Thursday, 22 January 2015


You Are There - Lamplighter Theatre

We love audio books, not only in the car, but Cosmo is really enjoying listening to them at bed time. Audible credits are a cheap way to get regular audio books and we've really enjoyed the Inspired by the Bible Experience audio with Samuel L Jackson, Denzel Washington and some other really big names. We also love the Adventures in Odyssey series for fun and light hearted entertaining stories.

By far and away though, my children's favourite audio we've ever bought has been the Lamplighter Theatre plays. The stories are incredibly engaging, with fantastic truths hidden in them and really inspirational heroes. They are exceptionally well produced and every child (and adult) I know who has listened has loved them. So I was super excited when Lamplighter brought out the 'You Are There' Series.

It's a dramatisation of Bible stories for young children. The bible experience is word for word scripture read and acted, which is fantastic; but this is something different, so I don't mind investing in both. Thanks to YNAB we had some money in our 'homeschool: Curriculum' budget, so when I saw that Lamplighter had a half price deal on I jumped at it. We got the MP3 downloads (shipping to the uk is pricey!) and I can't wait to start listening to them with the kids.

Here's the promo video:

And some longer interviews about the series:

If you order them quick, they are down to $99 for the entire set (that's about £62 in English money).

Friday, 21 November 2014



Cosmo has recently discovered his new favourite sport - Free running.

There's a club near us in Milton Keynes and a friend has set up a day time class for home educated kids and it is so much fun.

Two hours every Tuesday of this:



During which time Lychee and I get to go shopping together, which is nice. It's always fun to get some time 'just the girls' too.

Thursday, 20 November 2014


Making Candy

We made our own 'pulled taffy' the other week using pure honey and just adding a few essential oils for flavour and it was so fun! I'll be honest, my kids did not particularly like how it felt on their hands, but I had a lot of fun and they were so proud of their finished products.

If you want to have a go it is super easy. Just boil some honey with a candy thermometer until it reaches 140c for at least five minutes. Then tip it out on a non-stick sheet and use spatulas to move it around until it's cool enough to touch.

At this stage you need to grease your hands with butter and then you just pull and fold, incorporating as much air as you can. When it's only barely warm add a few drops of your favourite essential oils (we used, peppermint in one batch, lemon in another, orange in a third and left one plain). Essential oils are volatile, so it's best to add them as cool as you can get away with if you want the flavour to last.

When you've twisted and pulled as much as you can and the candy is pretty hard, you can cut it into shapes, wrap it in waxed paper and store in the fridge.

Even though they didn't like getting messy (there were tears over butter on hands) the kids enjoyed watching the process and learning how candy was made.

The second time we made some honeycomb. I adapted this recipe I found, but boiling the honey again, but I added a mix of 50:50 bicarbonate of soda and ascorbic acid (vitamin C powder). The acid in the vitamin C ensured we got a good reaction from the baking soda and we had a slightly chewier than I'd have liked honeycomb. I think next time I need to boil the honey a little longer.

Still, the kids really liked this one. 

Wednesday, 19 November 2014


Art Class

My children are so into art right now. Cosmo has been teaching Lychee about the art and crafts he does at boys brigade throughout the week. Last week it was blow painting fireworks (she liked that a lot).

This week we missed brigades :-( 

In lieu of her 'art class' from Cosmo, I decided to get out our sketch books (darn it, I lost mine) and follow some really cute lessons that I had found on pinterest (you can follow my homeschool art board here).

Today we started with exploring different types of lines.

I drew this:

Cosmo drew this:

And Lychee drew this:

Tomorrow's lesson: Shapes

Monday, 22 September 2014


Music Appreciation

I found a link on pinterest for How to Teach Music Appreciation The Charlotte Mason Way and I've decided to add it into our schedules this year.

The author suggests picking one composer each term, listening to a piece of their music daily and changing it each week (easily done whilst we are on copywork or something else). We then also need to discuss and learn about the composers life and learn about them.

I think part of the reason I'm so excited about it is that we have really been enjoying a fantastic audiobook which includes the story of Johann Sebastian Bach and I had no idea what an amazingly faithful overcomer he was.

We're going to start with Debussy this term, because I like his music, then do Bach in January (for contrast and because I already have a biography of him) and the Chopin in the summer (because I like his music too.

If you are interested in doing this with us, I've made youtube playlist with some of their music so you can play it easily on your phone, tablet, laptop etc... whilst your littles are working to help familiarise them with the music.


And I'll add more as we get through them, so just keep an eye on the playlists in my channel, or let me know if you make your own and I'll add a link to them.


Wednesday, 17 September 2014


Community Tree Trust

Lychee went for a play date with a friend today, and Cosmo went to an activity day with the community tree trust organised by our home ed co-op.

He's had so much fun, taking plant cuttings, building scarecrows, identifying nuts, pressing apple juice and so much more. He particularly enjoyed learning how the storm kettles work (like a chimnea with a water jacket).

Here's the video:

Saturday, 26 July 2014


Ickwell Nature Reserve

Lychee woke up, now officially a four year old, and decided to commandeer one of my T-shirts as a dress. More and more she is wanting to wear my things, be it slippers or hair clips, she's just so desperate to grow up. When all the other children are playing she likes to have a cup of tea with the mummies. Sometimes I can't decide whether she really is shy or if she just really wants to be a grown up.

To be honest, she looked remarkably cute in the T-shirt/dress (more so than I did!) so I'm going to let her keep it.

The T-shirt was originally my little sisters (I got a massive new wardrobe when she emigrated -sad story) and I love it. The 'Beloved' logo is cute enough, but what you probably can't quite read underneath is the red script which says 'because you never looked more beautiful than in His eyes'. I really do love the One Truth brand clothing.

Lychee wore it to come on a fun day out with some friends at Ickwell nature reserve. Several people were camping for the whole weekend, sadly we had to leave because I had a wedding today.

Cosmo and Lychee had great fun climbing trees, catching insects with her new bug hunting kit and generally building dens and stick fighting with lots of new friends.

Cosmo's highlight was teaching other children how to use his fire steel to make little fires. He just loves it when he is confident in a skill that takes others a bit of practice. It's a great way of getting him to talk more easily when he is feeling shy.

Lychee's favourite part was catching crawdad (my kids love that song) and cooking them. She didn't eat them, but both kids loved running around checking the traps and seeing how many were there. We of course, did eat them and they were very delicious.

Here's the video: