Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Working with local business and community groups

We have a new facebook group! Our support group (North Dorset Home Education) is still alive and well but we now have a new one that lets local businesses and community groups advertise:

Dorset Home Education: Business and Community Links 
This is a group for people and businesses who want to engage with the home educating community in Dorset. 
Businesses are welcome to advertise their services but this must be relevant to home education. This may include, but is not limited to, tutoring, educational resources, courses, competitions, experiences and special events. 

Our support group has always been just for home educators or those intending to home educate and on the whole I feel that this is a good thing but the flip side has meant lost opportunities from people wanting to work with us but being unable to communicate to the group as a whole.  This new group will help plug that gap.


It is with regret that I have removed the contact form from this blog. I no longer post regularly here and have recently found a backlog of old email messages. Unfortunately I do not have time to deal with general enquiries but most should be easily dealt with through joining one of the two facebook groups linked in these pages. 

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Home Education is alive and well in North Dorset

It has been almost a year since I have last posted and there have been many changes. I am aware that people do still stumble across this blog so this feels like the perfect time for a quick update.

There is now regular social meetings taking place in both Stourpaine and Sixpenny Handley. We also have a great science group in Stourpaine organised by Fun Science Dorset and I hear lots of other ideas from people bubbling away in the pot. As ever, for further information do join our North Dorset Home Education Facebook group.

Do have a fantastic year exploring the fun of learning with your children.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Farewell to Okeford Fitzpaine

I am no longer running the meetings at Okeford Fitzpaine. The baton has been handed over to a great group of people who are continuing to organise fortnightly meetings in North Dorset. The North Dorset Home Education facebook page is still an active support group and information about when and where the new meetings are held can be found by asking there.

I have enjoyed running the group over the last couple of years and will miss it but, now that my children are older, I'm looking forward to exploring new avenues.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Summer Term 2015 A quick catch up

28/04/2015 Being creative

Painting pebbles
Hama beads

Careful colouring

12/05/2015 Collage

Foil leaf pictures

02/06/2015 Modelling
Air dry clay
Can't beat good old playdoh
16/06/2015 Road Safety

Personalised cars
More car makes!

30/06/2015 Bouncing balls

No photo's this week but we made bouncing balls using pva and borax (http://sciencebob.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Bouncy_Ball2.pdf) and loom bands (http://www.redtedart.com/2015/04/28/diy-bouncy-balls-a-great-way-to-use-up-rainbow-loom-bands/)


Scrapbooks for the summer
Playing together

Monday, 11 May 2015

14/04/2015 Shrinkable keyrings

New term at the hall! Today we played with shrink plastic to make key rings. You draw (or print) onto the rough side of the plastic, pop it in a low temperature oven for five minutes (a couple of ours curled due to the oven fan so I had to use two knives to unroll them) then leave to cool. 

17/03/2015 Easter Fun

We had a treasure hunt around the village! Clues were shared, letters were found tucked away in little cubby holes around the buildings and when all were located the children worked together to figure out the anagram - 'easter eggs'.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

10/03/2015 Japan

Origami carp
We ran with a japanese theme this week. Unfortunately my camera didn't want to play so there is only the one photo. 

We did origami including the simple carp kite design shown above, we followed instructions from activity village. We also had samurai helmet instructions and a book with more complicated patterns to attempt.

There were Kokeshi paper dolls and traditional costume pictures for colouring. Also we did cherry blossom finger painting where we drew the trunk of the tree and branches with a felt tip pen and then dabbed on the pink blossom with fingertips, similar to here

Finally some of the older children made japanese dumplings to enjoy for lunch.  

All of the above links are to activity village. I don't usually get ideas from just the one website but they really pulled through for me this week!

24/02/2015 Dr Seuss

A cat in the hat's edible hat
 Dr Seuss day is on the 2nd March. We had fun running with this theme!

10/02/2015: Valentines/Chinese New Year

To celebrate Valentines Day we:

27/01/15: Australia Day

These plates are fantastic. And what I like best is that they weren't even planned! I had plenty of paper for the children to be creative but noticed these tucked away in the bag too and they worked really well.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

13/01/2015: Books, books and more books

Once upon a time my shelves were tidy.
Our first week back following the Christmas holidays and, expecting there to be much excitement from the children, we decided to keep things simple with no organised activities. Out came the play doh, drawing materials and toys. Cue much running about and noise! We also had three new families join us, it was lovely to meet them.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

02/12/2014: Christmas preparations

Salt dough ornaments
I love salt dough decorations. They are easy to make and look great on the tree. These haven't yet been painted but I'm sure will have lots of glittery goodness shortly. I'm not sure which recipe was used for these but I tend to use equal volumes (eg a cup) of plain flour, salt and water (start with half of the water and add more if needed). Salt dough can be microwaved for a couple of minutes, put in a very low oven for a few hours or left to air dry in a warm place - the latter takes quite a long time but is the best option if you use coloured dough that you don't want to accidentally brown. The thinner the ornament the sooner it dries hard but don't make them too thin or they will easily break.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

18/11/2014 Plastic printing and curry capers

Reading tent
We set up the hall a little differently this week to cut down on the running around in circles. So far it seems to have worked, it will be interesting to see if this continues long term. There is still plenty of room for the children to move about, probably even more than before, but it no longer feels as if the tables are in the middle of a race track with the boys zooming past.

Cooking chickpea and lentil curry
Enjoying our curry!
This week we had curry prepared for us. Very mild but lots of flavour and lots of empty plates. We don't have a meal to share every week but I really enjoy the times that we do.

Playing with geo-mags
To add to our usual toys and games this week we had Geomags to explore. These are fantastic little magnets that are can be used to create structures as well as explore magnetic properties. On a practical note the trays were very useful for keeping the bits together and well away from the floor (Geomags are NOT a good mix with young children).

Our art project this week was mono-typing using plastic bags. These can be layered up to produce quite abstract almost graffiti style art. A 'how to' is shown in the video below (more information can be found here: http://alisaburke.blogspot.co.uk/)

We have three more sessions before we take a break for Christmas. I'm really looking forward to all the Yule tide crafts and activities that we have ahead of us.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Recipe: Chickpea and lentil curry

  • Three chopped onions 
  • Approx two cans or 500g cooked chickpeas
  • One carton (500g) of passata
  • Same quantity of water
  • 150g red split lentils
  • 1tsp Garam masala
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • 1tsp ginger
  • 1tsp coriander
  • Half a tsp of cinnamon

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Catch up: 21/10/2014 Halloween madness, 04/11/2014 Firework fun

21/10/2014 Halloween madness

Potion ingredients
Experimental potions were made from a choice of many ingredients including ice cream, biscuits and chocolate. Some were great and others were best described as... interesting.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Recipe: Sausages

Sausages made by our boys.
  • 1 kg of pork shoulder 
  • 100 g salt
  • 1 tablespoon of sage
  • 1 tablespoon of parsley
  • 1/2 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon of grated nutmeg
  • 6 feet of sausage skins (28 mm diameter)

07/10/2014 Sausages!

Playdoh Aliens
For a session that started so badly I think it ended up being one of my favourites. Our initial problem was that the village hall had been double booked so we were offered the Pavilion by the local recreation ground instead. I'm grateful that everybody managed to find us.

Playing catch up: 09/09/2014, 23/09/2014

Life is hectic at the moment offering me little time on the computer so here is a quick round up of what we have been doing over the last couple of weeks.

09/09/2014 Thread painting and flat breads

Marble and thread painting
This activity was organised by a young lady working towards her Arts Award. There were two techniques to try:

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

New dates for a new term

Fiddleford Manor, copyright English Heritage
We had a lovely 'Not back to school' picnic* at Fiddleford Manor. It was a calm, peaceful location that we were lucky enough to have all to ourselves. But now autumn term is definitely upon us and it is time to make plans.