time. In the afternoon he went exploring with his daddy on their bikes.

Montessori inset designs with daddy on Sunday morning.

We have a new maths game called "I sea 10", which is really simple but really fun. The idea is to make number combinations to make 10, but Finn is really not at that stage yet so we have modified it to make simpler sums. It's a competitive, fast game, which really excites him!

On Sunday afternoon we went Geocaching. Finn helped with finding our way using the GPS on the phone.

 We found a geocache!

That's it for this week!

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