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Learning at home

As the second term of the school year starts, the fact that my four-and-a-half-year-old is not in Reception is still both fresh and something we’re already quite used to. Taking a quick look back as I think ahead to what this new term might hold, there are a few things I’m grateful for. Siblings spending more time together Talitha and Ophelia have really started playing together in earnest, complete with dressing up, pretending, challenging each other and lots of running around. I know this would have happened anyway, even if

I’ve been trying to observe the Christian calendar with my children a bit more this year. I didn’t grow up with it so it’s interesting delving into it myself and making discoveries alongside them. On January 6th, we celebrated Epiphany, the day the wise men found the child Jesus, having followed the star God put in the sky. We’d been talking about it beforehand and I gathered a few fun ideas for simple ways to celebrate Epiphany with our family. As it turned out, between our home education co-op meet

Having had a lot of fun trying out Sprout by HP, a new creative desktop that offers so many possibilities with it’s touch screen mat and 3D scanner, we worked on a little stop motion as a festive family activity one Sunday afternoon. So, here’s the big reveal. Hopefully it makes you smile and puts you in the mood for the season. Merry Christmas! For more about Sprout by HP, take a look here. PS: Let me know what you think of it! Post in association with Hewlett Packard Get

Argos has revealed their top toys for Christmas 2015 and we were one of their toy testing families. We chose to try out the Chad Valley 3 Storey Summer Winter Dolls House. Talitha immediately made the connection with Frozen and said it reminded her of Queen Elsa’s ice castle. In fact, her Elsa plush doll and Sylvanian family rabbits moved right in. This house is actually sized for Barbie-sized dolls, though, I’d say. We were toying with the idea of giving her a Lottie doll, which would work well in

That time’s rolled around again to look back at what we’ve been up to as a home educating family. This has been a month of contrasts. At the start of the month, we got up to quite a lot of in terms of organised activities but things got looser as the days passed as I’ve not been feeling well and Ophelia’s going through a rough patch sleepwise. Actually, that mix suited us just fine. That’s one of the brilliant things about home educating, slowing down is not a problem when

We’ve had a day at home (Ophelia has chicken pox, though I keep forgetting she does – it’s so mild) and so got up to all sorts but I wanted to focus a few of our activities around Divali, the Hindu festival of lights. I grew up in Trinidad and Tobago where this is a national holiday and I cherish my own memories of it (going to friends and family for a curry feast, taking home bags of Indian sweets, driving around to look at the lamps set on shaped

Life outdoors We’ve chosen to home educate partly because we want our kids to spend their short childhoods outdoors. I have to say, though, that it’s easy to feel convinced about this in the middle of summer and quite another when the world starts getting colder, darker and wetter. Yet, the children are usually happy to be outside, regardless of the weather, especially Ophelia who hasn’t yet picked up on my aversion to the colder months. Mostly, I’ve been happy to stick them in their rain suits and chuck them

Talitha is recovering from a pretty nasty cold (that’s not her ill face above; she just likes pulling faces!) so although she was in good spirits today, we opted for a quiet one at home. The fact that she neither protested nor even asked about going out tells me she really needed it. We started off with a to-do list of things we needed to get done. She loves ticking things off a list. Just like her mama. “Bake bread, stew apples, carve pumpkin…” I realised this was starting to

The clocks go back tomorrow (I actually had to look that up because I keep getting confused which way it is) so, we’re headed back into the darker portion of the year. I used to really struggle with this. Growing up in the tropics, I mentally prepared myself for cold seasons when I moved here but nothing could have prepared me for the dark. After ten years of living here, though, I’ve realised that even the early nights have their own charm, especially when living with a four-year-old who’s intrigued

I first came across indie publisher Mother’s Milk Books a few years ago, both through La Leche League (the breastfeeding charity that has been a source of strength, support and community to me since becoming a mother) and through chatting about breastfeeding and parenting online. Their tagline “Celebrating femininity and empathy through images and words” pretty much encapsulates what drew me to them and the books they publish. I say “they” but the press is run solely by at-home mother and founder Dr Teika Bellamy. Mother’s Milk Books receives no

At the start of the week, the girls and I put together an autumn sensory box. We had lots of fun sorting through our big box of pom poms for “autumn colours”. Well, Ophelia just wanted to put them all in but she was happy enough for Talitha and I to pass her the right colours, so we had a production chain going. We also included fabric autumn leaves, a basket, a wooden spoon, a ladle and some yellow and red feathers. Then Talitha and I made these clothes peg

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