Thursday, March 22, 2012

Agent Smelly's New Fringe

Agent Smelly decided today that she wanted her hair cut into a bob. We then determined that what she actually wanted was a fringe (whew), so The Mama thought she would give it a go ...

I went a little short but she looks adorable don't you think.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"Elements, atoms and molecules workshop"

Today we rose bright and early in order for The Fashionista to attend her first science workshop.  The workshop "Elements, atoms and molecules explained!" was aimed at ages 9-13, so I had planned for Agent Smelly to spend the morning with Grandma J and Aunty H. 

Parents were welcome to stay, especially if your children were at the younger end of the age group, so thankfully I did, as I found the whole session thoroughly enjoyable and educational.

The tutor, Nathalie Thomas, introduced herself as a fellow homeschooling parent, who is a former science teacher of 10 years in NZ.

There wasn't much writing or note taking which can really bore children at this age, but after each concise and brief explanation of the subject, a hands-on activity was introduced.

Firstly Nathalie explained what an atom was and then had the children do an exercise with scissors and some paper to explain the size of one.

Next they were taught what an element was and for The Fashionista it was her first time really looking at the periodic table properly. Nathalie broke the group into pairs and gave them an activity where they had to identify a few elements and match them with their element symbol. Within minutes the children were using their tables to look up atomic numbers, names, symbols. This was Missie's favourite activity she told me later. I think it was because her and her little partner finished first, and got them all right on the first go. She was pretty chuffed over that and between us she had good cause to be, as even I wasn't sure they had a couple right. I did try and work one out but in the end I left them to it and I am so glad I didn't interfere as I probably would have steered them wrong ... whoops!

They were then introduced to molecules and using the Molymod molecular model building sets got to build a few elements and draw them. They all seemed to really be engaged in this, and it was especially good for the hands-on boys in the group. The Fashionista later asked me if she could have a set for Christmas ... really for Christmas?

The session finished by breaking into groups of four, choosing an element and then the group presenting that element to the rest of the class. A unique opportunity for some homeschooled children who don't get the chance to ever do this.

Even though this is a subject that is normally not introduced to students until High School, looking at all the children's faces (it was a group of 25), they seemed really fascinated by the class. There were no looks of boredom or unnecessary chatting. All the children were intent on what they were doing and learning. The discussion my daughter started in the car on the way home, about neutrons, protons and electrons in atoms, proved to me that it had been a very worthwhile and educational morning.

Nathalie does give a warning in her advert that reads "Warning: be prepared for your child to want to do more science and chemistry!" and she is quite right. My little madam, came home brimming with excitement and pride. She took her paperwork and the certificate that Nathalie awards them, into show her Grandma J, when we stopped to pick up her sister and poor Dad just about had the certificate shoved in his face as soon as he stepped through the door after work! Thankfully he showed the right amount of enthusiasm and how impressed he was, so she left him alone after that ...

If you are in New Zealand and would like to do one of these workshops, (or one of the others she offers) you can contact Nathalie Thomas, MSc, DipT of "Science for Home Educators" for further information via her site

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Organising the Kitchen!

Aunty H has moved in with the mother-in-law and so very kindly offered us some book shelves, that she has no room for, as a thank you for helping her with her move. Now despite having six sets of  book shelves in our house already, those who homeschool know what I mean, you can never have too many bookshelves.

One of the shelving unit is small (like a half size) and funnily enough for the past few weeks I have been looking for something very similar to go on my kitchen bench to house our tea cups. The girls and I often set up a proper afternoon tea, and so they do get used quite a bit but, they do also take up a lot of space in my cupboards.

I really need to pop the breadmaker and toaster somewhere else now though ...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St Patricks Day 2012

As a bit of fun, I decided surprise the girls with shamrock pancakes for a St Patricks day breakfast.

I simply added some green food colouring to my favourite pancake batter recipe,  put the batter into a squeezy bottle (like a sauce bottle), drew three hearts joined together added a stem, and then filled the hearts in with more batter.

Voila ... a shamrock, to be sure, to be sure!

I served their pancakes, with lime milk in some green tea sets.

After breakfast both girls could be heard giggling in their rooms, whilst they ransacked their wardrobes, in an endeavour to find some "green" clothing to wear for the day.

PS - The Pig came out a bit later (he'd had a late finish at work the night before) and wanted to know why I had made "Alien" pancakes ... men!

Monday, March 12, 2012

March; Mama's third card making class

Yeah card time again.

This month we had the choice of making the smaller card in two colours (peach or lime) and of using either the heart or flower punch. As you can see I went with the lime.

Then with the larger of the two we could make it in hot pink or orange. Some of ladies did a combination of ornage and pink which were gorgeous.

I was a little tired after being at a Graham Braddock art course with the kids all day (we left home at 8.30am), followed by Girl Guides in the afternoon, home to cook dinner and then back out to card making, so basically I just numbly copied whatever was demonstrated to me.

All the colour choices were just lovely this week and weren't too challenging which was really lucky for me.

Pin It