A few of us met up to do some science this afternoon. The theme was Levers and Pulleys. Having nothing to contribute to the levers and pulleys theme, and having recently rediscovered a container of real borax, I took gloop making ingredients. So we met up in a garden and had a good play.


Clever home-ed dad Mick had made a brilliant balance beam with nails in it to hold weights (they looked like bags of dog poo but apparently they were 1kg bags of sandpit sand). They all experimented with placing different amounts of beams in different places and predicting what would happen and how to make it balance.

Naturally as this is home education not school education you need to involve small children and dogs if at all possible!

We then tried adjusting the pivot point of the balance to make Pete and Eli balance.


Then we experimented with lifting a bucket of sand in various ways.

Some had more success than others.

They did some more experimenting and then spent a couple of hours playing while we drank tea and discussed, well, educating the kids mostly!

So Thursday I am up relatively early as as we have not yet reached the end of the month I decided to make bread rather than buy any.

This was a bit of a risk as I adapted Paul Hollywood’s cob loaf recipe to have about 1/3 whole wheat flour and some seeds in one loaf. Until I started using this recipe my home made bread always had a rather dense worthy texture but this recipe always turns out very well. He said in the TV program that one of the main problems with bread dough is that it gets too dry and to knead it with oil rather than flour, so I’ve been doing that and it’s worked well. Although when I tried to do it with bagels they got too oily and turned out like doughnuts.

Kids got up and put up the tent in the garden and did the breakfast dishes.

You’ll see that Ruth stands around looking confused in both photos!

Jonathan watches on from the kitchen sink.

We’ve got friends coming over in the afternoon so Ruth made some biscuits. She wanted to make gingerbread men but the man cutter has disappeared so she made gingerbread elephants.

I’m feeling very content cooking in the sunshine. the garden seems very spring like and I am enjoying looking at hugely. Washing drying on the line, new growth in the herbs and daffodils almost in flower.

We just had time for a nice chilled out cuppa before our friends arrive for lunch.

We spent the afternoon with friends over eating, chatting, playing cards, playing on the wii and computer and doing Hama beads.

A lovely afternoon for all of us.

As soon as our friends leave we are in to fast mode to get the kids fed and ready for circus skills. So quick pasta and pesto and Martin heads out with the girl to Circus.

Then I sit with Jonathan watching Human Planet and pop the dinner on for me and Martin.

Girls back from circus, more West Wing and bedtime!

We stayed out too late playing cards on Saturday night, I said we would leave at 9.30 but was having far too much fun so we stayed until after 11! We played a huge game of demons in which the Gibson family took all the bottom places. We have a plan however and will play every night when we are off on our camper trip and then we will come back and slaughter the Bailey-Oliver family at demons! So we woke up late and dashed out.

Now Sunday’s are supposed to be idle days for us but this one had unavoidable things in it.

Rebekah had to go to church early as she was leading the music for the first time. Now we could have let her go on the bus but we felt that we should take her really, but this meant we couldn’t have a relaxed start to Sunday (which we aim to on the weeks we are not on a rota for something at church). So we looked for a way we could take Rebekah to church and still be idle. We decided to go out for breakfast. A trip to Wetherspoons in Newport fitted in perfectly. I even bought a Sunday paper to read over breakfast!

Then we nipped over the road to church feeling relaxed and not too full to enjoy the lovely cakes that were on offer at the start of the service this week.

Rebekah did well and I was particularly impressed to see that despite the fact that Ali has only been home educated for a little while she has one of the main items of the HE uniform sorted – odd socks – very disappointingly Rebekah was failing in this area of HE life and was wearing a matching pair!

I had been very organised and had shoved a curry in the slow cooker before going out so we came back home with only the rice needing to be cooked. I use the Delia method and so once it was going I just needed to let it simmer without interfering for about 30 mins. So I persuaded Martin to play a few songs on his guitar – unfortunately on the first song he snapped his G -string – this lead to the inevitable silly comments (well we are big fans of I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue) and the inevitable shaking of head and sighing from Rebekah who thought that we were perhaps being a tad childish!

Then (again against our Sunday principles) Rebekah had to dash off to Cowes Baptist Church to get set up for the evening service that the Eternal Flame were playing at (she left at 3 and it didn’t start until 6.30 – we thought this was a bit excessive – but apparently it gave them time to eat pizza).

While she did this Ruth and Jonathan did the dishes, Martin went and did some gardening and I sat and had a relaxed cuppa with the paper.

Then Jonathan and I joined Martin in the garden – me to help and Jonathan to do some diablo practice.

The Rhubarb is springing up nicely.

I was very excited that we were going to use our own compost for the first time ever – it seemed like I shovelled it into about 100 planters but I think it was only about 10!

The compost seems a bit heavy on the eggs shells but aside from that pretty good – we found that hair doesn’t compost – there were a few wads of that and also found a spoon – that apparently didn’t compost either!

Then I went off to the Baptist Church with Ruth and Jonathan and Martin stayed home improving his Mario Cart racing!

Not a typical Sunday at all but still one where we made space to be idle and to enjoy life!