Tag Archives: Forest School

The 7th Birthday

Its a quickie today for a few reasons.. I’m not on my laptop as my cooling fan is broken (or something like that) so I’m using the kids PC and I don’t like it! I’ve already spent half an hour just trying to remember my WordPress password and eventually I resorted to resetting it, the space bar on this keyboard is rubbish, the keys on the keyboard don’t feel right so I am struggling to type.. well you get the idea!

So today was Ben’s 7th birthday! I think he’s had a good day.. he definitely liked all his presents 🙂 He got some Lego Nexo Knights sets and a Pokemon TCG deck. I didn’t make a cake for today, (I’ll do that when I finally get round to organising him a party next week), but I made birthday cookies instead and they were delicious!

Other than birthday things, today has been the normal swimming and forest school for the kids. Thomas recently switched to the morning forest school group and today he came home and told me he’d really enjoyed it 🙂 This is huge as last week I wasn’t sure I’d get him back after half term. So that made me much happier 🙂

Jasmine did well in her swimming lesson again and did some more good diving (well, not really diving as she only started learning to dive last week, but she’s making a good start!)

Gordon, Thomas and I managed a 3.5km Pokemon walk while the others were at forest school this afternoon.

To keep it real I also feel like ought to be honest and mention the moments of meltdown and shouting we’ve had today as both boys struggled with the birthday idea.. but it was only a few moments really and a few calm words helped them both.

The day ended with Harry Potter aloud, excitement as we saw a Chansey on the Pokemon tracker I use, disappointment after Gordon went to get the Chansey but failed, and in the time it has taken me to type this Gordon has taken my laptop apart and discovered it is too broken to fix and needs a new part 🙁

30 Days Wild 2016 – Day 8

We have had a very busy wildlife based day today. We started this morning with a walk to a local green space to pick some elderflowers ready to make cordial later on. I wasn’t sure I was going to bother making cordial this year but the kids really enjoy picking the flowers and helping with the process of making the cordial, so even though most of them won’t drink it I decided to go ahead!

As we had five small ones this morning the elderflower picking didn’t take very long and we got loads! So we decided to look for a nearby geocache that we’ve not found before. After initially looking behind the wrong tree (!) once we got the right tree Gordon found it quite quickly.oThis afternoon the kids had forest school and Gordon and I took the opportunity to go for a walk around Nonsuch Park to see what wildlife we could find. We saw lots of bugs and beetles, and we heard several birds singing. My favourite spot of the afternoon however, was the dozens of Small Blue butterflies in the meadow just outside the park 🙂

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Once we got back home we started making the elderflower cordial. The house smells so nice .. so flowery and summery! Just 36 hours to wait until we can strain the syrup and try the drink!

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_08

In rain and (sun)shine…

This week has been good. We’ve been just the right amount of busy I think. On Tuesday we spent the morning at home and I managed to get some Maths done with all three kids. We used Khan Acadamy after a conversation a few days ago reminded me how much the kids enjoyed it. Thomas did basic multiplication, Jasmine did some 2 digit addition and Ben did some early maths addition. They all really enjoyed it so I will have to remember to use it more.

In the afternoon we met up with some HE friends at Banstead Woods for a woodland/Bluebell walk. It had been raining in the morning and the forecast wasn’t great for the afternoon but we were really lucky and the rain held off for the whole time we were there. The kids had a great time with their friends and we saw lots of Roman Snails.


On Wednesday we had the usual two friends over in the morning and Forest School in the afternoon. As we arrived at Forest School at 1pm the weather took a dramatic turn for the worst and it absolutely threw it down! Even Gordon and I had to shelter for about 15 minutes before running back to the car as we would have got soaked! When we collected the kids two hours later they were dripping wet through to their underwear, despite all wearing full waterproofs! They weren’t bothered though!

On Thursday morning Jasmine and I went to the hairdressers for our hair cut. In the afternoon we went to HE Group where the kids made a simple record player from paper and a pin, made playdough soap, did some painting and played with their friends.

In the evening I took Thomas to Cubs and he joined in every activity again 🙂 He did have one moment during some “fitness” training (basically, football training) where is wasn’t happy because he didn’t score a goal, but other than that he did great!

Yesterday we started the day with a trip to the library. I was mostly aiming to renew all our books rather than get more as we are on holiday next week but Thomas reminded me that he had read a couple of his so we took them back to swap. We ended up taking out about 6 new books for him and Jasmine to read! He can’t get enough books at the moment, now he is confidently reading short chapter books.. I think he is averaging two or three a week at the moment! After the library we went to a local playground to meet a friend. Jasmine and Ben played on the equipment and did some bug hunting while Thomas sat and read one of his new library books!


Yesterday afternoon Thomas had his swimming lesson. Despite spending most of the morning saying he didn’t want to go again he took my pep talk (about swimming being an important life skill) to the letter and swam several whole lengths on his back with no float 🙂 He was so excited and you could see his confidence soar! Now we’ve just got to tackle swimming on his front!


Boats and Bluebells

We didn’t go to the Bluebell woods on Monday after all. The weather didn’t look great for the day so we decided to postpone that and we headed out to Greenwich and the National Maritime Museum instead. We drove over and parked in Greenwich Park.. despite taking 50 minutes to drive the 15 miles it is still quicker than using public transport from our house. The museum is a short walk down the hill and, while it was quite windy, the sun was shining.

We have been to Greenwich with the kids before, but not for a few years so they didn’t really remember it. Thomas did recognise the Observatory of course! I doubt he would ever forget anything involving Space!

Once inside the museum we decided to have a quick look round the ground floor before lunch. The first thing that caught the kids eyes was the speedboat Miss Britain III so we spent some time watching a short video about it and looking at the engine. We worked our way slowly round the ground floor, but nothing really gripped any of us. After a quick lunch in the cafe we headed back and I thought we should start with the older children’s gallary. It was good, but it didn’t really inspire any of us unfortunately. The kids did have fun with the Morse Code machine though and both Jasmine and Thomas managed to spell out their name in Code!

After the children’s gallery we moved quite quickly through the rest of the museum and then back up the hill to admire the view before heading home.

Greenwich 1 Greenwich 2

Tuesday was a much warmer, sunnier day. We spent the morning doing some work at the table (English and French) and then after lunch we went to Banstead Woods for a walk and to see the Bluebells. It is a beautiful woodland, made even more stunning with the carpets of blue at this time of year.

BB 1 BB 2

In the evening Jasmine went to Brownies and Thomas started reading one of his library books, The Legend of The Worst Boy in the World by Eoin Colfer. This is the third of his books that he has read and he really enjoys them.

Today (Wednesday) has been a regular Wednesday with two extra children in the morning and forest School this afternoon. The kids started the morning playing upstairs before gradually coming down and heading into the garden. The girls and Ben all did some crafting as well.

Out in nature

We’ve had five children (my three plus two more) and two mostly nature-based days yesterday and today.

Yesterday morning the kids all played Lego and Jasmine re-potted her beans into larger pots. In the afternoon I had arranged a social meet-up at the local ecology centre with some of our home educating friends and we had a great time. We saw sunshine and snow showers! And lots and lots of wonderful creatures.

In the pond we found tadpoles, water boatmen, pond skaters, sticklebacks, damselfly larvae, dragonfly larvae and a water scorpion. Elsewhere, in the woodland, we found toads, common newts and a couple of slow worms.

Ecology Centre 1 Ecology Centre 2I’m not sure what excited the kids more; the snow or the creatures.. I’d like to think it was a bit of both! It was definitely different, pond dipping in mid-spring in the snow!

Today the kids played games this morning (Uno, Snakes and Ladders, Mastermind and Guess Who) because Thomas didn’t want some of his Lego models played with. We also did some crafts – Ben made a bed for his Furby and there were other crafts going on that included googly eyes and glitter! – and everyone played with the Geomag. Thomas made a diamond and one of our friends made a pretty cool helicopter!

This afternoon the kids all went to forest school and Gordon and I did some shopping and then went for a quick walk through Nonsuch Park. Back at home there was some more crafting involving more glitter, more Geomag play and finally some TV.


Hatchlands Park, Sports Relief Mile and our new car

I am really struggling to find the time to blog at the moment. I have been pretty tired in the evenings for the last week or two, and so once the kids are all asleep I have just been collapsing in front of the TV for an hour or two before going to bed myself. It’s great for me getting up in the mornings and going out for a run, but not so good for having the energy to stay up and blog!

But anyway, here is a(nother) catch up blog on what we’ve been up to over the last four or five days.

On Saturday we went to Hatchlands Park, a National Trust country house and parkland on the edge of the Surrey Hills. Despite being only 10 minutes from Polesden Lacey, where we have been many times, we’ve never been to Hatchlands before so it was lovely to go and explore. We walked The Long Walk, which at just under three miles round the edge of the park, gave us a good introduction.


On Sunday we joined in with our local Sports Relief event and completed a mile walk around Nonsuch Park. One of our friends joined in too so once our mile was completed the kids played together for a while and we had a relaxed picnic lunch until the adults got a little too cold to sit around any longer!


Monday was swimming for Jasmine and Ben. It was the last lesson before the Easter holidays so only half the lesson was “taught” and the rest was free play – the kids favourite! In the afternoon we did some baking. We made marshmallow crunch and peppermint creams, both recipes from a library book Jasmine chose a few weeks ago. They were both quite easy to make and didn’t take too long but the peppermint creams were rather sticky! I think I used too much egg white so ended up having to add loads more icing sugar to make it into a dough! The kids enjoyed the activity and we were all looking forward to the tasting later on in the afternoon. While I was clearing up however, the kids (I think all of them but can’t be sure) splashed soapy water all over the bathroom while washing their hands. I wasn’t impressed as they used a whole (almost new) bottle of hand soap. Needless to say, I got a bit cross.

Tuesday was handwriting/spelling/English in the morning and all the kids were pretty cooperative for the first time in weeks! In the afternoon Thomas had his swimming lesson.. it mostly went OK although there was a lot of fiddling with his goggles. When he is really engaged in his lesson the little bit of water in the goggles doesn’t bother him, but other times he can’t cope with it. But we have two weeks off now so hopefully it will be a good break and he’ll go back refreshed.

In the evening Jasmine went to Brownies. She came out with a letter about this years Pack Holiday and on the way home after picking her up I realised the venue is the same place I took my Brownies several years ago when I was a Brown Owl! She is now even more excited about going!

And today we had the two extra children here for the day. And Gordon went to pick up our new car 🙂 There was great excitement when we went to Forest School this afternoon, as we got to go in the new car!

Other than new car excitement, the kids played Lego and playmobil and we did some glitter and polystyrene ball crafting.. it was going to be Easter themed as I thought I had egg shapes, but I only had spheres. So some of the kids made glitter balls but others made snowmen – obviously!

Good days and car shopping

Goodness, I’ve managed another week without blogging. Mind you, we haven’t done anything particularly exciting this week so it won’t take long to catch up this time. And having just checked for photos (I can always tell what sort of a week we’ve had by the number of photos I’ve taken) I haven’t taken any since Monday!

Tuesday morning began with handwriting and English. I worked with one child at a time and I think this does work better than all three together, although it can be tricky when one not currently working decides they need something. None of the three are very good at sharing my time and, even though they are usually really good at entertaining themselves, as soon as I start working with one the other two can suddenly become much more demanding. But not all the time. Sometimes they play upstairs and I don’t see them. But this week they all needed to be downstairs checking what each other was doing.

We got the work done though, and I still found it easier than all three at the table at once.

In the afternoon Thomas had his swimming lesson. After a really good week last week, this week his teacher tried something else new and Thomas struggled with it. He wanted him to “dolphin” swim and poor Thomas tried but couldn’t manage it easily and then gave up. And he then gave up for the rest of the lesson. He was “too tired” or his goggles “didn’t feel right”. His teacher really tried to stay positive but I know how hard it is and I found myself sitting watching and getting really frustrated! I think I am going to suggest saving any new skill to the second half of the lesson going forward so we get at least half of the lesson with maximum effort!

In the evening Jasmine went to Brownies.

On Wednesday we had the extra two children here in the morning. All five played with Lego upstairs and I didn’t see them until rumbling tummies started just after 11am! Luckily I do lunch early on a Wednesday to ensure we have time to eat without rushing to get to Forest School for 1pm.

At Forest School they all made bows and arrows. Back at home later on and the children spent a long time (not) tidying their bedrooms.

Thursday turned out to be a really good day. I had a text from a friend in the morning asking if we were free and she came round with her children. It was lovely to see them all.. we see them most weeks at HE Group but haven’t had a playdate for a while and the kids loved it.

At midday we all set off for HE Group. J&T had French and then they all played with various friends for the rest of the session. Jasmine and two of her friends made “potion” in a blocked drain and she told me afterwards that she’d had “the best day ever”!

In the evening Thomas went to Cubs and I stayed with him. J&B stayed at a friends house. He did really well this week and joined in everything except the game 🙂

And today we went to the library this morning then drove to Newbury to look at a car this afternoon. Our current car isn’t quite what we wanted and so despite only owning it for 8 months we are getting rid of it and going for another one. Luckily, after the really long drive, we liked the car, shook hands on the deal and will be picking it up next week 🙂

After our long afternoon we decided on dinner in Pizza Hut this evening.


Oh, one last thing though.. I have also signed us all up for our local Sports Relief Mile on Sunday. If you fancy sponsoring us our page is below and all money is very gratefully received 🙂 Thank you 🙂


Swimming, Lego and muddy Forest School

So I have still failed to blog about our walk around Headley Heath on Sunday. But I will, some time this week! Today however, I will catch up on the home ed stuff we’ve been up to since Monday.

Monday started as normal with swimming for Jasmine and Ben. I had a total mummy fail when we arrived at the pool and I realised I hadn’t put the bag with towels, hats and goggles in the car! Luckily they had their swimming costumes on so we could go ahead with the lesson and deal with the other stuff as required! It turned out OK in the end as I bought goggles from the centre, borrowed a swimming hat for Jasmine from a friend (I decided Ben could do without for one week as his hair is short!), and another mum had a spare towel so I even managed to get them dry without the use of the hand dryer – which was my emergency option 😉

After swimming we came home for lunch, managed quick showers for the swimmers and went out to a birthday party at a friends house. Jasmine and Thomas were quite over excited to begin with and I struggled to calm them down. After removing them from the main room for a short time Thomas was calm enough to go back but Jasmine took a while longer and it was only really when the film went on that she stopped bouncing around.

They watched Horrid Henry The Movie while eating pizza.. a perfect party! And despite moaning about the film choice beforehand, they all said it was OK at the end (although not as good as Minions, which they also didn’t want to watch at first but now love!)

We left the party at around 7pm and walked home. The kids had to tidy their bedroom as they hadn’t done so before we left but they managed it in record quick time so we even managed a chapter of Harry Potter before bed.

Tuesday started with handwriting/English. It wasn’t as good as recent weeks and nobody was really keen this week. I tried all three around the table but it wasn’t working so I ended up doing one-to-one three times. They all managed a small amount of work in the end. Ben also did a lesson on Reading Eggs.


Thomas had his swimming lesson in the afternoon and started breaststroke. His first ever go at doing it and at the end his teacher asked me if he’s ever done it before because he was so good! I think Thomas is turning into a natural swimmer 🙂

Jasmine had Brownies in the evening and the boys watched TV.

Today we had two additions in the morning and they all played Lego upstairs. I think they were building dragons.. that’s what I gathered from snippets of conversation anyway! Forest School in the afternoon was wet and muddy but they all had a good time and had another good session. Jasmine even had a go on the rope swing apparently 🙂

After forest school was Lego play, Lego tidying, fajitas for dinner, Lego City app game playing, Harry Potter and bed.

Rubber band cars and a cardboard dinosaur

After a busy half term week last week we are back to our normal routine this week, although I’m not sure that makes us any more or less busy! We seem to be on the go all the time these days!

Monday morning saw Jasmine and Ben back at swimming. They both had a good lesson but it was yet another different teacher. I thought she was a little repetitive and just seemed to have them swimming backwards and forwards doing the same thing over and over again, but neither of them seemed to mind. For the last five minutes of the lesson she got the diving hoops out and they both enjoyed that, so all in all it was positive.

In the afternoon we carried on with our science topic of Energy, focussing on elastic energy this week. We watched the Mystery Science clips “How can a car run without gas”, then we made our own rubber band vehicles. I didn’t use the model from Mystery Science as I didn’t have all the right equipment but I found another model that we could make and it worked really well 🙂

The cars were quite easy to make, a bit fiddly in places but the kids all managed most of it by themselves. And they loved winding them up and watching them flip over or spin away!

eAfter we’d raced our rubber band cars a few times I got out the second activity I’d planned .. the Lego Crazy Action Contraptions Book, which has a few rubber band powered models in it. I’ve had the book for ages but we’ve not done anything with it before, so the kids were very keen to have a go! I thought we’d start simple and make the “No donkey donkey cart”. I said Ben could have a go at making this one but soon realised that it was more complicated to make than it looked! So I ended up building most of it and the kids had huge amounts of fun racing it around the room!


Once everyone had taken their turn with the donkey cart we disassembled it and tried to build another model, the “Supercharged Speedster”. This looked slightly too difficult for me to make so Thomas tackled it while I gave Jasmine and Ben the final part of the afternoon’s activity – a balloon car kit I’d picked up from Wilkos that morning. I wasn’t expectiing it to be great as it was only £1.50 but knew they’d enjoy building it and playing with it no matter how good it turned out to be.

Thomas did quite well with the model and stuck at it until the end however, unfortunately it didn’t work when we tried it so something had obviously gone slightly wrong somewhere. Neither Thomas or I could work it out though so we decided to leave it until the morning when Gordon would  be home to help and he made his balloon car model too.

The models weren’t great (as expected) but they went together OK, the kids enjoyed the activity, and they did work a little bit! The concept was there so it kept the kids occupied for quite a while. Eventually though, when the cardboard started breaking and not fitting back together again, I suggested they go and try and build a lego balloon car and they disappeared upstairs for ages building fantastic cars 🙂


It was one of those really great afternoons where the kids got really into what we were doing, everything worked as it should, and we all had fun together 🙂

Yesterday (Tuesday) we started the day with handwriting. We didn’t do much but what they did get done was very good work. Once everyone had finished Gordon helped them build a couple more rubber band models from the Lego Crazy Action Contraptions book. This time they both worked first time 🙂 Ben also did a lesson on Reading Eggs.

In the afternoon Thomas had his swimming lesson. He said he didn’t want to go but after a brief chat he reluctantly agreed to. He had a mixed lesson I think, partly brought about because he wasn’t 100% happy about being there but also because his teacher asked him if he wanted to go in the main pool instead of the teaching pool and this upset him a bit. He really struggles with self confidence, and change to routine. Luckily his new teacher is great and worked with him rather that getting annoyed. At the end of the lesson he told me how good Thomas is at swimming, how elegant he is in the water, and how he just needs more confidence in himself. We agreed that I’d talk to him and try and build him up to trying the main pool in the next couple of weeks. After just a few minutes of talking to him while he was getting changed I discovered that using the “water pressure” method might work (more water to hold you up!). Thomas was also much happier having heard all the lovely things his teacher said about him, so hopefully that was a bit of a confidence boost for him 🙂

After dinner Jasmine went to Brownies and the boys watched Nexo Knights.

Today we’ve had our usual Wednesday morning additions before Forest School. All five kids played well together all morning. They started building the model dinosaur we got for Christmas but it got a bit tricky so everyone but Thomas gave up and went off to play Furby. Thomas stuck at it with Gordon and they got it finished.


After Forest School all five came back here, plus one more after school.. making six kids for dinner! The kids played and watched Nexo Knights while I cooked, then four clear plates and 2 mostly clear plates made for a good end to the day 🙂

Ready for a rest

The week ended as it began .. busy! The kids are really tired. I am looking forward to half term and a week off! One more week to go.

Wednesday was just our normal Wednesday. Two additional children here in the morning so they could all go to forest school together in the afternoon. They played really nicely this week.. even tidied J&T’s bedroom! It was tidier than I have seen it for months! So tidy in fact that I got the vacuum upstairs and vacuumed the floor (actual carpet could be seen!) Mid morning we played Junior Monopoly but it didn’t end well when Thomas lost. He wasn’t happy about it. Once he’d calmed down, while I got lunch ready, the kids played Top Trumps. And then it was forest school … The usual 30 minutes from “Its time to get ready” to all being in the car, but we arrived on time! After a fairly successful morning I didn’t need to return home for a lie down and coffee so I went for a walk into Cheam and around Nonsuch Park. I got my total step count for the day to over 19,000 for the first time ever 🙂

Thursday was another day with more than three children. Three additional small people today proved harder than yesterday with two additions but after being told I wasn’t going to referee and they needed to sort out disagreements themselves, they got on with (mostly) playing nicely together. The played with Duplo and all built some really good models. Until wheels became the thing to have. Then we didn’t have enough and fighting began again. I made lunch quickly and we left for HE group!

15thOctoberJasmine and Thomas did French again at HE group.. they are still enjoying it. The kids all had a good time playing with their friends. Back at home later all three kids went on Reading Eggs .. Ben did a lesson, Jasmine did Storylands and Thomas did a Skills Bank lesson and a driving test.

Today has been quieter in a way, but I’ve been busy. I had a hair cut booked this morning but apparently had the wrong time written down – which is strange because I went in and asked two weeks ago as I’d forgotten what time I’d booked for and they told me 10:20am. When I turned up at 10:20am they told me it was booked for 9:40am so I’d missed it. Luckily they had another appointment available for 11:40am so I came home for an hour, got the kids in the bath and sorted some laundry, before walking back into town for my hair cut! By the time I got home for the second time Granny (Gordon’s mum) had arrived for the day. The kids were pretty excited to see her as we haven’t seen her for a few weeks, so they were quite hyper!

After lunch I made the chocolate cake I have been promising the kids all week, we went into Asda to buy pizza for dinner, then came home, watched some TV, ate pizza and chocolate cake and ended the day with a bit more TV and a few more chapters of the latest Beast Quest book.

Tomorrow is another busy day as we are going to WWT London Wetland Centre and joining in one of the Lego workshops they are currently running. We are looking forward to it 🙂